James Harden didn’t take long to unleash his newest shot move.
As the Houston Rockets opened up the NBA preseason against the Shanghai Sharks on Monday night, the former NBA MVP unleashed his one-legged shot move — only to clank it badly off of the rim.
Thankfully, the Rockets were in the midst of a 69-point beatdown of the Chinese Basketball Association team.
The Rockets guard posted a triple-double stat line of 10 points, 11 rebounds and 17 assists during the 140-71 win over the Sharks.
James Harden: I Have Confidence in One-Legged Shot
Harden defended the use of his new one-legged shot, saying that he has the same confidence in his running, one-legged jump shot as he has in his step-back shot.
“It’s already natural,” Harden said of his one-legged shot, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “It’s a shot that I work on, just like the step-back. You make shots or miss shots, I have confidence to shoot them. I don’t need it. I can create shots and shoot shots whenever I want, obviously. But I try to do it in the flow of the offense, whether it’s a step-back or one-legged shot.”
The technique of the shot will drive basketball experts crazy. It’s a low-efficiency shot with very little probability of going in — especially when you’re attempting the shot from 24 feet out at the three-point arc.
Houston Chronicle writer Jonathan Feigen questioned why Harden would even use this in his arsenal.
“He took it off his off (left) leg, making it seem even more difficult to hone into a good option,” wrote Feigen. “But the greater question about the move that he apparently sought to add in the offseason is, why bother?”
Considering Harden has mastered the offensive game — he’s a triple-double machine who can score whenever he wants — it’s probably safe to assume that he’s looking to push some boundaries while challenging himself to master another shot in his offensive repertoire.
While the 30-year-old veteran hasn’t converted on this shot in an actual game yet, he did do so in practice back in August, as you can see in this clip below.
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James Harden: The Moves That I Do Are Not Travels
As great as Harden is, he’s obviously come under a lot of scrutiny since last season due to his apparent nature of “traveling.” While a lot of pundits and observers believe the shooting guard travels on his patented step-back jumper, referees and the NBA as a league itself has clarified this his step-back jumper is not traveling, according to Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni.
Even Harden has heard enough of the chatter — he wants to make it clear that his signature move is not traveling, via Salman Ali of ESPN 97.5.
“It shouldn’t have been a point (of discussion) period. The moves that I do and I create aren’t travels or the referees get paid a lot of money and are the best at what they do would call a travel.”
With the Rockets entering the season with championship expectations following the addition of superstar Russell Westbrook, don’t expect the topic of Harden’s traveling to go away anytime soon.
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