We can now safely say that James Harden has come back down to earth, missing two-thirds of his shots in each of the Houston Rockets’ last two games. He still is the only player in the NBA averaging more than 30 points (30.3), and he is shooting just a shade under 50 percent (.494) — although his 3-point accuracy is a mere 28 percent.
He was certainly the buzz player over the first couple days of the season, even earning a spot at No. 1 in the debut of the SheridanHoops weekly MVP rankings after scoring 37 and 45 points in his first two outings for the Houston Rockets.
But how about now we take a closer look at the other major player who changed teams in that trade — Oklahoma City’s Kevin Martin.
Martin has stepped into the Sixth Man role formerly filled by Harden, and he is averaging 19.3 points in the Thunder’s first four games while shooting an astounding 62 percent from 3-point range. He nailed six 3-pointers and scored 28 points in Oklahoma City’s recent loss to Atlanta, but curiously did not attempt a single shot over the final 4:06. Ride the hot hand? Nah!
Martin is tied for 15th leaguewide in scoring and stands second in 3-point accuracy among high-volume 3-point shooters, trailing only Dallas’ O.J. Mayo (21-for-33, .636).
And so while many were quick to judge the trade a victory for Houston, it’s a little early, ya know?
I discussed that topic along with Mike Brown’s tenuous hold on the Lakers’ head coaching position in this video report with CineSport’s Noah Coslov.