James Harden Says His Defense is Affected by Playing Too Many Minutes

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James Harden has been off to a slow start offensively, though that has picked up of late. He has also been featured on several occasions for some of his defensive efforts.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Harden attributes some of that to the amount of minutes he is spending on the floor. Harden has averaged a league high 39.7 minutes per game. He also led the league last year in total minutes played, with 2981 minutes in 81 games (36.8 minutes per game).

 

“Forty a night is pretty tough, especially if you want to get efficient on both ends of the floor,” Harden said. “We got to figure it out. We have to figure out how to give guys more minutes and be more effective on the court so as a team we can get better.” When asked if the workload was limiting his effectiveness defensively, Harden said, “Who do you know now who is playing 40 minutes at a high level on both ends of the floor nowadays? “Playing those minutes, you’re going to have some lapses, you’re going to have some mistakes,” Harden said. “I try not to worry about them. I try to give it my all on both ends of the floor and live with the results.”

Harden started this year 12 of 54 shooting in the season’s first 3 games, when he hadn’t been playing a lot of minutes. But, given that the alternatives are a Lil B curse or a Kardashian curse, we’ll go with the minutes causing the drop-off.