Dwight Howard, aka "The Terminator," has a new nickname for Houston Rockets teammate James Harden. "The Beard" has been Harden's standard moniker since he began growing that facial stuffed animal in 2009, but in a new feature on Howard by Bleacher Report, he reveals his alternative nickname for Harden: "Step Daddy."
P.J. Tucker had no hope on that game-winning step-back jumper. At Complex Sports, we're 100 percent in favor of "Step Daddy." For a perimeter player, Harden has the deadliest offensive footwork in the NBA. Right now, there isn't another guard or forward out there who's sizing up, stepping back, and shooting the way Harden is, and has been all season. Per NBA.com, Harden takes the majority of his shots—43.2 percent—with his defender "tight" to him (2-4 feet away), and hits 44.9 percent of those shots. In tight spaces, he relies on those sick foot combinations to create space and get a clean look at the basket.
Howard says that Step Daddy and his smooth moves have inspired new goals. Harden, also known for his drives to the basket that rack up foul counts against opposing teams, has the dribbling and shooting ability—he's Step Daddy, if you've forgotten already—to live on the perimeter when he needs to. Howard, who wants to play to 40-years-old, sees value in having moves that can minimize the physical beatings that come with a life in the paint.
Bleacher Report's Jared Zwerling wrote, "[Harden] can help [Howard] extend his career by helping him avoid some of the pounding he traditionally has received in the paint. In other words, he's looking for more pick-and-rolls and lobs at the rim."
Harden is literally about to become Howard's Step Daddy. This is fantastic news for the Rockets.
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[via Bleacher Report]