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Harden, the better version of Steve Nash?

Published by David on 30th October - 15:16 (CET)
While watching the Lakers beat the Rockets in the season opener I thought - after first cursing due to losing my bet - Mike D'Antoni sucks and James Harden will forever be ringless! But I got dazzled by Harden's seventeen assists and started reminiscing about the Lakers vs Suns playoff series thinking that maybe D'Antoni is getting his mojo back now that he has a player who stats-wise is an MVP candidate. Or is he?

Most would agree that James Harden is a better scorer than Steve Nash was but in no way a better playmaker than Nashty, but I'm not sure I would argue the same thing if he ends up averaging 12.6 assists per game this year.

Let's do a comparison of the two great players to see if we should fear the beard or not.
Steve Nash, the guy who put Canada on the basketball map (not really, not even Nash could do that) is a two-time MVP and definitely a top 10 point guard of all time. Nash is a member of the hip 50-40-90 club (which is not a cool club in Berlin) and an eight time All-Star, but has never won an NBA championship which, according to all Persian moms, means you have failed.

Nash, who is currently the player development coach for Golden State (imagine what Curry will become) averaged 14 points and 8.5 assists during his 18 years in the league, and is definitely becoming a Hall of Famer but the questions remains; is Harden a better-scoring Nash?
The man with the beard, James Harden is a dream to have in your fantasy basketball league but apparently not as popular in the real world. Harden was drafted third overall in 2009 and has during his short career managed to get four All Star nods, made one trip to the NBA Finals in 2012 and earned the Sixth Man of The Year award that same year.

Despite averaging 27 points 6.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game as a Rocket entering his fifth season, as well as getting the Rockets to the Western Conference Finals in 2014-2015, he was not included in any All-NBA teams last year, which means that according to sportswriters and broadcasters in the US and Canada, he is not a top 15 player.

Harden is definitely an elite player - even being the players' choice for MVP in 2015 - and has a long career ahead of him, though he still has a lot to prove before being on the same level as Nash.
One thing is for sure, though, it will definitely be fun to watch and fear the beard this season!

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