Refs finally cracked down on James Harden Saturday night, but it wasn’t for what everybody thinks it would be. The refs made a point of emphasis on one possession with Harden involving not a travel, or flopping, but lane violations. Apparently, Harden was too often stepping over the line before the shot was completed for the refs liking in the Rockets’ 117-108 loss to the Cavs on Saturday night.
It was odd to see. Two times in a row Harden was called for a violation that many would argue could be called on every single free throw. Players commonly step over the line before a shot has gone in, but it’s usually only called when it’s apparent the player is trying to grab a rebound. Harden’s shots were both within his follow through.