James Harden's style of play isn't for everyone. He plays iso ball, sometimes dribbling through his legs a million times before attacking. When he does go to the rim, he is a bit of an actor; he embellishes to draw fouls. The old saying is, "You reach, I teach." Harden's style of play is more, "You reach, I make sure your arm ends up between my arms and I get a whistle."
I don't say that to be critical—the man is going to win MVP with good reason. In fact, the way he draws fouls is downright impressive.
Steph Curry seems to admire Harden's ability to get to the charity stripe. With their highly anticipated Western Conference Finals showdown commencing Monday night, Curry said Harden has turned drawing fouls into an "art."
Steph Curry on the difficulty of guarding James Harden without fouling: "Can't reach. Whether it's a foul or not, he makes it look like a foul. There's an art to that."— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 14, 2018
Not all of Harden's opponents like the way he plays. It's frustrating to go against someone like him—to play great D only to get called for a foul because your opponent is so adept at embellishing contact. After a Game 4 loss in the second round, Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell berated Harden for his style of play.
Harden's squad will likely look to iso the MVP favorite against Curry, the weakest defender in Golden State's guard rotation. Curry, who has improved on that end of the floor, seems amped for the challenge.
Steph Curry knows the Rockets are going to drag him into switches to isolate him defensively guarding Harden/Paul. He understands the strategy. "I hope it's every single play." pic.twitter.com/0nJ9YhM9p4— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 11, 2018
Warriors-Rockets Game 1 takes place Monday at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN. Can't wait.