Where do LeBron and AD respectively rank among the league’s best players?
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Who is the best player in the league right now?
LeBron
63%
 63%  [ 40 ]
Anthony Davis
3%
 3%  [ 2 ]
Giannis
7%
 7%  [ 5 ]
Harden
3%
 3%  [ 2 ]
Kawhi
14%
 14%  [ 9 ]
Doncic
1%
 1%  [ 1 ]
Lilliard
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Durant
4%
 4%  [ 3 ]
Curry
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Other
1%
 1%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 63

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strong9
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 6:56 pm    Post subject:

venturalakersfan wrote:
No team with Westbrook will win anything, he doesn’t positively impact his teammates. Reading this thread, if any player in the playoffs is being underrated it is Harden. Top scorer, sets his teammates up, and in the playoffs he is playing good defense.


Harden has consistently shown he shrinks from the moment. He is not underrated by any stretch of the imagination.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:47 pm    Post subject:

Harden sometimes seems disinterested in this series
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:59 pm    Post subject:

Kobetan wrote:
Harden sometimes seems disinterested in this series


He tends to do this whenever the stakes are high. Almost like it is easier to not try then to try and fail. Many of his key numbers generally go down in the playoffs and he seems to be even worse in pivotal games with a lot on the line. His 2-11 performance was the third time he has shot that poorly in the playoffs. The other 2 in elimination games. He is a really good/great player, but he is not in that next level category.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:14 pm    Post subject:

I too strongly dislike Harden but I feel like the choker narrative is kind of cherrypicked. Like today's just a Game 4, what makes it any more "important" than Game 3 where he had a good game? But people will remember today as another instance of him "choking" in a big game.

Not saying he is or isn't the best player in the league. Just suspicious of some of the arguments here
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:27 pm    Post subject:

tox wrote:
I too strongly dislike Harden but I feel like the choker narrative is kind of cherrypicked. Like today's just a Game 4, what makes it any more "important" than Game 3 where he had a good game? But people will remember today as another instance of him "choking" in a big game.

Not saying he is or isn't the best player in the league. Just suspicious of some of the arguments here


There is actually a lengthy article about Harden in clutch playoff situations from Zach Lowe on ESPN. Some of the numbers are startling and truly suggestive of him shying away from the moment. I think he is a great player. He just may be another Peyton Manning, Karl Malone or Dominique. No shame in that.

Quote:
Most stars see their numbers fall off at the end of tight playoff games. It's hard to shoot a high percentage against elite defenses gearing everything against you. A lot of Harden's highest-leverage games came against a dynastic Warriors team. Tough sledding for anyone.

But the falloff for Harden is larger than for most stars. Sometimes it is cataclysmic: 2-of-11 with six turnovers in a season-ending, 39-point Game 6 loss in 2017 to a Spurs team missing both Leonard and Tony Parker -- a performance so bad, so passive, it sparked rumors (never substantiated, to my knowledge) Harden might have played through a concussion. That wasn't even Harden's first 2-of-11 elimination game; he put up that same shooting line, with 12 (!) turnovers, in Game 5 of the 2015 conference finals against Golden State. Houston's epic Game 6 comeback against the Clippers in the previous round came with Harden on the bench. He was solid in Game 7 of that LA series: 31 points on 7-of-20 shooting, with 15 free throws.


https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/page/zachlowe29800043/nba-playoffs-lakers-rockets-james-harden-massive-chance-rewrite-reputation
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:28 pm    Post subject:

tox wrote:
I too strongly dislike Harden but I feel like the choker narrative is kind of cherrypicked. Like today's just a Game 4, what makes it any more "important" than Game 3 where he had a good game? But people will remember today as another instance of him "choking" in a big game.

