Analysis of James Harden’s game

· 18th March 2019
The potential that James Harden shows on the court, plus the great attractive power that he has outside it, and his charisma, leads us to dedicate a few lines to him. Discover more about the game style of the player known as The Beard. 

When talking about James Harden, we’re referring to one of the best players currently in the NBA. Season after season, he’s competing in the race for the title of most valuable player and achieved second place in the years 2015 and 2017.

The main offensive feature of Harden’s number 13 is his ability to find the opponents basket easily; from anywhere in the court and at the time he chooses. Undoubtedly, it’s a quality that not all players can boast about.

A storm in the offensive

That tremendous wrist added to his incredible agility for getting rid of his defender, makes him a very difficult player for the opposing team to stop.

Both of his qualities are the reason why Harden can offer performances of 30, 40, and even 50 points. He’s even overcome this mark several times, which is something we can catalog as completely authentic.

His offensive repertoire is immense and it’s worth noting how he shreds the opposing defense so easily with his subtle crossover. This is well known by most of the league’s defenders. Moreover, we could record his step-back as “elegant” as it allows him to shoot freely with hardly any opposition.

James Harden has been able to score over 50 points in a match.

All for the cause

It seems like a good title to ironically define James Harden’s Achilles heel: his defense.

There’s no doubt that James Harden brings a lot to his team; being able to win games practically by himself – just ask Ricky Rubio! However, his contribution to the defensive aspect of the game is quite poor and that’s putting it nicely…

Surely Harden has the most exaggerated weak point out of all the players who have played in the NBA. More so if we consider the great player that he is.

The fact that he’s one of the best offensive players in the league is indisputable, but this happens to be inversely proportional to his defense.

We see Harden pass his mark quite often, leaving him alone under the basket and being able to score easily. Similarly, an adversary can penetrate to score without James doing any special efforts to defend.

His second weakness – though far less striking than the previous one – is the numerous turnovers that James Harden has per game.

James Harden plays very poor defense.

Lots of people don’t hesitate to qualify him as a player who should be more precise when selecting passes; he should avoid being so impulsive and look for the best option when it comes to assisting his teammates.

Especially if we take into account the number of balls that pass through his hands and the importance of a good pass to score a basket.

All this makes it quite common to see the Houston Rocket’s board come out in defense of their franchise player. They seek to silence the external criticism that is cast on their escort.

If they want to turn their team into a clear contender for the ring – as it seems they are going to, for another season – they need a serious commitment form Harden in defense. He has to put aside that passiveness.

James Harden, a champion

Since landing in Houston in 2014, he’s managed to shake off the sixth man role he seemed to have on OKC to become the franchise player of a team that seems to want to become champion.

James Harden seeks to be a champion.

It seems clear that harden left the Thunder for more than money – 80 million in 5 years compared to the 54 offered by Oklahoma -. He wanted to be a champion and achieve success in a team led by himself.

So what do the Houston Rockets need to accomplish this?

Possibly a player who can join Harden – we’ll see if it’s Chris Paul -who represents a greater financial investment. What they really need is for James Harden to step up his defense; especially in those playoff games that come down to the details. Also, he needs to stop focusing on just putting the ball in the basket – we already know he does that very well.

If he manages to do this, we’ll see James Harden retire with several champion rings and probably with some MVP titles in his record too.