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Can Harden Top Bryant, Wade in 2012-13?
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On October 29, 2012 @ 5:10 pm In All,Headlines,NBA Headlines | No Comments
Many NBA fans know to go at least one level deeper when looking at stats, taking into account a player’s PER, or Player Efficiency Rating. Even there, however, Harden ranks just 30th in the NBA, and there are a lot of players who ranked above him who are not close to being max contract players. Nope, we have to keep digging.
Taking a look at each NBA players’ “True Shooting Percentage,” which takes into account field goals, free throws, and three-point shots, we start to find a little more value in Harden. Last season he ranked fourth in the NBA, trailing only Tyson Chandler, Steve Novak and Manu Ginobili with a .660 TSP. The next chart down is number of wins added, where Harden (10.0) ranks third among shooting guards behind Dwyane Wade (12.8) and Kobe Bryant (12.7). Now we’re starting to see where Houston starts to think perhaps Harden has a great deal more upside than he has shown in his first three seasons.
What does all of that mean? In a nutshell, Harden scored 66 percent of the time when he shot the ball last season, and he was in a reserve role in all but two of his games. The Rockets would like to project that out and see if he can score at a similar clip when he’s playing 10 more minutes and getting, perhaps, 10 more shots per game. In short, Houston hopes that the numbers hold and Harden rises to become the best shooting guard in the NBA this season, eclipsing Bryant and Wade.
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