James Harden Compares Rockets Glory with Clippers Stint After Breaching Celtics Fort With Kawhi Leonard and Co: “More Talented…”

Published 01/27/2024, 11:08 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

After a promising start to the season, the Los Angeles Clippers hit a roadblock in November. The induction of James Harden into the squad brought about changes that led to a losing streak. However, months later, the Clippers have found their stride. Whether facing younger teams or those with better records, they have successfully integrated their talents and consistently emerged victorious. This has positioned them as one of the potential contenders for the championship.

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As their surge continues, a reporter intriguingly placed James Harden in a unique position concerning the team’s potential. Steering the conversation away from the Clippers’ advantages, Shane Young asked Harden if he believes that the present-day Clippers squad has a defensive ceiling similar to or better than his 2018 Houston Rockets team.

Harden, after a spontaneous “oh, yeah,” took a moment to ponder and change the narrative. He asserted that the Clippers undoubtedly have the upper hand offensively, stating, “This team has more talent, offensively.” Moreover, Harden emphasized that the squad boasts more experience compared to his Rockets roster.

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While James Harden didn’t provide a definitive opinion, he conveyed that the team was steadily growing and building cohesion. Acknowledging that the formidable quartet of Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and himself have less than three months of playing experience together, Harden emphasized that they were taking advantage of every opportunity to strengthen the unit.

James Harden & co. dismantled the best team in the league

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Both teams shot identical numbers from beyond the arc, going 10-40 each; it was an off-shooting night. However, the Clippers blew out the Boston Celtics 115-96 behind Kawhi Leonard’s efficient 26 points. The Clippers managed to force the Celtics into committing four more turnovers, maintaining defensive pressure throughout the game and securing six additional steals. The constant defense resulted in the Celtics’ starters posting a season-low 38 points.

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Apart from the nitty gritty, a key element of the Clippers’ success was their disruption of the Celtics’ defense. The Clippers, despite having enough firepower, are a team that does not heavily rely on the three-point line. With that, they consistently attacked all areas of the floor, asserting dominance in the paint. The commanding approach allowed their starters to rest for the entire fourth quarter, as they entered it with a comfortable 21-point lead.

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Despite the loss, the Celtics still maintain the best record in the league. However, the Clippers successfully demonstrated their capability to compete against top teams. With a current five-game winning streak, they handed the Celtics only their second home loss. The Clippers will now face the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road.

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Written by:

Saahil Dhillan

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“Places you go in life – it opens your eyes up and you kind of understand who you are.” - This is my philosophy in life. I want to go to innumerable places and get inspired by the people and experiences I come across, just like Dwayne Wade.
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Edited by:

Vishav

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