In the NBA, no one can flop like LeBron, but Houston Rockets guard James Harden cannot be accused of not trying to emulate King James.
Harden took a hand across the face in the first quarter of game two of the Western Conference semifinal with Golden State, won 115 – 109 by the Warriors.
Harden was hit by the left hand of Draymond Green as Harden was going for a rebound his own miss. He remained prone on the floor for the entire possession by the Warriors, who took advantage of the man-advantage to get Kevin Durant an open look for a three-pointer, which Durant drained.
Put the entire Rockets’ team on Durant, for that matter, let the entire city of Houston try to defend him. Durant is going to make baskets under any circumstances.
The Rockets finally called a timeout to get medical attention for Harden. He went to the locker room, where he remained for the balance of the first quarter and the first 2:22 of the second quarter.
During that span, the Rockets actually reduced the nine-point gap at the time Harden was injured to five points.
The series now moves to Houston and if there was ever a team in need of home court, it is the Rockets.
Golden State shocked the NBA pundits by surrendering a game to the Los Angeles Clippers, but the necessity of playing an extra game against the eight seed seems to have sent the Warriors the signal that it is time to move the switch to “On.”
Harden reported that his vision was blurry, but when he returned to the game, he posted his best shooting percentage of the playoffs, so Green’s inadvertent slap may have aroused something in Harden.
Reports indicate that he will be okay, which is a relief to everyone, as this series without him is already enough of a climb without factoring in the steepness without him.