James Harden has been putting up numbers for a while now. Last season his 29 points, 7.5 assists and 6.1 rebounds were outstanding but the Houston Rockets 41-41 record put a damper on his success. This year Mike D’Antoni has made Houston’s offense one of the most potent in the league and Harden is the prime beneficiary. At 26-9, the Rockets are rolling as a team also.
Like a pitcher that’s capable of throwing a no-hitter every time out, Harden is one of those guys who’s capable of getting a triple double every time he steps on the court.
He had already made his mark in Rockets history when it comes to triple-doubles.
Hakeem Olajuwon is only one of four NBA players to record as quadruple-double so his place in Rockets and NBA history is definitely secure.
Harden made some triple-double NBA history of his own in Houston’s 129-122 victory over the New York Knicks.
Yes, a shooting guard just had a 50-15-15 game. That is insane. Hitting the minimum 10-10-10 in any three categories is difficult enough as it is, but 50-15-15!? Give the Knicks credit, they kept the game relatively close in spite of Harden’s onslaught and the absence of their star big man Kristaps Porzingas.
All of this is very impressive but we can’t forget what the legends did back in the day. Oscar Robertson averaged a triple-double for a season. Wilt Chamberlain retired just before they started keeping blocked shots as an official stat in the 1973-74 season. Wilt had 118 50-point games and 32 60-point games in his career. He averaged 15 rebounds in every season of his career (his lowest total was 18.4 boards a game in 1969-70). It’s safe to say that he probably would have had a 50-15-15 game or two if blocked shots had been a stat.
I didn’t say that to diminish what James Harden, Russell Westbrook or any of today’s players are doing. I’m just trying to give some love to both generations.
Every time we check a box score it seems like someone is on triple-double alert. Contrary to what these guys would have us think, getting triple-doubles is hard in any era. Russell Westbrook has gotten triple-doubles in the first halves of games and is flirting with averaging a triple dub for a season. When he got ejected the other day versus the Memphis Grizzlies his Oklahoma City Thunder were powerless to get much of anything done without him.
James Harden just surpassed the iconic Olajuwon as the Rockets triple-double leader and just achieved a 50-15-15 game.
The MVP race is going to be fun to watch.
These guys are guards and they are bringing it in all facets of the game on a nightly basis.
James Harden started training camp talking about how he was on a mission and how much better things would be in Houston this season. He wasn’t lying. He’s backed it all up and then some, just sit back and enjoy the show.