Not saying he is or isn't the best player in the league. Just suspicious of some of the arguments here

I have never seen a superstar having that much trouble against double teams. When the second guy comes, the ball becomes a hot potato
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:34 pm    Post subject:

mad55557777 wrote:
tox wrote:
I too strongly dislike Harden but I feel like the choker narrative is kind of cherrypicked. Like today's just a Game 4, what makes it any more "important" than Game 3 where he had a good game? But people will remember today as another instance of him "choking" in a big game.

Not saying he is or isn't the best player in the league. Just suspicious of some of the arguments here

I have never seen a superstar having that much trouble against double teams. When the second guy comes, the ball becomes a hot potato


This is part of the complaint against him from Rockets fans. He doesn’t do enough to play off the ball. He sits at the top of the key passively observing until he gets the ball only to immediately be double teamed. This is what Chris Paul couldn’t stand. Harden is ISO to a fault.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:57 pm    Post subject:

mad55557777 wrote:
tox wrote:
I too strongly dislike Harden but I feel like the choker narrative is kind of cherrypicked. Like today's just a Game 4, what makes it any more "important" than Game 3 where he had a good game? But people will remember today as another instance of him "choking" in a big game.

Not saying he is or isn't the best player in the league. Just suspicious of some of the arguments here

I have never seen a superstar having that much trouble against double teams. When the second guy comes, the ball becomes a hot potato


Yeah, he's not anywhere remotely close to a young inexperienced player anymore. This is a guy that consistently puts up monster type numbers in the regular season yet every single year he struggles against top competition in the Playoffs. A lot of his worst performances are also in closeout games which just magnifies it. There's quite a bit of evidence on the table at this point and is hard to justify or make any real excuses when it's a decade long pattern. What's kind of funny is D'antoni is basically the coach version of this long before he came to the Rockets so i'm sure they have plenty to talk about while fishing.

Just last series in the Game 7 against OKC he was 4-15 and 1-9 from three with 5 turnovers.

I remember a few years back against the Warriors in I believe the WCF? He shot under 20% for the game with 12 turnovers in the elimination game

Even the greatest players have a couple bad ones in them but this goes beyond that. He has looked checked out and disinterested i've noticed as well at times. I love it as a Lakers fan though especially with Westbrook as his teammate.

He's still obviously a damn good player but will never be remembered as a top tier all time great no matter what kind of regular season numbers he puts up if he continues to play like this every post season. Imagine how much uglier it could be if they didn't call some of the flops or ticky tack fouls for him.


Last edited by hype on Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:17 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:01 pm    Post subject:

Harden without favorable officiating isn't very good. This game looks a lot worse for him if he isn't shooting more free throws than the entire Lakers team.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:03 am    Post subject:

mad55557777 wrote:
tox wrote:
I too strongly dislike Harden but I feel like the choker narrative is kind of cherrypicked. Like today's just a Game 4, what makes it any more "important" than Game 3 where he had a good game? But people will remember today as another instance of him "choking" in a big game.

Not saying he is or isn't the best player in the league. Just suspicious of some of the arguments here

I have never seen a superstar having that much trouble against double teams. When the second guy comes, the ball becomes a hot potato

I posted this I think in this thread earlier, but I agree the ability to score on double teams is something that people overlook. Like, are you really trusting Jeff Green to attack a close out or would you rather have your star shoot a fadeaway before the double comes?
But my point isn't really about the flaws of Harden's game. They exist, and people can have different opinions on how good of a player it makes him. But there's a separate narrative that he's a choker etc., and that's what I'm arguing against. He was good in Game 3 and bad in Game 4. He has a bunch of awful games but he also has good games.

Kobe had games like 6-24 (Game 7 of 2010), 4-20 (Game 6 of 2000), 7-21 (Game 5 of 2004), 20 points and 7 turnovers (Game 6 of 2003 WCSF), etc. But that's obviously cherrypicking. Maybe Harden *is* a choker but I don't think listing a few examples that come off the top of your head (availability heuristic bias) is convincing evidence of that.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:10 am    Post subject:

Huh Zach Lowe's article literally digs into this:

Quote:
In 15 games with the Rockets facing elimination since 2013, Harden has averaged 26 points on 40.6% shooting -- including 42-of-124 (33.9%) from deep -- with 90 assists and 79 turnovers, per ESPN Stats & Information research. The Rockets were plus-7 combined in those games with Harden on the floor. (His numbers are not much different in Houston closeout games.)

