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Lakers’ coach Luke Walton on advantage to being slow when getting crossed over

Luke Walton

Head coach Luke Walton and his young Los Angeles Lakers (26-34) recently matched their win total from last season with Monday night’s 123-104 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. While the Lakers will look for their fourth straight win tonight against the Miami Heat, coach Walton still can’t help but admire what superstar guard James Harden and the Houston Rockets are doing right now at the top of the Western Conference.

In an interview earlier today with Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN, Walton opened up about how well Harden is playing this season and the absurd ankle-breaking crossover move that the star guard pulled off last night against L.A. Clippers forward Wesley Johnson.

Walton’s response was pretty funny, as he poked fun at himself for how he would’ve handled a filthy crossover like Harden’s back when he was still playing.

“What he can do with the basketball is incredible. It’s entertaining to watch,” Walton said of Harden’s move on Johnson. “I don’t know if I’ve ever fallen over, but I’ve been crossed over plenty of times. When you’re slow it’s hard to fall over, you know what I mean? Because you get crossed over, but you’re just standing there. So they sometimes bring the crossover right back to you when they could’ve just gone right past you. It was pretty impressive, though.”

Coach Walton has plenty of reason to be impressed with Harden and the Rockets’ 14-game winning streak. Harden, who is surely the frontrunner for the 2018 NBA Most Valuable Player award so far this season, is currently averaging a league-leading 31.3 points on 44.9 percent shooting, 8.9 assists, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game in roughly 35.7 minutes of action per contest.