Daryl Morey sticks up for James Harden’s defense, says YouTube video “unfair”
That video is something of an NBA YouTube legend: More than 11 minutes of James Harden’s painful defensive flubs. The thing is, it doesn’t cover all of them, and one could have added to the video with moments of Harden’s play with Team USA this summer at the World Cup.
Rockets GM Daryl Morey hates that video and told Sam Amick of the USA Today just that (hat tip Eye on Basketball).
Morey has a point… but only up to a point.
All the videos have led to the impression James Harden never plays defense, and that’s not true. He plays stretches of solid (not great, but solid) defense, but those never seem to last. It’s more a matter of focus and effort, he just doesn’t seem to care on that end.
Harden admitted to Amick he needs to focus more on his defense this season.
Harden has said that before this preseason. If the Rockets are going to take a step forward this season — win more than 54 games and get out of the first round of the playoffs — it’s going to take a defensively focused Harden.
Which is why nobody is really predicting that.