James Harden: First in NBA History to Score and Assist on 2,000 Points
By Ben Casey
During the Houston Rockets’ loss to the Warriors, James Harden became the first player in NBA history to score and assist on 2,000 points in a season.
It might be an obscure record to set, but it proves how dominant and efficient James Harden has been this season. He’s leading the league in assists, but what makes his passing so lethal is the Houston Rockets’ system. The team shoots so many threes, that a large percentage of his passes go directly to long range attempts. This makes the average Beard assist worth more points than the league’s norm.
ICYMI, James Harden's assists have led to 2,024 points this season. He's the first player to score and assist on 2,000+ points in a season.
— Justin Kubatko (@jkubatko) March 29, 2017
With the direction the league is headed, James Harden won’t likely be the only player to reach this milestone. In fact, there’s a chance that Russell Westbrook joins Harden this season. He’s assisted on 1,740 points so far, and therefore would have to up his assist average significantly for the remaining eight games, but it’s possible.
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Harden’s achievement isn’t as popular as Westbrook’s averaging a triple-double, but it carries similar meaning. Essentially, both players are maintaining a good level of efficiency despite their high volume of shots and passes.
It is notable, though, that Harden’s posting a much higher true shooting percentage and a better assist/turnover ratio than his counterpart. I’m not sure if many MVP voters will take those kinds of statistics into consideration when making their choice, but the Beard will benefit if they do.
There are still a few games left in the season, and James Harden will continue to dish the ball well into the postseason. Look for more assists to threes in the Rockets’ near future.
Next: Harden vs. Westbrook: Triple-Doubles and the MVP
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