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Resting Harden

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Chemistry, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. Chemistry

    Chemistry Member

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    It is a long NBA season and if we have any real aspirations of making a deep playoff run we need to find some way of getting Harden back to 100% health.

    It seems to me that ever since he got injured last year he hasn't really been at his destructive self, playing with the kind of efficiency we saw from him coming into the ASB last year when he first set out to prove that he was a max contract player.

    Overall, his efficiency is pretty decent at 0.439 this season. His 3 point shooting has been in a slight slump 0.286 but he continues to play a career high in MPG of 39.8.

    In terms of efficiency his best season was in OKC where he averaged 31.4 MPG shooting 0.491 overall and 0.390 from 3 point land.

    I'm not saying he should be playing only 32 minutes per game but I am very concerned about the possibility of his currently lingering injury problems getting exacerbated.

    One thing I see a lot in football (soccer) is often the big teams will rest their best players through the season, making full use of the depth of their squad. You will often see the best strikers or creative midfielders on the bench in games where the team is expected to win. And only if the game is not going as expected they get brought on in the 2nd half or last third of the match to take over and get the win.

    I'm wondering why we don't employ a similar strategy with Harden?

    For example, leave him on the bench in the celtics game. If we have a strong lead all the way through, then there's no need for him to play. If at the half or at the end of the 3rd quarter the game looks close, or it looks like they are trying to close the gap in the 4th, then put him in. This way he plays at most 12-20 minutes and if the rest of the team does their job he can get a complete rest. This can be employed for all games where we expect blowout wins.

    The only reason I can think of this not being a good idea is if you are worried about his per game stats. But if you want to win a championship then that shouldn't matter as far as I'm concerned.

    We need James to be at his best in the playoffs. It's a tricky balance because you don't want to lose regular season games and in a tough western conference you want to be at the top of the table. But having James wear down during the season is a high price to pay.
     
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  2. JayGoogle

    JayGoogle Member

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    Harden is too young for this and this team needs to mesh chemistry wise. They need experience. Harden is no different.

    If there is not concern of re-injuring something he should play. He needs the experience just as much as any other young player. If he was old I'd agree, but he needs the experience and yes he needs to prove to the NBA he's a superstar.
     
  3. tomato123

    tomato123 Rookie

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    Coach wants to kill Harden's career.
     
  4. Chemistry

    Chemistry Member

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    I agree that chemistry is an issue as well and the team need to spend time on the court together to find their identity and get comfortable.

    But I can't get the picture of his swollen feet out of my head. There's a lot of pressure on him to play at both ends of the court and to be high energy the whole time he is in the game.

    It's not like I'm saying he should rest like this every game. But there are 70 games to go. Let him rest maybe 15 of them, if we can. That's still plenty of time to build chemistry etc. Also, if he gets back to full health by say the all star break you can revisit the issue and let him play more.

    It's a tough balance. The alternative then is to reduce his minutes to 34-36 per game. He should only be playing 38+ very rarely in tough games. Coach needs to find a way to win these regular season games without wearing down our star.

    I think this year we are not going to win a title. The team still needs a lot of work. Rather than be in a rush to get everything done now and jeapordise our future, I'd rather let Harden continue to build his stamina. OKC haven't won a title yet, Miami struggled in their first year.

    Are we really going to take chances with Harden considering the history we have here already with franchise players getting injuries?
     
  5. Chemistry

    Chemistry Member

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    Please troll elsewhere.
     
  6. tomato123

    tomato123 Rookie

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    Coach playing him massive minutes when he got injured. Why is this a troll?

     
  7. bongman

    bongman Member

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    Maybe because you stated coach wants? Either you have this very special ability to read Mchales mind or just bringing up stuff designed to get a distinct reaction. Ask yourself, why would ANY coach to want this of their player?
     
  8. Chemistry

    Chemistry Member

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    Exactly. The last thing Mchale wants is for his best player to be injured. But the thing most important to him is winning, perhaps in the short term. If he doesn't, he's not going to be around for another four years to coach the team is he?

    Now that we have such a strong team there is a lot of pressure on Mchale to produce results. But that also means that he might take perhaps more risk with the health of our star players then we would like him to considering the future of the team.
     
  9. dobro1229

    dobro1229 Contributing Member

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    With the schedule they had early, this team really needed to get off to a good start early. 7-4 isn't bad at all, but I'm sure they would have liked to have a little more cushion with another win or two.

    Harden and Howard WILL GET a lighter load here in the next two months.

    The beginning of December looks like a stretch where they will have several home games in a row and only the Golden State game looks like one against a contender. If they can win 5 out of the next 7 winnable games to be around 12 - 6, i suspect the beginning of December would be a stretch where I might alternate those guys for a few games to get them rest.

