Saturday night was not a good time for James Harden to audition for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player trophy. (Although has an uphill battle regardless due to the play of one LeBron James)
Harden was coming off a night Friday at the Portland Trail Blazers when he looked like an MVP. He was incredible with 35 solid minutes and 11-of-21 shooting from the floor, (4-of-9 in three-pointers) and 7-of-8 in free throws for 33 points. He also had seven rebounds and six assists.
The Rockets couldn’t lose and they didn’t, with a 116-98 victory over the Blazers.
But Saturday night against the Denver Nuggets, Harden, who seems like he’s always running with a full tank, apparently had it on empty this particular night. He struggled for 29 minutes and was only 2-of-10 from the floor, 0-of-3 in three-pointers and 10-of-10 in free throws for 14 points.
The free-throw shooting seems to be consistent for Harden. But occasionally, his shooting touch disappears for whatever reason. Fans are scratching their heads when they see Harden have a night like this. They’re so used to him being a dominant player.
The Nuggets couldn’t lose this night and they didn’t with a 132-114 trouncing of the Rockets, who decided not to play defense.
Harden usually doesn’t have off nights like this. Hopefully for the Rockets, it’s the last time he’ll have one. If he keeps playing like he did against the Blazers, the Rockets are going to have a lot of fun during the playoffs.