Rockets guard James Harden was a strong MVP candidate last season not only for his offensive output, but also because he did a pretty good job defensively. He even received some support in the All-Defensive Teams vote.
This year, Harden is off to a weak start offensively and flat out bad on the defensive end. Whereas opponents saw shooting percentages dip when Harden was the man in front in 2014-15, it’s the other way around this year.
Per NBA player tracking stats, Harden’s opponents are shooting way better than they should. As in 3.9 percent better.
Of course, videos making fun of Harden’s defensive lapses were going to surface. Here’s one from Saturday night’s Houston-Dallas game. You be the judge.