Harden has an offensive rating of 116 for his career and 117 last season, which are great but his defensive rating? 106 for last season and for his career as well. He has similar numbers this season as well, having an offensive rating of 115 and a defensive rating of 104. I understand his philosophy that he needs more energy for offense but one does not became a truly great player until he gives an effort on both ends of the court. In the game against the Lakers, in which they lost 99-98 on a game-winning 3 by Steve Blake, Harden played poor defensively and especially on this play. WARNING: May cause blindness from horrendous defense; proceed with caution!
(S/O to SB Nation for this GIF)
Umm… can you even call this defense? James Harden had a derp moment, a brain fart. That "defense" was so bad, it probably had Antoine freakin' Walker laughing. Steve Blake just ran passed him with a cut to the basket and he didn't even notice or attempt to get back into the play. The Lakers won by one-point right? Well, perhaps this basket could've been the deciding result.
It's not like James Harden can't play defense; he has the potential. He is a bulky 6'5" shooting-guard, weighing in at strong 220-lbs. Harden's physical stature suggests he's a good defensive player, although that's not the case of course.
James Harden needs to pick up his slack or soon, his teammates may become fed up of covering up on the defensive end for him. I do believe the Bearded One will improve on the defensive end soon because he will have an epiphany. Realizing that he can spend a little more energy on the defensive end and less on the offensive, with Jeremy Lin playing like a new man, Chandler Parsons improving and of course, Dwight Howard. As a James Harden fan, I have a goal for him to meet on the defensive end: finish with a defensive rating of 102 for the 2013-14 NBA Season. Will he be able to pull it off?
Comment below on whether or not you think James Harden can pull it off.