Able to get to the free-throw line with ease, attack the basket with a quick Euro-step and regularly able to knockdown step back jumpers, James Harden is one of the best offensive players in the game. His defense however, usually leaves much to be desired.
At times, Harden's defense is often gets ridiculed and mercilessly mocked on the internet for his seemingly lackadaisical effort on that side of the court. His play definitely needs to improve next season, a fact that his teammate Corey Brewer echoed on a recent appearance on ESPN's SportsNation.
"I think this year he's going to play better defense." Brewer said. "We're going to let the past be in the past. It's the future Rockets, man. James is going to play defense this year."
Brewer was clearly sticking up for his teammate here, but this is a funny proclamation to make as he is essentially saying that in the past Harden was not a great defender. But the main point is that Brewer is not joining the loud number of Harden defensive critics. He believes in his teammate and is a big supporter of the players-only minicamp Harden is organizing.
Harden's teammates may have his back but it is up to him to actually lead the team. And improving on the defensive end will do wonders for his own game and in turn, should help the Rockets become a strong team in the Western Conference.