James Harden knows a thing or two about basketball. He might even be changing the game. Harden’s game is unlike anyone else’s with his off-the-wall shots, dribbling the entire possession, and making points that shouldn’t be made. He’s maddening, but his game works. There are a few things coaches can learn from him.
If a coach wants a player to shoot more three-pointers, they also need to learn more about perimeter passing. Most of the NBA’s three-pointers are all about catching and shooting the ball. James Harden is so effective at creating assists. The only problem with this is that not all assisters are equal. Some lead to two points, and others lead to three points.
James Harden helps create the three-point superstar. He throws passes from the inside to make his teammates work harder on their footwork. Sure, the person with the most points gets all the glory, but the person that passes their teammate that ball should be praised as well. Harden teaches coaches that a shooter is only as good as the pass they receive to get the ball in the hole. He’s great at shooting, but he’s amazing at passing that ball.
Harden gets fouled at least seven times a game. So, he either gets to shoot, or he gets to inbound the ball. The opponent must adjust their lineup, and some of the guys even foul out. Harden makes coaches think twice about how many fouls a player can get a game. This person is probably aggressive as they go straight to the rim. He is good at getting there and great at getting fouled. Then, you get that easy free throw shot.
Harden’s game is a tough one to push, but he’s got skills. Transition three-pointers are a tough pill for some coaches to swallow. His step-back three-pointers and excessive dribbling aren’t great for some offenses. If you can find players that bring it together as he can, you can rule the court. If Harden is going to teach a coach something about his game, the best thing they can take away is that you don’t have to hit a million points to win. It’s about how you play the game.