Such was the case on Saturday, when Harden and the Rockets hosted a short-handed Mavericks team playing without Dirk Nowitzki, Chandler Parsons or Wesley Matthews. Even without their big three, Dallas beat Houston 110-98, due in no small part to defensive breakdowns like these:
That would be Deron Williams with the smallest bit of effort cruising right past Harden for an easy layup after turning the corner on the high screen. Then there was Devin Harris burning Harden on the backdoor cut, and Dwight Powell just dribbling past him after briefly getting bodied when he received the pass. Three buckets, all largely the result of Harden’s defensive effort.