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Who faced tougher defenders/defenses? Jordan or Harden? Debate/Poll

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Air Canada, Sep 1, 2019.

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Who faced tougher defenders/defenses?

  1. Harden

  2. Jordan

  3. Jordan faced tougher defenders

  4. Jordan faced tougher defenses

  5. Harden faced tougher defenders

  6. Harden faced tougher defenses

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Air Canada

    Air Canada Member

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    [​IMG]

    No I'm not arguing whose better although I believe Harden is a better offensive player than MJ was... I still think MJ was the better overall player.

    I say... Harden faces tougher team defenses and tougher individual defenders...

    I was binging old MJ games and other old players of the 80s and mostly 90s... Guys like Mitch Richmond, Dominique Wilkins, and even relative unknowns like Michael Adams(LOL), and so on...



    Go to 1:38 of the video...

    This is 5'10" Michael Adams of the Denver Nuggets(did you say who?) ... Against the Boston Celtics.... a top 10 defense, 56 win team, and 2nd seed in the East.

    Can you imagine what Harden would do to that defense?

    I refute the idea that defenses and defenders were tougher back then in part to the depth and detail of scouting... Every organization today scouts teams and details every players weaknesses and schemes...

    "Handchecking" was not the deterrent many oldheads make it out to be... No doubt you could handcheck a role player and stop or really affect him, but stars could just slap that hand away or skilled ball handlers could easily keep it movin'.

    MJs era was an era of 1 on 1... Harden has shown he can be very effective in man D with his isolation ability or scoring against zones.... Today, the other team can play ZONE and double when you don't have the ball... Last era was an era of 1 on 1, this era is an era of zones which can to some extent limit a one on one show... Harden typically faces 1 primary defender and sometimes 1-2 secondary defenders to keep an eye on him so when he makes his move they can help or trap... Spacing the floor combined with Harden's shooting and shot creating ability allows him to still employ a ridiculously high level of isolation scoring even out beyond the arc with regularity.





    MJ was great of course, but he made a living in the mid-range posting up smaller players and shooting over them... Today the level of talent today at the wing spot is ridiculous.... Harden has faced bigger, longer, and stronger players than Jordan did... Jordan was guarded by usually quick, but smaller/shorter players like Dumars and Starks...

    MJ's defenders average around 6'3 while Harden's is around 6'6^ and more athletic imo.

    [​IMG]

    Some notable defenders Jordan faced or had to contend with:

    Cooper
    Byron Scott
    Joe Dumars
    B Russel
    Gary Payton
    Dennis Johnson
    John Starks
    Nate McMillan
    Clyde Drexler
    Tim Hardaway

    [​IMG]

    Notable defenders Harden has had to deal with:

    Tony Allen
    Draymond Green
    Kawhi Leonard
    Danny Green
    Iggy
    PG
    Marcus Smart
    Jimmy Butler
    Jrue
    Klay

    I know some of you will say... Hard fouls back then were not uncommon and were often not made technicals or flagrants.... And that these days, a slight glancing blow is called a technical... There's truth to that, but those situationally are fewer and less frequent plays that have less to do with the defense you actually face as a whole.. game after game.. Besides a few "rough plays" back then in a game, most of the games and plays then barely had that much contact.. You beat your man and you often could drive right to the lane undeterred... Or often times you didn't have to even do that to get an uncontested jumper... The Bad Boys made a reputation of that era for being a hard nosed tough defense with some hard or cheap fouls, but just watch a game where MJ scores big.... Most of his shots will actually be open and not even contested... And I'm talking even in the playoffs....



    Despite the handchecking rule, Harden also still gets hammered in the head, has hands on his shorts, gets poked in the eye, etc.



    Not only do I think Harden could be effective in MJs era... And by effective I mean average 30+... I think he'd be even better then than he is now and tougher to stop.

    The eastern conference was also NEVER as good back then as the West is today or even a decade ago.... Be it talent or overall teams.
     
  2. rocketchamp

    rocketchamp Member

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    Ppl really believe the defense now is comparable to the 90's? It's not even close. Today's basketball is catered to scoring & free flowing pace offenses. Michael Jordan had to score against bigger, tougher & stronger defenders in era where handchecking was allowed
     
    BigDog63, bro2044, Xerobull and 11 others like this.
  3. HP3

    HP3 Member

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    All you have to look at is playoff stats to understand that Jordon was a better player. Compare Jordon to Harden's years and this convo becomes non existent. Harden has to time to prove himself but as of right now, he doesnt have the resume at all.
     
    Nelly, HewbieTrippin and RocketRed84 like this.
  4. Air Canada

    Air Canada Member

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    False... MJ usually faced smaller and weaker defenders... He also was able to exploit them again and again in iso with no zone D... As I said and even showed in OP... Go watch a game where MJ scores big.... Most of his shots will be open and or not even contested... And I'm talking even in the playoffs....
     
