In the last three NBA seasons, James Harden has finished No. 1 in points per game, as well as No. 1 in APG and top 5 in rebounds per game – amongst shooting guards. If that doesn’t signify a complete player, than I don’t know what does. Harden can shoot, take it to the basket, finish, facilitate and rebound pretty well for his size.
On top of his fantastic numbers, in the last three seasons, Harden has been stretched to the maximum, finishing top 5 in minutes per game. In 2015-16, he led the NBA in minutes played (38.1 per game).
So, if you expect someone to put up his numbers as well as play top-tier defense while carrying his team fatigued and all, than you need a superhuman.
Harden is also the most potent scorer in the NBA behind Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. Over the past three seasons, James Harden has shot 44 percent from the field, 37 percent from three, and has a Total Shot% of 61 percent.
Oddly enough, James Harden isn’t viewed “efficient” and can only score off of free throws according to the commoner. The narrative that Harden can only score is also false. Harden not only led the shooting guard position the last three seasons in assists, but had the most attributed points to his team of ANY player in the NBA of 46.8 PPG.
Harden’s efficiency does take a dip compared to counterparts Klay Thompson and Jimmy Butler in the postseason. Even not being the most efficient, Harden still has averaged 27 PPG, 7.2 APG, and 5.4 RPG in the playoffs. Harden may not have won many playoff series in Houston, but it’s not all his fault.
Let’s look at the aforementioned numbers now in a visual view.
Not only do the numbers portray James Harden being better SIGNIFICANTLY in EVERY category, but the defensive metrics aren’t asfar off as you would have thought.
Now I’m not saying Harden is a great defender, or better than the above comparisons – just food for thought when comparing them. So if Harden dominates every category and the defensive metrics are super close, why is there still a debate of who is the NBA’s best shooting guard?
That is the question I am trying to figure out myself.