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James Harden or Russell Westbrook?

James Harden or Russell Westbrook?

Note: Since certain stats weren’t around 5 yrs ago, I will compare the two based off the last 3 seasons.  Ever since the 2016-2017 NBA MVP race, the NBA community has been debating who the superior player was, both have great cases so it isn’t as easy to pick one as some may think it is.

OFFENSE

Scoring Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 25.4 ppg

9.5/21.1 = 44.9%

1.2/4.1 on 3s = 29.8%

5.3/7.1 on FTs = 73.7%

30.4 ppg

9/20.1 = 44.9%

3.7/ 10 on 3s = 37%

8.7/10 on FTs

2016-2017 31.6 ppg

10.2/24 = 42.5%

2.5/7.2 = 34.3%

8.8/10.4 = 84.5 %

29.1 ppg

8.3/18.9 = 44%

3.2/9.3 on 3s = 34.7%

9.2/10.9 on FTs

2015-2016 23.5 ppg

8.2/18.1 = 45.4%

1.3/ 4.3 = 29.6%

5.8/7.2 = 81.2%

29.0 ppg

8.7/19.7 = 43.9%

2.9/8.0 on 3s = 35.9%

8.8/10.2 on FTs = 86%

 

Midrange Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 211/530 = 39.8% 50/128 = 39.1%
2016-2017 216/595 = 36.3% 65/158 = 41.1%
2015-2016 144/336 = 42.9% 128/316 = 40.5%

 

Restricted Area Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 395/667 = 59.2% 281/450 = 62.4%
2016-2017 341/596 = 57.2% 275/420 = 65.5%
2015-2016 334/577 = 57.9% 277/456 = 60.7%

 

Catch and shoot Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 34/95 = 35.8%

26/76 on 3s = 34.2%

45/123 = 36.6%

44/120 on 3s = 36.7%

2016-2017 66/184 = 35.9%

54/155 on 3s = 34.8%

80/202 = 39.6%

77/195 on 3s = 39.5%

2015-2016 36/108 = 33.3%

32/96 on 3s = 33.3%

106/262 = 40.5%

104/251 on 3s = 41.4%

 

Pull up Jumpers Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 284/781 = 35.9%

63/225 on 3s = 28%

282/704 = 40.1%

213/549 on 3s = 38.8%

2016-2017 378/1006 = 37.6%

139/401 on 3s = 34.7%

269/740 = 36.4%

181/536 on 3s = 33.8%

2015-2016 243/643 = 37.8%

67/235 on 3s = 28.5%

281/731 = 38.4%

126/378 on 3s = 33.3%

 

Off Screen Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 25 points

9/20

45% FG

39 points

10/16

62.5% FG

2016-2017 50 points

18/39

46.2% FG

46 points

16/46

34.8% FG

2015-2016 21 points

9/18

50% FG

83 points

25/68

36.8% FG

 

Isolation Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 122/335 = 36.4%

7.5% tov frequency

38.8% score frequency

251/567 = 44.3%

4.7% tov frequency

51% score frequency

2016-2017 172/443 = 38.8%

6.0 TOV Frequency

41.5% score frequency

157/421 = 37.3=

10.3 tov frequency

41.1% score frequency

2015-2016 73/206 = 35.4%

11.8% tov frequency

35.4% score frequency

159/430 = 37%

10.2% tov frequency

41.5% score frequency

Thoughts: James Harden is the better scorer, he has that deadly step back, better shooter all around, he’s even better at finishing around the rim, Russ does have the edge in midrange Js and off screen points, but that’s it. Russ may score more points in a big game, but not efficiently.

Iso DEFENSE Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 46 points

15/45 = 33.3%

10.3% tov frequency

36.2% score frequency

91 points

35/96 = 36.5%

7.9% tov frequency

38.6% score frequency

2016-2017 51 points

20/47 = 42.6%

12.3% tov frequency

38.6% score frequency

86 points

25/67 = 37%

8.7% tov frequency

44.6% score frequency

2015-2016 49 points

20/51 = 39.2%

10% tov frequency

38.3% score frequency

78 points

28/87 = 32.2%

8.4% tov frequency

36.4% score frequency

 

Defensive efforts Russell Westbrook
2017-2018 265 deflections

174 loose balls recovered

281 contested shots

146 stls

104.4 DRTG

206 deflections

98 loose balls recovered

542 contested shots

126 steals

104.7 DRTG

2016-2017 231 deflections

113 loose balls recovered

296 contested shots

132 stls

104.6 DRTG

237 deflections

93 loose balls recovered

666 contested shots

121 steals

107.3 DRTG

Thoughts: Both get criticized for their lack of defense but when needed to get a key defensive stop, both are very capable of doing so. Russ is the better 1 on 1 defender, Harden does contest more shots but when Westbrook does hustle more on defense, it’s kinda close but I give Russ the edge.

