Is it now time to give it to Harden?

Is James Harden in the conversation for best scorer of all time?

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

James Harden just recently tied Michael Jordan for the most 60 point games. This is a tremendous stat, but does this clarify Harden as the best scorer of all time? He is now in great company with Wilt Chamberlin, Kobe Bryant, and Jordan.

Harden has been a lethal threat in the NBA for seven seasons straight. He is able to attack defenses with his strength, handles, athleticism, shooting, and basketball IQ. His step back is arguably the best in the NBA. Harden honestly knows how to work the system. This allows him to put the best defenders in foul trouble. Harden on Saturday night, versus the Atlanta Hawks, scored 60 points in three quarters. Players and coaches have a terrible time game planning against Harden for 48 minutes. Harden is steadily getting double teams because of the pressure he causes on teams. Harden recently won NBA "Toughest to Guard" of the year.


Kyle Kuzma explains what makes it so hard to guard James Harden | NBA on ESPN youtu.be


"You have to stay disciplined from the start of the game to the end of the game, from the start of the possession to the end of the possession. It's an incredible discipline," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. (USA Today/ Jeff Zillgitt)

He has captured two scoring titles with the Rockets. Harden has averaged 29 ppg in the last seven seasons with the Rockets. This season, Harden is averaging 39.5 ppg which is unbelievable.

Does this clarify Harden as the best scorer? No! Harden still has to prove that he is an efficient scorer. It is rare when Harden shoots above 45% from the field in a game. Harden has always depended on foul calls to bail him out in tough situations. Most of his points do come from the free throw line. It is hard to give him the best scorer of all time over Bryant, Jordan, and Chamberlin. Harden puts up great numbers, but where exactly is he getting his points from.? He faces major criticism about his free throw attempts every game.



Harden is great scorer because he found an easier way to score. What made him a great a scorer was learning how to play the game. Harden found ways to get to the free throw line easier. This does not make him the greatest scorer of all time but makes him the smartest player to score in the NBA.

Harden will be in the top five of scoring in the end of his career but not the best.

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Rockets get another much-needed win. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets went on a redemption tour by beating the Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks. But the most pivotal win was against the Mavericks as the Rockets finally showed their true potential. John Wall finally made his return from his injury hiatus and played with a lot of energy. DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Gordon combined for 61 points. It was great to see Stephan Silas crack a smile as he was able to beat his former team.

The Rockets clearly missed Wall during his eight-game absense. This season, the Rockets are a .500 team with Wall on the court. Wall is the Rockets' floor general that leads, constructs, and also pushes his teammates to become better.

Wall only played 21 minutes in the 133-108 win over the Mavericks but still had eight assists. Even though Wall only had 7 points, his presence was still felt by finding his teammates for open looks beyond the perimeter. Wall made sure Cousins and Gordon got a plethora of touches. He called multiple actions, so they got open looks from three, which was mainly Gordon. Gordon and Cousins' struggles have been similar but with Wall on the court, they were successful against the Mavericks. According to NBA Stats, Wall posted a 111 offensive rating with the starters versus the Mavericks, which included Gordon and Cousins.

"He's the engine to this team. He gets everybody going. He makes the game easy," Cousins told a reporter after the game. "The pressure that he constantly puts on the defense is a tough thing to deal with."

Gordon has struggled all season long with three-point shooting and relied on his slashing abilities. Saturday night, Gordon made six three pointers against the Mavericks, which was 66 percent from beyond the perimeter. Gordon increased his three-point percentage from 31 percent to 34.5 percent after Saturday night's game. Gordon's 33 points came from being able to attack the entire Mavericks' defense. Willy Cauley-Stein didn't stand a chance against Gordon as he was burned multiple times. Gordon's been a lifesaver for the Rockets in the last two games, and hopefully he maintains his play.

Cousins played fantastic against the Mavericks scoring 28 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. This is Cousins' first double-double with the Rockets this season. Cousins became the vintage player from the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings. It was extremely fun watching Cousins push the ball up the court and aggressively snatch rebounds. Boogie shot 50 percent from behind the arc by making four three-pointers. He was dominant inside the paint as Cousins went 7/8 from the restricted area versus the Mavericks. This was the game Cousins needed after having a poor performance against the Pistons Friday night.

"It was really, really good. He did it all. He's a physical presence on both ends of the floor," as Silas said on Cousins' performance.

David Nwaba and Mason Jones were big factors off the Rockets' bench by having a combined total of 34 points together. Nwaba has been great in transition for the Rockets the entire season. Keep in mind that Nwaba is returning from an Achilles injury he suffered with his former team, the Brooklyn Nets. Nwaba has became a great defender, slasher, and is averaging a career-high nine points per game with the Rockets. He finished with 18 points on Saturday night versus the Mavericks.

Mason Jones has become a fan favorite of the Rockets because of his confidence. Silas is loving the usage of Jones off the bench but wants to find more minutes for him. Jones had a breakout performance versus the San Antonio Spurs with 24 points off 66 percent shooting from the field. He continues to get better with his reads from the point guard position. Jones' knowledge of running the offense has helped his efficiency on the court. He is never afraid to take clutch shots in pivotal moments of the game.

"To have a young kid who can come in and not be afraid of the moment, that's big. That's a tough position to be in as an undrafted rookie. I trust him. It's a good problem to have," Silas mentioned after the game. "He's showing me he's ready. He's a confident kid, and he should be. That's why he's good. He's not afraid of the moment, at all. He can get us organized, run plays, and score the basketball."

Hopefully, the Rockets can sustain their level of play when Victor Oladipo returns against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday. It will be interesting to watch Oladipo and Wall play in the same backcourt.

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