In all playoff games during Harden's time in Houston in which the score was within five points during the last five minutes, Harden is 41-of-108 (38%) and 9-of-50 (18%) on 3s, per ESPN Stats & Info. He has dished 13 dimes and committed 19 turnovers. Houston is minus-19 in those minutes.

Zoom into super-crunch-time -- score within three, under three minutes in playoff games -- and Harden as a Rocket is 17-of-50 (34%) and 3-of-19 from deep with an even assist-to-turnover ratio.


Color me convinced, lol
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:06 am    Post subject:

tox wrote:
Huh Zach Lowe's article literally digs into this:

Quote:
In 15 games with the Rockets facing elimination since 2013, Harden has averaged 26 points on 40.6% shooting -- including 42-of-124 (33.9%) from deep -- with 90 assists and 79 turnovers, per ESPN Stats & Information research. The Rockets were plus-7 combined in those games with Harden on the floor. (His numbers are not much different in Houston closeout games.)

In all playoff games during Harden's time in Houston in which the score was within five points during the last five minutes, Harden is 41-of-108 (38%) and 9-of-50 (18%) on 3s, per ESPN Stats & Info. He has dished 13 dimes and committed 19 turnovers. Houston is minus-19 in those minutes.

Zoom into super-crunch-time -- score within three, under three minutes in playoff games -- and Harden as a Rocket is 17-of-50 (34%) and 3-of-19 from deep with an even assist-to-turnover ratio.


Color me convinced, lol


Good stuff.
Hope he continues to lead Houston for years to come.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:59 am    Post subject:

venturalakersfan wrote:
No team with Westbrook will win anything, he doesn’t positively impact his teammates. Reading this thread, if any player in the playoffs is being underrated it is Harden. Top scorer, sets his teammates up, and in the playoffs he is playing good defense.


lol
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 6:01 am    Post subject:

danzag wrote:
venturalakersfan wrote:
No team with Westbrook will win anything, he doesn’t positively impact his teammates. Reading this thread, if any player in the playoffs is being underrated it is Harden. Top scorer, sets his teammates up, and in the playoffs he is playing good defense.


lol

Usual nonsense from vlf. Harden is damn good of course but far from underrated, if anything he's overly feared by opposing fanbases (and, clearly, by referees). He couldn't get it done with CP3 and now if the Lakers finish it off as they should, he can't get it done with Russ. He's a significant step beneath the LBJ/Giannis/Kawhi tier.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:06 am    Post subject:

richsmith wrote:
danzag wrote:
venturalakersfan wrote:
No team with Westbrook will win anything, he doesn’t positively impact his teammates. Reading this thread, if any player in the playoffs is being underrated it is Harden. Top scorer, sets his teammates up, and in the playoffs he is playing good defense.


lol

Usual nonsense from vlf. Harden is damn good of course but far from underrated, if anything he's overly feared by opposing fanbases (and, clearly, by referees). He couldn't get it done with CP3 and now if the Lakers finish it off as they should, he can't get it done with Russ. He's a significant step beneath the LBJ/Giannis/Kawhi tier.


In the context of the Rockets, he's probably right. Westbrook is vastly overrated, especially in the playoffs. He has a .480 TS% in the playoffs this year. That's horrendous, but not unusual. He has a career .511 TS% in the playoffs. I'm not kidding.

