Mike D’Antoni passionately defends James Harden for scoring streak
A normally mild-mannered Mike D’Antoni was fired up when defending star James Harden against criticism Harden has received during his historic streak.
Harden went into the NBA’s All-Star break having scored at least 30 points in 31 consecutive games. He looked to continue the streak in the Houston Rockets’ game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.
Leading up to the game, D’Antoni went on a bit of rant and passionately defended Harden when he was asked to comment about Harden’s critics.
Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni is as cool as they come, but he got pretty fired up when asked about criticism of James Harden stemming from his streak of 31 straight 30-point games. D’Antoni’s rant: pic.twitter.com/w9B2AEqsNB
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) February 22, 2019
The Rockets have been ravaged by injuries. Chris Paul and Clint Capela, Houston’s two best players besides Harden, have both missed extensive time during the streak. That resulted in Harden shouldering more of the scoring load than usual.
Harden angers some with his mastery of drawing fouls. Others don’t like his isolation-heavy offensive style of play. D’Antoni and the Rockets have needed every bit of James Harden’s skills to stay in the hunt for home court advantage during the playoffs. The scoring efforts may even earn Harden a second MVP Award, despite what his detractors say.