NBA, Smack / Nov 8, 2013 / 4:30 pm

More Evidence of James Harden’s Lackluster Defense

James Harden

James Harden (photo. Instagram/jharden13)

After last fall’s shocking trade between Oklahoma City and Houston, James Harden was finally given a full year as a starter to show people what he could do. He averaged 25.9 PPG and led the Rockets to the playoffs while the league’s general managers rated him the top shooting guard in the league for the first time in their survey’s history. But a recent video and gifs from last night’s game, show Harden hardly trying on defense.

Our first introduction to Harden’s slovenly defense comes courtesy of @j_069, who is a must-follow if you enjoy geeking out about offensive and defensive sets. Seriously, go follow him. A compilation video @j_069 made shows Harden when his Rockets took on the Clippers’ offensive juggernaut earlier this week. As you can tell from the minute plus video, Harden’s inattention to the man he’s matched up against is a large reason why the Rockets gave up 126 points to suffer their first loss of the season.

Then, from last night’s surprising Rockets-Lakers game, come a couple gifs from SB Nation’s Drew Garrison showing Harden again snoozing on D.

A recent post on the reddit/r/NBA hivemind provides evidence that Harden isn’t actually faring that poorly against opposing shooting guards, but the video evidence is pretty stunning. The next time you take in a Rockets game, keep an eye on Harden’s defense while you enjoy his obvious offensive exploits.

[@DrewGarrisonSBN; j_069; How U]

Is Harden as bad a defender as these videos seem to show?

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  • SweetdickWilly

    This is usually the case with high scoring guards. They’ll either coast or not even try when it comes to defense and rebounding. The most you’ll get out the few that have a rep for D is passing lane defense and that kills teams because they take themselves out of plays at least a few times during every game since you can’t stop every pass. I’d accept Wade over Kobe instead of Harden because he can score just as well and he defends consistently and completely. Kobe only plays D in spurts and Harden is less consistent than that.

  • rob

    There are many more issues with that Harden-supposed-to-be-Top-10-player-guy. His pathetic defense aside – he shows signs he will blow up the team chemistry and this time it is not Howard’ s fault.
    here is a good indication: http://www.sportsgrid.com/nba/this-weird-on-court-exchange-between-james-harden-and-jeremy-lin/

  • hatehate

    I’d take them both over Harden because Harden can’t play d even when he tries

  • 2cents

    On the money SDW

  • Silent Assassin

    The mistake at 0:46 is the worst. He is totally oblivious to what is going on. He even cusses when he realizes that he slipped up.

  • Annie Stone

    He’s pretty lazy.