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SportNBA playoffs 2019: Ricky Rubio says 'crazy' good James Harden takes unorthodox D

17:50  15 april  2019
17:50  15 april  2019 Source:   sportingnews.com

James Harden: Rockets aren't thinking about potential playoff opponents

James Harden: Rockets aren't thinking about potential playoff opponents Finishing the regular NBA season strong is the Houston Rockets' focus rather than future playoff opponents, says James Harden.

James Harden puts Ricky Rubio on skates, then buries the step-back 3-pointer. About the NBA : The NBA is the premier professional basketball league in the

Ricky Rubio is a good defender. Rubio then guessed that Harden was going to drive, so he turned his hips. When Harden pulled back, the Timberwolves PG had already sent his right leg in front of him, and by the time he turned around it was too late.

NBA playoffs 2019: Ricky Rubio says 'crazy' good James Harden takes unorthodox D © Provided by Perform Media Channels Limited

Ricky Rubio explained that the Jazz were desperate to stop James Harden's trademark step-back 3s after he guarded the Rockets star from behind.

Harden is in the running for a second consecutive NBA MVP award after another stunning season in which he averaged 36.1 points per game.

Each new opponent has sought a way to contain Harden and the Jazz were no different in Game 1 of their playoff series, with Rubio's bizarre approach allowing the Rockets guard to move past him before attempting to block from behind.

But Houston ran out 122-90 winners, with Harden putting up 29 points and making four shots from beyond the arc.

NBA playoffs 2019: Mike D’Antoni confident Rockets can give Warriors 'a run'

NBA playoffs 2019: Mike D’Antoni confident Rockets can give Warriors 'a run' “They’re the best team,” D’Antoni told The Athletic. “They’re the champs right now. They’ve proven it, and they’ve got nothing to prove.” D’Antoni said he hasn’t seen much of the Warriors since they re-signed center Andrew Bogut last month. “They are different, much different,” D’Antoni said. “They’re even different with (Bogut). And you know they’re going to turn it on, but we just — we like what we’ve got.” Houston opened the season with an 11-14 record. D’Antoni, however, said the team never lost confidence in itself. “We never lost faith,” D’Antoni said. “The players never lost faith.

Given that James has been to the NBA Finals seven straight times, this is understandable. I would like to take a moment, though, to focus on Indiana, a team that won 48 games in the regular season and finished with a better net rating than Cleveland. 13. The Wizards and Bucks will drive you crazy .

Ricky Rubio - Career stats, game logs, biographical info, awards, and achievements for the NBA and European leagues. Player Injury. Out (Left Quad Contusion) - Rubio has been ruled OUT for Wednesday's (April 10) game. (Updated Apr.10, 2019 ).

Rubio explained: "We shaded him right because on the left he's got the step-back and it's a 3 every time, no matter who is on him. He is one of the best in the league at doing it.

"I think this year he had more 3s than Steph Curry just doing step-backs. That's crazy — you're talking about Steph Curry, one of the best on the league, if not the best.

"So we would rather him take 20 or 30 shots and him score 20 points than just have the 3s."

Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni was not convinced, though, as he insists there is no stopping Harden.

"He can have a bad game and they'll attribute it to something. Sometimes humans have bad games," he said. "But you're not stopping him, I don't care what you do."

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Derrick Favors caused the Rockets problems in Game 4 and James Harden vowed his team would improve.

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