James Harden has quickly become the most unstoppable scorer in the league. He’s making a strong case for being a top-5 offensive player in the history of basketball and is en route to win his 3rd straight Scoring title.
Like it or not, Harden is a unique talent and he constantly creates new ways of hurting opposing defenses. He gets the call he wants because he shaped his game in a way that the only way of stopping him is fouling him.
He’s recently drawn some comparisons to Michael Jordan himself, in the sense that both of them dominated the offensive flow of the game at will, according to Dallas Mavericks’ coach Rick Carlisle:
“Pound for pound, Harden is one of the best scorers in the history of basketball, up there with all the greats. You look at the number of points he’s averaging, it’s breathtaking what he’s done over the past couple of years,” Carlisle told Jonathan Feigen of Texas Sports Nation.
Carlisle went on to add that, even though the way the game is played nowadays is different, there are clearly some big resemblances between the two:
Rick Carlisle on @JHarden13 scoring ability compared to MJ “In terms of the number of points and the efficiency, there are many comparisons. Harden is averaging a point a minute here in Orlando in three scrimmages. He had played 90 minutes and has 90 points.” #OneMission #MFFL pic.twitter.com/KszRGH6h2i
— Landon Buford (@LandonBuford) August 1, 2020
“In terms of the number of points and the efficiency, there are many comparisons. The dynamics of the game when Jordan played were different. There wasn’t as much emphasis on the 3. Michael Jordan operated in a lot of different areas on the court. So, the game looked different back in those days. have no doubt that if Jordan was playing today, his game could look any way he wanted it to look to score the ball and do what was necessary to win games,” Carlisle concluded, via Landon E. Buford.
Harden did his best Jordan impersonation last night when the Rockets came from behind to beat the Mavericks for the resumption of the season. He torched them for 49 points on 14/20 shooting and currently has the Rockets sitting at the 5th spot in the Western Conference.