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James Harden took 38 shots after 15+ dribbles in WCF; Warriors 18 as a team

James Harden

The emphasis of isolating James Harden against the Golden State Warriors’ worst defenders became the very death of the Houston Rockets’ dreams, as The Beard took 38 shots after 15 dribbles during the series, while the Warriors only had 18 as a team, according to Second Spectrum via ESPN’s Micah Adams.

As previously thought of, the Rockets’ backcourt ball-pounding style is very much prone to making the likes of Harden and Chris Paul over-dribble during possessions, forcing them into tougher shots than they would like.

While the Warriors borrowed from Houston’s isolation strategy throughout the series, they shot the ball earlier in the shot clock, allowing the ball to bounce between teammates.

Besides Harden’s poor shooting numbers during long-drawn isolations, a lot of those plays that didn’t result in shots were last-second passes that ended up as forced shots for some of his teammates.

Harden was unable to shoot over 50 percent in six of the seven games of this series. While the bearded one managed four 30-plus-point scoring nights in this best-of-seven affairs, only his Game 1 41-point outing was an effective one, as he shot less than 44 percent from the field in Games 2-7.

The 28-year-old’s tendencies became more obvious as the postseason wore on, ultimately exposed by the Utah Jazz in the second round, where he was held to 29.5 percent from deep for the five-game series, guarded by rookie Donovan Mitchell, Jae Crowder, and Joe Ingles.

The Warriors had a plethora of defenders to throw at Harden, and even after obsessively seeking matchups against Stephen Curry, Harden could only muster a woeful combined 24.4 percent from deep for the seven-game series.

The post James Harden took 38 shots after 15+ dribbles in WCF; Warriors 18 as a team appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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