How (Not) To Defend James Harden

  • Published: 22 January 2019
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    Houston Rockets guard James Harden has proved to be one of the most lethal threats the game has ever seen.
    Scottie Pippen weighed in on how he'd guard Harden, and Coach Nick adds to that by showing you some of the more unique ways teams are trying to prevent him from scoring.
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    BBallBreakdown is devoted to deep-dive analysis of NBA basketball gameplay. Giving fans a taste of a pro coach's film session, host Coach Nick breaks down fundamentals, play calling, offense, defense, shooting form, officiating, and everything else basketball. In addition, see exclusive interviews with NBA players and coaches, from active super stars to retired legends.
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Comments • 779

    BBALLBREAKDOWN   7 months back

    If you like this video, you will LOVE a video I did on my 3 Favorite Actions NBA teams run. It's totally FREE just by clicking here:

    • Show Of Force
      Show Of Force  7 months back

      when i click the link it lands me on a page that asks for my name and email. what is done with this info? is it sold to a third-party? If so you need to be very clear about that

    • AP AP
      AP AP  7 months back

      How to defend Harden? Get Zaza on your roster to guard him. Embiid works too.

    • Jarvis Austin
      Jarvis Austin  7 months back

      @Elenity someone told you wrong

    • Elenity
      Elenity  7 months back

      i thought zone defense where not allowed in the nba?

    • Erik Jon
      Erik Jon  7 months back

      @Jarvis Austin yup when the rest of his teammates on the court against the 76rs were scrubs. When Rox are fully loaded the Pippen theory gets harder to implement. Like McGrady said...he could give a damn who was defending him if he's hot

  • Bess Snow
    Bess Snow  1 months back

    The best way to defend him his pay the refs more than he pays them, or take one for the team and give him a flagrant 2 type foul to let him know, that swag pussy flopping shit all while traveling and hunting for cheap fouls ain’t flying around here tonight. Then again, players today are soft and afraid to burn bridges

    • SisterFister
      SisterFister  2 months back

      lol pippen is an asshole

      • Some random white kid
        Some random white kid  2 months back

        Harden would be unstoppable if he didn’t have high school quality players

        • Gio
          Gio  3 months back

          Scotties defensive breakdown applies PERFECTLY to how TOR shut down MIL and Giannis. Force them into tough layups all night long

          • Gio
            Gio  3 months back


            • Gio
              Gio  3 months back

              This is how I play defense in general. Playing behind the ball, letting them go by you, tryna get Westbrook blocks

          • Rakim362
            Rakim362  4 months back

            Scottie got drag queen voice 😂

            • Jahden Gregg
              Jahden Gregg  4 months back

              The best defense is to shave his beard, the ultimate power source.

              • Great White
                Great White  4 months back

                3:30 travel

                • Jeffrey Xu
                  Jeffrey Xu  4 months back

                  Or defend like me.

                  • J Brinx
                    J Brinx  5 months back

                    gotta start guardin harden soon as he boutta make breakfast

                    • Juice Addiction
                      Juice Addiction  5 months back

                      lo and behold scottie was right. just take away his left

                      • Kyriethegoat
                        Kyriethegoat  5 months back

                        1:23 "i don't care if he beats me going to the basket i don't care if he throws lob passes, he's not going to that with his left hand *pokes the ball away* " that was fucking badass

                        • DisoraJ
                          DisoraJ  5 months back

                          You dont

                          • MrZahsome
                            MrZahsome  5 months back

                            You can't stop a great player/scorer. You can slow him down but he's still gonna get his 20 30 40 points. Yall dont think it works and he may get his 30 40 points but his team is just barely winning by 1 - 4 points. Don't think it works? Rather have someone like Austin Rivers attempt to score over someone like Harden. Lol

                            • XiongFeng Huang
                              XiongFeng Huang  5 months back

                              Well , the reason player is hard to guard to James Harden is not because his step back 3 or lay up ! Remember it’s because his passing ability and his High basketball IQ , makes you fault 2+ 1! He would grab your hand while he lays up ... and another 2+1 ! He is an unique player .

                              • Mr. William
                                Mr. William  6 months back

                                The #1 rule is to not foul. Don't reach when he's driving and don't undercut him when he's shooting. When CP3 and Capela are playing though, your defense is just in trouble. Especially with Faried shooting 42% from 3.

