James Harden was recently voted the best shooting guard in the NBA in a poll of all the league’s general managers. If the classification is based solely on his offense, it’s a walk.
If defense is taken into account, though, Harden’s case is a bit less strong.
In a revealing 75-second video posted by YouTube user How U and brought to our attention by Ball Don’t Lie, Harden shows next to zero interest in playing defense during Houston’s 137-118 loss to the Clippers on Monday. To be fair, no single player can be responsible for his team giving up 137 points, but Harden’s complete lack of effort on some of the possessions in question are glaring.
For all the bros out there who (wrongly) argue that the NBA is a defense-free world, this sequence stands as Exhibit A in what true defensive indifference looks like. And it’s pathetic.
On Saturday, while the Rockets were busy pulling away from the Jazz, some perceptive soul wondered the following:
Offensively Harden is far and away the best SG in the NBA. But is it so good it makes up for nonexistent defense?—
Ben Watanabe (@BenjeeBallgame) November 03, 2013
Verdict: The jury is still out.
Check out Harden’s defense — or lack thereof — below.