Houston Rockets guard James Harden has been shooting a career-worst from the three-point line. What gives in this situation? Let’s take a look.
The Houston Rockets were able to grind out a great win over the Washington Wizards in a 159-158 decision. Just seeing that final score allows me to think two things — firstly, the offense was robust enough to break a franchise record as that one is one I’ve committed to memory and the other is that the defense definitely needs some adjusting if they gave up 158 points in a game.
But nonetheless, it’s the most points the Houston Rockets have scored since 1991 against the Denver Nuggets, a record that had been held intact for nearly three decades but the points given up barely edged the record of 165 back in 1970 when the Rockets were in San Diego.
James Harden dropped 59 on the Wizards which obviously marks one of the best games of his career, let alone this season. Russell Westbrook had another typical day at the office, netting yet another triple-double by tossing up 17/12/10 in his stat line.
Clint Capela finally looked like the $90 million-man the Houston Rockets doled the cash out for by crashing the boards with 21 points, 12 rebounds and one block. It really helps that Tyson Chandler is here because he’s going to be a bit of a mentor to him as he advances in the latter stages of his own career.
Chandler has even admitted to being the healthy veteran presence that Capela could use to improve on his game.
All of these are great indicators that the Houston Rockets are on track but one thing that is not quite on just yet is Harden’s three-point shooting.
Harden is shooting a career-worst 22.2 percent from behind-the-arc this season which eclipses
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any NBA season as well as his collegiate days at Arizona State. It’s likely because he’s getting acclimated to where his spots are with Westbrook in the fold but it’s important that I point this out to you.
Now mind you, Harden shot 6-for-14 last night (42.8 percent) so this notion may just be a weird anomaly to start out the season.
But the fact that this has happened is alarming but it’s better for it now to happen than down stretch at the end of the season or even worse, during the playoffs.
I think Harden will be fine and I think the splitting of the duties of who will play on/off the ball will be worked as we go through the season.
Ultimately, the Houston Rockets are 3-1 on the season and although every win has been more of a grind-out, not blowout, they’re still winning games. At the end of the day, that’s all you can ask.
Let’s hope the Beard can turn this thing around — go Houston Rockets!
Harden has averaged 36.8 points, 8.8 assists and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 37.9 percent from the field (also a career-low) and a career-high 95.5 percent from the free-throw line. He has only missed three out of 66 attempts this season from the charity stripe.