Will the narrative ever change for James Harden?
When all was said and done, Harden finished with six total steals, which was as many as the Milwaukee Bucks had as a team. This performance came as a follow-up to a three-steal, three-block effort against the Dallas Mavericks that was crucial to Houston’s comeback victory.
It’s not entirely clear how many more defensive performances like this it will take to dispel the narrative the Harden is subpar on the defensive end. James has now been having similar defensive performances for a few years. Still, the Rockets’ inability to win a championship to solidify his legacy seems to be the only obstacle left.
The good news for the Houston Rockets is, short of the 2018 Western Conference Finals, the opportunity has never been so wide open for them to make it back to the NBA Finals finally. Hopefully, Giannis learned his lesson about underestimating James Harden.
Criticism or not, he’s going to perform when it counts on both ends of the floor, and that means trouble for the rest of the league.