May 14, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) shoots over Los Angeles Clippers guard J.J. Redick (4) in game six of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Shooting Guard J.J. Redick- vs James Harden
Looking at the guards who Harden faces on multiple occasions in the West arguably Redick offers the hardest time for him given he represents a quality 2-way player (all apologies to Klay Thompson). I wondered what the loss of Barnes would mean to Redick but he’s still functioning on all cylinders routinely scoring in double figures while defending at a top level. He’ll keep Harden busy running around screens and simultaneously try to slow his production.
In the team’s 3 losses Harden shot 22% from the field, 9% from three, averaged 10 trips to the line, averaged 18 points per game, 50% of his points came at the line.
Conversely in the teams’ 3 wins he shot 43% from the field, 30% from three, averaged 12 trips to the line (representing 33% of his scoring) and averaged 36 points per game.
It’s obvious allowing Harden to handle the ball more enabled him to get his team rolling and put him in a more familiar position which allowed him to find his flow and comfort within the framework of the game.
Edge: James Harden though it won’t be an easy task facing Redick Harden should take the battle. He’s returned to an increased ball handling role to get his timing back as noted above.
Next: Small Forward Battle