James Harden is a ball-in-hand guard, whether you call it point guard or shooting guard. This year in Houston it seems they’ve just decided to rename his ambiguous position “James Harden Guard.” It’s a new role — and it’s not: ever since Oscar Robertson the NBA has been looking for ways to describe an offense that runs though someone other than a Bob Cousy type point guard.
With unofficial renaming of the “James Harden Guard” (JHG) position, the Rockets are just acknowledging that Harden controls the game. Harden’s gig is like Allen Iverson‘s was in Philadelphia — a point guard/shooting guard amalgam if there ever was one. And it’s also like what Larry Bird was in Boston — the “point forward.” And the JHG allows Harden to shoot just 33% and still carry his team, scoring 26 points, dishing 15 assists and grabbing seven boards against the Pelicans in 36 minutes in a preseason victory, 123-117. In this role his eight turnovers aren’t that big a deal. The Rockets are 3-o in the exhibition season.