Harden’s latter years with the Rockets
The 2015-16 season was a challenging one for the Rockets, as they limped into the playoffs with a 41-41 record, after firing McHale early in the season. Although the Rockets took a step back, Harden’s stellar play continued, as he led the league in points scored yet again, and finished third in made threes and sixth in total assists.
The Rockets ushered in Mike D’Antoni prior to the start of the 2016-17 season, and he decided to move Harden to the point guard position, which yielded much success for both Harden and the Rockets.
During that season, Harden finished first in assists (11.2), second in scoring (29.1), and fifth in player efficiency, while posting true shooting splits of 61.3 percent. The Rockets finished with the fourth seed in the West and made it to the Western Conference Semifinals, while Harden was the runner-up MVP.
Harden would go on to lead the league in scoring in each of the next three seasons (including 2019-20) and nabbed the MVP award in 2017-18, after leading the Rockets to a 65-17 record, which was a league-best. Harden’s scoring numbers improved from 30.4 points to 36.1 points to his current average of 34.3 points per game, and he’s been named an MVP finalist in five of the last six seasons.
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