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James Harden: Rockets SG Tops Smitty’s Best of Week

By Tamberlyn Richardson
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James Harden: Rockets SG Claims Top Spot in Smitty’s “Top 5 Under the Rim”

If you watch NBA TV Friday nights you’ve become accustomed to seeing the Rockets’ shooting guard James Harden featured in arguably the most entertaining segment of the week: Smitty’s Top 5 Under the Rim. Recently he’s been gaining an even greater following from fans outside of Houston given his prowess for ball handling and sending his opponents to their knees. It’s got to the point that before we even get through one week people are submitting examples for Smitty to add to his list the following week:

How about @JHarden13 crossing up Markel Brown then hitting the step back jumper! #UnderTheRim #FearTheBeard #HowDoYouWantIt #TheBarber

— Rodney Petrie (@Rod_SU98) February 28, 2015

Wonder if Smitty is doing #Undertherim tonight. .. want to see Harden the barber footage

— Des (@lildeebab) February 25, 2015

If you recall February marked his presence at the top of the list courtesy of not one, but two embarrassing cross overs on Chicago Bull shooting guard Jimmy Butler. For many this pinpointed what makes Harden so difficult to defend given Butler is considered to be one of the top three defenders at his position.

This week he returned to the top of the list once again via his brilliant cross over which sent Minnesota Timberwolf Ricky Rubio to the ground looking like he was in water searching for a paddle.

It’s become one of my favorite segments from NBA TV (if not my favorite) with the graphics and nicknames suitably employed. While Steph Curry is nicknamed “The Dry Cleaner” and Kyrie Irving is “The Bus Driver”, but is there any question the best nick name belongs to James Harden? The bearded one is coined “The Barber” by Smitty which is the perfect moniker based on his appearance and his game.

Here’s the segment for the week of February 21st, 2015, Top 5 Under the Rim as selected by Steve Smith.

WATCH: Where can you find a barber, a bus driver, and a dry cleaner all in the same place? Only #UnderTheRim! https://t.co/wwxXbJpPRW

— NBA TV (@NBATV) February 28, 2015

You’ll note Smith will now need to start a new chart for Harden given Rubio marks the 15th customer and as such has filled up the existing chart. In a previous segment Rick Kamla asked what they do now that Harden has amassed so many casualties and as the chart neared completion. Smith replied they would hang the chart in the salon and start a new one. I mean, come on it doesn’t get much better than this for entertainment.

As the final six weeks of the regular season tick off it’s always fun to break up the stress of worrying where the Rockets will finish and whether James Harden will be able to hold off Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook for Most Valuable Player. To that end, I suggest you make Steve Smith’s weekly Top 5 Under the Rim segment a staple on your watch list. Besides it’s almost a veritably certainty Harden “The Barber” will be featured.

Can he add LeBron James to his list of victims? Watch tomorrow when the Rockets take on the Cleveland Cavaliers and let’s see.

Next: Which top team has the easiest schedule to finish the year?

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