  5. Air Canada

    Air Canada Member

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    all you have to do is gain reading comprehension.
     
    HakeemOnlyFan and RyanB like this.
  6. kjayp

    kjayp Contributing Member

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    "The Jordan Rules" by the Pistons...

    In the past, teams used to employ 'enforcers'... guys whose jobs it was to use their 6 fouls to inflict as much pain on driving players as possible...
     
    B-Bob, BaselineFade and JW86 like this.
  7. HP3

    HP3 Member

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    And how many games have you watched exactly? And why you are you penalizing a player for getting open, uncontested looks?
    I read your post, you dont have to be rude, Harden isnt a better offensive player, and you watching a few games on youtube isnt gonna give a comprehensive view of the competition back then.
     
  8. cheke64

    cheke64 Member

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    [​IMG]
     
    HakeemOnlyFan, Jontro and Air Canada like this.
  9. kjayp

    kjayp Contributing Member

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    Maybe the first guy MJ went by... but after going by Starks (who you listed as a defender), he then had Ewing and Oakley waiting in the paint...
     
    BaselineFade and HP3 like this.
  10. rocketseagles07

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    Individual defenders are better now. It’s just improved spacing and shooting that makes it harder to gang up on people.

    Jordan did not face bigger and stronger defenders at all. Dumars was the best guy that defended him and he’s Damian Lillards height.

    Jordan was just too consistent and his game went UP in the playoffs which is why you almost can’t compare other players to guys like him and lebron who have consistently had historic numbers in the playoffs
     
  11. rocketseagles07

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    Btw Jordan is the goat imo and besides Lebron it’s not close but his era of defense is hella overrated
     
  12. ISOBall

    ISOBall Member

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    April fools!!!!!!!!!
     
  13. Air Canada

    Air Canada Member

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    Yeah they gave hard fouls and when they weren't doing that(Most of the game)... They were giving MJ uncontested shot after uncontested shot
     
  14. fattz

    fattz Member

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    The 90’s the referees called 3 to 5 illegal defenses a game. There was no zone at all. But there was hand checking and charges were not commonly called. One would take a beating in the paint and there was absolutely no free lay up at all.
     
    studogg and Air Canada like this.
  15. Air Canada

    Air Canada Member

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    Only if they rotated over in time.... Otherwise it would be a layup, foul, or poster... And if they tried to camp or wait on him in illegal guarding position it would be a tech for illegal zone D.

     
  16. Air Canada

    Air Canada Member

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    I've seen a shitload of games... And you don't seem to get it... No one is penalizing a player for the open looks... I'm comparing the defense... And the defenders they faced... Also the lack of actual contests by the opposition... And why it's so frequent.
     
    HakeemOnlyFan likes this.
  17. Air Canada

    Air Canada Member

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    the first is true, but the rest not quite.... You can see numerous "free layups" if you could break down and beat your man on the perimeter you could finish undeterred if the big guy doesn't rotate over in time... You can see this again and again... Now if you drove with your guy on your hip or on you, then you'd be more likely to have a crowded paint and tough contest... Basically it benefitted elite iso players tremendously.

    "For scorers like myself and Carmelo and KD, the rules from the '80s can be more beneficial for us, because you have to be played straight up. You want to double team, you got to come all the way over. So, for us, I don't care if you hand check us with three hands. If there's nobody behind you, you're not going to stop us. So the zone I think cripples some of the top scorers." - Kobe Bryant
     
  18. kjayp

    kjayp Contributing Member

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    You can have some good defensive efforts these days - esp in post season... but many games are like an all-star game with very little defense... Nowadays its more about if the 3 ball is dropping or not...
    I cant remember the last time I saw a good forearm to the forehead on someone driving the lane...
    I watched the NBA during MJs duration - and it was far more physical... You had more stiffs bc the average level of talent wasnt as high as it is today... but defense was a greater focus and it was common practice to give a hard foul rather than give up a layup...

    Obviously someone can cherry pick examples on either side of the equation in any era... but overall... lesser average quality in the past - but more defensive effort and physicality... imo...
     
  19. kjayp

    kjayp Contributing Member

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  20. Air Canada

    Air Canada Member

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    It was more physical in the way of harder fouls on drives, but the actual defense wasn't as tough... Much less focus on contesting jumpers... From midrange and obviously 3... if you're a star scorer... Less traps... Way more 1 on 1 basketball... favorable for a star perimeter player proficient in isolation.... If you could shoot at a high level and handle the ball at even a decent level the defenses were at your mercy.... No cherry picking... Go look at any big game from any perimeter stars of the era.... Also what I said about zone D is a FACT.
     
    RyanB and plutoblue11 like this.
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