This GIF deserves as little explanation as possible. As the New York Knicks begin a fast break after a Houston Rockets turnover, watch James Harden barely pretend to play transition defense.
No worries, though. Houston beat New York 91-86 due to a stellar 36-point, six assist effort from Harden on the other end. That makes this horrific defensive display – and so many others like it – okay, right?
Well, no. But certainly more palatable.
Don’t let the offseason narrative fool you. The Rockets are playing fantastic defense in 2014-2015 due to the all-encompassing influence of players like Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza, and Patrick Beverley, and an (almost) team-wide commitment to scheme.
Harden might be slightly more effective defensively this season. But (intentional) lapses like this are all too fleeting, and his performance is still lackluster even when he’s engaged. Some things never change. Harden’s defense seems to be one of them.
What do you think?
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