James Harden? Once the name is mentioned, all basketball fans will certainly not be familiar with his figure. The impressive performance shown at the Houston Rockets made his name even more popular among basketball fans. Harden is the main hope of the Rockets in producing productivity figures.
During his eight seasons at the Rockets, Harden has averaged 29.8 points. In addition, he can act as a facilitator with an average of 7.7 assistants. The peak performance of Harden was seen in the 2018 season. He won the highest individual title in the NBA, the Most Valuable Player (MVP).
The role is still shown in the 2019-2020 NBA. The arrival of the 2017 MVP guard, Russell Westrbook does not affect Harden as the Rockets’ first choice attack. Harden remains a contributor to productivity figures as well as a facilitator.
In the first six games of the 2019-2020 NBA, Harden had an average of 35.3 points, with the following details: 15.2 points came from free shots with 96 percent effectiveness, 11.8 points from two-point shots with shot effectiveness 58 percent, and 8.4 points come from three-point shots with 21 percent shot effectiveness. The role of Harden as a facilitator is shown by an average of 7.7 assistants.
When viewed based on advanced statistics, Harden has an impressive attack efficiency, which is 1.1 points per mastery using 39.8 percent USG. However, there is one performance that makes attack performance efficiency not maximal, namely shot effectiveness (eFG%).
Harden has eFG% 43.2 percent from an average of 23.3 attempts. Decreased 10.9 percent compared to last season. There are only two matches with eFG% results above 50 percent, namely when facing the Washington Wizards and the Miami Heat. In fact, eFG% Harden cannot be above 50 percent when facing the third-worst defensive efficiency team, the New Orleans Pelicans. The performance of eFG% owned by Harden is also lower than when it was still in bad status.
Pelicans new player Josh Hart becomes a player who can frustrate Harden. The Beer only scored 3 points from 10 attempts at shot, 2 errors resulted in a counterattack ( turnover ), and none of them produced productivity figures through free shots.
Based on the shot map, Harden shoots a lot in the rim area and three points. In the area the rim has the same shot effectiveness as the league average. Whereas in the three-figure area, there is one area out of 5 three-point shot areas that have shot effectiveness above the league average. It’s just that the area has the lowest shot attempt out of five three-point shot areas.
Very different when compared to last season, where there are two areas of three numbers that have shot effectiveness above the league average. The low effectiveness of shots in the three-figure area is a major factor in the low eFG% owned by Harden.
In the meantime, the low eFG% was successfully covered through free shots. This is a major factor in the efficiency of attack. Harden is ranked number one in terms of productivity figures through free shots with an average of 15.2 points from an average of 15.8 attempts. However, this strategy will not always be used.
When Harden can increase eFG%, at least the same as last season, and maintaining the efficiency of free shots will increase attack options and make Harden attack efficiency to the maximum. Harden’s performance is clearly needed for the Rockets to face the fierce competition in the Western Region. (put)