I really like our young guys for their mature makeups. There is a chance they can utilize there here and make it interesting. It comes down to tonight for us. IMO we need to win this game to have a shot.
Harden has proven enough over the past 2 years that he is a bonafide superstar. But he is still 23 years old, and has a ton of learning and growing to do. That is what is exciting. Also, this team is still not complete. It is the youngest and least experienced playoffs team, and has plenty of growing to do as well. We are also still missing the 2nd star that we are likely to use our cap space on.
Whether or not Harden performs up to par in the next 4, 5 or 6 games does not change any of that. And I believe our future is still bright regardless.
The Thunder are a championship caliber team, who will have the luxury of keying in on Harden, a player they know far too well. Even Kevin Durant in his first playoff series shot 35% from the field and 28% from 3. I know this isn't Harden's first, but it is the first for him as the top option. I wouldn't take too much away from it if he struggles.
Quite frankly Harden's play this year was unexpected in a great way. At this point, I think his body is just giving out.
The way I see it, we were just playing with house money this season. We didn't really know what to expect and now we are in playoffs. I fully expect Harden to be a no limit soldier after this next offseason now that he knows he's the man and train for it.
Prediction: Heart seeks Rockets in 6. Mind says OKC in 5. I’ll compromise at Thunder in 6.
This pretty much sums up my feelings/thoughts on the series!
I think that OKC is so good that it's not hard to see a sweep. However, we are also a team that when we get hot, we are so hard to stop. I also think our defense has gotten A LOT better on some of our games towards the end of the season and believe we have the personnel.
No doubt about it, Harden's about to get the biggest test of his young career. I thought he handled the pressure to perform beautifully for most of the season, but lately he's looked rather beat up and bedraggled. Hopefully he's resting up, taking therapy every day, and focusing on how he's going to humiliate Sam Presti in OKC.
I agree with Cxbby that a less-than-spectacular performance from Harden this series won't be the end of the world. He's largely carried the team past expectations already, and it couldn't be any harder to surpass expectations for this series. Either way, it will be a major learning experience for him and everyone else on the team.
There is no such thing as a "dominate" player. A DOMINANT player DOMINATES.
If we win a single game against the Thunder in the playoffs I'll be thrilled. Even if we get swept, I'm still super pleased with the way this season went and how much potential our team has going forward.
Harden had a good season as the#1 option. However, he's still gotta prove he's a superstar caliber player. This series will give us a indicator. I just hope we hold him accountable and stop making excuses when he plays selfish. That's on him not Mchale
Hope the slump doesn't continue. We're only going as far as Harden takes us. He's downplayed it, but he acknowledged the injury from the GSW game was still bothering him when he took those 2 games off a few weeks ago. Hope these few days of rest(not really much rest I guess with all the practicing) helped him.
“Our offense is like the Pythagorean Theorem. There is no answer.” - Shaq