Jul 5, 2013, 7:43 PM EST
Howard is one of the NBA’s best defenders. Harden is one of the league’s top offensive players.
Howard is an elite interior scorer. Harden’s range extends beyond the 3-point line.
Howard is excellent as the screener in pick-and-rolls. Harden is superb as the ball-handler on those plays.
Howard and Harden, in any system, would be two of the NBA’s best players. Together, they should be great.
They won’t step on each other’s toes the ways LeBron James and Dwyane Wade do at times. Obviously LeBron and Wade have overcome those issues, but the overlaps in their games have caused complications.
Howard and Harden won’t have to deal with that.
Could Howard and Harden even become the NBA’s best duo next season? First, let’s set a baseline using each team’s top duos last season, as judged by combined win shares.
I’ll also slot in Howard and Harden to compare. It’s difficult to know whether Howard’s peak win-share total, set in 2010-11, or his lower total while playing through injury last season is more telling, so I’ll show both.
2. Heat, 28.9 (LeBron James, 19.3; Dwyane Wade, 9.6)
Howard (14.4) Harden (12.8) using peak numbers numbers, 27.2
Harden (12.8) and Howard (7.6) using last season’s numbers, 20.4
7. Rockets, 19.8 (James Harden, 12.8; Chandler Parsons, 7)
10. Lakers, 18.5 (Kobe Bryant, 10.9; Dwight Howard, 7.6)
Wade is 31, and he has spent his career drawing fouls, a style that is difficult to maintain. He showed during the playoffs that he might already be beyond his days of regularly dominating. That doesn’t mean he’ll fall off a cliff or won’t sometimes look like the best shooting guard in the NBA, but it could mean he and LeBron lose their footing as one of the game’s best two duos.
There are also questions about how Westbrook returns from his injury. Lingering effects could keep him and Durant from retaining their place atop this list.
But if I had to guess today, I’d say Durant-Westbrook will be the NBA’s best duo next season with Howard-Harden coming in second.
Nov 28, 2014, 3:40 PM EST
Indiana hosts Magic
Nov 28, 2014, 2:10 PM EST
Melo said it came down to Bulls and Knicks
Nov 28, 2014, 12:39 PM EST
Grizzlies’ win upheld
Nov 28, 2014, 12:25 PM EST
To reach the 49 wins it took to make the playoffs in the West last season, the Thunder need to go 45-21 the rest of the way.
Nov 28, 2014, 11:00 AM EST
What about Chris Paul?
Nov 28, 2014, 9:30 AM EST
Mavericks own bitter about how Fisher left Dallas
Nov 28, 2014, 8:00 AM EST
I’d take this rumor with a grain or 12 of salt, but…
Nov 28, 2014, 1:51 AM EST
Scottie Pippen made the list, too.
Nov 27, 2014, 11:00 PM EST
Parker gets the rookie treatment from the official.
Nov 27, 2014, 9:30 PM EST
Davis is averaging 17.7 shots per game.
Nov 27, 2014, 8:00 PM EST
Sager will receive clearance to fly in January.
Nov 27, 2014, 6:30 PM EST
Rose says he is feeling better about his health.
Nov 27, 2014, 5:00 PM EST
Michael Malone increases pressure on sometimes-combustible Cousins
Nov 27, 2014, 3:30 PM EST
Celtics forward in final year of contract
Nov 27, 2014, 2:00 PM EST
Clifford has benched Stephenson for consecutive fourth quarters
Nov 27, 2014, 12:30 PM EST
Suns guard drives for reverse slam, cuts for monstrous alley-oop
Nov 27, 2014, 11:00 AM EST
Very nice gesture
Nov 27, 2014, 9:30 AM EST
He missed seven games with a hamstring injury.
Nov 27, 2014, 8:00 AM EST
Beal’s max extension projects to pay more than $118 million over five years
Nov 27, 2014, 1:37 AM EST
LeBron James and the Cavaliers were good, Chase Budinger had the flub.
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