                                • Aaliyah Jackson
                                  Aaliyah Jackson  6 months back

                                  The refs need to start calling a travel on this man

                                  • Don Lee
                                    Don Lee  6 months back

                                    after you uploaded this video... HARDEN DROP 61 points in NY 1.23.19 LoL heheheh

                                    • RandroidPrime
                                      RandroidPrime  6 months back

                                      Do *not* be anywhere near his flailing arms if you"re within view of a ref.

                                      • Tom Brady is A system quarterback

                                        The league is too soft today with all these whistles. Can we take a second to give Pistol Pete and Larry Bird some credit?

                                        • Ballin Too
                                          Ballin Too  6 months back

                                          Get this man scottie a job as a defensive coach asap..

                                          • Jan jan Mendoza
                                            Jan jan Mendoza  7 months back

                                            How to defend harden?as simple as that you need to talk to refeere first

                                            • Jan jan Mendoza
                                              Jan jan Mendoza  7 months back

                                              How to defend harden?

                                              • Pied Piped
                                                Pied Piped  7 months back

                                                Jason Kidd wouldn’t come up with this defensive scheme

                                                • Sebastian Szalak
                                                  Sebastian Szalak  7 months back

                                                  Judges are Harden's bitches do he can do what he wants

                                                  • Sean Livingston
                                                    Sean Livingston  7 months back

                                                    @BBALLBREAKDOWN you should do a special on Scottie Pippen's defense. That would be great, lol.

                                                    • Jhoniel Zausa
                                                      Jhoniel Zausa  7 months back

                                                      This vid will allow AD get touches

                                                      • Joseph Matthews
                                                        Joseph Matthews  7 months back

                                                        Lol "Kobe assist" lololol I love that for offensive rebound and put back.

                                                        • P. Twk.
                                                          P. Twk.  7 months back

                                                          Harden is not the problem, it's the refereeing and abusable rules that force no defense.

                                                          • Jesus Perez
                                                            Jesus Perez  7 months back

                                                            Yo, the casual sports fan wants points. I had no idea Harden’s off ball game is so bad. Not MVP caliber. Damn, that’s not team play. Imagine how much better woah! Kinda like Shaq not working out or shorting under hand free throws. Success can be detrimental towards more success but it’s not noticed because of, well, success.

                                                            • Obryan Criswell
                                                              Obryan Criswell  7 months back

                                                              Mane they need talk about stopping Kd and Curry Thomson and cousins that’s the real problem smh 🤦🏽‍♂️

                                                              • Maestrang Lakwatsera
                                                                Maestrang Lakwatsera  7 months back

                                                                now harden is working on his right hand.. hahaha

                                                                • yOu tHOt
                                                                  yOu tHOt  7 months back

                                                                  Man! Why Y'all Givin' Hate To My Man James Harden!?

                                                                  • Flying Pollo
                                                                    Flying Pollo  7 months back

                                                                    76ers are better than the Rockets.

                                                                    • Show Of Force
                                                                      Show Of Force  7 months back

                                                                      when i click the link it lands me on a page that asks for my name and email. what is done with this info? is it sold to a third-party? If so you need to be very clear about that

                                                                      • Kevin Queen
                                                                        Kevin Queen  7 months back

                                                                        Why not guard the rest of the team so they can't get passes from harden or screen for harden, make harden bring the ball up the court, turn him twice and never allow him to pass the ball. make him shoot ever shot

                                                                        • Chris Pauls 3rd Cousin
                                                                          Chris Pauls 3rd Cousin  7 months back

                                                                          so basically harden is unguardable

                                                                          • Kingsley Atuba
                                                                            Kingsley Atuba  7 months back

                                                                            How is that not a travel @ 8:16
                                                                            All is see is Pudum pudum

                                                                            • Teo Natale
                                                                              Teo Natale  7 months back


                                                                              Don't jump, don't reach, just move your feet

                                                                              • Kalu Abay
                                                                                Kalu Abay  7 months back

                                                                                I feel Jordan, young Dennis rodman, or a Gary Payton would be able to guard him. They'd shade him to his right then when he foes to drive , beat him to the spot and draw the charge. Young athletic Jordan was great at using small hops to beat offensive players to the spot. I could see him also being great at defending hardens jumper due to his speed, vertical, and large hands. Harden would at some point get in foul trouble due to charges, or get discouraged from driving, and let's not forget young Dennis was good at chasedowns giving up the lane drive then catching up for the block, he was tall enough and quick enough enough to stay with young Jordan, I feel he'd be fast enough to stay with harden then pin that left handed layup on the backboard. And Gary and Dennis were great at drawing offensive fouls off the ballad well with offensive players who liked to push off (harden tends to push off a lot, Gary and Dennis would immediately fall or flail their arms exaggerating the push off then once the foul was called, Gary would likely clap his hands and talk shit to harden , Dennis would give that sly smile , getting in hardens head.

