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CBSSports: James Harden's historically bad shooting night says more about the Rockets

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Shaq2Yao, Apr 21, 2019.

  1. Shaq2Yao

    Shaq2Yao Member

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    https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/...-about-the-rockets-than-any-of-his-outbursts/

    NBA Playoffs: James Harden's historically bad shooting night says more about the Rockets than any of his outbursts.

    In a season where Harden has saved the Rockets so many times, it was the Rockets who saved him in Game 3

    by Brad Botkin, 2 hrs ago • 4 min read

    James Harden broke an NBA playoff record for shooting futility in Game 3 vs. the Jazz, missing his first 15 shots over three quarters and change of action, and yet the Houston Rockets, on the road, still found a way to win the game, 104-101, to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.

    Winning a road playoff game in Utah is hard enough. Winning a road playoff game in Utah when your best player goes 3 for 20 from the field would seem, on paper, to be impossible. This says a lot about the Rockets. It also says a lot about Harden, who told ESPN in his on-court postgame interview that he had no idea he was 0 for 15 at one point. Listen, I have a hard time believing Harden was utterly unaware that he hadn't connected on a single shot from the field through three quarters, but the three shots he did make, two of which were threes on his way to 14 fourth-quarter points, tell a more important story anyway.

    When Harden's teammates needed him most, he was there.

    When Harden needed his teammates most, they were also there.

    Remember when the Rockets missed 27 straight 3-pointers en route to finishing 7 for 44 from deep in last year's Game 7 loss to the Warriors? Harden was 2 for 13 from three in that game. The rest of the Rockets were 5 for 31. Nobody picked him up. On Saturday, Harden was the exact same 2 for 13 from three, but this time the rest of the Rockets, while not great, chipped in 13 threes, a few of them very timely.

    Eric Gordon didn't play well but hit a huge fourth-quarter three to stretch Houston's lead from one to four with 2:32 to play in the game. Austin Rivers and Gerald Greencombined to go 5 for 8 from three off the bench. Paul, who didn't play in that Game 7 last season, chipped in 18 points and two 3-pointers. It all added up to just enough.

    "Man, I went up to [Harden] in that timeout, and I said, 'get your swag up,'" Paul said in the postgame interview. "He know how we play. We don't look at how many shots you done missed or made. ... You put the work in. That's what you work all summer for. We believe in him like we believe in Gerald [Green] and everybody on our team, and we keep playing and stay the course. Coach puts the utmost confidence in guys to keep shooting ... 'cause at the end of the day, it's win the game."

    And win the game, the Rockets did. Largely because of Harden's play in the fourth. Somehow, he still led the Rockets in scoring on a historically bad shooting night, connecting on 14 of 16 free throws for 22 points, and with Utah continuing to deploy some of the flat out wildest defensive tactics anyone has ever seen (they are literally playing defense behind him), Harden is to be commended for his ability to generate offense via the pass with 10 assists. He was patient. Time and again he accepted the free pass into the lane and connected on lobs and kick-outs.

    Still, at the end of the day, it's Harden's scoring that carries Houston, and indeed it was a bucket, his last field goal of the game, that wound up erasing the barrage of misfirings that preceded it. There was just over a minute and a half left, and Donovan Mitchell had just trimmed Houston's lead to one with a step-back three. On the ensuing possession, Harden did this:



    That, ladies and gentlemen, is a man who had missed his first 15 shots, and had made just 1 of 12 threes to that point, absolutely sticking and pretty much game-winning three with a defender draped on him. That is such a big-time, no-conscience shot there aren't even words for it. Like Paul said, D'Antoni, and really the entire Rockets organization, tells these guys to keep shooting. It's the same thing Nuggetscoach Mike Malone told Jamal Murray in Game 2 of Denver's series against the Spurs, when Murray was 0 for 8 heading into the fourth quarter only to finish 8 for 9 in the final frame in leading the Nuggets to a win.

    When I was in New Orleans this preseason, Jrue Holiday talked to me about the power of positive speech. He said he didn't really believe in it for a long time, but then he saw the impact on his confidence when coaches began really encouraging him to shoot. Just keep shooting. We believe in you. Even at the professional level with athletes who have spent their entire life cultivating an inner belief that seemingly no outside influence could top, confidence is a fickle thing, and it can stand to be replenished from time to time.

