James Harden might be your choice for NBA MVP this season, but Thursday’s Game 6 performance against the San Antonio Spurs had little value.
The Houston Rockets star scored just 10 points in the elimination game, adding seven assists but turning the ball over six times. Harden was 2-of-9 from 3-point range and did not look himself, particularly in the first half.
Harden’s early turnovers were most perplexing, at times it seemed that he wasn’t really paying attention, or that his effort wasn’t being focused into strong, crisp moves.
He looked weird.
After some video review, two things really stuck out to me. First, that Harden made a lot of unforced errors on offense. Yes, Jonathon Simmons did an excellent job replacing Kawhi Leonard, who sat out Game 6 with an ankle injury but is expected to play in Game 1 against the Golden State Warriors.
But many of Harden’s turnovers came in odd ways. At least two were because either he or his teammate were not looking at each other. Others were half-hearted attempts. Even more were just poor decisions.
On offense, the Spurs kept Harden from getting to the free-throw line and from shooting the lights out from deep. That was a whole can of worms that needed to be popped open, so I did so in video breakdown form.
You can get the whole scoop by watching the full video breakdown above.