                                                                                • DatreformedGuy88
                                                                                  DatreformedGuy88  7 months back

                                                                                  i know this im a left handed baller. You find yourself in foul trouble more than a righthanded baller as the defense is mirrored. Thats a key factor overlooked, also as the world is 90% right handed, 10% left handed. harden being a baller and a lefty puts him in the small percentage of players of his kind. We have a few left handed greats like bill russel, manu Ginobili, chris mullins, chris bosh. Thats exactly the reason why he gets more calls as he is being fouled more then a righthand baller naturally. its not the same thing, otherwise if harden was a righthanded player he wouldnt get those calls as it is much easier to stop him. This guy is setting Records for lefthanded ballers almost weekly as hes in the few for lefthanded ballers. thats not even in the 10% but more likely 5%

                                                                                  people are noticing to stand on his left side, but for years people dont notice is harden has been playing against these strats every game for years. ALWAYS someone standing on his left guarding him, and if he drives left is met with help defense this aint new which is why the stepback was introduce. i found in my experience that this strategy was bad if they will fully let him go right. Many times when balling when defenders learn am left handed they apply this strategy. this aint for bragging rights but to show it doesnt work that easy. Giving him the free lane means the defender will be behind him, almost giving him free layups or helps him make an easy assist. theres cons and pros to this strat as you are giving easy buckets that way, you gotta notice he has monopolize on this strategy.

                                                                                  The illusion of standing on his left doesnt mean hes a 1handed player but a basic foundation to how to guard a left handed players. with that being said harden has always played against tight defense where the defense is very SPECIFIC for him to not allow him go left, what is not being notice is hes monopolize on this strategy as hes been playing against this strat all the time.

                                                                                  Most players will crumble if the defense was always guarding them on their right making them go left, i think what needs to be acknowledge is harden plays against these strats and still performs well which needs to be pointed out more. Theres alot of bias towards this man, Most of his squad is injured so it makes common sense why he would score more points. anyone will have high turnovers if they have 50%posession, west brook and harden have high usage rates so it makes sense that their turnovers will increase naturally, its not a negative but its something that comes with the package.

                                                                                  Now we are seeing videos how to stop him, is he cheating the rules?, o hes shooting too much, o he has ball all the time, he exaggerates his fouls. instead of actually hes been doing well under pressure with his squad injured, hes been lowballed for his efforts despite being in the mvp convo for the last 4 years, da disrespect.

                                                                                  Cheers for the vid coach but also this video applies to guarding anyone who is problematic on field.

                                                                                  we cant stop greatness with individual effort. It takes a team to stop greatness

                                                                                  • kakkamulkero
                                                                                    kakkamulkero  7 months back

                                                                                    Trapping zone defense (like 2-1-2), and when shot clock hits 10 you double him. It doesnt matter if someone else scores, just dont let harden get hot

                                                                                    • Blue Grovyle
                                                                                      Blue Grovyle  7 months back


                                                                                      At this point, I don't care about your argument against Harden's step-back being a travel. The fact that it's even this big of a debate proves that it's a dishonest move. I do NOT want to go to a college or high school basketball game and see players trying this.

                                                                                      • Blue Grovyle
                                                                                        Blue Grovyle  7 months back


                                                                                        Kobe assist... 😂

                                                                                        • Kevin Calif
                                                                                          Kevin Calif  7 months back

                                                                                          I take RJ barret any day over zion I'm to scared of injuries for zion

                                                                                          • ThatGuy Man
                                                                                            ThatGuy Man  7 months back

                                                                                            Foul him hard a couple of times, not necessarily flargrant, but enough to alter his shot and make harden think twice the next time.

                                                                                            • Kid chaor
                                                                                              Kid chaor  7 months back

                                                                                              NBA is trash now