James Harden has recently decided to go for a new look, as he’s opted for more of an Allen Iverson look with the corn rows and the headband. But would the Houston Rockets be better off if he ditched the change in appearance? Here’s why the numbers say so!
Houston Rockets guard James Harden is known for his signature mohawk and his Rick Ross-like beard, which is what he’s donned for essentially his entire career. It’s what we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing Harden look like.
But Harden recently decided to switch up his look, as he’s rocked the corn rows along with the headband, a la Allen Iverson. Harden has donned the new look for the past three games, including Thursday night’s loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder, which was the homecoming for Russell Westbrook.
But should Harden abandon the new look and get back to the Harden we all know? Although it may seem comical and silly to pose the question, Harden hasn’t necessarily played stellar while wearing the corn rows.
After tonight, Harden is 27-of-75 (36%) from the field and 12-of-41 (29%) from 3-point range when he rocks the corn rows.. https://t.co/EFSRr9q76v
— Space City Scoop (@SpaceCity_Scoop) January 10, 2020
Sure, this is a small sample size, but this is a stark difference from the rest of the 2019-20 season. Not counting the three games in which Harden has worn the braids, he’s shooting 38 percent from downtown and 46 percent from the field. Granted, we don’t know if there’s more to Harden’s poor play of late, but it’s clear there’s something that’s been off with The Beard, as his true shooting percentage has slipped to 44.3 percent and 46.5 percent over the course of the last two games. This means Harden is averaging a true shooting percentage of 45.4 percent in those two games, compared to 65.4 percent in the previous 34 games, which is a significant difference.
Obviously there’s more to it than whether his braids are too tight and it would be unfair to speculate whether he’s injured, but he’s certainly not been himself of late. It’s concerning because the Houston Rockets just had five days of rest in between their game against the Philadelphia 76ers and their game against the Atlanta Hawks, but Harden and the rest of the team have been in a rut, which is going to be pivotal to correct.
Fortunately, the Rockets have two games over the course of the next five days, which should help not only Harden, but also Clint Capela and Eric Gordon who are both banged up. At the very least, it’ll give him plenty of time to take his braids down and ditch the headband.