On Sunday the Nets dropped their second game of the season to the upstart Charlotte Hornets. They lost 111-95 in the home opener and were only able to muster 47 second half points, with just 17 in the 4th. They now sit at just 1-2. Kevin Durant was not the problem. KD had a game high 38 points on 17-of-24 from the field to go with his five rebounds, three assists, and a single steal. But the rest of the team shot just 21-of-63 from the floor.
James Harden has flirted with a triple-double in all three games this season. He doesn’t have one yet but he is filling up the box scores. Harden finished with 15 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. The Beard also had eight turnovers and five personal fouls, not his most efficient game. But the weirdest part of all might have been watching an entire basketball game where Harden only attempted a single free throw.
Harden averaged double digit free throw attempts during seven seasons of his career. His last full go-round in Houston he shot 11.8 FTA per contest. This year? He’s only averaging three shots per game from the stripe. What gives?
For one thing, the NBA has made it a point of emphasis to no longer reward offensive players who make “non-basketball” plays.
Remember, just last season, Nets coach Steve Nash was frustrated with the way Atlanta Hawks’ star Trae Young was officiated. It appeared Nash mouthed the words “that’s not basketball,” last season while witnessing Young draw foul after foul on his “break-check move.” The one where he jumps backwards or sideways into defenders.