Austin Rivers nearly as stunned as fans by James Harden’s play
Harden was absolutely on fire against the Hawks, dropping a season-high 60 points on 16-of-24 shooting and 20-of-23 from the line. What makes this scoring barrage even more impressive is the fact that the former MVP reached this mark in just three quarters played — something that left teammate Austin Rivers in awe.
“What he’s doing has not been seen,” Rivers said, via ESPN. “My man had 60 and didn’t play the fourth quarter. Name another player who could do that right now.”
It’s hard to argue against Rivers here, who seems to have a very valid point. Right now, Harden is simply on a league of his own, with the 30-year-old currently averaging a mind-boggling 38.9 points per game on 44.6 percent shooting. The 6-foot-5 guard is also collecting 5.9 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 1.7 steals, and 0.5 blocks, while also connecting on 4.9 3-pointers per ballgame on a 35.5-percent clip.
Early on, many have Milwaukee Bucks All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo as the favorite to successfully defend his MVP title this season, but with Hardens’ out-of-this-world play of late, it cannot be denied that he has a legitimate shot at reclaiming a title that was once his.
At this point, any talk of new backcourt partner Russell Westbrook having an adverse effect on Harden’s output has been completely put to bed.