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James Harden Puts The League On Notice With Huge January

by Daniel Gerbick on Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

James Harden Houston Rockets

Despite a bad loss last night at home against the New Orleans Pelicans, Houston Rockets guard James Harden still recorded 37 points to become the fourth player in history with 600 points, 100 rebounds, and 100 assists in a calendar month.

With the feat, Harden puts the league on notice and joins a list comprised of Jerry West, Oscar Robertson, and Elgin Baylor, legends of the game all of them.

This season Harden’s numbers have been ridiculous as he’s scored 30 points in 24 consecutive games, an ongoing streak that is the fourth-best mark of all time (Wilt Chamberlain owns the top three and his longest streak is 65 games with 30-plus points).

In January Harden averaged 43.6 points per game, which stands as the most in a calendar month by any player other than Chamberlain. He also has 161 unassisted field goals, which is the most by any player in a calendar month over the last 20 seasons.

From three-point range, he’s also excelled in January as he’s amassed 53 stepback 3-point field goals, which is more than any other player this season.

This season no defense looks capable of stopping Harden. No one has been able to guard him and the only one capable of slowing him down seems to be himself when he’s having an off night, which in this season have been far and few between.

Although his assists numbers are down, he’s not too shabby in that regard as he usually hands between six and eight per game. However, considering that several of his teammates are and have been out with injuries (Chris Paul and Clint Capela among others) the decrease in assists is not surprising.

Even if he can’t get others involved as much, he continues to be a huge problem due to his scoring prowess and the outstanding numbers he’s posting. Unless other teams find a way to limit his touches with the basketball and work for every inch on the court no one will be able to slow him down.

Don’t count on that happening during the regular season though as it looks like this year no one has the answer. We’ll have to wait until the playoffs to see it the Warriors and Steve Kerr can come up with another scheme to neutralize him.

 

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