Houston Rockets James Harden’s offensive dominance is overshadowed by his defensive lapses.
By now, you have all seen countless viral videos of Houston Rockets James Harden taking a break on defensive possessions.
Harden’s defense often eclipses his offensive brilliance. Instead of taking notice of his league leading 40 points, 10 assists games (4), fans pay more attention to his lack of defensive effort.
In a recent article in which Zach Harper of CBS Sports discusses Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s defense of James Harden, Harper points out instances in which Harden’s defense is wrongly criticized.
While Harper may have a point, Harden’s defense still deserves to be knocked, but it’s not because of single, taken-out-of-context video clips. Rather, it is because of Harden’s responsibility as the leader of his team.
And now, a look back at some of James Harden's most memorable moments on defense.https://t.co/55rVtcMHOE
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 7, 2016
In order for a team to contend for a championship, the team’s leader must set a defensive tone. If the team’s leader pours himself out night after night on the defensive end, his teammates will do the same.
Regularly watching Rockets games, one never gets the sense that Harden’s defense is as terrible as is portrayed by the media. However, at the same time, one also has the feeling that if Harden were to put forth more effort on the defensive end, his teammates would do the same, and the Rockets would be vastly improved.
If Harden wishes to take the next step as an elite player and leader, he will need to take his responsibilities on defense more serious.
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