James Harden has always been known to be a scorer for the Houston Rockets though he does manage to create situations and pass the ball to open teammates.
Incoming head coach Mike D’Antoni took note of James Harden’s ability to pass the ball and such could be part of the dynamic offense that Rockets will be employing next season. Does this mean that Harden will be playing point guard next season?
Harden being molded into Steve Nash-like role?
Mike D’Antoni gained prominence as the head coach of the Phoenix Suns in 2003-2008. He had a good run during that span and a prime reason is that he had Steve Nash around. The two-time MVP made his mark as a good passer and scoring only when needed.
Could this be what D’Antoni has in mind? The obvious difference is that Harden has been known to hog the ball but with good reason – he makes things happen. But in basketball, each player on the court needs to contribute, which is where Harden’s passing prowess will come into play.
So with the ball always on his hands, Harden can opt to shoot or pass to open teammates such as Eric Gordon or Patrick Beverly. Gordon, a new recruit, is a dead shot from the outside though his durability is a question.
Assuming that he stays healthy, he can take a big load off Harden as pointed out by The Dream Shake. But will the ploy work?
All Offense, No Defense?
While the dynamic D’Antoni offense is unquestionable, defense is now a question. It is an area that has hounded D’Antoni since his Los Angeles Lakers tenure and the same is expected again this season.
The reason why this is being pointed out is that Harden and Gordon have never been good at defending. There will be ‘junkyard dogs’ in the team to do that. But the fact is that the two will be up against explosive guards that they will eventually have to contain. So how will D’Antoni address this or will it be all about offense once more?