James Harden shrugs off shooting woes
The Houston Rockets managed to take the series lead with a thrilling win in Game 5 over the Golden State Warriors. Perhaps the most impressive part of their victory was the fact that shooting guard James Harden did not play particularly well.
However, there is still some concern that his shooting woes will not help the team’s chances moving forward. According to Kurt Helin of NBC Sports, Harden is not worried about the struggles with his touch:
“Who cares?” Harden said. “I’m just missing shots. But we’re winning, and I’m trying to compete on the defensive end and do other things to help my team win. But if we’ve got a guy like Eric Gordon making shots and being aggressive, who cares?”
It appears Harden is doing his best to downplay his struggles thus far by giving credit to the team’s performance. Although it is encouraging to see the Rockets as a whole playing well, there is no doubt that they will need “The Beard” to find his touch over these next two games.
The victory in Game 5 came with a price after point guard Chris Paul was ruled out of Game 6 with a hamstring injury. That means the burden of the offense will fall squarely on Harden’s shoulders for the time being. Although he has proven capable of doing so in the past, the timing of the injury coincides with his recent shooting struggles.
Harden is coming off his worst performance yet after registering just 19 points on 5-of-21 shooting. It was also the first time this postseason that he failed to hit at least one 3-pointer despite taking 11 attempts from deep.