Meanwhile, Harden is averaging 29.5 ppg this year with a .632 TS%. Sure, he hasn't managed to carry the Rockets against the Lakers. Sure, I'd rate him behind Lebron, Giannis, and Kawhi. However, I'd agree with VLF that Harden is getting seriously underrated in this thread.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:11 am    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
richsmith wrote:
danzag wrote:
venturalakersfan wrote:
No team with Westbrook will win anything, he doesn’t positively impact his teammates. Reading this thread, if any player in the playoffs is being underrated it is Harden. Top scorer, sets his teammates up, and in the playoffs he is playing good defense.


lol

Usual nonsense from vlf. Harden is damn good of course but far from underrated, if anything he's overly feared by opposing fanbases (and, clearly, by referees). He couldn't get it done with CP3 and now if the Lakers finish it off as they should, he can't get it done with Russ. He's a significant step beneath the LBJ/Giannis/Kawhi tier.


In the context of the Rockets, he's probably right. Westbrook is vastly overrated, especially in the playoffs. He has a .480 TS% in the playoffs this year. That's horrendous, but not unusual. He has a career .511 TS% in the playoffs. I'm not kidding.

Meanwhile, Harden is averaging 29.5 ppg this year with a .632 TS%. Sure, he hasn't managed to carry the Rockets against the Lakers. Sure, I'd rate him behind Lebron, Giannis, and Kawhi. However, I'd agree with VLF that Harden is getting seriously underrated in this thread.


I don't think so.
He's covering his deficiencies by going to the line 15+ times per game.

He doesn't move without the ball, he doesn't defend, he doesn't know how to get away from double teams.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:18 am    Post subject:

Bron #1, dude is like a puppet master, he dissect defense and can get his own bucket, playoff def is elite too

Giannis is more athletic but AD can drive as well as him (just not the long strides then jump on one foot for a dunk move), can d up bigs/wings as well AND shoots much better than Giannis, Giannis do crash the board hard tho. AD top 5 no doubt

Put it this way, Bron-AD is better than a Luka-Giannis Pairing and prob still better for another year or two
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:38 am    Post subject:

Say we put all the players listed in this thread on the same team, who is the undeniable alpha/leader? To me it's clearly LeBron, and this is not only because he's the most senior of them all.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:37 am    Post subject:

danzag wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
richsmith wrote:
danzag wrote:
venturalakersfan wrote:
No team with Westbrook will win anything, he doesn’t positively impact his teammates. Reading this thread, if any player in the playoffs is being underrated it is Harden. Top scorer, sets his teammates up, and in the playoffs he is playing good defense.


lol

Usual nonsense from vlf. Harden is damn good of course but far from underrated, if anything he's overly feared by opposing fanbases (and, clearly, by referees). He couldn't get it done with CP3 and now if the Lakers finish it off as they should, he can't get it done with Russ. He's a significant step beneath the LBJ/Giannis/Kawhi tier.


In the context of the Rockets, he's probably right. Westbrook is vastly overrated, especially in the playoffs. He has a .480 TS% in the playoffs this year. That's horrendous, but not unusual. He has a career .511 TS% in the playoffs. I'm not kidding.

Meanwhile, Harden is averaging 29.5 ppg this year with a .632 TS%. Sure, he hasn't managed to carry the Rockets against the Lakers. Sure, I'd rate him behind Lebron, Giannis, and Kawhi. However, I'd agree with VLF that Harden is getting seriously underrated in this thread.


I don't think so.
He's covering his deficiencies by going to the line 15+ times per game.

He doesn't move without the ball, he doesn't defend, he doesn't know how to get away from double teams.


You posting that he doesn’t defend supports the idea that many in this thread aren’t capable of commenting on his play this playoff.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:07 am    Post subject:

venturalakersfan wrote:
danzag wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
richsmith wrote:
danzag wrote:
venturalakersfan wrote:
No team with Westbrook will win anything, he doesn’t positively impact his teammates. Reading this thread, if any player in the playoffs is being underrated it is Harden. Top scorer, sets his teammates up, and in the playoffs he is playing good defense.


lol

Usual nonsense from vlf. Harden is damn good of course but far from underrated, if anything he's overly feared by opposing fanbases (and, clearly, by referees). He couldn't get it done with CP3 and now if the Lakers finish it off as they should, he can't get it done with Russ. He's a significant step beneath the LBJ/Giannis/Kawhi tier.


