Generally speaking, if you put up numbers 29 points, 7.5 assists, and 6.1 rebounds per game, you are going to make one of the All-NBA teams.
“I mean, there’s no answer for me. I don’t know. That’s something that I’ve been thinking about…
“But like I said, man, you know, it wasn’t a good year.”
Harden certainly put up numbers, and the Rockets did slip into the playoffs on the final night of the season, but the team was a disappointment from opening day — remember they started 0-3 and all the losses were by at least 20 points — and Harden was a big part of that.
He didn’t show up to training camp in shape and ready, he was inconsistent, and over the course of a full season the Rockets followed that lead. Also, while Harden scored a lot, his defense slid back into atrocious old habits. Harden had improved as a defender two seasons ago — not great, but better and playing within the team concept — but that went out the window this season. All of it got Kevin McHale fired (that and Harden didn’t like him), but the slow start wasn’t on the coach. The Rockets won 15 fewer games than the season before, and Harden needs to accept the blame for a lot of that.
Which is why he didn’t make the All-NBA Teams. He came close, but he finished behind guys such as Damian Lillard and Kyle Lowry in the voting for guards, in part because their teams exceeded expectations and the Rockets did the opposite.
Maybe next season under Mike D’Antoni — and with Dwight Howard playing elsewhere — things will change for Harden next season.