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Houston Rockets: James Harden is turning the ball over less this year

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 11: James Harden
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 11: James Harden

So far through the first 25 games, the Bearded one has been playing at an MVP-level once again.

James Harden continues to find ways to improve year after year. This season, he may be having his best one yet. Despite averaging fewer assists and rebounds, he is more efficient and has been doing one thing in particular better: taking care of the ball.

The Beard has never been one to have a fantastic assist to turnover ratio. He, at times, tries to make plays that are impossible to make. While he seems to convert them sometimes, he ends up with quite a few turnovers. This year, he’s cut down on them.

Last season, Harden averaged 5.7 turnovers per game and broke the record for most in a season. Yikes. This season though, even with a higher usage %, James is averaging 1.3 fewer turnovers per game (4.4 vs. 5.7).

Last night

Last night was a perfect example of how he has improved his turnover-prone habits. In the first half alone, he had 14 assists. That’s pretty great, right? Well, what makes it even better was that he had 0 turnovers. ZERO. He finished with 3 total in the second half, but it was still a testament to his improved ways.

How James Harden has done it

One of the main reasons his turnovers are down is because he is cutting out low-efficiency passes out of his game. One prime example of this is his full-court passes that he always liked to attempt over the past few years. This year, he is doing them significantly less and when he does do them, he makes sure they will make it to the target.

James Harden at halftime: 12 points, 14 assists.

Assist distribution:
– 8 alley-oop lobs to Clint Capela! EIGHT!!!
– 1 Ryan Anderson 3
– 2 Nene dunks
– 3 Eric Gordon jumpers

— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) December 12, 2017

Chris Paul‘s influence on the team also hasn’t hurt him, that’s for sure. The career ‘high assist, low turnover’ player that CP3 is certainly has to have had an impact on Harden.

Can Harden make this a trend this season and maybe…not break his record for turnovers? Hopefully so, because it is certainly helping out the Rockets right now as they have won 10 games in a row.

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