There have been quite a few NBA stars off to a bad start this season, but none are getting the coverage as James Harden.
Many people thought that with the new rules changes, he’d be one of the main guys who would be affected, and by his start, those people might seem right.
Through 5 games of the season so far, Harden is averaging 16.6 ppg, which would be his lowest mark since coming off the bench in OKC. His free throws are way down also. He’s only taken 15 free throws so far.
He and the Nets head coach have said that he’s still getting fouled, but he’s been the poster child for the new rules. However, someone has put together a compilation video of him trying to bait refs into a foul call, and they aren’t giving it to him, which would suggest he isn’t getting fouled.
I personally think his slow start is a combination of the new rules and him trying to still recover from his injury last season. He looks like he’s a step slow. We’ll see if this trend continues for more than five games. Harden claims he is struggling this season because he didn’t get to play ball all summer because he was rehabbing from his hamstring injury and is still working himself into basketball shape.
This is likely true, but social media will get their jokes off regardless and have been blaming Harden for spending a lot of his summer with Lil Baby for a reason for his slow start. Kevin Durant already looks in playoff form while Kyrie is lighting sage and collecting checks in his condo.
It is very early in the season, so people should just relax. If Harden is still struggling after the all-star break, then you can worry. He just needs to adjust to how the refs are working him now and get into better shape.
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