Harden: 'It's hard not to hear' criticism about style of play
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Despite being in the midst of a historic scoring streak, Houston Rockets superstar James Harden knows that his current style of play isn't for everyone.

"Yeah, I hear it. It's hard not to hear it - especially nowadays," Harden told ESPN's Rachel Nichols. "You have social media. You have fans that are reading what people (are) saying and ask me about it."

The reigning MVP is averaging a gargantuan 36.6 points per game, the highest average since Michael Jordan put up 37.1 per game in 1986-87, and his 40.3 percent usage rate ranks second behind Russell Westbrook's 2016-17 clip for highest of all time. However, Harden's isolation-heavy scoring has drawn criticism from not just fans, but also from former stars like Kobe Bryant, Scottie Pippen, and Tracy McGrady.

"I try my best to block it out, but it's kind of hard, you know? Especially when it's coming from, like, ex-NBA players, you know? So, it makes it more difficult, but, obviously, everybody's entitled to their own opinion."

Owing to the Rockets' injuries this season, including backcourt mate Chris Paul and center Clint Capela, Harden's ball-dominant role has only increased, as he's taking a career-high 24.4 shots per game - including 13.6 threes. Also, his preternatural ability to draw contact has put him on the free-throw line 11.5 times per game.

Even with Harden's ball dominance, his 54.6 effective field goal percentage shows that he's a highly efficient scorer, even if his style of play stands in stark contrast to successful offenses that emphasize ball movement.

Despite Harden's personal heroics, the Rockets sit fifth in the Western Conference with a 33-24 record, well off their league-leading 65-win pace from last season.

Harden: 'It's hard not to hear' criticism about style of play
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