 

Playmaking Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 10.3 apg

2.15 ast/tov ratio

33.2% usage rate

81 secondary assists

1586 potential asts

7492 touches

8.8 apg

2 ast/tov ratio

36.1% usage rate

56 secondary assists

1177 potential asts

6007 touches

2016-2017 10.4 apg

1.92 ast/tov ratio

40.8% usage rate

67 secondary assists

1810 potential asts

7679 touches

11.2 apg

1.95 ast/tov ratio

34.1% usage rate

66 secondary assists

1810 potential asts

7782 touches

2015-2016 10.4 apg

2.44 ast/tov ratio

31.3% usage rate

58 secondary assists

1561 potential asts

6927 touches

7.5 apg

1.64 ast/tov ratio

32.5% usage rate

58 secondary assists

1216 potential asts

6898 touches

Thoughts: Sure Westbrook is a point guard so he should be a better playmaker, however Harden basically has been one since 2013, both turn it over a lot but make it up with countless asts. It’s safe to say that as far as the numbers go and eye test, Westbrook is the better floor general. Sure Harden knows how to slow it down better, and is better at finding the open man, but Harden has better teammates shooting wise, in other words he has more snipers that are great at catch and shoot compared to some of Westbrook’s teammates.

Rebounding Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 10.1rpg

162 contested rebs

546 uncontested rebs

5.4 rpg

63 contested rebs

325   uncontested rebs

2016-2017 10.6 rpg

679 uncontested rebs

180 contested rebounds

8.1 rpg

500 uncontested rebs

154 contested rebounds

2015-2016 7.8 rpg

473 uncontested rebs

151 contested rebs

 

6.2 rpg

388 uncontested rebs

117 contested rebounds

Thoughts: Clearly Westbrook is the better rebounder even with a height disadvantage, both tend to stand there to get the reb and not defend their man, but that is because their team is better on the fastbreak when russ gets the reb as well as James. Once again Russ gets the edge.

Crunch time (last 2 mins game within 5) Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 94 points

34/83 = 41%

28 rebs

6 tovs

12 asts

50 points

13/37 = 35%

6 rebs

5 tovs

3 asts

2016-2017 136 points

42/101% 41%

25 rebs

8 asts

7 tovs

63 points

11/42 = 26%

17 rebs

10 asts

8 tovs

 

2015-2016 66 points

12/46 = 26%

22 rebs

13 asts

10 tovs

83 points

17/56

28 rebs 30%

20 asts

8 tovs

 

Thoughts: Clearly Westbrook is the better better in crunch time, outside 2016, Russ the past few years has been more efficient in big time moments. Even with a cold hand I trust Russ to take over a game than Harden eh2ose a deadly scorer……up until crunch time, no disrespect to James but he’s no closer, no shocker that Russ gets the edge.

Head to head stats Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 87 points

37/79 = 47%

17 rebs

28 asts

14 tovs

78 points

22/47 = 47%

17 rebs

34 asts

16 tovs

2016-2017 145 points

46/103 = 45%

36 rebs

37 asts

24 tovs

82 points

24/70 = 34%

29 rebs

49 asts

25 tovs

2015-2016 95 points

34/70 = 48%

43 rebs

49 asts

27 tovs

135 points

39/90 = 43%

23 rebs

35 asts

15 tovs

Thoughts: Sure HOU has beaten OKC more times (by 2) but that is a team stat and we’re looking at individual statistics something Russ has been superior at. Outscoring on a higher percentage and out rebounding James was no shocker as he is the better all around player.

Head to head playoffs Russell Westbrook James Harden
2016-2017 187   points (37.4ppg)

59/152 = 39%

58 rebs (11.6 rpg)

54 asts (10.8 apg)

30 tovs (6)

166 points (33.2ppg)

44/107= 41%

32 rebs (6.4 rpg)

35 asts (7 apg)

28 tovs (5.6)

Thoughts: Despite Harden having way more help, Russ who as you can see averaged a TRIPLE DUB which kept OKC close and 4/5 games were decided by single digits even though HOU was more stacked. Russ who was forced to chuck with limited help clear as day outplayed the MVP runner up all around.

Conclusion

Take it how you see it, numbers clearly point to Westbrook as he got the edge is just about every category, but if you think Harden is still the better player that’s fine.

Leave A Comment Who Do You Think Is Better??

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Best Conference Finals performances since 1984

