James Harden is off to a phenomenal start this year with the Houston Rockets, and he is playing somewhat of a new role under head coach Mike D’Antoni. Averaging a whopping 12.7 assists per game, Harden has turned into a scoring point guard. How good has he been, exactly?
“Best point guard or best player?” Harden replied.
Harden was told he could answer either question.
“I am,” he said.
In other words, Harden believes the best player in the league is a point guard, and that point guard is himself.
Based on numbers alone, it’s hard to argue with Harden. His 12.7 assists per game is nearly three full assists higher than Russell Westbrook, who currently ranks second in the NBA with 9.9. And even with setting up his teammates that much, Harden has somehow managed to score 31.6 points per game — good for third-most in the league.
“I thrive on scoring the basketball and creating shots for my teammates,” Harden said. “I go into every game doing what it takes to win, whether it’s assists, whether it’s scoring, rebounding, whatever it is. [D’Antoni] puts a lot of trust in me, and my teammates do as well.”