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roksoer is offline Old 12-02-2012, 05:11 AM   #1
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In every game so far, whenever Harden was defending a fast break 1 on 1, he would just back off and let the opposing player do his thing. What is up with that? He never even tries to stand his ground or at least do something, he just lets it happen.
Is this the gameplan for him not to get too many fouls or is it just that he doesn't care enough?
Also, why don't coaches point out to him the importance of preventing easy baskets?
I find this worrisome since it looks like he doesn't want to do the dirty work, which is something you'd expect from a max contract guy.

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archinkent is offline Old 12-02-2012, 05:13 AM   #2
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He was like that in OKC too. But he had Ibaka to back him up.
 
OremLK is offline Old 12-02-2012, 05:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roksoer View Post
In every game so far, whenever Harden was defending a fast break 1 on 1, he would just back off and let the opposing player do his thing. What is up with that? He never even tries to stand his ground or at least do something, he just lets it happen.
Is this the gameplan for him not to get too many fouls or is it just that he doesn't care enough?
Also, why don't coaches point out to him the importance of preventing easy baskets?
I find this worrisome since it looks like he doesn't want to do the dirty work, which is something you'd expect from a max contract guy.
"Preventing the easy basket" on the fast break is probably overrated if the guy is a decent FT shooter. EV (expected value) for the average guard on the foul line for two is probably somewhere around 1.60 points. Then you have to factor in the slight chance that the guy makes it anyway, and gets an and-1 instead of just two points. Lastly, Harden does not want to get in foul trouble. He's very important for the Rockets offense.

All in all, I think it's more a bball IQ thing than it is an effort level thing. I don't have a problem with it as long as Harden fouls on occasions when the runner is a bad FT shooter and can be stopped from making the basket.
 
BDswangHTX is offline Old 12-02-2012, 05:15 AM   #4
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it's called the matador defense. ala T-Mac.

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Chef_Monteur is offline Old 12-02-2012, 05:16 AM   #5
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Harden never had to guard the other teams best player for 40+ minutes when he played for OKC. There will be an adjustment period for him but the reality is that defense is a team concept, its not an individual thing like offense can be at times. Defensive chemistry takes a long time to build, arguably longer than offensive chemistry does.

Right now, we shouldn't be concerned with what Harden does on defense. He needs to score points and get people involved offensively because he has the most experience and when he has a bad game offensively it hurts our team confidence more than if he has a bad game on defense.
 
Wapzoe is offline Old 12-02-2012, 05:17 AM   #6
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I think it is because of fouls (as you pointed out)

Whether this is a team directive or something he does himself is another matter, but i guess the Rox organisation will ask for change if it's not what they want.

I hope he does improve his defense though, he tends to fall asleep and get lost in off-ball screens.. He can truly become a superstar if he locks down on D (Jordan came into the league as an offensive player and worked on his D and we all know how that turned out, similar story with Kobe and countless others)
 
daywalker02 is offline Old 12-02-2012, 05:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BDswangHTX View Post
it's called the matador defense. ala T-Mac.
Tmac didn't have the stamina rofl

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roksoer is offline Old 12-02-2012, 05:28 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by OremLK View Post
"Preventing the easy basket" on the fast break is probably overrated if the guy is a decent FT shooter. EV (expected value) for the average guard on the foul line for two is probably somewhere around 1.60 points. Then you have to factor in the slight chance that the guy makes it anyway, and gets an and-1 instead of just two points. Lastly, Harden does not want to get in foul trouble. He's very important for the Rockets offense.

All in all, I think it's more a bball IQ thing than it is an effort level thing. I don't have a problem with it as long as Harden fouls on occasions when the runner is a bad FT shooter and can be stopped from making the basket.
Makes sense, but I believe that he is a skilled enough player to be able to stop a high enough percentage of such plays, that should warrant him trying to do so on a regular basis. However, I do agree with Wapzoe, he still is a young player and still has a few things to learn.

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Note that I never picked on his defense in a half court set, he definitely is prone to getting lost on defense but I believe that is a result of him not having a proper training camp with the team and I'm sure we will be seeing less of that throughout the season.

It's just these 1 on 1 situations that rub me the wrong way since I can always expect him to just back off...

