- Chelsea Harmon
Leonard Leads Harden in Marquee Matchup
Okay, so you tuned in to watch James Harden and Kawhi Leonard in the postseason, so who’s ahead now?
Well, this matchup isn’t a battle of statistics, it’s a duel of wills. James Harden has looked like he’s on an emotional rollercoaster and in all honesty, he is. It all begins and ends with him and to piggyback the point made by Stephen A. Smith on ESPN, Houston only plays seven guys (I guess the other eight are there for decoration) but only one matters and that’s Harden; the Rockets cannot win a game with Harden playing badly. Smith called Harden “relatively sloppy” after he sputtered in the overtime loss to San Antonio in Game 5 and that’s putting it nicely. Either Harden gets himself together and resigns himself to playing consistently or Houston’s season will end tonight.
On the other end, Kawhi Leonard has stayed the course like he has all season. He’s remained poised, even when he’s resigned to sitting on the bench (his least favorite place) and he does what James Harden doesn’t, encourage his teammates. Leonard is the first person to praise his teammates, telling reporters “my teammates are doing a great job of carrying it over,” after he was forced to sit out after stepping on the foot of Harden in a scramble for a loose ball.
The chart below illustrates my point, the Spurs are projected to win the series and if their current momentum continues Houston (aka Harden) will have to play the game of their life to get back to the Alamo City for Game 7. Leonard is ahead of Harden in the battle of wills, it will take a prayer, a miracle and a natural disaster for Houston to overthrow the dynasty of San Antonio.
Kawhi Leonard is out for Game 6