Best Conference Finals performances since 1984

Note: As of May 12th

  1.    With the series split at 2 apiece against the 93 Sonics, Charles Barkley had a monster triple double of 43 15 and 10 on 16/22 shooting in 47 minutes. W
  2. Down 3-2 with Game 6 at Boston, the Miami Heat needed LeBron to have a perfect game, and he did just that. Scoring 45 points very efficiently, out rebounding KG and Pierce 15-12 and dished out 5 asts, the Heat were able to survive and force a Game 7. W
  3. With 1 win away from reaching the NBA Finals back to back, Hakeem Olajuwon not only locked up David Robinson, but had a great all around game of 39 points, collected 17 rebs, 3 asts and 5 blocks while shooting 64%. W
  4. Looking to steal Game 3 on the road, the 2003 NBA MVP Tim Duncan not only had 34 points, 24 rebounds, and 6 asts, but he also had 6 blocks as well. W
  5. With limited help offensively, LeBron James in Game 5 against the 07 Pistons took over and at one point scored 25 of the team’s last 29 points. He was super clutch and finished with 48 points, 9 rebs and 7 asts. W
  6. In Game 7 of the 93 Western Conference Finals against the Sonics, Charles Barkley was on another level of greatness, scoring 44 points, gobbled 24 rebs and shot 60% was enough to get the win. W
  7. With Game 1 at Cleveland against Dwight’s Orlando Magic, LeBron James carried the team by dropping 49 points, grabbed rebounds, dished out 8 asts but still took the 1 point loss. L
  8. Although he’s not known for scoring, Rajon Rondo in Game 2 of the 2012 ECF dropped a playoff career high in pts, grabbed 8 rebs and still assisted on 10 shots, not to mention he shot 16/24 shooting. L
  9. Looking to tie the series at two apiece, Russell Westbrook erupted against the Spurs in 2014. Scoring 40 points on 50% shooting, grabbed 5 rebounds, dished out 10 asts AND stole the ball 5x. W
  10. With Game 2 at Oracle Arena, the 2015 NBA MVP runner up James Harden was fantastic all around scoring 38 points, collected 10 rebs and still assisted on 9 shots. L

Honorable mention; Dirk’s 48 points on 12/15 shooting 2011 WCF.

Who did we leave out??

Reaction to the “Westbrook effect”

Do you have any idea how misleading that is? First of all, Harden was traded away from Kevin Durant as well. Dion, Ibaka, Reggie Jackson went away from KD as well, let’s not ignore that. Also, OBVIOUSLY 90% of them will have better stats on their new team since their usage rate, minutes played, and role changed. Let’s not forget Durant won MVP with Russ, was a top 2 player in the world and won  SCORING TITLES in OKC, so for anyone to think Westbrook held Durant back is misinformed or just a plain hater.  Oladipo went from a 2nd option to a future legend into a 1st option so his Ppg average should increase as well as his field goal attempts.

If we want to use the logic of this so called “effect” then the Chris Paul effect is a thing then. Eric Bledsoe nearly doubled his Ppg average his first season away from the Clippers, also JJ Redick is having a career year offensively on the first year away from Clippers (and Chris Paul). Darren Collison went from 11.1 Ppg to 16.4 Ppg once he left the Clippers. Reggie Evans as a Clipper averaged about 2 Ppg and 5 Rebs a game, on his first year away from the Clippers he averaged 4.5 Ppg and 11 Rebs per game. See how easy it is to make the “Point god” look bad when showing cherry picked info? Heck we can even point out Harrison Barnes went from 11.7 Ppg to 19.2 Ppg in his first season leaving Stephen Curry. Does that mean Curry makes role players like Barnes worse? No.

I’m not saying Westbrook can turn role players to elite players but to blame Russ for those players like Reggie Jackson not putting up the same stats they did elsewhere is what Stephen A Smith would as blasphemous.

russell-westbrook-mvp-thunder-okc

 

Top 10 NBA 2nd Round Performances since 1984

Top 10 NBA 2nd Round Performances since 1984.

Note: As of May 2nd, 2018.

  1. Down 3-2 at Seattle in 87, Hakeem Olajuwon tried his best to force a Game 7 scoring 49 pts, collecting 25 rebs and blocking 6 shots but was enough to win the close game. L ha
  2. Against the 1989 Knicks at home, Michael Jordan was otherworldly scoring 40 pts, outrebounded Ewing 15-9, had 9 asts and stole the ball 6x. All this contributed to a Bulls blowout win. Wmj
  3. Back in 85 looking to close out the Blazers in 5 at home Magic Johnson as usual did it all by dropping 34 points, grabbing 9 rebs and dished out 19 assists! Wmj2
  4. Looking to avoid a 3-1 deficit to the 2012 Pacers, LeBron James took over dropping 40 points, gobbled 18 rebs and 9 asts.LBJ2
  5. Being one loss away from being swept by the 87 Lakers, Sleepy Floyd of the Warriors scored 51 points on 69% shooting, assisted on 10 shots, stole the ball 4x and scored 29pts in one quarter a playoff record. WSF
  6. Trying to take a 3-0 lead vs ATL in 09, King James scored 47 points on 60% shooting , grabbed 12 rebounds, assisted on 8 shots. W2
  7. With Game 1 in LA against the 01 Kings, Shaquille O’Neal at no surprise dominated scoring 44 pts, gobbling 21 rebs and blocking 7 shots. WS0
  8. In 85 against Alex English Nuggets at home, Hakeem Olajuwon was phenomenal all around by dropping 38 points pulling down 16 rebs, stealing the ball 6x and blocking 5 shots, surely enough to win Game 1. W11
  9. Looking to complete the sweep in Sacramento, Kobe Bryant guaranteed that with his 48 points, 16 rebs on 52% shooting, outplaying his teammate Shaq. WKB
  10. With Game 3 at Toronto against the 01 Sixers, Vince Carter led the way by finishing the game with 50 points on 19/29 shooting, grabbed 6 rebounds and dished out 7 asts. With Iverson shooting 32%, TOR blew out Philly and won Game 3. W

    VC

What Are Some Memorable Playoff Performances You Think should Have Made The List??