Stats show James Harden’s 3-point percentage dips without Chris Paul
After taking down the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, 98-94, the Houston Rockets find themselves surprisingly perched ahead of the defending champions in the Western Conference Finals 3-2. While it’s definitely a favorable position to be in for the Rockets, closing out the Warriors is going to be a difficult task for Houston without Chris Paul. That means the Rockets will rely on its other superstar in James Harden more than at any point before in the series to deliver the goods this Saturday at home.
Harden, however, has not been shooting the ball well over the past two games, particularly from the three-point area. In fact, Harden went just 3-for-24 from distance in Games 4 and 5, even missing all his 11 three-point shots on Thursday. Furthermore, he shot a horrid 5-for-21 from the field for only 19 points in 39 minutes on the floor.
The natural reaction to Harden’s shooting slump is that he’ll recover his offensive touch soon. After all, he’s this season’s top MVP candidate. Having said that, the absence of Chris Paul dims Harden’s chances of getting his three-point shots to consistently fall again, as the bearded superstar is shooting worse from behind the arc when Paul is not around than when the Point God is in uniform.
James Harden’s 3-Point shooting this season when CP3 plays vs. doesn’t:
With Chris Paul: 38.1% in 49 games
Without Chris Paul: 34.0% in 23 games
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 25, 2018
In any case, James Harden will have to put up a tremendous performance this Saturday in Oakland if the Rockets are to send the Warriors crashing out of title contention. So far in the conference finals, Harden is averaging 28.1 points on 41.0 percent shooting from the field.
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