The Throne Room

5 thoughts on the final episode of Game of Thrones

So I went back and watched every episode of this season so I could have full context for the finale. Were there some soft spots? Yes. But overall I think the criticism is over the top. It's become cool to say how much this season sucked. I think it is more a product of social media and the fact so many people watched the series. All in all, I found it satisfying. Here are five thoughts on the finale:

1) Wow. What acting

Peter Dinklage is the best actor on the show. The first 30 minutes were about him. (Until we saw evil Dany). She has plans to burn the world. And now we see the opponents. Tyrion walked away from Dany, angering her and setting him up as a bad guy, but he also convinced Jon as to the right path. Dinklage was at his best in the final episode. Throughout the series, he, Jon and Dany had the best characters. He went out in style.

2) Bran?

The three-eyed raven wound up on the throne, elected by a group of nobles. He allowed Sansa to keep the north as her own realm. It almost felt phony seeing the north men cheer her on as "Queen in the North," but it was a solid finish.

3) You know nothing, Jon Snow

It was perhaps the most fitting ending to any character to have Jon return north of the wall with the wildlings, ghost and Tormund. His story arc ended with a perfect finish. That was always where he belonged. I know a lot of people were upset that the Targaryen reveal amounted to nothing, but I always hoped for this ending for Jon.

4) Crazy Dany

Dany's ending was unfortunate. The hope was she would bounce back from last week and try to make amends. Instead she planned on burning more of the world, and Jon had to stop her. It was a shame, but no one else could have done it. Her story seemed to end fairly abruptly. If there is one criticism here, it is that she went out with a whimper, not a bang. Her death came off as maudlin, and the dragon flying away with her was a bit much. But it was a poignant moment when Jon finally killed her.

5) And now my watch is ended

Did anyone feel like there were too many perfect endings? That the show put a bow on everything? Tyrion is hand of the king. Sansa is Queen in the North. Arya is traveling West of Westeros. Jon winds up home, All in all, I liked this finish and liked this season. Was it perfect? No. But was it better that people give it credit for? Absolutely. We have devoted almost 10 years to these characters, and the goodbyes were bittersweet. Time will tell how the show will be judged, but I don't think the ending was as bad as most people.

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In recent reports, there have been multiple rumors that the 76ers could make a push for James Harden if they can sign Mike D' Antoni as their head coach. As the 76ers fired Brett Brown in August, they are now looking for a culture change. So, it won't come as a surprise if the 76ers try to trade Joel Embiid for Harden. Hopefully, Daryl Morey recognizes the talent of Harden and rejects the idea of trading him.

Harden is easily the second greatest Rocket of in franchise history, including being second in scoring. In Harden's eight-year tenure with the Rockets, he has become an NBA MVP, made the All-NBA team seven times, three-time scoring champ, and an eight-time All-Star. Harden's resume with the Rockets is impressive, including going to Western Conference Finals twice. Ever since Harden came to Houston in 2012, he revamped the Rockets' franchise with eight consecutive playoff runs. Before Harden came to the Rockets, this franchise had missed the playoffs three times in a row.

Harden also attracted huge free agents like Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, and Russell Westbrook, which helped him succeed in his Rockets tenure. He has made the Rockets an attractive team to play on since being in Houston for eight years.

Even though Harden has been great with the Rockets, he has not reached the Finals yet. That has been the huge question mark on Harden's resume while playing for the Rockets. Honestly, there are certain moments when Harden has disappeared in big games. In 2015 versus the Clippers in Game 6 of the Western Semifinals, Harden shot 5 of 20 from the field, and was benched in the 4th quarter by Kevin McHale, as the Rockets were led by Josh Smith to force a Game 7 in Houston. Also, during the Spurs-Rockets Western Semifinals of 2017, Harden had another disappearance in Game 6. Harden shot 2 of 11 from the field with only 10 points as the Rockets lost to the Spurs 114-75 without Kawhi Leonard.

Despite those two horrible examples, Harden was extremely close in 2018 versus the Warriors but an injury to Paul's hamstring stopped the Rockets' momentum, as they lost in game 7 by missing 22 straight three-pointers. The following year, the Rockets lost to the Warriors again without Kevin Durant because Paul and Harden were not on the same page in the Western Semifinals. Things were not different this year, as the Rockets were overpowered by the Lakers 4-1.

Trading the 32-year-old Harden could be tempting because of the recent playoff failures, but he is a generational player. In the last 5 years, Harden has dominated the NBA with his elite scoring. Harden has averaged over 30 plus points per game in the last three seasons. He is also classified as one of the greatest scorers of all-time behind Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, and Wilt Chamberlin.

Stephen A. Smith lays out why he thinks Harden is the greatest scorer currently in the NBA in the video below.

James Harden is 'the greatest scorer in the NBA' - Stephen A. | First Take youtu.be

After all the things Harden has accomplished in Houston, is he still untouchable? Honestly, if Harden is traded, the culture for the Rockets will drastically change, especially with new players coming to Houston. In my opinion, Harden and Morey are very close but Morey is blinded by his own decisions because of Harden. Morey built this team around James and does anything to please him. He wanted to keep D'Antoni around because of Harden, which is not helpful for the Rockets. If the Rockets are going to win big, Morey has to be stronger with his own judgement of the team, and not Harden's.

If the Rockets decided to trade James Harden to the 76ers, they could receive Embiid and Josh Richardson, which is still good. The Rockets would get a big man, who is a superstar, and a great wing defender, which gave Harden problems two years when he played for the Heat. This would not be bad decision if the Rockets decided to move on from Harden.

Before Morey decides to pull the trigger, he needs to digest Harden's accolades, including his shortcomings. Hopefully, the right decision is made for the Rockets' organization.

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