Houston Rockets: 2018-19 player grades for James Harden

Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images
Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images /
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Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images /


Despite being highly regarded as one of the most dominant offensive forces in all of basketball, Harden still showed he still has a long way to go when it comes to taking proper care of the most precious object on the floor in game time action.

Harden — who committed a league-record 464 turnovers during the 2016-17 regular season — led the league in turnovers for the fourth time in his last seven seasons, after coughing up the rock a total of 387 times. This included over four times per game in the midst of Houston’s recent postseason run, as the NBA’s reigning scoring champ committed several unforced errors throughout the course of the playoffs that would prove to be costly at the most auspicious time.

In spite of coming up big to score 12 of Houston’s final 14 points in Game 6 of the 2019 Western Conference Semifinals, Harden’s miscues with the ball would fail to help the Rockets, as The Beard committed four of his game-high six turnovers late in the fourth quarter of a 118-113 loss against the Golden State Warriors.

Although one could easily argue that Harden’s high rate of turnovers should be accredited to the rigorous workload he is called upon to carry on a night-to-night basis, finding a way to cut down his number of turnovers — and avoid forcing risky passes into the teeth of the defense — could play a factor in whether or not the former assists leader is able to get over the hump in future playoff runs.