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Harden is not a last game in a series choker, actually

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by jogo, Sep 2, 2020.

  1. jogo

    jogo Member

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    If you look at single game +/-, Harden's stats in the last game of a playoff series look pretty good.

    See here: https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/h/hardeja01/gamelog-playoffs/

    Two caveats: First, I'm removing his games when he played at OKC. He's actually 6 plus and 2 minus in those 8 games but that doesn't really count for his play as a Rocket.
    Two, and this is big, I'm removing his games against GSW. We were crushed 4-1 in those first two series and did better in the most recent two series. Harden was negative in all four final games of those series. However, most of those games were against possibly the greatest assembly of talent in the league of all time. Many people forget this and hold it against Harden. He'll never have to face that team again.

    Extra caveat: Plus/Minus may not be the best measure of his success in final games. It's just one I looked at because it was easy and seemed to match up with the greatest players. Looking at Lebron's and Kobe's final games in a series was impressive (even though I'm not that high on Kobe). Kawhi has a really good final game +/-. This is probably way too simplistic of a way to look at final games but it's one way that's decent to me.

    In final games from 2013-2015 (excluding GSW), Harden had a positive plus minus in each of the 4 last games in a series. We won two of those series and lost two.
    2016 was first round exit to GSW.
    2017 was negative vs OKC and negative vs SAS. (This is the possible concussion game. Did anyone ever confirm this or is it just a rumor?)
    2018 positive versus MIN, positive vs UTA (neg vs GSW)
    2019 positive versus UTA

    So, he's had 7 plus games and 2 negative games in plus minus in last games of a series as a Rocket (not versus GSW).

    Does this mean anything? Maybe, maybe not. But I think it shows he's not a choker in games not against the greatest team of all time. (Against non GSW teams in the playoffs, the Rockets have won 6 series and lost 3.)

    TL/DR: Harden plays well in final games not against GSW. Therefore he will play well tonight. And so, Rockets victory.
     
    JuNx, TWS1986 and D-rock like this.
  2. Verbal Christ

    Verbal Christ Member

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    I did the same exact think using the player comparison tool and looked at Chris Paul and James Harden in elimination games and its not even close! Chris Paul proclaiming that "some guys are built for the clutch" is a fraudulent statement from a fraudulent player.
     
  3. buzz1701

    buzz1701 Contributing Member

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    It is not how he played in these games, but rather, what he did at the END of those games. Did you watch Jimmy Butler take over the end of that game, or CP3 taking over game 6. But Harden didn't even touch the ball at the end of game 6. If Dantony said to give the ball to Westbrick, then he needs to be fired! Russ was playing terrible and I was screaming at the TV "not Westbrook!!" as he had a air ball, a missed 3 and two really bad passes. AT THE END OF GAMES IT NEEDS TO BE HARDEN TIME...win or lose. I don't want to lose with that choker Westbrick taking all the shots at the end of games!
     
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  4. foggy94

    foggy94 Member

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    If you look at only the games Harden shot really well in and we won, he’s actually extremely clutch
     
  5. Juxtaposed Jolt

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    "If you only see the positives and only the positives, it's actually pretty positive."
     
  6. D-rock

    D-rock Member

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    But if you concentrate on the negatives and only the negatives then you are really negative.
     
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  7. RocketsFido

    RocketsFido Member

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    It's not about how well he plays in the last game, it's about how well he plays in the 4th/OT when the game is close.

    He shoots 24% in those crunch time and often makes stupid turnovers.
     
  8. ktex

    ktex Member

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    There is zero reason to believe he will rewrite the narrative. We just have to hope that he does.
     
  9. TWS1986

    TWS1986 SPX '05, UH' 19
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    I hope for our sake, he plays well for Game 7. I know the last flop was against GSW, but OKC ain't Golden State. That's what I tell myself anyway.
     
  10. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

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    I like +/- ....

    HOWEVER, when you have a coach like MDA, you realize its not the best stat. MDA's idea of a strategic rotations is "how do i make sure i have at least one of these players on the court at all times and stagger rest for my guards" ... which should be PART of rotation planning, but in the playoffs, you have to do your rotations to maximize +/-, and anyone who has watched MDA coach in the playoffs, at any location, knows he's not good at this.