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meh is offline Old 12-02-2012, 06:10 AM   #9
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Wait, in situations where James Harden is forced to defend a fast break by himself... your focus is on James Harden? And not all the mistakes made that led to the situation in the first place? That's like wondering why the punter whiffed on a tackle against a returner on his way for a return TD.
 
sidestep is offline Old 12-02-2012, 06:47 AM   #10
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Fast break defense is not an issue but Harden's half-court defense is a problem. Foye being the most recent example. So far, it doesn't seem the coaching staff have held him accountable for it as I've noticed no obvious improvement across these games. On the positive side, since Harden doesn't get into people's faces, he stays out of foul trouble.
 
LikeMike is offline Old 12-02-2012, 07:30 AM   #11
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I agree with sidestep. His defense the last game was embarrassing and a real reason why the Jazz stayed into the game as long as they did. It always seemed like he had no effort to fight through a pick and quit defending every time it got a little hard. And his lack of effort seemed to rub off on the other guys as well.

To me that is a concern... Perhaps the coaching staff tells him to just focus on offense and not waste energy on defense, but for him to be a star he needs to develop into a 2way player - like Kobe, James, Jordan...

This year is a rebuilding year, and perhaps that's a reason for him to not give it his all... But I sure hope he realizes that his teammates are watching him and that he starts to play both ways soon...
 
Aleron is online now Old 12-02-2012, 08:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roksoer View Post
In every game so far, whenever Harden was defending a fast break 1 on 1, he would just back off and let the opposing player do his thing. What is up with that? He never even tries to stand his ground or at least do something, he just lets it happen.
Is this the gameplan for him not to get too many fouls or is it just that he doesn't care enough?
Also, why don't coaches point out to him the importance of preventing easy baskets?
I find this worrisome since it looks like he doesn't want to do the dirty work, which is something you'd expect from a max contract guy.
Durant does the same thing, it must be an okc thing but the strategy seems to be that the best way to stop fast break points is to slow them down just long enough for a weak side block, of course we don't have anywhere near the blocking talent as ibaka.
 
tie22fighter is offline Old 12-02-2012, 08:24 AM   #13
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He is doing so much more on the offensive side of things that overall he is making a positive contribution to the team.

But his lack of effort on defense is getting a little embarrassing. Hopefully, he won't become T-Mac.

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pmac is online now Old 12-02-2012, 08:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidestep View Post
Fast break defense is not an issue but Harden's half-court defense is a problem. Foye being the most recent example. So far, it doesn't seem the coaching staff have held him accountable for it as I've noticed no obvious improvement across these games. On the positive side, since Harden doesn't get into people's faces, he stays out of foul trouble.
Yes, this is one of my biggest concerns with Harden. He doesn't need to be a Kobe, Lebron, or Iguodala type defender he just needs to be an average defender that can stay in front of his man and funnel them into Asik. Right now he's basically Kevin Martin with playmaking ability and that's not acceptable.

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stobbartjohn is offline Old 12-02-2012, 08:35 AM   #15
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roxxy is offline Old 12-02-2012, 09:00 AM   #16
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His defense is pretty poor it actually looks worse than when he was in OKC. The coaching staff is asking him to do a lot of things offensively as well. He seems to not care sometimes. He made Randy Foye look like a superstar. This is a rebuilding year for everyone so I cut him some slack. And he never had a training camp to pick up the fundamentals (although some of the defensive **** he does is just basic basketball). Sampson keeps talking about defense & us improving it but our D has continued to be subpar under him.

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either that or Harden is being vastly underrated by a so called Rockets fan who supposedly watched majority of the Rockets games last season where Harden night in and night out carry the Rockets offense and torch whatever defense the opposing team throws at him
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VBG is offline Old 12-02-2012, 09:08 AM   #17
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Tmac didn't have the stamina rofl
T-Mac 04-05 First season with Houston played 40.8 minutes per game and was 4th in the NBA in MPG

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sammy is offline Old 12-02-2012, 09:23 AM   #18
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He's done that when he is in foul trouble. I don't blame him stepping aside and removing himself from the play due to the incompetent officiating that plagues the league.
 
torocan is offline Old 12-02-2012, 09:25 AM   #19
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I'm not that worried about it at this point.

Defense is the last skill set to develop for most young players, and the last part to click for teams. I consider Harden to be a work in progress in terms of defense, especially with so much already on his plate.

Ask me this question again in January.

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teebone21 is offline Old 12-02-2012, 09:30 AM   #20
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McHale would bench his ass if he were here
 

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