Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni wants James Harden to double his assist average | Post Land
  • Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni wants James Harden to double his assist average

    Reporter: Kateb
    Published: Wednesday, October 26, 2016
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    Houston Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni's uptempo offense should work wonders for James Harden. The superstar will play the role of "points guard," in D'Antoni's words, meaning that he'll initiate the offense most of the time and rack up tons of points and assists out of high pick-and-rolls. In an interview with Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding, D'Antoni said he wants Harden to double his assist average from last year, which sounds a little insane, even to Harden himself:
    "Hopefully, he'll double his number of assists, and he had seven or eight [7.5] last year," D'Antoni said. "I hope he can average double that. He's one of the best passers I've been around."
    When Harden, who couldn't remember how many assists he had last season, was told about his coach's projection, his eyes widened under those thick eyebrows.
    "S--t! That's 14 assists, brother!" he said.
    Told it's actually 15 assists, Harden began to chuckle.
    "Coach trippin'," he said. "Coach trippin'."
    No one in NBA history has ever averaged 15 assists over a season.
    John Stockton averaged 14.5 in 1989-90. Steve Nash, in his 2005 and '06 NBA MVP seasons running D'Antoni's offense at the height of its powers, averaged 11.5 and 10.5, respectively.


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