Poll: Will James Harden Average 40 PPG?

James Harden might make NBA history this season, the kind of history that only one all-time luminary has ever achieved before. James Harden might average at least 40 points a game.

The 30 year-old Rockets guard may scale a height only heretofore reached by the Big Dipper himself, Wilt Chamberlain. Wilt the Stilt averaged 50.4 PPG in 1961/62 for the then-Philadelphia Warriors. He reached a similarly insane 44.8 PPG the next season, after the team had relocated and rebranded itself the San Francisco Warriors. Keep in mind, the three-point line did not exist in the NBA until the 1979/80 season.

Harden is currently averaging an eyeball-popping 39.5 PPG in 2019/20, to go along with 7.8 APG and 5.6 RPG. Yes, it might just be a scorching hot start, just 13 games into this young season. But the reason Harden might really hit the big 4-0 is fairly simple: he actually is not shooting that well yet.

His 39.5 PPG tally is being achieved while he shoots 41.7% from the field and 33.2% from behind the three-point line. He is shooting 14.6 long-range attempts a night. For his career, Harden is connecting on 44.2% of his field goals and 36.4% of his three-point tries. That efficiency was not abetted by the 49 points Harden scored when the Rockets beat the Timberwolves 125-105 on November 15th. He connected on just 16 of a career-high 41 field goal attempts.

Harden was named his conference’s Player of the Week for his phenomenal offensive work last week (he received the same honor the week prior). His highest scoring average prior to this season was a league-leading 36.1 PPG, achieved last year.

Outside of the obvious big personnel change this season, why is Harden scoring so much? As was mentioned in today’s edition of the Brian Windhorst and the Hoop Collective Podcast on ESPN, a pace change has been key. In replacing half-court specialist Chris Paul with speed demon Russell Westbrook, the Rockets ramped up their pace, which has translated into more possessions, and thus more opportunities for Harden to score. Houston has transitioned from the 26th-fastest team in the NBA last season to the third-fastest so far this year.

Harden’s scoring has helped his Rockets keep pace in the chippy Western Conference as they battle through injuries to several core pieces. The team has won its last seven games in a row after starting out the season 3-3. They currently sit second in the West. Houston will try to strengthen its record when the Trail Blazers come to town tonight.

So will The Beard average 40 points a game in a season? Will he at least come close to that lofty number? Weigh in with our poll, then head to the comment section below to share your thoughts!

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26 thoughts on “Poll: Will James Harden Average 40 PPG?

    • I do. In fact I read the whole article then I went down here to the comment section and I took time to write out a comment. LOL.

      It’s pretty big news in fact hasn’t been done in Forever. Didn’t Michael Jordan average mid-thirties one year?

      It would be interesting to see, we make big deals out of triple double averages etc. I think we’re fascinated by stuff like this. Pete Maravich averaging 44 points in college. Pretty impressive numbers.

    • Major Factuh

      I do. Being a basketball junkie, I love to see history made/challenged in the game.

  1. phillyballers

    Honestly Harden might be the best “chucker” of all time. This run hes had these few years is like JR Smith level ball hog mentality with more talent. A better shooting AI. Go for 40 bro. Championships mean nothing, ask Melo.

      • In no order…Jordan magic Kareem West wilt.
        Baylor Oscar LeBron Kobe Bird.

        That’s 10 off the top of my head. Who you knocking out to put in James Harden?

        • Top 10 for me
          MJ LBJ Magic Kareem Bird Shaq Wilt Duncan Russell Baylor

          Honerable mentions: Oscar, West, Olajuwon, Barkley, Robinson, Durant, Wade, K Malone and so many more.

          Harden isn’t going to win a ring ever, hard to make top 10 without it. Also he’s only got 1 MVP, 5 all NBA first and 7 all stars.

          DWade has 3 rings and was a 13 time all star.
          Steph Curry has more chance to finish his career as a top 10 player just needs to stay healthy, he has 3 rings and 2 MVPs.

          Plus Hardens defence makes him a not top 10 player

        • hiflew

          I think I would put George Mikan in there as well. Just in terms of playing ability in comparison to his peers. Perhaps instead of Kobe, who was great, but not as much better than his contemporaries as Mikan.

          • That’s a good point to make. George Mikan was way better than any of his contemporaries which should put him in top 10 of all time discussion. Whereas some of the other guys maybe Kobe, maybe not that above and beyond his contemporaries. There’s a couple guys that could do what Kobe could do during his time, just not as long or as clutch perhaps.

      • phillyballers

        MJ, LBJ, Wilt, Shaq, Kareem, Hakeem, Russell, Kobe, Oscar, Magic, Bird, Duncan, Malone, Pippen, West, Dr. J, Wade, Elgin, Gervin, Dominique and then you start feathering in the Durant, Curry, Harden, Nash, Garnett, etc… with the old timers so hes somewhere around 20-30 for me.

      • youareanidiot

        imagine thinking a player like Mikan who was elite for 3 years is in the All-time top 5 ahead of Kobe.. my god lmao

        • George Mikan was named the best player of the first half century by the NBA in 1950. That should count for something. I say top 10 or 20 all time.

  2. James Harden is the Guard version of Melo.
    Imagine if Harden played for the Nets instead of Kyrie he would average 50 for a year and make the playoffs

  3. imindless

    It all depends how much the refs let him get “fouled” 14 free throws a game made is ridiculous. Explains why he stinks in the playoffs when they stop calling stupid fouls.

  4. hiflew

    Sorry, but James Harden is like this decade’s version of Tracy McGrady. A great player and a likely HOFer, but not anywhere near the conversation of best of all time.

    • youareanidiot

      McGrady didn’t cheat the game. averaged like 33 legitimately and in a slower pace

      • phillyballers

        Yea didn’t travel every time he took a shot or need 20 FTs to get his points.

  5. mcase7187

    That won’t happen just like him showing up for the playoffs it’s a pipe dream

  6. IslandFlava

    I really hope he does, that would be sooo cool, we are living through the best era of the NBA, we should enjoy watching this guys keep breaking records, like the TD’s of Westbrook, maybe this year Luka can average one too, if Harden does 40 a night it will be amazing. KAT might very well hit over 300 3 pointers this year, LBJ be the assist leader, awesome season ahead of us!!!

    • Amazing Era. Curry unanimous MVP, Russ with Trioke Doubles, Harden 40 point games, LBJ doing his thing.
      Luka breaking a bunch of records as a 20 year old. KD ring chasing, the GSW dynasty, the Philly Process.
      Toronto winning the championship, AD trade and Zion going to the Pelicans.
      It’s an era where defence isnt emphasised but there is so much talent throughout the league

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