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These analysts who watch the game professionally and all the time have an interesting conversation about how Harden does what he does plus other points.   Meanwhile Scottie Pippen, one of the all time great perimeter defenders acknowledged elsewhere that Harden is basically unguardable.   

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1 hour ago, DaveO said:

These analysts who watch the game professionally and all the time have an interesting conversation about how Harden does what he does plus other points.   Meanwhile Scottie Pippen, one of the all time great perimeter defenders acknowledged elsewhere that Harden is basically unguardable.   

Best one-on-one player in history?

You know who the most pissed-off person in the world is right now? Stephen Curry.

Think about it: Best-in-history Steph is now Best-for-a-couple-years Steph.

Do you think it's safe to say that "Harden has found his niche?"

To paraphrase Wilt Chamberlain talking to Michael Jordan: 'They changed the rules to help you; they changed the rules to stop me."

Paul's return will hurt Harden's production: Harden can't catch-and-shoot as well as he can dribble-and-shoot. When he's squared-up against a defender, and starts dribbling between his legs, he's just getting his rhythm and finding a chance to step back and launch a 3; a pass from Chris Paul will only hurt him, since he'll need to rotate towards the basket, and that will give defenders time to get in his face, and will also hurt Harden's straight-up shot.

The analysts in that article are wrong about Harden's "catch-and-shoot" 3s. They are. He won't be able to knock them down, having to rotate into them. The way to guard Harden is to stop him from dribbling when he's squared up to the basket (easier said than done). Muggsy Bogues is the defender you want against Harden.

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On 1/25/2019 at 8:59 PM, DonRocks said:

Best one-on-one player in history?

You know who the most pissed-off person in the world is right now? Stephen Curry.

Think about it: Best-in-history Steph is now Best-for-a-couple-years Steph.

Do you think it's safe to say that "Harden has found his niche?"

To paraphrase Wilt Chamberlain talking to Michael Jordan: 'They changed the rules to help you; they changed the rules to stop me."

Paul's return will hurt Harden's production: Harden can't catch-and-shoot as well as he can dribble-and-shoot. When he's squared-up against a defender, and starts dribbling between his legs, he's just getting his rhythm and finding a chance to step back and launch a 3; a pass from Chris Paul will only hurt him, since he'll need to rotate towards the basket, and that will give defenders time to get in his face, and will also hurt Harden's straight-up shot.

The analysts in that article are wrong about Harden's "catch-and-shoot" 3s. They are. He won't be able to knock them down, having to rotate into them. The way to guard Harden is to stop him from dribbling when he's squared up to the basket (easier said than done). Muggsy Bogues is the defender you want against Harden.

Hmmm.  Are you being facetious?

Muggsy Bogues might have been the quickest player on the court and from Clemson but overall he was a medium quality player with heavily skewed pros and cons.  Harden and any other player would keep his body between Bogues and the ball and take him down low and then shoot 80%  or better in short distance shots.

Regardless of defender the question of whether people could guard Harden with their hands on him as in the past or without touching him would make a big difference.

There is a piece on ESPN where Scottie Pippen and Paul Pierce demonstrate and speak about the Harden step back and how to defend it.  They dissected the play and discussed who might be capable of defending it suggesting Leonard,  Raptors Star.  I semi watched the ensuing Raptors/Rockets game(missing big portions). I didn’t see Leonard handcuff the Harden step back.  Pippen suggested Leonard’s wing span wasn’t as long as his own and couldn’t do it.  Pippin acknowledged he couldn’t either and pointed out without being able to put his hands on Harden it is that much harder.

The analysts pointed out that “Iggy” from the Warriors has the best defensive stats over time against Harden, but this is the year that Harden has exploded usage of the step back.

I’m going to get around to closely watching this phenomena (as befits a geek)

Hardens point explosion mostly coincides with the team having lost both Chris Paul and other scorers.  I’m sure as they return Harden’s shots will fall.  In the Raptors game Eric Gordon was shooting about as much as Harden.  

I have no idea about Harden as a catch and shoot 3 point shooter vs doing it on his own.  It was pointed out last season that with Paul, last season the Rockets played spontaneously as opposed to Paul on the Clippers where that team had many set plays.  Last season Paul obviously merged well with Harden and the rest of the Rockets.  

