Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni thinks people are taking for granted James Harden’s determination
Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni praised his star James Harden after a season-high 57-point performance to take down the Memphis Grizzlies. Harden has trotted out one big stat line after another since his backcourt partner Chris Paul went down to a hamstring injury, but his impressive performances can, at times, be taken for granted, according to D’Antoni.
“I knew he was dog tired… Just his determination… ‘Cause the guys guarding him are pretty good defenders. What he just did, we’re taking it for granted a little bit,” said D’Antoni, according to Salman Ali of ESPN 975 Houston. “On dead legs, playing the minutes he’s playing… It’s beyond impressive.”
Season-high 57 PTS
17th consecutive game 30+ PTS
Third game of 50+ PTS this season
James Harden in the @HoustonRockets W! #Rockets pic.twitter.com/9ovpYtFzW6
— NBA (@NBA) January 15, 2019
Harden only needed 34 minutes to do his damage, now with no lob target after center Clint Capela injured his right thumb, bound to miss the next four to six weeks with the ailment.
The Beard registered only two assists in the game, but as usual paraded to the line 18 times, converting 17 of them. Harden made 17 of his 33 shots, including 6-of-15 from deep to scorch the struggling Grizzlies.
James Harden broke Kobe Bryant’s record of 16 consecutive games scoring 30 or more in grand fashion, shredding the Memphis defense, despite knowing he was the lone high-scoring option on the roster.
The Rockets have been decimated by injuries and only have Harden and P.J. Tucker as the remaining starters, with Paul, Capela, and Eric Gordon all out with their own ailments.
Harden took two more shots than the rest of the starters combined, a derivative of the arduous work he’s had to put forward in hopes of keeping his team afloat in a ruthless Western Conference.
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