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Rockets coach Stephen Silas disagrees with criticism of Harden

Given the demand for off-season trading, which remains unfulfilled, Houston Rockets superstar James Harden is under the microscope of fans this season. In his last three games, Harden averaged just 17 points per game (28.0% with 3 points), well below the NBA’s three-time defensive goal scorer.

This has led many to wonder if Harden is fully committed to the team, including Hall of Famer Calvin Murphy in a “hot mic” on the TV show after the team’s team after Wednesday’s loss to Indiana.

But there are some mitigating circumstances. For starters, Harden came out of a sprained ankle, forcing him to miss last Saturday̵

7;s game. Secondly, it is quite plausible that he is just in a cold shooting, which is far from unprecedented. For example, in January 2020, Harden went through nine games in which he scored 24.8 points per game with 34.1% shooting and 23.1% of a range of 3 points. Harden’s shooting touch may have just been ruled out, possibly due to injury, and fans read it more than they would normally do based on off-season storylines.

One argument in favor of Harden’s commitment may be his high assists. In this rough section of January 2020, which also took place over a much longer period of nine games, Harden averaged just 5.7 assists. In his last three games, however, Harden has led the Rockets as a facilitator with 11.7 assists per game – including a high-scoring 13-dozen team in a 132-90 game on Friday (boxing score) over visiting Orlando Magic.

Asked after the game about various criticisms of Harden’s efforts, Houston head coach Stephen Silas said he did not agree.

“James’s level of effort was great,” Silas said after the game. “Do everything I needed to do.” I really don’t have an answer for anyone to say they don’t play hard because I don’t see it. “

“He played ball, out of it,” Silas continued. “He plays in defense. … I don’t see that from him or the band. “

There will come a time when the Rockets (3-4) need Harden to do more as a goal scorer, perhaps in the next two games on Sunday and Tuesday against LeBron James, Anthony Davis and defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers. But on Friday, the Rockets won with Harden mainly as a leader and mediator – and they are convinced that he is in the right place, mentally, for the team.

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