Stephen A. Smith floated the idea — jokingly, we think — that Rockets superstar James Harden looked like he was “drugged” Thursday night during Game 6 of Houston’s second-round NBA playoff series against the Spurs, which San Antonio won 114-75 to punch its ticket to the Western Conference finals.
Hyperbole? Maybe. But then again, Harden was that bad.
The five-time NBA All-Star, who averaged 29.1 points and an NBA-best 11.2 assists per game during the regular season, had just 10 points and seven assists while shooting 2-for-11 from the field. He finished a minus-28 as the Spurs beat the hell out of the Rockets in Houston despite not having their best player, Kawhi Leonard, and battled-tested point guard Tony Parker.
Harden looked so lost, in fact, that one NBA executive apparently wondered whether the MVP candidate was playing with a concussion.
The unnamed executive wasn’t the only one to toss around the idea, either. The concussion theory has become a popular internet talking point with Harden zombie walking his way through Game 6.
This might seem far-fetched, as one would like to believe the Rockets would have prevented Harden from playing with a concussion. But it speaks to how inexplicable his performance was Thursday after a season in which he dominated at times.
Thumbnail photo via Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports Images