Bill Baptist / Getty Images
Yesterday evening, James Harden has attempted more free throws than six of the other teams that played: Celtics (20), Spurs (18), Timberwolves (23), Pelicans (21), Hawks (19), Magic (19), Harden (27).
His 10-game average is lower than his previous career record with 10.9 free throws per game.
You do not have to go far to find fans who are not thrilled with the time Harden spends shooting free throws, as a quick search for "James Harden Free Throws" in the Twitter search bar returns the answers of people who make their positions are pretty clear.
NBA Rosalyn Gold-Onwude, a journalist with TNT and NBATV, asked Harden about the subject on Wednesday and received the following answer:
I just asked James Harden what he says to people who are angry at having so much to do with the free thrower line. He said, very seriously: "Stop the fouling. It's simple. "#Rockets
He is not wrong. Yes, watching Harden drive and get stained again and again is not an aesthetic basketball, but a) he does not claim fouls, b) he does everything he can to help his team shorthanded Chris Paul win and (c) he plays according to the rules.
In addition, NBA teams are shooting an average of 1.6 additional free throws per game, year by year, according to Basketball reference. One of the NBA "Education Points"This off season can partly be at the origin of this rise, because" freedom of movement on the perimeter and the post office "was mentioned alongside other initiatives.
We should expect Harden to spend more time on the free throw line this year, if that 10-point stretch is an indication. The fans will simply have to accept this reality.