    And again, in the Rockets' case, that confidence goes two ways. Yes, Harden's teammates and coaches have confidence in him to come up big when they need him most, but with a team that can step up for him on the worst shooting night of his career, a team that is quietly playing really great defense and can win a game multiple ways, Harden can have confidence that he doesn't always have to save the day. These Rockets can save him once in a while.
     
  2. ReverseBjorn

    ReverseBjorn Member

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    Nice read!! Honestly, when I was watching the game last night, it didn't bother me too much that he was ice cold. He still played tough and influenced the game on both sides of the court. He helped the rest of the team get involved, he played great defense, and he stepped up when it counted most in the end... All in a calm manner. That's what an MVP does folks
     
  3. LosPollosHermanos

    LosPollosHermanos Luxury Tax Only Fan
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    can we get more videos , especially hot take ones I don't liek readinG
     
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  4. oogie boogie

    oogie boogie Member

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    Nice to read a positive article with no backhanded compliment attached to it.

    *clicks for support*
     
  5. xtruroyaltyx

    xtruroyaltyx Member

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    That shot was so tough. Defender on his strong side, step back to his weak side....late in a close game on the road....
     
  6. icewill36

    icewill36 Member

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    the jazz are a really good team, and the rockets are on the verge of sweeping them. of course now that rockets are up 3-0, you see people saying how utah isnt that talented anyway. rockets are making them look that way.
     
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  7. tmoney1101

    tmoney1101 Contributing Member

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    “When Harden's teammates needed him most, he was there.

    When Harden needed his teammates most, they were also there.”

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة
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    Yeah but that 65 team beat the Jazz also rather easily, comparably, you could say the Rox got better but I dun think they are better by that much.

    Last year I think Ingles had one 27 pt game.

    This game JH had the worst shooting nite, Ingles is still shooting crap. I think part is us, and part is their Offense really went downhill.
     
  9. dragonwill

    dragonwill Member

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    Charles said : Utah in 6 ...LOL :D
     
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  10. vlaurelio

    vlaurelio Contributing Member

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    Both rockets and jazz are better this year
     
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  11. Patience

    Patience Contributing Member

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  12. dischead

    dischead Member

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    I think it says more about the Jazz being not that good. Can't have Harden shoot like that against the Warriors
     
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  13. waytookrzy079

    waytookrzy079 Member

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    Monday is almost here! @Shaq2Yao will be on top of it, as always!
     
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  14. PeppermintCandy

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    I don't really know how this Jazz team compares to last year's in terms of overall quality. But IMO the team that showed up for Game 3 was probably the toughest that I've seen the Jazz play in a long while. They were really focused defensively, used their length advantage well, and played with some serious desperation.

    Big credit to Houston for weathering the storm and coming out on top.
     
  15. Houstunna

    Houstunna The Most Unbiased Fan
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    I hate things transpired like this (James stats), but am thankful for the win.
     
  16. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة
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    Jazz not offensively or at least they deteriorated from the regular season.
     
  17. Mathloom

    Mathloom Contributing Member

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    "Get your swag up."

    This is everything. Harden's off nights are nights where he looks irritated, where his competitive spirit is geared towards referees or his own defender. When he has that swag, he is that multi dimensional force no one can stop. The fact that the team understands this and Harden overcame it is an underrated turning point for us.
     
    Patience likes this.
  18. deb4rockets

    deb4rockets Still sick about the big choke
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    I never doubted our other guys could make the shots if they just had more opportunity to shoot. I don't know why anyone would. We have some high percentage shooters who take half as many shots as James most of the time. Even though he still took more shots than anyone else he didn't take twice as many, so others with higher shooting percentages made up for his missed shots by simply shooting more. Don't doubt our team. Sure Harden is our leader, but our team as a whole is what makes the Rockets so great. I love this team.
     
  19. count_dough-ku

    count_dough-ku Contributing Member

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    The Jazz may be worse offensively this season. At least vs the Rockets. Burks had a couple of really good games against us in the playoffs last year and he's gone. Exum is also hurt right now. Sure, Rubio is healthy after missing the entire Semifinals last season, but I don't think he makes up for the loss of those two.

    On the flip side, I think(at least post-All-Star Break) the Rockets are better. There is so much more depth on this team. Last year, we didn't have Faried, Rivers, and House and we don't win Game 3 without those guys.
     
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