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Rockets’ James Harden prefers to play in a system rather than do hero ball

James Harden, Rockets

The nature of All-Star Weekend leaked out some important and somewhat personal conversations between players and coaches, this one between Stephen Curry and Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer, who spoke at length about Houston Rockets guard James Harden and the recent tear he has been on.

Curry shared with Budenholzer part of his conversation with Harden, one that revealed that despite the success and record-shattering nature of his 30-point streak, he’d rather play differently:

“I talked to James in the back and obviously complemented him on what he’s done. The first thing he says is, ‘it’s fun, but I want to play different,'” Curry told Budenholzer. “Playing by myself or whatever, hero ball — the people want him to play like that, play in a system where they actually can play beautiful basketball with guys that know how to play.”

While fans are in awe of his one-on-one style of play and the mouth-watering step-back triples that he shoots with the greenest of lights from coach Mike D’Antoni, competing teams are salivating seeing him trot out such performances — knowing the whistles and the style of play will not hold up effectively come playoff time — something Curry and Budenholzer clearly agreed on:

“That’s interesting for him to say that, I would not have thought (he would) … That’s the thing, you need help,” Budenholzer told Curry in response. “Him doing that stuff every night [shakes head], it’s going to be hard.”

The Rockets are playing the way they are playing due to the necessity after losing bodies, but Clint Capela is bound to come back in a few days and give this team a completely different look.

While Kenneth Faried has filled in admirably, Harden will be glad to have his rim-runner back, unlocking yet another part of his game that can see him take a step back in his scoring aggression, morphing into a more even style of team basketball.