James Harden is showing that he can be the best playmaker in the NBA if he needs to be. While Harden is already lethal as a scorer, people had forgotten about how he can playmaker. With Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant to shoulder the load, Harden is dropping career-highs in terms of assists.
In Brooklyn’s OT win over the Atlanta Hawks, James Harden dropped 31 points with 15 assists. This was the tenth time in his career he got this stat-line. As a result, he became one of five NBA players to have gotten this statline in their career. He is now tied with Isiah Thomas at five, who has recognized Harden’s achievement.
Harden has a long way to go before catching anyone else on the list. However, with his scoring clip and distribution, he could make a genuine run, even towards the likes of Nate Archibald. However, that means having 11 more games like this after having had only 10 his entire career. Even if he doesn’t get it even once more, he already has this achievement.
James Harden: Leading the Nets to the NBA Finals?
James Harden playing like this will create a lot of drama. While the Nets have no squad depth or good defense, they are just too elite offensively. They have given more than 120 points in almost every game since the Harden trade, but usually manage to out-score their opponents.
With this potent firepower, it will be hard to stop the Nets. There are some teams that match up really well against Brooklyn, including top seed Philadelphia 76ers. Brooklyn will have to get past Philly to get to the NBA Finals.
If Brooklyn doesn’t add a defensive big-man to their team, Joel Embiid will have a field day. We already saw centers like Bam Adebayo dominate the Nets. Embiid is playing at an MVP level and has the perfect roster constructed around him. Teams like Milwaukee will also be looking to upset the Nets.
James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving have a tough task ahead of them. But it looks like they are up for the challenge.
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