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[SI] James Harden's improved sleight of hand fueling the undefeated Rockets

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by ParaSolid, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. ParaSolid

    ParaSolid Member

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    http://www.si.com/nba/2014/11/05/james-harden-free-throws-houston-rockets

    Pretty well-written article. Here's a quote from the article:

     
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  2. dream2franchise

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    It's gotten to the point now where I just chuckle every time I hear that whistle.

    His court vision has really impressed me this season, he's finding players so wide open it feels like we have six guys out there.

    I do worry about how his game translates into the playoffs because of how differently the game is called. It shouldn't be called differently in my opinion, basketball is basketball and it's much easier for the refs to change their approach than it is for Harden.

    He may be the craftiest player in the league, and we've got another one in Papa coming off the bench. I feel like the collective IQ of the team has just increased so much from last season with the addition of Ariza, Papa and Terry. What we have right now is a championship calibre top seven rotation.
     
  3. rocketpower2

    rocketpower2 Member

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    FT Rate in the playoffs actually increased from the regular season last year. The "refs swallow their whistles in the postseason" claim is a complete myth.
     
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  4. shastarocket

    shastarocket Contributing Member

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    Good stuff from Rob Mahoney.

    There is a beauty to Harden's mastery that everyone can appreciate once they stop crapping on him incessantly
     
  5. glimmertwins

    glimmertwins Member

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    It's pretty simple to me - if you play with other guys who also draw lots of fouls then your team is able to shoot in the penalty more. Harden has also had the ball in his hands more this year than last - and this is what you get. A historical number of free throws for a guy who plays on a team specifically constructed to get to the line.

    ...teams will need to realize that every errant foul chosen to "Make Dwight beat you at the free throw line" has the consequence of giving your defender no margin for error when guarding Harden. Dwight may only make about half his free throws, but Harden makes nearly all of his and if you look at how many fouls those two guys pick up, it's clear that there is a relationship between how the two get to the line. This is part of the not so sneaky genius to Morey's acquisition of the two stars....it just amazes me how many people don't notice that while they are analyzing how Harden gets to the line so much.
     
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  6. dream2franchise

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    FT Rate in general or Hardens FT Rate? It certainly didn't feel like he was getting to the line as much as he's known to, but a lot in that series didn't go our way in terms of officiating.
     
  7. Matt78777

    Matt78777 Contributing Member

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    Harden averaged 9 free throws in the regular season last year, and 8 in the playoffs. Doesn't seem like that big of a difference, but I'm sure the game to game swings in a playoff series make it seem way different.
     
  8. glimmertwins

    glimmertwins Member

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    I was arguing with a Mavs fan who thought Monte Ellis was as good a passer as James Harden. Too bad he doesn't treat himself to the beauty of Harden's passing game - very few in the league can make those across the court frozen ropes to hit his teammate perfectly to set them up for the shot.
     
  9. dream2franchise

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    True. Could also be a matter of timing of the calls. The rate in the 4th quarter could be drastically different from the regular season to the playoffs where James wants to get those easy points to stop some bleeding. The series is too far back in my mind to recall how and when these calls came.

    In any event, the recognition of his skill should finally outweigh the hate this season. Especially if he continues his great D.
     
  10. SportsFanatic

    SportsFanatic Member

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    Problem is that he doesn't get those calls in the playoffs. So we need him shooting at a higher field goal percentage and making more than 6 shots a game to win.
     
  11. NotChandlerParsons

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    Nice to see an article written by someone who's actually watched him play. Those cross court passes have been insane this season.
     
  12. drowsy12

    drowsy12 Member

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    'Harden just flops' is the new 'Harden doesn't play defense'

    People don't really understand the way in which Harden initiates contact, it's not like anyone can do it.

    Also the point of Dwight drawing a lot of fouls and going into the bonus helps Harden with his part of the game is really interesting and smart.
     
  13. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    I think he's really taken a leap forward. It's clear he worked hard this summer.
     
  14. WinkFan

    WinkFan Contributing Member

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    In last year's playoff, both Aldridge and Lillard has higher FT rate, and both Harden and Howard had lower.
     
  15. Remii

    Remii Member

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    I think he'll be fine. He just has to stop looking for the foul as much and concentrate more on finishing the shot IMO. He may have a better team around him this time around as well and that will help.
     
  16. saleem

    saleem Contributing Member

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    That is a good point you made.
     
  17. Easy

    Easy Boban Only Fan
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    Not a knock on Harden. But any player who makes his living at the FT line will get criticized, fair or not. Wade's first championship would always been "tarnished" because of that.

    And there is always the possibility of rule change or interpretation change so that certain players no longer get those calls. If the league sudden decides that having some guys shooting tons of free throws is not good for business, then they'll change something. In other words, depending on the whistle to dominate the game is never a good idea.

    That said, Harden is a master at driving to the basket, fouled or not. That in itself will result in creating more opportunities for foul shots.
     
  18. Surfguy

    Surfguy Contributing Member

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    I have to say...that defense I saw Harden playing against Miami was the best I've seen him play defense. I was impressed.

    He can truly be a complete all-around player. His offense doesn't have to suffer because he hustles on the defensive side of the ball.
     
  19. Aleron

    Aleron Contributing Member

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    mavs fans think ellis is just as good as harden except for the refs protecting harden. They also think Chandler Parsons plays defense.
     
  20. roksoer

    roksoer Member

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    He seems more fluid, more confident this year, maybe he's better conditioned as well, hope he continues this form throughout the season. In the Heat game (b2b) it was clear he wasn't 100% stamina wise, he looked a bit stiffer, his dribbling was a little shakier than the previous games, but he adjusted his game and pulled off a great performance.
     

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