Up until Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, James Harden has always bucked expectation even when sitting in a slump. The bearded MVP Runner Up has had an up and down playoff run but he has always gone big when the moment needed him, such as his huge close out performance over the Los Angeles Clippers. So many people expected James Harden to once more play superhero in the close out game of the Golden State Warriors series. Sadly, that didn’t happen and Harden proved why he isn’t the man quite yet. Harden went 2 – 11 from the floor and shrinked when things mattered most.
With their season on the line and a chance to get to the NBA Finals rapidly floating away, James Harden tried to do what he did best: take over the game. Yet nothing was quite working and it seemed almost like Harden was playing in a waking nightmare, where your legs can’t quite run and your arms can’t quite swing. After dropping 45 points in a huge Game 4, Harden only managed to score 14 points with a disastrous, and Playoff high, 13 turnovers by HIMSELF.
Analyst Ivan Ong breaks down the game: Harden was pretty much the only Rocket to come up miniscule in this game. Dwight Howard put up another intense performance, gutting out his injury. Jason Terry, in his mid-30s, even dropped 16 points on the game. It was James Harden, the superstar, that couldn’t make things happen.