NBA columnist Frank Isola stated that he’s been impressed with the consistency of Houston Rockets superstar James Harden.
Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey took a major gamble when he decided to trade for then Oklahoma City Thunder reserve James Harden in 2012, as Morey packaged the farm for a player who had just underperformed in the NBA Finals. But the move was a franchise-defining move for both the Rockets and the Thunder, as both teams’ futures were altered by the trade.
Harden immediately lifted the Rockets to the postseason in his first season with the team in 2012-13, and he even landed MVP consideration, as he finished fourth in points, sixth in total 3-pointers, and seventh in steals, while posting a true shooting percentage of 60 percent, which was 13th in the league.
Harden also guided the Rockets to a 54.9 percent winning clip, compared to their 51.5 percent during the 2011-12 season. During the 2013-14 season, which was Harden’s second year in the Space City, he averaged 25.4 points and 6.1 assists, on 61.8 percent true shooting. The Rockets won 54 games, and Harden was on the MVP ballot yet again.
The 2014-15 season, which was Harden’s third season with the Rockets, was the Rockets’ best season under then head coach Kevin McHale. The Rockets won 56 games, while securing the second seed in the West and reaching the Western Conference Finals. Harden led the league in points and finished fourth in player efficiency, while being an MVP finalist.
Next: Harden's latter years with the Rockets