James Harden not concerned about historically bad shooting slump
The Houston Rockets have taken a 3-2 lead over the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, but James Harden may eventually have to hit another 3-pointer in order for them to win the series. Despite his brutal shooting slump from long range, Harden insists he is not concerned.
Houston was able to hold off the Warriors in Game 5 on Thursday despite Harden missing all 11 of the 3-pointers he attempted. The 0-for-11 performance matched the record worst night that former New York Knicks guard John Starks had in the 1994 NBA Finals. What do you think about that, James?
“Who cares?” Harden asked reporters when they mentioned his shooting struggles, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com.
It wasn’t just one bad game, either. Harden has missed his last 20 shots from 3-point range, which is the worst drought of his career. When asked if anything could be off mechanically with his shooting, Harden was very dismissive.
“Nothing,” he said. “I’m just missing shots. But we’re winning, and I’m trying to compete on the defensive end and do other things to help my team win. But if we’ve got a guy like Eric Gordon making shots and being aggressive, who cares?”
Harden tried to get going early in Game 5, but nothing wanted to fall. While he is now shooting just 24.5 percent from 3-point range in the series and 41.4 percent overall, he’s right that winning is all that matters in the playoffs.
If the Rockets can continue to play some of their best defense of the season, they have a real chance to upset the Warriors and get to the Finals. The fact that Houston has won the past two games despite Harden struggling is a good thing, though an injury to a key player may result in him having to do more in Game 6.