In the context of the Rockets, he's probably right. Westbrook is vastly overrated, especially in the playoffs. He has a .480 TS% in the playoffs this year. That's horrendous, but not unusual. He has a career .511 TS% in the playoffs. I'm not kidding.

Meanwhile, Harden is averaging 29.5 ppg this year with a .632 TS%. Sure, he hasn't managed to carry the Rockets against the Lakers. Sure, I'd rate him behind Lebron, Giannis, and Kawhi. However, I'd agree with VLF that Harden is getting seriously underrated in this thread.


I don't think so.
He's covering his deficiencies by going to the line 15+ times per game.

He doesn't move without the ball, he doesn't defend, he doesn't know how to get away from double teams.


You posting that he doesn’t defend supports the idea that many in this thread aren’t capable of commenting on his play this playoff.


If he's doing it for 5 or 6 games, and not for the entire season, shows that he sucks on defense.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:23 am    Post subject:

danzag wrote:
He's covering his deficiencies by going to the line 15+ times per game.


That doesn't even make sense.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:17 am    Post subject:

strong9 wrote:
tox wrote:
I too strongly dislike Harden but I feel like the choker narrative is kind of cherrypicked. Like today's just a Game 4, what makes it any more "important" than Game 3 where he had a good game? But people will remember today as another instance of him "choking" in a big game.

Not saying he is or isn't the best player in the league. Just suspicious of some of the arguments here


There is actually a lengthy article about Harden in clutch playoff situations from Zach Lowe on ESPN. Some of the numbers are startling and truly suggestive of him shying away from the moment. I think he is a great player. He just may be another Peyton Manning, Karl Malone or Dominique. No shame in that.

Quote:
Most stars see their numbers fall off at the end of tight playoff games. It's hard to shoot a high percentage against elite defenses gearing everything against you. A lot of Harden's highest-leverage games came against a dynastic Warriors team. Tough sledding for anyone.

But the falloff for Harden is larger than for most stars. Sometimes it is cataclysmic: 2-of-11 with six turnovers in a season-ending, 39-point Game 6 loss in 2017 to a Spurs team missing both Leonard and Tony Parker -- a performance so bad, so passive, it sparked rumors (never substantiated, to my knowledge) Harden might have played through a concussion. That wasn't even Harden's first 2-of-11 elimination game; he put up that same shooting line, with 12 (!) turnovers, in Game 5 of the 2015 conference finals against Golden State. Houston's epic Game 6 comeback against the Clippers in the previous round came with Harden on the bench. He was solid in Game 7 of that LA series: 31 points on 7-of-20 shooting, with 15 free throws.


https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/page/zachlowe29800043/nba-playoffs-lakers-rockets-james-harden-massive-chance-rewrite-reputation


I agree with everything you said except mentioning Harden in the same breath as Peyton Manning. Seriously? 2 time super bowl winning quarterback that had some of the best seasons ever? Harden, on the other hand, has won nothing and has routinely choked in the playoffs.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:26 am    Post subject:

strong9 wrote:
tox wrote:
I too strongly dislike Harden but I feel like the choker narrative is kind of cherrypicked. Like today's just a Game 4, what makes it any more "important" than Game 3 where he had a good game? But people will remember today as another instance of him "choking" in a big game.

Not saying he is or isn't the best player in the league. Just suspicious of some of the arguments here


There is actually a lengthy article about Harden in clutch playoff situations from Zach Lowe on ESPN. Some of the numbers are startling and truly suggestive of him shying away from the moment. I think he is a great player. He just may be another Peyton Manning, Karl Malone or Dominique. No shame in that.

