James Harden’s outburst, and the Rockets non-coincidental winning streak has not gone unnoticed. James Harden has been named Western Conference Player of The Week for December 10-15, 2018.
Harden averaged a stunning 37 points, 8.3 assists, 7.7 rebounds, and 1.67 steals for the week. He shot 54% from the field, 39% from 3pt range, and 87% at the free throw line. That’s, ah, pretty good. He also logged his league leading fourth 50 point triple double in that time. As far as I understand, he’s alone in the lead in that category, if such numbers matter to you.
James Harden is a deserving Player of the Week, and is more or less in the same output range that brought him the 2017-18 MVP, and runner up status in other years. The Rockets, however, aren’t flying high over the Association, despite Harden being in roughly the same form as his MVP season.
This award is a good time to bring up a thought I’ve had, and I’m sure others share. The Rockets problem is not James Harden. He’s far from a perfect player, there’s really only one player in the NBA who might sometimes ascend that height, and he now plays in LA. The others in the top five discussion have their weaknesses, yes, even those defensive stalwarts.
Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant - what do they all have in common? They don’t pass. (Also, they all personally (publicly) range from “sort of dull” to “mind crushingly dull”.) Well, technically, I suppose they must pass, all players do, but generally, if they receive a pass, the ball is going up. If you don’t agree, well, they don’t pass like James Harden and Lebron James pass, anyway.
Where is Steph Curry you ask? I say, Steph who? I don’t believe he exists. Just the way I am.
Sometimes we’re so wrapped up in what a player doesn’t do, we don’t see what he does do well. James Harden is the best overall offensive player in the NBA. There, I said it. (Come at me?)