The defensive capabilities of Houston Rockets guard James Harden, or lack thereof, are no secret around the Association. Harden’s “effort” on the defensive end of the floor makes the chair that Yi Jianlian practiced against look like the reincarnation of Bill Russell. While there are several examples of Harden’s embarrassing defense on film, this particular addition to the “highlight” reel in Detroit tonight may be the worst one yet.
James Harden turned the ball over, then turned into on-court observer https://t.co/UKx7diUAl2
— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) December 1, 2015
Let’s break this down frame by frame to add to the ignominy:
1) Here’s where James Harden is when the shot is taken by Ersan Ilyasova. Notice how there’s no other Piston in the frame.
2) Aron Baynes, who isn’t even in the above picture, then races in while Harden just stands in the paint to grab the rebound and the putback.
Harden even sidestepped to his right to allow Baynes a wide open path to the rebound! Maybe he didn’t think the original shot was going to be missed, but sheeesh. Maybe it’s for the best for Kevin McHale’s long-term health that he’s not in Houston anymore.
Harden did put up 29/9/7 on the other end of the floor, but it wasn’t enough for the Rockets as they lost to the Pistons 116-105.