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Harden's improvement in year 10 is amazing.

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by topfive, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. topfive

    topfive CF OG
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    Show of hands: Who thought Harden would get BETTER over the summer?

    In October, Harden began his 10th season at age 29, hardly the point in any NBA player's career where they show much improvement at all, much less a substantial one. Yet as a scorer who was already nearly unguardable, he's somehow managed to take it UP a notch.

    To be fair, this current eye-popping run he's on is helped by 2 of the team's top 4 scorers being out, but that doesn't tell the whole story. The addition of the unique weapon that is his step-back 3 has created a freaking monster.

    He's scoring 4 points above his career season-best, and more than 10 points above his career average. His eFG% (.547) is currently the highest it's been since he became a starter, and he's never shot better from 3PT (.390) in his career.

    I don't know if this is unprecedented, but I can't think of another example of an already-superstar who found a way to improve his effectiveness this much 10 years into his career. Can any of you?
     
    #1 topfive, Jan 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  2. Patience

    Patience Contributing Member
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    My first thought was Hakeem, but his leap seems to have been at year 8, in 1992-1993.
     
    topfive likes this.
  3. Reeko

    Reeko Member

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    It truly is amazing. His shotmaking this season has left me speechless on many occassions. Harden got me watching games like

    [​IMG]

    Remember all the “Harden looks pregnant” talk this summer? That he was looking like he was in his 3rd trimester and could be expecting triplets? That he was slacking?
     
  4. topfive

    topfive CF OG
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    Just the thought that a 10-year vet NBA superstar worked his ass off to develop a devastating variation of a shot, one that nobody had ever properly exploited, is mind-boggling. It's like if Kareem had developed his sky hook a couple of years after being traded to the Lakers.
     
  5. Reeko

    Reeko Member

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    he’s perfected it to the point where I think he’s having a better 3 point shooting season than 15-16 Steph

    no one else in the NBA would be able to shoot 39% on almost 13 unassisted, highly contested threes a game
     
  6. bongman

    bongman Member

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    I was on the ..I wouldn't be surprised crowd. He had been improving and no reason to think that would stop.
     
  7. sealclubber1016

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    Dream was the same age as Harden when his leap happened.

    With Dream you can point to one offseason where things clicked and he elevated his game. Harden's performance hasn't been a leap, it's been a trajectory. He has just kept getting better, particularly since the 41 win debacle. Constantly coming up with new ways to attack defenses.

    Very few stars show the ability to grow their game once they reach star level, it's what separates the great players from the legends.
     
  8. Wylo

    Wylo Member

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    People need to realize shooting 39% from deep at that volume (12 3PT attempts per game) is freakin' amazing, and there is only one guy in the history of basketball who can match that, and that guy is unanimously considered the best shooter of all time.

    People say Klay is the second best shooter, but there's a reason why he doesn't average twelve 3PT attempts per game; because he can't. Shot creation ability is so underrated among casual fans who normally don't consider how do volume and difficulty of shots affect overall FG%.

    PJ Tucker is shooting close to 40% this season from beyond the arc, yet no one with half a brain cell should think PJ is a better shooter than James. Even if Harden shoots 36~37%, PJ is still not a better shooter. This point should be emphasized way more.
     
    #8 Wylo, Jan 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  9. topfive

    topfive CF OG
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    True, though Dream's improvement was mostly mental. He realized if he passed out of double- and triple-teams, his teammates would have open shots, and that in turn would open things up for him.
     
  10. Hmc415

    Hmc415 Member

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    Yup so many times during this season after harden does something, I just throw my hands up in confusion and say wtf?!
     
  11. Hmc415

    Hmc415 Member

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    Crazy thing is people do actually think pj is a better shooter, granted they are probably harden haters to the bone
     
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  12. iNoseBleedRed

    iNoseBleedRed Member

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    Jeremy Lin
     
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  13. BamBam

    BamBam Contributing Member

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    [​IMG]


    :eek:
    .......
    .......
    .......
     
  14. withmustard

    withmustard Member

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    Why did OP say James is shooting .547 from 3?
     
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  15. rocketseagles07

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    Agreed, he’s taken another step. Now PLEASE be 85% of what you are in the reg season throughout the post season
     
  16. topfive

    topfive CF OG
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    Because he hadn't had his coffee yet.

    That was supposed to be eFG%, not 3FG%. Fixed it now, thx.
     
  17. Mathloom

    Mathloom Contributing Member

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    In the summer I specifically remember saying we can't blame Harden if he performs the same or a tiny bit less than last season. We really owe him, I hope ownership and management appreciate this unique window is a rare instance where it's worth going all in with our assets and luxury tax. This is not the time to be cutting costs, this is a unique moment and he has single handedly willed us to being one piece away.
     
    luckyman76, glynch, topfive and 5 others like this.
  18. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة
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    He was 'only' at 28 ppg in October so it's really amazing how he turned it on in December after Paul went down. And now January.
     
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  19. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum It. Deserves. Its. Own. Thread.
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    thinly-disguised Jeremy Lin comment
     
  20. Roxfreak724

    Roxfreak724 Member

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    I mean, I kind of knew that he should be even better at the step-back 3 this year since he really only started using it regularly last year, but I didn't really anticipate him upping his 3 pt attempts like this while at the same time improving his percentage.

    It's incredible to watch, and I think that taking so many 3s is helping him conserve energy throughout the game instead of driving all the time, his shot seems to be more reliable at the ends of games than it usually is, especially at the end of the GS game, where it felt like he could shoot forever with good accuracy.
     
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