Utah Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio says Houston Rockets superstar James Harden “is one of the best scorers of all time” and that the Jazz have to find ways “to make it difficult for him.”
Harden scored 29 points in Game 1 and followed that up with 32 in Game 2. The Rockets have blown out the Jazz in the first two games of the series.
Rubio, who has been tasked with guarding Harden, believes the Jazz haven’t fully bought into their defensive scheme when it comes to trying to stop Harden.
“James is one of the best scorers of all time, and we have to try and keep finding ways to make it difficult for him,” Rubio said, via Tony Jones of The Athletic. “It’s about us believing in what we do, and I think we haven’t bought in 100 percent. If you’re not 100 percent in, you’ve already lost the battle.
“We just have to really be the team we are. We are a pretty good team, and we have great guys. But eventually, it’s about manning up and playing defense.”
Harden is shooting 44.0 percent from the field and 43.5 percent from beyond the arc through the first two games. The Jazz, who gave up the fourth-fewest points per game during the regular season, haven’t been able to stop Harden or the rest of the players on the Rockets from scoring at will.
That will have to change in Games 3 and 4. Rubio and Utah play better at home.
Hopefully, the Jazz can execute their gameplan better, or else they are going to get swept.