Why is James Harden bad for basketball

NBA News - C.J. McCollum praises James Harden: "Damn good at basketball"

After weeks of headlines off the field, James Harden drew attention to himself in terms of sport at the late start of the Houston Rockets season. In the defeat in Portland he showed a strong performance and received kudos from the opponent, even if he made the crucial mistake (here are the highlights of the game).

"I was just trying to make a quick decision. When I got into the zone, they did a good job blocking my path with their hands," said Harden, looking back on the last scene of the game as Robert Covington made his pass intercepted. "I'll watch the movie and get better."

Otherwise, the effects of the past days and weeks, characterized by trade demands, parties and a forced quarantine, were rarely noticeable to Harden. 44 points (12/22 FG) and 17 assists were noted behind his name at the end. He was also largely satisfied with his performance: "It was okay. Too many turnover, but apart from that it was pretty solid for the first game with over 40 minutes. The condition could have been a little better."

After the season opener against Thunder had to be canceled on Thursday night because Houston didn't have eight players after several corona cases, six players were missing against Portland, including John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Gordon and Ben McLemore. Another reason why the new Rockets coach Stephen Silas was "proud of the way the group fought under these circumstances".

Harden showed that despite the recent squabbles, he wants to continue giving everything for the Rockets. In addition to his usual elite scoring, he showed a good teamwork with center Christian Wood, who found seven of Harden's assists. Woods underpinned the advance praise on his debut and put on 31 points and 13 rebounds.

McCollum praises Harden: "Damn good at basketball"

But it wasn't enough for a win, because in the Blazers alongside a solid Damian Lillard (32 points) C.J. McCollum had a creamy day. Like Harden, the Guard got 44 points with an efficient shooting performance (17/30 FG, 9/16 threesome), including the decisive three in overtime with 6.9 seconds on the clock.

"He caught fire," said Harden of his opponent. He immediately returned the praise and realized, "He's pretty good. Regardless of what he does in his spare time, he's damn good at playing basketball."

The Rockets have the next chance of their first win of the season on Tuesday night against the Denver Nuggets, then again without cousins, Wall and Gordon. They have to be in quarantine until Wednesday. If the further tests turn out negative, the trio can then participate in team activities again and could be an option for the game against Sacramento on Thursday.