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James Harden - Houston Rockets Debut Highlights

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Mr. Dominant, Feb 22, 2015.


Before Harden played as a Houston Rocket, did you think he ever had the potential to one day be MVP?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  1. Mr. Dominant

    Mr. Dominant Contributing Member

    Dec 17, 2007
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    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cCAFdBWuNhw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    James Harden, in his Houston Rockets debut since being traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder, scores 37 points on 14-25 shooting, dishes 12 assists, grabs 5 boards and picks 4 steals against the Detroit Pistons on 10/31/2012.

    James Harden agreed to a big new contract extension -- and he certainly looked worth it in his first game with the Houston Rockets.

    Harden had 37 points and 12 assists in a stirring debut for his new team, and Carlos Delfino made four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to lift the Rockets to a 105-96 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

    Detroit led 83-72 early in the fourth, but Harden and Delfino brought the Rockets back. Houston acquired Harden on Saturday night in a trade with Oklahoma City and agreed Wednesday on a five-year, $80 million contract extension with him.

    "I think I just wanted to get out there and play," Harden said. "All the talking and all the craziness that has been happening this last week -- I just wanted to go out there and play basketball."

    The reigning Sixth Man of the Year fell just short of his career high of 40 points, and his 12 assists were a career best. Not bad for a guy still adjusting to new teammates and a new situation.

    Harden started only seven games in three seasons in Oklahoma City, as he developed into an indispensable reserve. But he was in the starting lineup Wednesday and looked ready to play a bigger role with Houston.

    "I just tried to score and create opportunities," Harden said. "Carlos Delfino came in hot. I just tried to get my bigs involved. A lot of different guys stepped up, and I think that's how it's going to be throughout this entire season."

    Jeremy Lin, Houston's other big acquisition, had 12 points and eight assists. The Rockets won without Patrick Patterson, who was out with a left quad strain.

    Brandon Knight led Detroit with 15 points.

    With Houston down 11 points, Harden started the comeback with a 3-pointer, and Greg Smith followed with a dunk. Detroit led only 85-83 after consecutive 3-pointers by Delfino, then a layup by Chandler Parsons tied it.

    Smith dunked to put the Rockets ahead 89-87, and he dunked again to make it a four-point game before hobbling off with what he later said was a minor left foot injury. By then, Houston was already taking control of the game behind its two new playmakers, Harden and Lin.

    "They're very smart players. You've got to give credit to them," Smith said. "They know what they're doing on the court. They're very intelligent."

    A dunk by Detroit's Jonas Jerebko cut the lead to two, but Delfino made two more 3-pointers to make it 97-89.

    Harden pretty much put the game away with a three-point play with 1:27 remaining that put Houston ahead 104-94.

    "They keep it so simple as far as just spreading it out and letting him create," Detroit's Rodney Stuckey said. "Pick and rolls, that's pretty much what got us. They did a good job of spreading us out. He was getting in the lane, making shots and finding his teammates and they were making shots, too."

    Attendance was announced at 16,646 at the Palace, and there were plenty of empty seats on Halloween. The fans who did turn out saw an entertaining performance by the Pistons that ultimately fell short.

    Harden scored 19 points in the first half, but Detroit led 58-55 after a 36-point second quarter.

    "I thought it was a challenge for James to kind of figure out what we were doing," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "We put some plays in that he was comfortable with that they ran at Oklahoma City."

    The Rockets led 65-58 after Harden's two-handed dunk off a nice one-handed bounce pass from Lin. The Pistons looked terrific for the rest of the quarter. They scored 13 straight points -- including consecutive dunks by Greg Monroe and Jason Maxiell -- to take a 71-65 lead.

    A 3-pointer by Harden cut the deficit to two, but Detroit ran off another eight straight points and led 79-69 following a basket by Kyle Singler.

    It was 81-72 after three quarters.

    Game notes

    Detroit's Corey Maggette was out with a left calf strain. ... There was a brief delay near the end of the second quarter when what looked like steam began coming out of a generator behind one of the baskets. ... Stuckey went 1 for 10 from the field. ... Pistons owner Tom Gores was noncommittal when asked about the possibility of the team someday playing in downtown Detroit. "You don't want to leave and say, `Nice to see you, the Palace.' I don't think you want to do that," Gores said. "If the future is downtown and that's what we have to do to grow, I'm not against that."
  2. XxTCNxX

    XxTCNxX Member

    Nov 29, 2014
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    This thread gave me super cancer
  3. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2007
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    No way, I never thought he was an MVP type player.

