A worrying trend has emerged with the play of shooting guard James Harden, he is a rather lackadaisical defender and the Houston Rockets superstar has even admitted that his defence can be 'pretty bad'.
Superstar one end, half a star the other
Harden is a superstar in the NBA and one of the best offensive players in the league but his effort and ability on the defensive end of the court is in startling contrast to the way the 25-year-old can put up baskets.
You cannot actually be 100% certain that Harden is in fact a terrible defender or whether he is just lazy when guarding his man, too often the shooting guard will lose concentration and allow the player he is guarding to drift away from him and become completely free, which in the NBA certainly leads to points.
It becomes even more strange when Houston boast some of the most astute defenders in the league, Patrick Beverley is a bulldog at the point guard position as he relentlessly follows his opposite number whilst Dwight Howard at the centre position is a three-time Defensive player of the year.
Looking for improvement
Media day for the Rockets allowed reporters to ask Harden about area's of his game he could improve on as he looks to take another step towards enabling his franchise to compete for an NBA Championship.
It was no surprise that questions were centered around his defence, or lack of, and Harden admitted that at times it can be “pretty bad” and that he’s “not a really good defender,”
Harden competed for the US national team this summer at the FIBA world cup and his defence throughout the tournament was alarming, so much so that there is a three-part video circulating youtube that highlights his deficiency, entitled "James Harden, Defensive Juggernaut (2013-14)"
If you can sit through 11 minutes of poor defence, watch the video of Harden coasting through the defensive end of the court below.
The Rockets shooting guard may be tired of fielding questions about a flaw in his game and will be looking to improve that area in the upcoming NBA season.
Harden and the Rockets will be looking for a vast improvement and would like to see no more embarrassing efforts like the one you can see in this video.