James Harden continued his reign of domination with a 44-point, 10-rebound, 15-assist performance that he capped off by drilling a 29-foot game winner over two defenders, has some in the Rockets organization thinking of Harden's greatness in a bigger context.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey told ESPN:
"To be able to say that with a straight face, and not have it be GM speak or coachspeak, is pretty amazing. There's a whole bunch of ways to measure it, but he's for sure in the conversation as the greatest offensive player ever."
Harden, who is leading the NBA with a career-high 33.6 points per game, is unquestionably in the midst of one of the most spectacular offensive stretches in recent NBA history. He has scored at least 40 points in five consecutive games, joining Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson as the only players to have such streaks in the past 50 years.
"He's at a level that almost nobody in NBA history has been at," Morey said. "We're obviously focused on April and beyond, but it's special to watch right now."
The Rockets have soared from 14th to fourth place in the Western Conference standings by winning 11 of their past 12 games despite co-star Chris Paul missing the past six games (all victories) because of a strained hamstring. Harden has averaged 40.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 9.0 assists during Houston's 11-1 hot streak.
Did anyone see Harden's performance in the playoffs two years ago? He didn't show up when it counted.
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