The Houston Rockets have no business being where they currently are. Over the summer they lost two important pieces of their rotation, Chris Paul has been injured for a majority of the season, and the West has only gotten better since last year. Yet, somehow, the Rockets sit at 4th, boasting a 25-18 record.
It has all too much to do with James Harden, who has singlehandedly brought the Rockets back into competitive status.
The 6x All-Star is on an absolute tear of late, and every NBA team around the league is struggling to figure out how to stop him. The latest one to pose a strategy on stopping The Beard is none other than Scottie Pippen, a 10x All-Defensive player.
“Well first of all you have to start guarding James Harden when he get out of his car going into the arena.. even if he’s in the parking lot, I’m coming and finding him. He’s very comfortable walking to his comfort zone, and picking apart the defense.”
In case you didn’t get it, putting hyperboles aside, he is just suggesting defenses should get to Harden as soon as possible. No matter how far he is from the basket, Pippen thinks bringing the constant pressure will make him a little more uncomfortable on offense.
Of course, all advice seems simple enough until it comes time to actually use it. This season alone, Harden is averaging 34.8 points per game on 43% shooting, so stopping him in any sense is a whole lot easier said than done.
Maybe they should just send some players to guard him in the parking lot.