Day-to-Day NBA Podcast: James Harden’s craft and pick-and-roll tricks

We discuss James Harden’s amazing 53-point triple-double and the impressive craftiness of his game, how 2016-17 is an even more potent year for offense, and how teams are more creatively using the pick-and-roll in the latest edition of The Step Back’s Day-to-Day NBA Podcast, hosted by Jason Mann.

Scott Rafferty, associate editor of The Step Back, joins the show to talk about Harden’s historic game, what makes him such an effective isolation scorer, how his impressive crossover keeps defenders off balance, how he manages to find the advantage despite lacking overpowering speed, how his style contrasts with Russell Westbrook, and how Harden, Westbrook and former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Kevin Durant are all thriving individually in ways they may not have been able to if they were still together.

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We also discuss how NBA teams are adapting the pick-and-roll to make it less predictable, some of the popular variations, and how the changes in the NBA over the past decade have led to fewer pure specialists in the league. We also talk about how offense, pace and 3-pointers have increased dramatically in recent years and whether there’s a point where the balance of the game shifts too much to the offense’s advantage.

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