Jan. 11, 2019
James Harden: Bona Fide Scorer
James Harden needs to be in the conversation for the greatest offensive player of all-time. This season he is averaging an absurd 33.7 points per game while single handedly leading the Rockets from the Western Conference doldrums, after Chris Paul’s injury, to within a handful of games from first place. What he did on Thursday night in Oakland against the Warriors likely catapulted him to the top of the MVP race, after taking home the honor in 2018. In his last ten games, The Beard has posted at least 35 points and 5 assists in each contest, a mark that has never been matched in league history. From his mechanical step back that always creates sufficient space, to his creativity and ingenuity creating for others, Harden is surgically shredding opposing defenses and has been doing so for years in a way that the game hasn’t seen. There has not been a better isolation player in the history of the league. Kevin Durant can get his shot off at any time due to his height and his length; Kobe used to be able to annihilate his matchup with jab steps; MJ had a counter for everything, but I am not sure any player can claim they were better offensively than this iteration of James Harden. Surely, the Rockets do-it-all guard isn’t in the same stratosphere with Jordan due to his defensive limitations (and lack of effort), but strictly looking at the offensive side of the ball and his overall skillset and repertoire, I am not sure there has ever been a more lethal player in basketball history.