Btw:  I’ve been watching Ariza on the Wizards.   He is effective in so many ways.  His departure from the Rockets has to have been a very big loss.  They don’t have an equivalent forward/ wing player/shooter who defends.   Hence some more shots for Harden.  

Best one on one player ever??  Don’t recall ever discussing/ mulling it over.  There was a guy named Jordan who was pretty good and he had a clone named Kobe who was also snazzy.  In his prime that Wade guy could get by anyone, and today’s game Kyrie has a magical mystical handle.  That Curry guy— oi:  you have to cover him 30 feet out and then that sucker will figure out how to drive by you.  

Oh  I used to watch a guy nicknamed Earl the Pearl.  Since he didn’t know which way he was going to spin how could a defender??

I read somewhere Harden is the best “stopper” by measurement, meaning that he can stop on a dime better than anyone else.  That is and would be a killer skill for one on one.  

Oh and that Iverson dude:  If you researched the phrase “offensive quickness” in an encyclopedia his picture popped up.  

Mall I can say is that after watching the Pippen/ Pierce demonstration/conversation I’d suggest the league is fortunate that all things being equal it is fortunate Harden is not as accurate from 3 as is Curry.

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8 hours ago, DaveO said:

Hmmm.  Are you being facetious?

Muggsy Bogues might have been the quickest player on the court and from Clemson but overall he was a medium quality player with heavily skewed pros and cons.  Harden and any other player would keep his body between Bogues and the ball and take him down low and then shoot 80%  or better in short distance shots.

Regardless of defender the question of whether people could guard Harden with their hands on him as in the past or without touching him would make a big difference.

I'm actually serious about Bogues (who went to Wake Forest). I think he might be able to confound Harden on the dribble, making him worry about steals, with his extreme quickness and low center of gravity - like a rat, nipping at the guy's heels. It would at least be worth a try, since nothing else seems to help.

This is what I'm talking about, at least in theory:

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Two other rather obscure rarely mentioned players who might compete in the all-time one on one competition:

One fellow has been widely acclaimed as to his offensive skills by fellow players and those who have had to guard him...Carmelo Anthony.   Testimonial

Another obscure dude, Adrian Dantly, a homie no less.  

One thing about Dantly and Harden;  they both got or get a very high number of points from foul shots.  How would a one on one game be “officiated”?   Would there be foul shots?

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On 1/25/2019 at 8:59 PM, DonRocks said:

Best one-on-one player in history?

Hmm.  There are dozens of web articles and theoretical matchups covering both current and all Time players.  I had no idea.  Brackets with 64 contestants: breakdowns by bigs vs bigs and guards vs guards etc etc. There are references to what kind of rules; NBA or street or something in between.

Lot of folks have put a lot of thought into this- me none at all.  

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...and more on Harden:

 

Interesting story.  A short handed New Orleans team beat the Rockets:  Harden scored 37 but the defense against him was great.  Good videos on the defensive effort, including a block on the step back.  And, while not mentioned in the article, the enigmatic Jahlil Okafor, started for the short handed New Orleans team and scored beaucoup points.

Point of the story???   Harden scored 37 and the defensive effort against him was magnificent.  Sort  of amazing:   Story

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On 1/25/2019 at 8:59 PM, DonRocks said:

Best one-on-one player in history?

Paul's return will hurt Harden's production: Harden can't catch-and-shoot as well as he can dribble-and-shoot. When he's squared-up against a defender, and starts dribbling between his legs, he's just getting his rhythm and finding a chance to step back and launch a 3; a pass from Chris Paul will only hurt him, since he'll need to rotate towards the basket, and that will give defenders time to get in his face, and will also hurt Harden's straight-up shot.

The analysts in that article are wrong about Harden's "catch-and-shoot" 3s. They are. He won't be able to knock them down, having to rotate into them. 

I was doing more geeky detailed Harden research.  If you go to this detailed level of analysis and look at the Shooting Chart for Harden over his career, he started out mostly shooting “catch and shoot” type 3’s.  Overwhelmingly there was an assist for his threes.

Its when he moved to Houston and became the ball handler and the shooter that he changed into a player that creates his own 3 pointer.  This year he is at an extreme.   The change in this aspect of his game is remarkable 

I suspect he can easily catch and shoot:  it’s what he did before he became the do it all and all alone man

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