Back in 2016, CJ McCollum named James Harden as one of his “Elite Guards”. While lauding The Beard, the Portland swingman even broke down his game from the 2016 season.
James Harden is one of the most dynamic scorers the league has ever witnessed. Ever since Harden split ways with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant from the Oklahoma City Thunder, The Beard has seen a huge jump in his offensive abilities. And since then, James has only been improving and refining his superstar-level game year after year.
There is virtually no player in the history of the league who has been able to master the deadly step-back move as perfectly as James Harden. And with the combination of his smooth handles, accurate shooting and strong finishing at the rim, the Brooklyn Nets superstar has racked himself a pretty decorated resume.
Over the course of his 12-year career, the 6-foot-5 sharpshooter has appeared in 9 All-Star Games, being selected for 7 All-NBA teams, won three scoring titles and was even awarded the prestigious MVP trophy after a stellar 2017-2018 campaign. Oh and he achieved this all while averaging 25.1 points, 6.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game on 44/36/86 shooting splits.
“James Harden is a guy who uses his body extremely well”: CJ McCollum
The Beard is a prolific and creative offensive maestro. Over the course of his career, Harden has seen various types of defensive plans to stop him. Some players even tried locking down James by literally playing standing behind him… when he had the ball with him.
Portland swingman CJ McCollum is one of the many defenders who has tried, and failed, stopping Harden from going on a scoring rampage. Back in 2016, McCollum named the 2018 MVP as one of the “Elite Guards” in his “The Players’ Tribune” article. CJ gave some huge praises to the 6-foot-5 guard while breaking down his game.
“James is always going left. I think I’ve seen him do one right-handed layup in three years. If he goes right, he’s coming back to the left hand. He’s a guy who uses his body extremely well. A deadly iso player whose arguably the best two guard in the league in pick-and-rolls. James has mastered the through-the-legs step back. If you look at the highlights, he’s made a couple guys buckle with it. Harden throws his body around a lot and is a master at drawing fouls. It could be considered borderline flopping sometimes, but he’s a vet who knows how to get to the line.
Let’s zoom in! Watch how smoothly he goes between the legs.”