    Unfortunately in this league you have to earn rest. There is a reason only the Spurs and Heat can get away with resting their stars. They have cushion in their win-loss column that can allow them that luxury. The Rockets need to work on that if they can get to that level where they dont burn out their stars.
     
  10. tomato123

    tomato123 Rookie

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    Coach responsible for player's rotation. If this is not the coach want, what else could it be?

     
  11. vlaurelio

    vlaurelio Contributing Member

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    how do you suggest he divides the guard rotation minutes?
     
  12. tomato123

    tomato123 Rookie

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    My opinion? I don't think anyone should play with injury. It's not benefit the team.

     
  13. yummyhawtsauce

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    Toro had a great post on how to divide the minutes. I agree that Harden needs more rest. SHould be playing 35 min ish. Or even less until his feet come back. TBH, our offense is pretty stacked - plus his defense is pretty bad so having a couple minutes of him sitting and resting will be good for long term - esp playoffs. But I get that he wants to play and contribute and get his numbers or whatever, but he has to think about himself long term too. Having a more efficient and injury free harden is better than one that bricks many shots. It can be argued that he can be in to just 'draw' the defense but even dribbling and jumpshots can put pressure on your feet.

    I also wanted to say that if you wanna play Harden, build a quick lead with all the best players on the court with Lin. Blow them out early and then rest your starters. We haven't seen much this year, and already the starters + Lin have been playing massive minutes because of slow starts. Partially it could be due to the crappy TT strat, and chemistry. Also some 3 pt shooting problems too. Once Garcia get back to his regular shooting self - blowing out should start to happen soon.
     
  14. hugo2000

    hugo2000 Member

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    can't rest Harden, cos too many 7-4 teams in the ranking now, and Spurs, Portland, Warriors and Thunder are all on the tear, and might just spurs ahead.

    but, it's ok to cut down his minutes, especially when subs are doing ok..
     
  15. iJHolmes

    iJHolmes Member

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    Agreed. in no way should harden be just sitting out to start games.

    If we go up, or the bench is playing really well, yeah leave harden on the bench and let the others take over if they can. but if its a close game or we're behind and need him on the court making plays. keep him in the game
     
  16. johnnytsunami

    johnnytsunami Member

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    Definitely. The West is too stacked to rest Harden too many games. He rested one game against Philly, and we clearly missed him down the stretch (Yes, Lin, Parsons and Howard and Co. played well without Harden for the majority of the game but in crunch time it was clear we needed Harden's ability to close games. Lin was exhausted by the 4th evident by his poor performance that quarter, and I'm just not sold on Parsons and Howard closing the game -- terrible shot to end regulation by Parsons and Howard got the ball stripped on a key possession with less than 2min left).

    I do agree we need to cut Harden's minutes down, but we haven't really had that many comfortable leads to leave him on the bench for too long.

    http://www.82games.com/1314/13HOU5.HTM#onoff

    Net points per 100 possessions with Harden on the court is +6.8, while with him off we are -0.5. Net points overall this season with Harden on the court is +39, while with him off is -11. Pretty much means when we rest Harden, we give up too many leads and need to send him back in before he's rested enough.
     
  17. haoafu

    haoafu Contributing Member

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    Conflict of interest. What would you do if you are the head coach who is evaluated constantly by near term record?
     
  18. alethios

    alethios Member

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    Harden compensates by covering less miles in a game a la more efficient use of time by standing still more.
     
  19. Johndoe804

    Johndoe804 Member

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    I'd rest him. Just watch the end of the Knicks game. He's sitting on the bench. The offense is running nicely. The ball is moving. We're getting good shots. Harden comes back in. As soon as he gets the ball, the offense quits moving and they go with the four flat isolation for Harden. He drives, gets fouled and elbowed in the head, and leaves the game momentarily. Again, the offense runs nicely and the ball is moving around. Harden comes back in, and the offense stagnates again. He decides to do the four flat isolation again, almost has the ball stolen, and rather than taking advantage of the defender being out of position, he waits for the defender to get back into position before jacking up a shot. We then find ourselves in the familiar up by three. The Knicks have the ball and last shot, and we finally foul. In short, I think he should've just sat. We nearly lost that game because of his play in that game. If he's not healthy enough to be effective, we shouldn't have him out there, especially when it seems as though the issues with his feet are making him a less effective player.
     
  20. TheBigFive

    TheBigFive Member

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    If Harden sits, Bev and Lin would rip the league apart with their synergy and two way play. That wouldn't look so good for Harden.
     

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