James Harden played 78 games last season, 72 the season before that (which was impacted by a strained hamstring), and either 81 or 82 games the three seasons before that. The former MVP does not take time off and has said before he wouldn’t do load management.
In the wake of the pointless discussion aroundKawhi Leonard sitting out half of a back-to-back Wednesday vs. Milwaukee, Harden was asked about rest and said exactly what you would expect him to say — he’s not doing it. Via Michael Shapiro of SI Now:
James Harden won’t be taking the Kawhi route anytime soon
No, I have not seen Harden take a load management game.
I have seen him fade and hit a wall deep in the playoffs, as the heavy load he was asked to carry too long finally caught up with him. The Rockets have suffered for it.
The hard-data science on the value of load management is not conclusive. However, teams have bought in. It’s not an accident the Spurs run seemed extended by it, that other elite players such as LeBron James — guys asked to take on heavy playoff loads — are better for being rested and healthy before the playoffs started, and that the Raptors’ load managing Kawhi Leonard last season played a role in his Finals MVP and the Raptors’ title.
Any rest is not going to happen this early in the season because the Rockets are still a work in progress in terms of chemistry and rotations. Houston needs Harden and Westbrook on the court (and more out of Clint Capela, but that’s another discussion). The Rockets are still finding their identity — and searching for their defense — this season.
However, as the calendar moves along and flips over to 2020, having Harden miss a handful of back-to-backs or other games could be beneficial in the long run. The Rockets see themselves as contenders, but to push the Los Angeles teams a lot of things need to come together in Houston — and they will need full MVP Harden deep into the playoffs.
Harden, however, wants no part of this load management talk.
Kawhi Leonard just destroyed Boston’s Daniel Theis on dunk
After the game, Leonard was asked about the dunk and he responded in about the most Kawhi way possible.
Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard goes full monotone to describe blow-by-blow his poster dunk on Daniel Theis and game-sealing block: “What do you want me to say? Patrick threw me the ball, I took two dribbles into the paint and tried to jump high and dunk the basketball.” pic.twitter.com/tKkwC7REmZ
DALLAS (AP) —Luka Doncic scored 33 of his 35 points in the first half and had yet another triple-double to help the Dallas Mavericks rout the short-handed Golden State Warriors 142-94 on Wednesday night.
Doncic fell a point short of matching Dirk Nowitzki’s team record set Nov. 3, 2009, against Utah. In just 17 minutes, Doncic was 10 for 11 from the floor, making 6 of 7 3-pointers, and hit 7 of 8 free throws.
The second-year star from Slovenia had 22 points, five assists and five rebounds in the first quarter alone. He played only 25 minutes total, but still managed 10 rebounds and 11 assists.
Doncic was coming off a 40-point triple-double Monday night against San Antonio, and has an NBA-best seven triple-doubles in 14 games this season.
The Mavericks never trailed and tied a franchise record with 22 3-pointers while sending Golden State to its worst loss since a 1973 playoff game.
The Warriors, who ended a seven-game losing streak by beating Memphis on Tuesday night, are an NBA-worst 3-13. Their five-year run of at the top of the NBA has collapsed under a weight of injuries, with Draymond Green out Wednesday because of right heel soreness.
With Green out, Golden State dressed only eight players, none of whom suited up for the team last season when it made the NBA Finals for the fifth consecutive year.
But Minnesota’s current NBA team – the Timberwolves – appear to be borrowing from that legacy.
The Timberwolves’ new alternate uniforms look awfully similar to the Minneapolis Lakers’ throwback:
Of course, the Timberwolves’ explanation contains no mention of the Minneapolis Lakers. The Timberwolves say the icy cool yet sky blue color … reflects the blue waters that are ubiquitous throughout the cities, namely the Mississippi River, which is outlined on the left side of the uniform.” It’s all about celebrating the Twin Cities – Minneapolis and St. Paul (MSP).
The best part: These alternates are officially branded as “City Edition” uniforms. The Timberwolves called theirs “Cities Edition.”