Special mention atop this column is deserved for Andre Iguodala, Nicolas Batum and Tony (SLJW) Allen, three of the league’s best man-on-man defenders who all had a chance to guard James Harden over the past week.
Not that Harden is a marked man or anything, but after going for 37 and 45 in his first two games — and earning the No. 1 ranking in last week’s edition of these rankings — the guy should strike a personal endorsement deal with Target.
To review, Harden shot 8-for-24 against Portland (loss), 5-for-15 against Denver (loss) and 4-for-18 against Allen and the Grizzlies (loss).
“I knew he was capable of getting that 30-something number,” said Allen, whose “SLJW” nickname up above is my creation, not his, although he is welcome to appropriate it. (The letters stand for Samuel L. Jackson’s Wallet. If you’ve seen “Pulp Fiction”, you’ll get it.) “He’s been coming out there with a vengeance. I just wanted to go out there and compete and not be one of those guys getting hit up for 30. I just took it as a challenge.”
Harden’s week was not a complete loss as he went for 20 points (but shot 6-for-14) in a win Saturday night over the Pistons. But it was the Pistons, ya know?
And Harden’s 3-point percentage is down to 22 percent. So he ties David H. Petraeus for biggest fall of the week.
That means we have a new man at the top this week, and he is no flash in the pan.
He is a guy who lost his Car (explanation after the jump).