When Chris Paul went down with a hamstring injury earlier in the season, everybody around the NBA gave up on the already struggling Rockets for this season. But instead, they went on to win 7 of their next 9 games, and are again one of the more dangerous teams in the league. And all thanks to one man. James Harden.
During the last period, James Harden has been on a run that few others have equaled in history. He has been averaging 40.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, 9.4 assists and 1.9 steals per game, all while shooting 40% from the three-point line. He has been carrying a team hit with injuries and taken full responsibility of his team.
He has been devastating teams with his combination of dribble moves that allow him to get to the rim and finish or more often draw fouls and hit a bunch of free throws. No need to mention he is just as dangerous from behind the three-point line.
So how do you stop him? On ESPN’s “The Jump” Scottie Pippen explained to Tracy McGrady how he would try to stop James Harden:
Well first of all you have to start guarding James Harden when he gets out of his car going into the arena.. even if he’s in the parking lot, I’m coming and finding him. He’s very comfortable walking to his comfort zone, and picking apart the defense.
Pippen was metaphoric, meaning he would pick Harden up 94ft and stop him from getting comfortable and to his spots. Making him work and taking time off the clock is crucial. As one of the best wing defenders in history, Scottie sure knows what he is talking about. We will see if any teams will try listening to Scottie advice to stop Harden.