December 23, 2012

James Harden Continues to Impress

By - Lauren Dundee

Houston has been overrun.

James Harden, the 6'5 guard out of Arizona State, has completely taken the city by storm. And after a 31-point performance in Saturday's game versus the Memphis Grizzlies, "The Beard" has established himself as one of the best players in the NBA.

Photo by: Scott Halleran
In averaging 25 points and 4 rebounds per game, Harden has made the Rockets relevant again, also.

A visit to the Toyota Center on game night shows the love the city has for Harden. Faux beards adorn the faces of fans -- men, women, and children alike. T-shirts with beard-related slogans like "Fear the Beard" fill the arena.

Simply put, Rocket fans adore Harden, and he puts on a fantastic show every night in return.

It started with a bang in November, during Harden's debut versus the Detroit Pistons. He finished his first game with 37 points, 12 assists, and 6 rebounds.

Not too shabby.

But Harden had an even better performance the following game against the Atlanta Hawks, scoring a career-high 45 points.

After that, fans knew this was going to be a fun year.

Since joining the Rockets, Harden has only had one game where he scored under 15 points and only 5 where he has scored under 20. With numbers like that, he's basically a lock for the All-Star Game.

Along with starters Jeremy Lin and Chandler Parsons, Harden makes the Rockets a strong playoff contender, and a win over the Chicago Bulls on Christmas Day would go a long way in showing the rest of the league just how dangerous this Houston team can really be.

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