Dec 20, 2012, 12:41 PM EST
The losing continues. Your Philadelphia 76ers dropped another one last night, 125-103, at the hands of the Houston Rockets and it was never really close. That makes five losses in a row. Their defense is becoming more and more of a concern with each passing day.
Now, the above video of James Harden, who finished the night with a game-high 33 points, with a most impressive pass between the legs of a standing Spencer Hawes is probably more a really badass play from the Rocket as much as it is an awful play from the Sixers, but it’s worth admiring. And laughing about. And then crying about.
In somewhat related news, Truehoop posted today about the unique relationship Harden had with Doug Collins back in the day. Turns out Coach Collins had a big influence on the college-aged Harden back before he became a star. From NBA.com’s Fran Blineburry:
Collins was out of coaching back in those days, working as a TNT
commentator, when he became a frequent visitor to the Sun Devils’
workouts and the burr under the saddle of a certain guard who had all
the flashy trim of a fancy sports car, but might as well have been
sitting it up on milk crates.
“[Collins] taught me a lot,” Harden said. “He would mentor me. He
would tell me that I had to have a motor. I had to build a motor up to
be successful and have a chance to play in the NBA. My sophomore year,
the reason I came back [to college] was to learn and build my motor up.
He was the reason for that.
“I was nonchalant, just chill. That’s how I still am, but I have a
little motor in me now. That’s the difference. He saw me in my building
stage, when I was preparing for the NBA. So for him to have great
compliments about me, it means a lot to me.”
Collins says the next critical step in Harden’s development was
going to Oklahoma City and falling in with just the right trio of gym
rats in Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green, who never tired
of getting to practice early and staying late, who wouldn’t accept
anyone into their circle that wouldn’t play with the same fervor. Harden
worked tirelessly to improve his conditioning and he built up his
strength to the point where he might be as unstoppable an offensive
force as any player in the league.
“I don’t [usually] compare players by any stretch of the
imagination,” Collins said. “But when he’s coming down the floor with
the ball, he is very similar to LeBron James. When you combine size,
strength, speed — and he loves contact. He seeks contact on every
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