Ball Handling & Shot Creating
Believe it or not, this was also an easy selection. The way MJ created his own shot was obviously amazing. His post, mid-range and slashing game were unstoppable. The way he created his shots was outstanding and the speed and overall fundamentals of Jordan were unique at his time.
But still, it’s no match for Harden’s ball handling and shot-creating ability. These categories fall in favor of The Beard due to Harden’s new ways to get shots off.
Jordan had the mid-range pull up and turnaround fadeaway, but none of those moves are more effective than the Harden step back.
As mentioned, Harden has changed his style of play to favor the 3-point shot but most of them are from his own shot creation. Last season, 61 of his 3-pointers were assisted shots. That means his 317 other 3-pointers came from the brilliant offensive shot-creating of the Beard.
This is no knock on Jordan, but from how Harden’s shot-creating abilities in the past couple of seasons made him nearly impossible to guard, he gets the nod.
Also, Jordan played in the legendary triangle system run by one of the greatest coaches of all-time in Phil Jackson. Because of this, Jordan didn’t really have to rely on his shot-creating abilities.
Meanwhile, Harden’s best years have been under offensive guru Mike D’Antoni, where he has all the freedom in the world to do whatever he pleases.
The better ball handler and shot creator is James, but it is very close. The systems that both played in plays a major factor in this decision.
Winner: James Harden