New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry has drawn the unenviable task of scheming up a way to contain James Harden in Tuesday night’s matchup against the Rockets.
Harden is scoring the rock at an all-time great clip this season. In fact, the Beard has racked up 30 or more points in 23 straight games. According to ESPN, the only three longer such streaks in NBA history were produced by Wilt Chamberlain. Furthermore, Harden has scored 40 or more points in 12 of his last 17 games, including a franchise-record 61 against the New York Knicks last week. All in all, he’s scored 40 or more points 18 times this season, making him the first player since Michael Jordan (22 in 1986-87) to have at least 18 40-point games within the first 46 games of a season.
Following Tuesday morning’s shootaround, Gentry was asked to detail his plan of attack:
“Well, we’ll do as good a job as everyone else has done [recently],” Gentry told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon with a smile. “How about that? We’ll try hard to hold him under 50.”
Harden is coming off of yet another great game. The former No. 3 overall pick logged 37 minutes in Sunday night’s 103-98 victory over the Orlando Magic, scoring 40 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, three blocks and one steal.
Though his team has dealt with several injuries this season, Gentry says the Pelicans are not giving up:
“We’re still not giving up,” Gentry told ESPN ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Rockets. “We’re not giving up on our season, if that’s what everybody thinks. We’ve just got to keep plugging away, and some kind of way we’re going to get this thing turned around.”
Tuesday night’s Pelicans-Rockets matchup is scheduled to tip inside the Toyota Center at 8:00 p.m. ET. TNT will have live broadcast coverage.
Let’s see if the Pelicans can hold Harden to a respectable number of points.