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This Utah Writer Is Definitely NOT Mad That James Harden Is Completely Destroying The Jazz

Utah Jazz v Houston Rockets - Game One

(Deseret News) – I hate to rain on the James Harden parade, but …

I’m going to do it anyway.

Harden, the Houston Rockets’ guard who’s tormenting the Utah Jazz at the moment, plays an ugly brand of basketball.

If Michael Jordan’s game was a symphony, Harden’s is two guys banging on garbage cans.

Yes, he averaged 36 points a game this season; only Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan have done better. And he’s killing the Jazz. Through two games in their first-round playoff series — which the Rockets have won by a combined 52 points — he has 61 points.

But Harden is a gimmick. Actually, lots of gimmicks. His game is a basketball sleight of hand. It’s as if he’s getting away with something — the (uncalled) traveling violations, that obnoxious stepback jumper and a variety of other questionable moves that magically get him from Point A to Point D after he’s given up the dribble, the constant dribbling, the fouls he intentionally draws or fakes, the too-frequent trips to the free-throw line, the isolation game in which his underused teammates spread the court and watch with the rest of the fans while Harden does his thing. Fun.

*skipping ahead*

Finally, let’s look at his defense. There’s a statistic called defensive rating, which quantifies a player’s performance on the other end of the court. He ranked 385th this season. Harden plays “matador” defense. He allowed 12.8 points per game off his turnovers — 10th worst in the league. He allowed 11.2 points per game off fast breaks, seventh worst in the league. He allowed 10.4 second-chance points, sixth worst in the league.

The pro-Harden camp can point to the Rockets’ winning record (53-29) and fourth-place finish in the Western Conference. They’ve got a point, although it is highly unlikely a one-man performance can carry the Rockets to the NBA Finals. Either way, it’s not the way basketball was supposed to be played, and it isn’t fun to watch.

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Oh yeah baby, that’s the good stuff right there. I only included a few sections of that article but I highly suggest you go and read the whole thing because it is some of the saltiest shit you’ll read today. Putting the SALT in Salt Lake that’s for sure. I understand why this guy is mad online, who wouldn’t be when James Harden is literally making the Jazz his bitch. For those who aren’t aware, here’s what Harden is averaging through two games in this series, you know the one where the Rockets average margin of victory has been 26 points:

30.5 points / 10.5 rebounds / 10.0 assists / 44% FG / 43.5% 3P% / 5.0 3PM

Naturally the only response to such a drastic beating is to bust out all the same old talking points everyone uses while they throw a temper tantrum that their favorite team cannot stop this offensive savant. Let’s go through the check list

1. Call his offense a gimmick…check

2. Talk about how he travels every time….check

3. Talk about how it’s ugly basketball because of all his unassisted makes….check

4. Say he’s bad at defense…..check

5. Complain about his FTs…..check

What I love is that in an effort to try and talk shit on Harden this dude uses his Drtg and points off turnovers and all this stuff. Well how come he didn’t want to mention that Harden is statistically one of the best post defenders at his position? No mention of him being 2nd in the NBA in steals and 2nd in the NBA in blocks (in terms of guards)? That’s weird. In terms of defensive win shares among guards he’s 25th, ranking higher than Jimmy Butler, Steph Curry, Ben Simmons, and Klay Thompson. That’s not so bad. This idea that James Harden is a huge liability on defense simply isn’t true and it’s all you need to know that this person has not watched much of Harden this year and is instead just mad online going to all through all the old cliches to try and make himself feel better.

I’m just not sure he realizes that putting out an article like this while the Jazz are currently getting dominated by Harden is such a bad look. Guess what, HOU loves this style of play because it makes them one of the most dangerous teams in the league. There hasn’t been a defense out there that can stop it, and guess what if Donovan Mitchell was doing the same stuff and the Jazz were winning I am 100% positive this dude would have no problem with that style of play. I never will understand how people really think watching James Harden isn’t fun. As if it’s totally normal what this guy is doing offensively and watching him cook defender after defender with some of the best isolation moves in the history of the NBA is boring. Grow up.

Then again this is also the site that tried to argue that the Celtics were obligated to facilitate a sign and trade with UTA for Gordon Hayward instead of just signing him outright, so this is pretty much par for the course.