He has the beard, he’s left-handed, he scores at will, and he looks good doing it. Of course I am referring to Rockets guard James Harden. He had a fantastic season a year ago and many fans thought he should’ve won the MVP over Stephen Curry. I will now tell you why he should NOT win one at all. Yes, Harden puts up great offensive numbers, but basketball goes two ways. If you have ever watched the Rockets play, you can easily see that Harden is a horrific defender. I mean he really does not do anything on that end. He can play passing lanes well, I’ll give him that, but his on-ball, help, and offside defense are like that of a middle-schooler.
Let me describe how he looks. He watches the ball instead of his man AND the ball, he’s flat-footed, hands are at his sides, and he’s standing straight up. RED FLAGS GALORE right there. When he is actually attempting to play his man, he doesn’t rotate on pick plays, which leaves shooter wide open (check out the Rockets game vs the Hornets last night). It almost looks as if he is lost out there sometimes.
If there was an offensive player of the years award, I would nominate Harden in a heartbeat, but the MVP should be given to a player who plays BOTH ends of the floor at a high level. Harden goes about 95% on offense and 5% on defense. It is something that can be corrected. He is a very smart player with the capability to be a good defender, but it is going to take some desire and hard work on his part to do so. If Harden can make this change, then Houston automatically becomes a better team.
Here is a link to a video of a game between the Rockets and Mavericks from November 14, 2015. Watch the great defense played by James. Only the first half of the video is worth watching. Credit to swtichfootforever24 for the video.