James Harden made his debut for the Clippers on Monday night and his new teammate Paul George has explained how he thinks The Beard will fit in with the group.
“I think he’s gonna fit in perfectly,” Paul George said on Podcast P with Paul George. “What I love about it is just having, you know all four of us are high IQ players. We all know where everyone’s supposed to be, so we all can run plays in different positions. Like I don’t have to be in this certain spot, James can be in that spot now. We can all get to our spots, run the same play, but we can run it and get different options out of it based off of the player that’s in it, you know what I mean? And then, just watching him hoop, we watched James play in practice, you just forget like, he’s a bucket. He made it look so easy and I was just like, ‘damn, that’s crazy adding that to this team now.’ I haven’t seen us throw that many lobs since I’ve been here, and when he was playing it was just, lobby.”
In his first outing for the Clippers, Harden recorded 17 points, three rebounds and six assists on 66.7 percent shooting from the field and 50 percent shooting from three.
His new team weren’t able to secure the win though, with the Clippers losing 111-97 to the Knicks.
The Clippers now have four skilled veterans including Harden, PG-13, Kawhi Leonard and Russell Westbrook – who have 32 combined All-Star appearances.
Despite their collective accolades, Kawhi is the only player to have won a championship out of the four stars, so no doubt that will be their goal for the 2023-24 season.
Westbrook and Harden are the first MVP duo to team up at three different franchises together.
In their last stint for the Rockets during the 2019-20 season, Harden and Russ reached the second round of the postseason before losing to the Lakers in the bubble.
“I don’t know if that applies to this situation,” Clippers forward PJ Tucker said, who was on the Rockets with Westbrook and Harden. “Russ and James [have known] each other for years, so they’re familiar with each other, playing with each other. I don’t know if it’s the same [experience this time], especially with Kawhi and PG.
“I think this team is kind of a totally different type of dynamic [for them].”