5 Reasons Why James Harden Doesn’t Belong on All-NBA First Team

5 Reasons Why James Harden Doesn't Belong on All-NBA First Team

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

James Harden's selection to the All-NBA first team surprised many. Although his offensive production was fantastic, the Rockets once again fell in the first round, in part due to Harden's lackadaisical defense. While he's certainly an All-NBA player, he isn't first team material.

5. The Attitude

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

5. The Attitude

james harden reacts houston rockets
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

James Harden doesn't exactly have a team-first attitude. In numerous interviews, he constantly preaches about the team playing better defense while never admitting the faults of his terrible defense. When he has a bad game, he ignores the media to escape the questioning. If this weak attitude is supposed to lead the team, I'd be worried for the Rockets.

4. Ball-Stopping Offense

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Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

4. Ball-Stopping Offense

james harden dribble drive houston rockets
Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

If you listen to postgame interviews, head coach Kevin McHale always mentions the "ball getting sticky". Of course, that's his subtle jab at Harden for not passing the ball around like the rest of the team. While Harden's isolation plays work to a point, the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs have shown team-ball is the way to go.

3. Better Players

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Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

3. Better Players

steph curry golden state warriors
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

When you look at the guards relegated to the second and third teams, you can't help but notice that some of them had better overall seasons than James Harden. The biggest omission would be Steph Curry, who was a much better distributor, shot a much better percentage and played slightly better defense. Other players worth mentioning are Tony Parker and Damian Lillard.

2. Playoff Performance

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Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

2. Playoff Performance

james harden houston rockets trailblazers
Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking in terms of raw offensive numbers, Harden had a fantastic season. But when the postseason came along, those numbers took a serious nosedive. Couple the low offensive production with the already terrible defense, and you've got a player who doesn't deserve to be a first-team All-NBA player.

1. Defense, Or Lack Thereof

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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

1. Defense, Or Lack Thereof

james harden defending blake griffin
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Basketball is a two-way sport. James Harden is a one-way player. By selecting Harden into the first team, the media has essentially admitted to not caring about the defense played. Harden's defense allowed Corey Brewer, James Anderson and Luke Babbit to have career nights against him. Yes, you read that right. Luke. Babbit.

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  • TradeLintoLakers

    So true and yet so sad… and McHale is NOT the coach to change it.. its over his head.