The Houston Rockets resorted to appropriate the saddest rattling proof that that you can maybe notify about Monday night, so as to push again against James Harden’s well-earned reputation as an in general distracted and indifferent defensive player:

What’s very silly about here’s you don’t need a video of Harden practically literally stealing from a coffin to invent the case that his defensive shortcomings are, by now, overrated. Houston’s all-switching protection helps slice his deficiencies by requiring less of him on screens—when teams lag at Harden, they’ve an inclination to lag at him in isolations and on the block, the put he’s in general as much as the job. Harden ranks a great 18th amongst level guards in ESPN’s Defensive Exact Plus-Minus, before De’Aaron Fox and Mike Conley, guys who’re in general credited with enjoying orderly and tenacious protection. Harden’s Defensive Box Plus-Minus (0.7), per Basketball Reference, is in the range of Patrick Beverley’s wholesome 1.0, and is much, a ways before Conley’s defective -0.9. He’s doing stunning!

Yes, defensive metrics are wildly inferior, nonetheless they’re absolutely mighty extra official as proof of Harden’s effort than a video of him picking the pocket of Dirk Nowitzki’s vulnerable-up, desiccated corpse. If that you can maybe’t procure a extra impressive video of Harden’s defensive effort than this one, maybe it’s time to concede that his detractors have faith a level.

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