On Wednesday, James Harden will return to Houston for the second time in a Nets uniform since the Rockets changed him to Brooklyn ten months ago. It’s almost unbelievable why it hasn’t even had a full calendar year since trading. A lot has happened for both the Nets and the Rockets in that time period, and it looks like both fan bases have moved on. That’s life in the fast-paced NBA.
And that’s why this comeback feels different. Initially, Harden returned less than two months after being transferred to Brooklyn. The Rockets are on a heavy losing streak and the wound is still fresh for the fan base. It’s not like your typical star comeback though it went through normal rhythms like a tribute video.
This time, Houston is trying to secure a six-game winning streak, and the fan base has gone into rebuild mode. Most fans are not bitter about Harden’s exodus and have generally had time to reflect on his tenure. For some reason, we all try so hard to dismiss teams and players who can’t win championships. Suns fans cannot enjoy the ‘Seven Seconds or Less’ team without reliving the pain of ill-timed injuries and suspensions. Clippers fans can’t even enjoy the ‘Lob City’ team in the moment without hearing their playoff shortfalls.
Rocket fans have endured similar pain with the Harden teams. On the contrary, I actually view all three of those examples as hugely successful periods for those franchises. ‘Champion or bust’ is a malicious way of passing through fandom. It’s perfectly fine to enjoy the wins collected along the way because it’s hard to win them all.
And that’s the point of today’s exercise. We are visiting again Some of the best moments from the Harden-era Rockets as Rockets fans should be allowed to relive and enjoy them. Just as a disclaimer, this is not a ranking.
James Harden Rockets Moments
1. James Harden dunks on Draymond Green (Game 4 of the 2018 Western Conference Finals)
This says more about what this dunk stands for than the actual dunk itself. NS Houston Rockets 2017-18 are at the height of their power in the James Harden era. Harden played the best basketball of his career (winning the MVP title that season), and the Rockets as an organization have finally found a way to maximize his talent. Franchise also unafraid of their intention to take down the Warriors and won Harden’s first championship.
And they came pretty close. Every Rockets-Warriors match is a battle of words and especially this one where Houston won and drew with a score of 2-2. Sure, the pitch was great, but it represented everything about what they were as a team that season. The Rockets aren’t afraid to challenge the top dogs and see them as their biggest obstacle on their way to the championship.
2. James Harden makes Wesley Johnson an internet meme (February 28, 2018)
Keeping the theme of the 2017-18 season, this is the highlight that will forever appear first in James Harden’s editing career. Unless he has another crazy standout play on a bigger stage, this is too hard to come up with. In addition to being one of the greatest crosses in NBA history, this is Harden at the height of his power claiming he’s topped the league. And while that sounds like a crazy flashback look, right at the time it wasn’t.
From 2016 to 2018, he was probably the best player in basketball. There are no holes in his game. Frustratingly, he became a perfect scorer and passer, second in the NBA in points created. In terms of defence, he’s reached a point where he’s really average in most areas and is aggressive when it comes to the big men.
Harden’s vocals stopping to admire his work and licking his lips before filming are also hilarious.
3. James Harden beat the Warriors in Oakland at the buzzer (January 4, 2019)
James Harden went to Oracle Arena with Austin Rivers as his second best serveer and beat a team of powerful Warriors. It’s just a ridiculous sentence to type out. It was an inevitable match for the Rockets to win and no one expected them to do so because of injury. Houston is in the midst of an escalation of early-season unrest and this game is expected to be off schedule.
After leading 70-53 at halftime, Harden pulled Houston back into this game and crossed the finish line. He even played all five minutes of injury time and scored 11 points in that time. Harden finished the game with 44 points, 15 assists, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks and 1 steal. Most notably, he hit a crazy game of three wins in the two’s outstretched arms Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. It was a great effort from Harden.
4. James Harden wins a duel LeBron James and sped up his MVP campaign (March 1, 2015)
When Harden was in the middle of his third MVP campaign in 2017-18, I remember going around and asking people what was the special moment or match they started putting him in. the highest of the league. When I asked it, I already had an answer of my own, but was still curious to see what others had to say. It’s unbelievable how often this game comes up when it’s so little talked about these days. That’s also the game that I have in mind.
As someone in attendance, it really leaves an impression for a number of reasons. The first thing is obviously how good the game is: an after-hours horror movie packed with outstanding levels and physical confrontations. Second is the magnitude of the stage: the MVP race is heating up, the knockouts are coming, and the NFL season has ended a month before, which means a huge number of sports fans are watching. the first NBA season that year. It was also a ‘Sunday Showcase’ game on ABC, with two of the top three contenders for MVP going head to head.
It confirmed to me that Harden could be the best player on the championship team. He was already an All-Star at the time, but the 2014-15 season was really his debut party as a top talent in the league. The Toyota Center crowd was seen as a real MVP match, where both players legally fought each other. Harden reached the throat of the best player in basketball that night and the best.
The Rockets’ social media team also delivered their A game that night.
A new King James? The Rockets start their MVP campaign after yesterday’s win. pic.twitter.com/mIgLCy1gno
– NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) March 2, 2015
5. James Harden debut in Rockets uniform (October 31, 2012)
So I could have picked from a bunch of great Harden performances where he put in even better numbers than this. The 60-point triple triple he scored against the Magic and the 57-point triple triple he scored at Madison Square Garden are strong honorable mentions. This stands out because after years of mediocrity following the era of Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, the Rockets have finally got their star. After the blockbuster deal and contract extension, Harden had 37 points, 12 assists, 6 rebounds, 4 steals and 1 block in 14 of 25 shots from the field and 4/10 3-pointers and took Houston. to first place among many matches. win.
Doubts about his All-Star talent had surfaced before this match, but they quickly disappeared after that. The event kicked off one of the most memorable eight-year journeys in franchise history. It must make the list. There is no way around it.
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