Harden is on a tear, but is it sustainable?

James Harden

Harden is on a tear, but is it sustainable?
January 30
13:07 2019

James Harden is putting up scoring numbers the NBA hasn’t seen in decades. He has put up some phenomenal numbers since Chris Paul went down with a hamstring injury back in late December of 2018. As of Jan. 25, Harden has scored at least 30 points in the last 22 games, which is a streak we haven’t seen since Wilt Chamberlain in the 1960s.

The Rockets went 12-5 during Paul’s absence. Harden also averaged 43.6 ppg during that span. Houston is sitting in fifth place in the Western Conference right now, but can they continue to win playing this way?

Harden is leading the league in scoring right now, averaging 36.2 ppg. When Paul returns to full strength, will Harden continue to score at this pace? I don’t think he can keep up this pace with another superstar on the court.

The most unbelievable stat during Harden’s streak is that he has scored his last 298 points unassisted. Scoring nearly 300 points without a single basket coming from an assist shows just how much of a one-man show the Rockets have been lately.

Harden, the reigning league MVP, is looking to add another trophy to his mantle, but I know his ultimate goal is to win an NBA Championship. I don’t feel the way they are playing is going to bode well for Houston down the stretch and into the playoffs. I don’t think Harden is playing selfishly or anything, I just don’t think they can beat any of the top teams this way.

“I’m just trying to do whatever it takes to win,” Harden said after their win against the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 25. “Honestly, if I have to score a lot of points tonight … my teammates were making shots, Kenneth (Faired) brought amazing energy. It was a great team effort. Whatever the team needs me to do, I’m willing to do.”

It seems Harden is doing whatever he can to get his team in the best place for the playoffs. The return of Paul will probably help, but who knows how rusty CP3 will be in his first couple of games.

This streak that Harden has put together has been one of the most impressive I have been witness to in the last 25 years. It will be interesting to see how long he can keep up the streak once his team returns to full strength.

The Rockets gave the Warriors all they could handle in last year’s playoffs, taking the defending champs to a game 7. They are not winning at the same level they were this time last season, but who knows what will happen in the second half of the season.

With this scoring output he has put up recently, Harden is right there in the forefront of the MVP race once again. I am not sure he will win it, but I am grateful for having the opportunity to see such a great individual effort.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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