Quote:
Most stars see their numbers fall off at the end of tight playoff games. It's hard to shoot a high percentage against elite defenses gearing everything against you. A lot of Harden's highest-leverage games came against a dynastic Warriors team. Tough sledding for anyone.

But the falloff for Harden is larger than for most stars. Sometimes it is cataclysmic: 2-of-11 with six turnovers in a season-ending, 39-point Game 6 loss in 2017 to a Spurs team missing both Leonard and Tony Parker -- a performance so bad, so passive, it sparked rumors (never substantiated, to my knowledge) Harden might have played through a concussion. That wasn't even Harden's first 2-of-11 elimination game; he put up that same shooting line, with 12 (!) turnovers, in Game 5 of the 2015 conference finals against Golden State. Houston's epic Game 6 comeback against the Clippers in the previous round came with Harden on the bench. He was solid in Game 7 of that LA series: 31 points on 7-of-20 shooting, with 15 free throws.


https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/page/zachlowe29800043/nba-playoffs-lakers-rockets-james-harden-massive-chance-rewrite-reputation


Super Bowl winning Peyton Manning? Lol.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:34 am    Post subject:

Right now, I have Bron at 1, with Kawhi at 2, and AD at 3 as the best players in the league. Reminds me a bit of Kobe in 01 & 02 that critics would use Shaq as an indictment that Kobe can't be a top 5 player in the league because anyone can win a 3-peat if they played with Shaq, same way I feel with how people view AD at the moment. Outside of Bron & Kawhi, nobody in the league effects the game on both ends of the floor more than AD, who can give you 30 a game, while giving you Defensive Player Of The Year defense when it counts the most in the playoffs. I feel like Curry has peaked imo and already in his 30's, so will take AD since he is just entering his prime. Durant I can't put him on any lists coming off a Torn Achilles and feel like he can still be an elite player, but no longer MVP Durant anymore. Luka is already very special, especially with his passing ability, but going to take AD due to huge edge on the defensive end, which I take scoring & defense as the top 2 traits you want in an elite player imo. Kawhi has already shown he can win a title as the best player on the team, is MJ like with you know what he's going to do and he still gets what he wants on offense, along with how scary he is in crunch time and when he flips the switch on defense. The top 3 players in the league I have now is similar to the top 3 I had in 2001 & 2002 being Shaq, Duncan, & Kobe.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:40 am    Post subject:

JPaulK0n wrote:
Right now, I have Bron at 1, with Kawhi at 2, and AD at 3 as the best players in the league. Reminds me a bit of Kobe in 01 & 02 that critics would use Shaq as an indictment that Kobe can't be a top 5 player in the league because anyone can win a 3-peat if they played with Shaq, same way I feel with how people view AD at the moment. Outside of Bron & Kawhi, nobody in the league effects the game on both ends of the floor more than AD, who can give you 30 a game, while giving you Defensive Player Of The Year defense when it counts the most in the playoffs. I feel like Curry has peaked imo and already in his 30's, so will take AD since he is just entering his prime. Durant I can't put him on any lists coming off a Torn Achilles and feel like he can still be an elite player, but no longer MVP Durant anymore. Luka is already very special, especially with his passing ability, but going to take AD due to huge edge on the defensive end, which I take scoring & defense as the top 2 traits you want in an elite player imo. Kawhi has already shown he can win a title as the best player on the team, is MJ like with you know what he's going to do and he still gets what he wants on offense, along with how scary he is in crunch time and when he flips the switch on defense. The top 3 players in the league I have now is similar to the top 3 I had in 2001 & 2002 being Shaq, Duncan, & Kobe.


The reason why I have AD outside of the top 5 is that he can't carry a team by himself. However I do he's the best second option in the league. Even though I rank someone like Harden higher than AD on the overall list I think AD makes a far superior second option if that makes any sense.
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