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James Harden fires back at critics of his playoff résumé

Rockets, James Harden

While Houston Rockets star James Harden hasn’t won an NBA championship yet, he admits he gets frustrated when pundits say he doesn’t show up during the playoffs.

Harden has played in 73 postseason games with the Rockets. He has averages of 28.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 7.0 assists, numbers that aren’t easy to put up.

The Rockets, though, have never advanced to the NBA Finals with Harden and have lost to the Golden State Warriors in three out of their last four playoff trips. The former MVP is doing his best to ignore the critics and lead Houston to a title soon, via Howard Beck of Bleacher Report:

Sure, Harden has turned in a few untimely clunkers in his 116-game playoff career. It happens, even to MVPs. What irks him, he says, is the assertion by some critics that “James didn’t show up.”

“Well,” Harden says, firing back at those same critics, “James averaged 31, seven and seven in the postseason, and we just didn’t have enough talent around him, but I’m never going to throw my teammates under the bus.”

He catches himself. “You see how I’m just explaining myself right now? It’s like, all that stuff, I don’t even need to do that. I’ll just let them make up a story and just, you know, keep pushing, trying to get better.”

The Rockets have a great chance to win the Western Conference in 2019-20. The Warriors don’t have Kevin Durant anymore and will be without Klay Thompson for a big chunk of the season. Houston is the only team in the NBA with two MVPs on its roster in James Harden and Russell Westbrook.

This is a great opportunity for Harden to guide the Rockets on a championship run. Let’s see if he can do it and shut his critics up.