James Harden Can Go the Ball (Simply Make Certain You Catch It)

“James is so good at delivering the ball,” Coach Mike D’Antoni mentioned.

His teammates simply must be able to catch it, which — at this late stage of the season — they normally are. Contemplate the primary three possessions of the Rockets’ 115-111 victory in Recreation 2 on Wednesday night time. Possession No. 1: Harden shovels a two-handed cross to Clint Capela, who finds Ryan Anderson for an open look from the Three-point line. Possession No. 2: Harden slings a one-handed cross to Trevor Ariza, who drives for a layup. Possession No. Three: Harden dribbles to attract defenders earlier than kicking to Ariza on the Three-point line.

Harden, far left, handed as two Thunder gamers tried to protect him throughout Recreation 1 of their first-round playoff sequence on Sunday.

Credit score
Troy Taormina/USA Right now Sports activities, by way of Reuters

Anderson and Ariza misfired on their Three-point makes an attempt, however Harden was clearly working to interact his teammates. Anderson wound up struggling within the win, taking pictures 1 of eight from the sector. He missed all seven of his Three-point makes an attempt. However Harden by no means deserted him. In reality, he appeared decided to assist raise Anderson out of his malaise.

“He throws it anyplace and in all places,” the Rockets’ Eric Gordon mentioned. “His factor is, he continues to do it all through the sport, which numerous gamers don’t do.”

After averaging 7.5 assists a recreation final season, Harden led the league by averaging 11.2 assists a recreation this season. A giant chunk of the credit score should go to D’Antoni, whose spread-the-floor offense has formed the Rockets right into a title contender in his first season right here. He additionally shifted Harden, a taking pictures…

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