    I also think anyone who says yes is lying
  4. srrm

    srrm Contributing Member

    Feb 17, 2009
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    I was completely skeptical of his talent prior to trading for him.

    Then he put up two monstrous games in the first games as a Rocket and I was sold on his ability & eventual ceiling.
  5. Dr of Dunk

    Dr of Dunk Clutch Crew

    Aug 27, 1999
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    Here are the Rockets that played that night ... just over 2 years ago (this is amazing) :

    James Harden
    Marcus Morris
    Chandler Parsons
    Omer Asik
    Jeremy Lin
    Greg Smith
    Toney Douglas
    Carlos Delfino
    Daequan Cook
  6. Voice of Aus

    Voice of Aus Contributing Member

    Jun 28, 2013
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    I never realised how thin he was back then and how quick he use to play, his game is so much more suited to a slower pace now
  7. Scarface281

    Scarface281 Contributing Member

    Mar 17, 2009
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    I was like Bill Worrell during that game.

    "You know, it feels good to have this again"
  8. J Sizzle

    J Sizzle Member

    Feb 27, 2012
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    That's one of my favorite games in years watching Harden go full "F You" mode on the Thunder for trading him.

    I was hoping he'd be a Top 20 player at best. Never thought he'd be this good.
  9. rockbox

    rockbox Around before clutchcity.com

    Jul 28, 2000
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    My fear was that he was going to be like Joe Johnson. To be fair, JJ was pretty darn good his first year in Atlanta.
  10. wowimmagical

    wowimmagical Member

    Mar 17, 2011
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    Honestly, at first I thought we gave up too much for Harden but he proved me wrong after the first two games.
  11. JayGoogle

    JayGoogle Member

    Nov 3, 2007
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    Best backcourt in the NBA.
  12. Blurr#7

    Blurr#7 Contributing Member

    Dec 12, 2007
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    No I certainly didn't. Mainly because it would've been tough to beat out Lebron, Durant, CP3 and Kobe. Crazy to see how it's turned out with Curry and Harden being the front runners
  13. Mr. Dominant

    Mr. Dominant Contributing Member

    Dec 17, 2007
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    Yeah, me too. Crazy how quick he used to be. Not saying he's not quick now, but he used to be crazy quick before.
  14. Exiled

    Exiled Member

    Dec 20, 2013
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    I did't have chicks in high school , nor played basketball but damn I was right about Harden from the beginin'
  15. Mr. Dominant

    Mr. Dominant Contributing Member

    Dec 17, 2007
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    Lmao the chicks part was a little TMI. but thanks for the unneeded history of your past.
  16. PullUpJ

    PullUpJ Member

    Jun 22, 2013
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    Anyone who voted yes is a liar
  17. JMAD21

    JMAD21 Member

    Jan 14, 2010
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    I thought he could be an allstar... Didn't think of wether or not he'd have a shot at MVP
  18. JazzLakerHater

    Apr 9, 2011
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    Yep, I'll never froget, it was Halloween night 2012. I just stayed home at night in front of my computer ( first game of the the CSN debacle) and was just amazed by his performance. Even after watching that game, I never thought he would reach to the level he as today. Please Morey, surround this man with some players!!!
  19. RocketsJumer

    RocketsJumer Member

    Jan 31, 2013
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    To be fair, we did have Patrick Patterson but he was out. And I would take a healthy Delfino on this current team any day of the week!

    But to answer OP's question, I don't think anyone did, even after his debut and the game after where he scored 45 on ATL. He literally exploded out of nowhere.

    When we got Harden, I knew he was going to be a good player. I expected him to average 23ppg, 5rpg, 5apg. Be a player that was good but not great. I would have never thought he would be a 27ppg, 7apg, 6rpg player, capable of dropping 40+ on any given night on anyone.

    Even at the start of this season I didn't think his play was going to last, to be honest. I thought he was going to be the Paul George of 2013-2014; blazing "MVP" type start then fizzle back to his averages as the season passes.

    Remember how everyone was hyping George as the MVP frontrunner and 3rd best player in the NBA (after LBJ and KD) at the start of last year and by the end of the season, he wasn't even mentioned as an MVP candidate? I thought Harden was going to be something like that; starts as an MVP frontrunner then fizzle back to 5th or 6th, yet here he is gaining MVP recognition by the day.

    Harden is slowly becoming a generational type player. Players that defy a generation of basketball. The Analytic generation of the NBA is going to be defined by James Harden.

    Don't tell Chuck.. :grin:
  20. EightDoobies

    EightDoobies Member

    Oct 3, 2013
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    He used to play so fast.. Holy crap. Seem like this been ages ago.. How time flies.

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