The Houston Rockets are a team that has been in the playoffs for six straight seasons. After James Harden went through an extended slump, another Hall of Famer told him to stop making excuses and just play better basketball. The result was his best game of the season with 34 points on 10-18 shooting
James Harden has been struggling this season with injuries and poor play. However, he got out of his slump after a Hall of Famer told him to stop making excuses. Read more in detail here: james harden injury update.
This summer, Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden voiced unwavering faith in his potential as part of a squad he described as the NBA’s most unstoppable unit. But uncertainty and perplexity crept into The Beard’s head.
Harden noted over the weekend that deciding when to score and when to assist was tough, which drew criticism from Charles Barkley. Another Hall of Famer, on the other hand, had a message for Harden: “Remember who you are.” The Beard retaliated with one of his most impressive performances of the season.
Reggie Miller informed James Harden that he has never had trouble deciding whether to score or pass.
Kevin Harlan recounts James Harden’s pre-game conversation with Reggie Miller.
Reggie: “When he came up, I said, ‘You do realize you’re James Harden, right?’” pic.twitter.com/DlmhhO5ifm
1 December 2021 — Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH)
Reggie Miller is a tough competitor with a knack for inspiring others. He wanted to give James Harden a boost before the Nets’ game against the Knicks on Sunday night in Brooklyn.
Before the game, Miller approached Harden and reminded The Beard that he was a past league MVP, as he disclosed on the broadcast. The former Indiana Pacers great also admonished the Nets star to stop making excuses, claiming that the dilemma of when to score or pass the basketball never existed.
Harden subsequently said after the game that he needed that sort of support (h/t New York Post).
“But yes, it was simply total confidence, a mentality of being the greatest player in the league.” That provided me with some much-needed drive prior to the game.”
–James Harden on his pre-game talk with Reggie Miller
Miller’s argument was well-founded.
As a member of the Rockets, Harden not only won three straight scoring championships, but he also led the NBA in assists during the 2016-17 season. In eight seasons with a Houston club that was consistently among the top in the Western Conference, Beard averaged 29.6 points and 7.7 assists.
Furthermore, when Harden initially joined the Nets last season, he effortlessly straddled the line between scorer and facilitator. During the regular season, he averaged 24.6 points and 10.9 assists in 36 games. Prior to the start of the season, he exuded optimism.
The 32-year-old understands how to play a well-balanced game and make the proper basketball decisions. He just needed to hear it from another renowned guard with a deadly instinct, apparently.
In the first half against the Knicks, Harden scored 28 points before settling into a playmaker position in the second half.
Reggie Miller “had me going” after their pregame discussion, according to Harden after Tuesday’s victory against the Knicks. The Beard came out with a vengeance.
In the first quarter, Harden scored 15 points. Although the story about his dwindling free-throw attempts persists, he shot six in the first quarter. He was also 4-for-5 from the field, including 2-for-2 from beyond the arc.
In the second quarter, the Beard kept on the attack. He added 13 more points in the first half, ending with 28 points on 9-of-10 free-throw shooting and 3-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc.
Harden changed the game strategy in the second half after catching the Knicks’ attention. He just had six points and did not get to the free throw line, but he did have six assists. Kevin Durant scored 21 points in the last two quarters, and the Beard knew when to defer to him.
Harden’s 31.0 Game Score is his second-best of the season, according to Basketball Reference. But, given his previous problems and the fact that he put on such a show against a crosstown rival on national television, this performance took on new significance.
With Kyrie Irving’s future still up in the air and Durant averaging significant minutes, the Nets will need this version of Harden on a more frequent basis.
The Beard might be the deciding factor in the Nets’ championship chances.
On November 30, 2021, James Harden reacts after falling during a game against the New York Knicks | Getty Images/Michelle Farsi
The Nets may be able to go as far as James Harden can take them. Given that he plays on the same team as Kevin Durant, such comment may seem ludicrous, but context is required.
KD is, without a doubt, an MVP candidate. He’s averaging 28.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.6 assists, which is the greatest in the NBA. However, Durant cannot carry the Nets on his own.
Remember, in previous year’s playoffs, KD had a historically outstanding series against the Milwaukee Bucks. But that wasn’t enough to propel Brooklyn to the Eastern Conference Finals, as the Nets were eventually doomed by Irving’s absence and a banged-up Harden.
Given that the Nets have no idea when or if Kyrie will return, Harden’s ability to play at a high level will be a key factor in their NBA championship chances. His versatility as a shot creator and facilitator who makes things simpler for his teammates is crucial for a squad that has lost even more depth since Joe Harris’ injury.
Will Harden be able to sustain Reggie Miller’s faith in him? This might help to clarify the Nets’ standing as title contenders, as well as his preseason commitment to return to Brooklyn this summer.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
Reggie Miller’s Late-Game Heroics in the Tri-State Area Earned Him an Unsettling Nickname
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James Harden has been struggling this season, but he is beginning to find his groove again. The Houston Rockets star was told by a Hall of Famer to stop making excuses and just play the game. Reference: how much is james harden worth.
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