Mike D’Antoni: James Harden ‘Still the Same, Maybe Better’

by March 21, 2019

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni said the best offensive player he’s ever seen is James Harden.

Twelve months later, D’Antoni stands by his statement, and says Harden may be even better if anything.

The reigning MVP scored 57 points in Wednesday night’s 126-125 overtime road loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Per The Houston Chronicle:

A year later, he said, “I haven’t changed my mind. Still the same, maybe better.

“His stepback’s better. He just went on a two-month tear (averaging more than 40 points per game.) It’s incredible what he’s doing. He’s scored 30 points against every team in the NBA. Probably should look at it real close. He might have got it against most teams twice. He’s incredible.”

Harden went into Wednesday’s game averaging 44 points in his first three meetings with the Grizzlies.

“There’s nothing he can’t do on the offensive end of the floor,” Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff, who was an assistant coach and an interim head coach with the Rockets, said. “There’s no direction he can’t go and be effective. There’s no pass he can’t make and there’s no shot he can’t make. He’s got athleticism. He’s got size. He’s got strength.

“I can go on and on and on about him. And he’s got the confidence and belief and will that he can do it all. When you get a guy that has that skillset and has that belief, they’re hard to guard, they’re hard to dictate into what you really want them to do. If you were allowed to be physical with guys you’d have a shot, but the rules in place the way they are, defenses are at a disadvantage from the start.”

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