Defending the James Harden Pick-And-Roll

How Harden got going via the pick-and-roll

May 3, 2023

As we saw in yesterday’s newsletter, James Harden had himself a night during the Boston Celtics’ loss against the Philadelphia 76ers in game one of the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

Harden might not be the scoring machine that he was during his prime, but he is still among the best guards in the league and is a dangerous proposition when running the pick-and-roll — regardless of whether Joel Embiid is his screener.

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As such, I thought it would be fun to look at Harden’s pick-and-roll possessions against the Celtics, focusing on how Boston defended them and why he found so much success. It was also interesting to see what type of pick-and-roll actions the Sixers utilized the most and how that created scoring opportunities for Harden to attack.

Also, as a reminder, these posts will eventually be part of paid subscriptions and will be a core feature of the newsletter, but that is still a while away :) Let me know if you enjoyed this breakdown, and let’s get ready for game 2 tonight!

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