2013 NBA Playoffs: James Harden Carry Houston Rockets?

By Taylor Sturm
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Not many people believe that the Houston Rockets will be able to pull off the upset of the top seeded team in the Western Conference, the Oklahoma City Thunder, in the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs. However, if the Rockets are to put up a fight and win the series, it will depend on the play of James Harden.

Harden is one of the best players in the NBA at creating space for himself on the outside. He can fake the drive really well and pull up from three-point range and make the crucial shot. He is also extremely talented at driving into the paint. He has the ability to somehow find a way to the rim almost at will.

Unfortunately, Harden has a habit of taking bad shots from three-point range. Late in games, as he showed at the end of the season, he opted for taking the long three instead of driving in for the easy basket. He lost some of the final games of the season for Houston because of his poor decision-making. He is on the cusp of becoming an elite player capable of carrying the Rockets, but he has to realize that Houston plays better as a team.

Harden can carry the Rockets through the NBA Playoffs, but he needs help from the rest of the Rockets. Jeremy Lin and Omar Asik have to play to perfection every game; otherwise, the Rockets will not be able to overcome impossible odds and make it past the Thunder.

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