Despite making four straight All-Star teams and scoring at an elite level for a team that made the Western Conference Finals just 15 months ago, Harden is known as a player with effort issues and the sort of temperament that might not be suited to leading a contender. Luckily, this upcoming season offers a fresh opportunity for Harden and the Rockets to win over the hearts and minds of basketball fans. Dwight Howard is gone, free agents Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon are around to provide help, and Mike D’Antoni is in as head coach.
After announcing he will transfer to Marietta (GA) Wheeler from White Plains (N.Y.) Stepinac, Jordan Tucker has now cut his college list, too. The 6-foot-7 wing is down to Duke, Maryland, Syracuse, UConn, Indiana, Villanova, USC and Louisville, as reported by LoHud.com. Duke has yet to offer Tucker but he is planning to visit next week, the site reported. "I'm pretty much set with my final list," he said last month. "I haven't announced it yet because I'm waiting on a Duke offer, and then I'll announce after that."
James Harden‘s defense is not as bad as its reputation. Well, at least it wasn’t two seasons ago — his near MVP season he was in good enough shape that he could put in a respectable effort on that end and still handle his massive offensive load. There were still some mental lapses, but his focus was better and his improvement lifted the team defense. Last season, he regressed back to youtube “highlight” defense Harden — his conditioning was not where it needed to be, he didn’t expend as much effort on that end, and it showed. Harden got a massive contract extension this summer, and Dwight Howard is Atlanta’s problem — now Harden has to lead the Rockets. By example. Corey Brewer told ESPN you’re