“James went on a historic run. Know why?” Paul said, speaking to Harden’s series of 32 successive 30-point performances, taking the Rockets out of 14 th spot to third at the Western Conference standings during this extend despite Paul and center Clint Capela missing extended time as a result of injuries. “Obviously I am thinking in regards to the MVP and whoever or whatnot, but those that pick it on head to head matches with a few games left in the summer, superior luck with this. Happened to me personally ’08.”
Paul said he meant no disrespect to Antetokounmpo, whose all-around excellence for its team with the NBA’s finest record was made the MVP race competitive despite Harden being amid one of the best offensive seasons in NBA history.
“I expect to see James play with a lot longer,” Paul explained. “You have got to recognize that me saying that doesn’t mean that Giannis hasn’t had an remarkable season and stuff like that. He has been great because of his team and all that, but I find what James does every night, too.”
The Bucks had triumph defending Harden by aggressively forcing him to drive directly and attempt to finish in traffic, playing exactly the exact scheme that they did at a Jan. 9 win in Houston, when he had 42 points and six assists but had been just 13-of-30 from the ground and committed nine turnovers.
Milwaukee guards Eric Bledsoe along with George Hill, the key defenders in the NBA’s top scorer, consistently placed themselves close to Harden’s left cool even if he did not have the ball in his own handson. They essentially invited him to drive to his straight, funneling him into the paint at which the presence of center Brook Lopez and Antetokounmpo forced Harden to usually settle for floaters.
Harden was 1-of-9 out of 3-point variety and also 4-of-5 from the freethrow — getting significantly fewer efforts compared to his averages of 13.3 and 11.0, respectively — but ignored the effect of the Bucks’ defensive scheme.
“None,” Harden said. “I still got my shots upward. I still was competitive. I still did what I was supposed to accomplish. Obviously, some shots did not go in like every other game, however, being a team we had our shots that people got. To night they did not go in. Should they go in, it’s really a different ballgame. Charge to themthey made shots.”
Harden often seen open spot-up shooters like a result of the Bucks’ competitive help , but the Rockets couldn’t make Milwaukee pay. Houston starters PJ Tucker along with Eric Gordon united to miss 12 of these 13 3-point efforts.
“If you are not making shots, they are going to stay on him” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said, speaking to Harden. “He had help from Eric or even PJ to knock down shots. I am not a huge believer in them quitting James. It’s that we stop James, and that’s about this. They did exactly what they are supposed to accomplish. I do not want to take away anything from them.”