James Harden of the Houston Rockets has been on fire ever since Warriors’ forward Draymond Green poked him in the eyes in Game 2.
After losing a close Game 1, things got even worse for the Houston Rockets in Game 2. Not only did they lose the game, waisting an opportunity to steal a win in Oakland, but James Harden also got poked in the eyes by Draymond Green.
After his eye injury, Harden quickly left the court and remained in the locker room for about a quarter. After the game, we learned that Harden suffered a contusion in both of his eyes and a laceration on his left eye.
In his post game interview, Harden said his vision was blurry and there was a small concern that he could miss Game 3 if his eye got worse. Fortunately, Harden’s eye got better, and so did his on court performance.
After Harden returned to action in Game 2, he scored 29 points on 9-19 shooting in the final three quarters of the game. In Game 3, Harden took his game to the next level at Toyota Center, finishing with 41 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists to help lead the Rockets to a 126-121 overtime win against the Warriors.
In Game 3, Harden continued his hot scoring, leading all scorers with 38 points, while grabbing 10 rebounds and sending back two shots. Harden has averaged 36 points and 8.7 rebounds in his last three games since his eye injury, and the Rockets as a team look more confident than ever since the series is tied 2-2.
When asked about his injury, Harden seemed to take pride in his recent play despite not being 100 percent, according to USA Today’s Martin Rogers.
“A lucky charm. I hope it is.”
Defensively, Golden State has so many talented individual defenders and it is hard to create mismatches against their “Hampton Five” lineup. However, that hasn’t slowed down Harden in recent games, who has had success driving and finishing at the rim since Golden State isn’t starting a traditional center.
We’ve seen stars embrace a sort of alter ego in the past. We’ve had “Masked” LeBron James, who dropped a career-high 61 points against the Knicks back in 2014. “Untucked Jersey” Kyrie Irving, “Hoodie” Carmelo Anthony and “Waiters Island” for Miami’s Dion Waiters are also a few fan favorites.
Perhaps, “Red Eye” James Harden could become a thing too? If Harden continues to tear apart Golden State’s defense and lead Houston to wins, Rockets fans will have to come up with a new alter ego for The Beard.