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Houston Rockets: Detailing why it’s unfair to compare Jordan vs. Harden

Anthony Duckett
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets looks at the scoreboard in the second quarter during Game Three of the Second Round of the 2019 NBA Western Conference Playoffs against the Golden State Warriors (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets looks at the scoreboard in the second quarter during Game Three of the Second Round of the 2019 NBA Western Conference Playoffs against the Golden State Warriors (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets shoots the ball against the Golden State Warriors
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets shoots the ball against the Golden State Warriors (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Jordan vs. Harden: True Shooting Percentage

Perhaps the best argument Morey has in comparing the two offensively is the True Shooting Percentage, which measures the overall shooting efficiency, taking into account all field goals (two point and three point) and free throws. Harden has a career TS% of 60.9% whereas Jordan’s is 56.9%. Neither player ever led the league in this statistical category, but that would be nearly impossible. This is generally a category where big men lead the league, for example, the top five players in this category this past season were Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (68.2%), Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell (68.2%), DeAndre Jordan (67.4%), Thomas Bryant of the Wizards (67.4), and the Rockets own Clint Capela came in fifth, with a true shooting percentage of 65.8%.

The fact that Capela is fifth on this list goes to show how this category favors big men, as they more often than not have higher percentage field goal attempts, due in large part to lobs and alley oops. But Jordan actually had a season with a true shooting percentage of 49.3%, which is not even counting his years with the Wizards, and Harden’s lowest TS% is 55.1%, which he recorded in his rookie season. Furthermore, Harden has posted at least 61% in each of the last 3 years, which Jordan only accomplished once in his entire career.

Next: Scoring Averages

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