Houston Rockets: 3 goals for James Harden in 2018-19 season
1. Increase efficiency in the playoffs
James Harden has laid a few eggs in the postseason, specifically in the 2012 Finals against the Miami Heat and 2017 Western Conference Semi Finals against the San Antonio Spurs. Harden’s numbers overall are good in the postseason, but there have been times when he has either been inefficient or just disappeared.
Since Harden joined the Rockets, he has averaged just 41.2 percent shooting from the field and 31.5 percent shooting from 3-point range. In fact, Harden has shot less than 30 percent from downtown in the playoffs in the last two years.
When the Rockets were up 3-2 on the Warriors and they needed just one win to reach the NBA Finals, Harden was very inefficient. In Games 6 and 7 of the Western Conference Finals, Harden shot just 41.5 percent from the field, 24 percent from the 3-point line and he averaged 7 turnovers per game. Without Chris Paul, the Rockets didn’t have a shot at winning either game with Harden struggling so much.
The Golden State Warriors are the poster child of efficiency, as they averaged the most points (113.5) and the highest field goal percentage (50.3 percent), 3-point percentage (39.1 percent) and free throw percentage (81.5 percent) last season. The Rockets need to be more efficient in order to eliminate Golden State in the playoffs, and it all starts with their best player.