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Shook Ankles: Fear The Beard

In the 2011 playoffs, James Harden had one of the quietest breakout performances you’ll ever see. Hidden behind Kevin Durant’s brilliance and the temperamental Russell Westbrook was Oklahoma City’s bearded Manu Ginobili, an aesthetically pleasing warlock. His ability to score was well documented as the reason he was selected No. 3 overall in the 2009 draft. But this wasn’t the reason Sam Presti refused to exchange him for Kendrick Perkins. Harden gets to the line and he shoots the three, but what we saw in the postseason was a playmaking magician. Someone able to open the floor and enable his teammates off the dribble. James Harden is a matchup nightmare, a player who acts like a point forward in a two guard’s body. To think about where he’s headed is to create prolonged anxiety for 29 fan-bases.

 

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