Austin Rivers can’t understand why some fans don’t like watching James Harden play
Houston Rockets star James Harden has been incredible this season and is on an absolute scoring tear. However, some fans don’t appreciate Harden’s style of play. Teammate Austin Rivers doesn’t understand why, as he told Tim McMahon of ESPN:
“I’m surprised that people don’t like watching him play,” said Rivers, who signed with the Rockets early in Harden’s streak of 30-plus-point performances that stands at 28 straight games entering Saturday’s ABC primetime matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“We live in a day and age where everybody likes one-on-one moves, crossovers — I mean, you would think people would love watching him.”
The 29-year-old Harden is in a dead heat with Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo in the league MVP race and has been especially absurd as of late. Since the beginning of January, Harden has averaged a whopping 42.4 points per game.
However, some fans aren’t fond of Harden’s style. He is arguably the best one-on-one player in the game, and even had a recent stretch in which he scored 302 consecutive unassisted points. His iso-centric style earns him quite a few trips to the foul line, and certainly has its critics. But those that work with Harden have nothing but appreciation for his work. Per McMahon:
“What people miss about the beauty of James’ game is his feet,” said John Lucas, the Rockets’ director of player development. “Look how big James is! I mean, he’s 235 [pounds]. James would have been a great tight end. Those feet are phenomenal. Stop and start, he’s just pop, pop, bam!
“That’s the beauty. James’ feet are as pretty as Steph Curry’s 3s.”
On the season, Harden is averaging 36.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists. The Rockets hold the fifth seed in the Western Conference at 32-22.