Ex-NBA players have been chipping in their thoughts on James Harden and his 30-point streak. The latest to share their thoughts is former two-time Defensive Player of the Year Sidney Moncrief and Five-time NBA champion Ron Harper.
According to them, they wouldn't allow Harden to go on such a scoring tear.
Peep the clip posted by Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype where Moncrief praised Harden's scoring abilities, noting that the reigning MVP has mastered the art of reading the defense.
However, reflecting on whether or not James Harden would be able to go on a similar streak in their era, Moncrief said:
“He might have the same streak… no, he wouldn't because we would've knocked him down.”
Two-time DPOY Sidney Moncrief praised James Harden's offense, but added that defenders in his era wouldn't have allowed the 30-point streak to last as long as it did. Five-time champ Ron Harper agreed: "[If he did this] back then, James Harden would be laid up somewhere hurt." pic.twitter.com/OpMD5JysvE
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 27, 2019
Moncrief went on to break down his era's style of play, particularly the defensive schemes that they put up.
According to him, NBA defenses in his era were set up to clog the paint. The 3-point shot back then wasn't much of a threat. So defensive players tend to allow their foes to penetrate knowing that the second line of defense would be there to help.
“The defenses were set up to help more in the paint. The 3-point shot was not more of a factor so you could push up, you could play someone softer, you could push up on them a little bit more and force them to penetrate. So it's not really one-on-one defense as much as it is team defense.”
“That second line defense would've been there to prevent so many uncontested lay ups.”
It's an interesting tidbit from one of the best NBA defensive players of all time.
How do you think Harden would fair in the 90s?