Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni goes on rant about James Harden critics
What James Harden has been doing this season is nothing short of historic. The one-man show he has been able to put on to help the Houston Rockets stay alive in the Western Conference playoff picture has been magnificent. Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni knows this and doesn’t have any ear for the criticisms that have followed Harden’s streak.
Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni is as cool as they come, but he got pretty fired up when asked about criticism of James Harden stemming from his streak of 31 straight 30-point games. D’Antoni’s rant: pic.twitter.com/w9B2AEqsNB
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) February 22, 2019
D’Antoni is right, though. What Harden is doing is helping the team win. Over his 31-game streak of scoring 30 or more points, the Rockets have gone 21-10. So far this season, Harden has 22 games where he has scored at least 40 points, and in those games, the team is 16-6.
The Houston head coach is right about his stats this season, as well. Harden is averaging 36.6 points, 7.7 assists, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.2 steals per game this season. Almost all of those numbers are up from his averages last season, and he is logging a career-high in steals per game for the year. His efficiency is also up from last season. He is shooting 37.4 percent from deep which is his best since the 2014-15 campaign.
It can’t be overlooked that if he finishes the season with this production, he would be the first player to average 35 or more points for a year since Kobe Bryant in 2004-05. He would also be only one of four other players — Kobe, Michael Jordan, Rick Barry, and Wilt Chamberlain — to average that many points for a full season (Wilt did it five times).