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.
Jan 31, 2015, 5:00 PM EST
Cleveland plays the Timberwolves in Minnesota on Saturday.
Jan 31, 2015, 3:59 PM EST
Jan 31, 2015, 3:21 PM EST
With Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin back in the rotation the Timberwolves will not be such a pushover.
Jan 31, 2015, 2:00 PM EST
Green being unexpectedly held out led some to speculate that he might be dealt.
Jan 31, 2015, 12:30 PM EST
They’re not winning, but they still produce some highlight plays.
Jan 31, 2015, 11:00 AM EST
The tenth in Bryant’s signature line returns to a low-top silhouette, and the first colorway is inspired by Kobe’s early morning high dive as he recovered from ACL surgery.
Jan 31, 2015, 9:30 AM EST
Denver’s offer of J.J. Hickson and JaVale McGee isn’t enough for Brooklyn to pull the trigger — especially with Lopez coming off of a 35-point, 12-rebound performance against the Raptors.
Jan 31, 2015, 8:00 AM EST
Those two together at this stage of their careers are a poor fit together.
Jan 31, 2015, 12:36 AM EST
Balance and defense win the day.
Jan 31, 2015, 12:01 AM EST
180 or 360?
Jan 30, 2015, 10:59 PM EST
It took Kobe Bryant being injured for Cousins to make the squad.
Jan 30, 2015, 9:49 PM EST
If it can happen to Duncan….
Jan 30, 2015, 8:45 PM EST
Robin Lopez has a long rap sheet of mascot abuse.
Jan 30, 2015, 7:51 PM EST
Jeff Green could get more run.
Jan 30, 2015, 6:56 PM EST
This is not a serious injury, but they will miss him defending Blake Griffin.
Jan 30, 2015, 5:59 PM EST
All of those teams could use point guard depth.
Jan 30, 2015, 5:16 PM EST
Thank the new television contract.
Jan 30, 2015, 4:29 PM EST
“So if you see me diving on the floor and people say ‘what is he doing?’ I can’t help but be the player that I am.” —Jimmy Butler on playing in the All-Star Game
Jan 30, 2015, 3:29 PM EST
He should be. He was robbed.
Jan 30, 2015, 2:51 PM EST
I’ll take Stephen Curry
- Report: Timberwolves’ Ricky Rubio set to return Monday vs. Dallas 4
- Nike unveils latest signature shoe for Kobe Bryant, the Kobe X (PHOTOS) 11
- Report: Nuggets trying to trade for Brook Lopez 10
- Last summer Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant talked, decided it wouldn’t work together 26
- Jimmy Butler even plans to play defense in the All-Star Game 8
- Damian Lillard “disappointed,” “disrespected” not to make All-Star team 45
- DeMarcus Cousins replaces Kobe Bryant in All-Star game 11
- Tyson Chandler, better than ever, thinking legacy 10