    In either case, long story short, as with most things Harden, he's generally really good always, but on the whole has "shrunk" a bit when things got the toughest.
     
  11. D-rock

    D-rock Member

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    Not winning a championship does not equate to shrinking.

    Even for coaches.

    Don Nelson, Jerry Sloan, Mike Budenholzer, Brad Stevens, etc. have not won anything either.

    And Larry Brown, Doc and Carlisle only won 1 each.

    All are excellent HOF level coaches.
     
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  12. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine
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    Choker or not we all remember McHale keeping him on the bench while Josh Smith and Corey Brewer got the Rockets a huge comeback win against the Clippers in game six. Harden was a negative 21 in that game on the road and we won by 12. Never in my life had I seen a star player kept on the bench in favor of journeymen like that. It was stunning.
     
  13. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

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    Correct, but relative to both the player and the coach, both HAVE shrunk in big time scenarios in the past.

    Even in this series, HARDEN has been magnificent, MDA has found some OKC weaknesses and exploited them. Yet, STILL, Harden has shot horrendously in the 4th, and does NOT appear to want the ball. And MDA has been awful in the 4th. He has such a ridiculous use of timeouts that my 10 year old son turned to me last game and said "why the f doesn't he call a timeout?" I had to explain to him that it was useless for him to call a timeout, cause he would just draw up a play where either Tucker or Gordon would **** something up, so what's the point. Guess I forgot to include Russ lol.

    When you can say stuff like that based on feel from history, that's where you can say they shrunk. So with Harden, if he's putting up a last second three, or making a last second, minute of the game move, I'm PRAYING it works, but not super confident.

    Its like with their 3 point shooting. When Tucker takes a corner three this series, do you "feel good" about it? I don't. When EG takes a three, you certainly don't feel good about it. But when House takes a three, I feel pretty good about it. You have that "feel". And that "feel" is from watching them play enough to have a "feel" that makes sense. Not how successful or unsuccessful player/coach has been historically (although there is obviously a component of that to the feel).
     
  14. napalm06

    napalm06 Fertitta-McNair School of Management
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    Theres a difference between clutch time and elimination games. Harden can't make Eric Gordon shoot better and Russell Westbrook pass better. Paul can't make DeAndre Jordan shoot better or Blake Griffin defend better. Guys can be difference makers in the clutch. It's on a team to take care of an elimination game. Thats what I'm afraid of. The "others" gotta bring it. Clutch City was more than Hakeem.

    Also calling Paul a fraud after what we've been witnessing first hand (and in 2018) is the kind of disingenuous BS that was all over this forum after the Westbrook trade. Whatever makes you feel better I guess.
     
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  15. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    I think we can pencil him in for 25/5/5
    minimum

    Rocket River
     
  16. dmoneybangbang

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    Depends if Harden settles for step backs. He can't control WB's dumbass.
     
  17. TheRealist137

    TheRealist137 Member

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    He's choking tonight so far.
     
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  18. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    He is getting out played by Dort. Hopefully he steps in the 2nd half, or maybe it's Brewer and jsmove time.
     
  19. c1utchfan925

    c1utchfan925 Contributing Member

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    I personally don't think he's lousy in close games or game 7s. I think he's too reliant on getting foul calls and when he doesn't get them he lets it affect his overall performance and then snowballs into complaining to the refs which does nothing but get him less calls or however they actually make calls.

    Then you have the other half of the team built on Westbrook who if he's able to drive to the rim he's explosive and a willing passer to average to below average 3 point shooters. No skilled 3 point shooters in the roster, just streaky ones.

    This playoffs might be okay because you don't get the *home court fans advantage* so foul calls aren't as biased because of the hecklers. Maybe Harden might be able to go past this round. Maybe not
     
  20. DCHAMP

    DCHAMP Member

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    classic harden no-show critical playoff game...cant ignore it anymore...wheres the hunger damn
     
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