Hardly Anybody in the NBA May alter the geometry of a defense Such as Houston Rockets star James Harden.
“What James Harden is doing is on historical-type levels,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said at practice Tuesday. “The man is unguardable. ”
Concerning volume, he’s far and away the leading 3-point shot in the league (14.3 attempts per game), along with the pressure he exerts on defenses is evident with his league-high 14.5 excursions into the free-throw line. If those numbers weren’t alarming enough, coaches shudder should be made by his almost 40 points each night.
Harden and the Rockets will ride their 8-game winning series into Pepsi Center Wednesday and attempt to unlock the Nuggets’ eighth-ranked defense. Even with Houston&rsquooffseason inclusion of Russell Westbrook, Malone was determined about his concern for Harden, that ’s authoring a potential MVP season.
“It’s about James Harden,” Malone explained. “They had Chris Paul last year, he’s a hell of a player, he’s a Hall of Famer. Russell Westbrook’s a hell of a player, he’s a Hall of Famer. But for me personally, the game starts and ends with James Harden. … Westbrook is an explosive player. The pairing of these two has gone much better than I expected, they figured it out quickly, I give a ton of credit to them. So my response isn’t any sympathy regarding Russell Westbrook. ”
The Nuggets have an interesting dilemma going into Wednesday considering Malone’s decision to reevaluate his bench. This ’s abandoned Torrey Craig, a comparative Westbrook stopper, about the exterior of this rotation. Malone said the matchup could offer Craig a chance to play valuable minutes.
“If (the seat ) group continues to play well, we’ll move with them, understanding full well a game such as (Wednesday’s) with the perimeter players they have, it’s a fantastic opportunity that Torrey Craig can help us guard a man like Russell Westbrook along with James Harden, he’s done previously,” Malone explained.
Craig defeated Westbrook into some of the worst shooting performances last season, hounding the electrical guard from end to end. If Craig does get in, he also said the strategy would be to change the coverages up on Harden.
“Make sure he has bodies facing him even if we must hit on him occasionally to get it out of his palms,”” Craig explained. “Blitz, all different kinds of schemes to mix this up. … Westbrook is attacking mid century and the basket. James Harden will kill you using the three and he may also drive, so I believe rsquo, we all &;re likely to live with Russ taking threes to beat us James Harden, simply attempt to take of his penetration along with his step-back away. ”
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Reserve forward Jerami Grant was with Westbrook last year in Oklahoma City before a trade brought him into Denver. Both remain close and Grant anticipated to find him Tuesday. Grant confirmed Westbrook’s competitiveness.
“Highly doubt anybody’s wired like this,” he explained with a laugh.
But Grant&rsquowill help include the celebrity duo.
“I’m not likely to supply you with the gameplan, we simply gotta comprise Russ and James,” Grant stated, before revealing a spark-notes version of quitting Harden. “Gotta be physical with him, gotta send him into the best, gotta keep your hands. ”
Which seems to be the book on Harden, though no one at the NBA has seen a solution.
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