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Harden firing Rockets to new heights

2016-10-10 07:32

By (China Daily)

Harden firing Rockets to new heights

Houston Rockets' James Harden and New Orleans Pelicans in action, Oct 9, 2016. [Photo/VCG]

Despite changes to its roster, the Rockets have so far made serene progress through the preseason, and they are looking to make it three wins from three as they go into Sunday's match against the New Orleans Pelicans at the sold-out Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai.

The two teams will square off again at the Le Sports Center in Beijing on Wednesday.

Harden believes tight teamwork holds the key to victory in both games. "We just have to play together, communicate, be on the string defensively, protect the rebound, and offensively to share the ball," he said.

Since being traded to the Rockets from the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012, Harden has overcome the perception that he is nothing more than a prolific scorer by leading Houston to the playoffs for four consecutive seasons and being selected into the All-NBA First Team twice, in 2014 and 2015.

However, it seemed that even his best efforts to keep the Rockets among the NBA's leading contenders after the era of Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady had failed to relieve him of the "incompetent leader" tag foisted on him by the media after a five-minute video clip of his worst defensive performances went viral online during the 2012-13 season.

While he has never been what you would call animated in front of the media, the 27-year-old has nonetheless been proving doubters wrong with his eye-catching performances.