Western Notes: Harden, Paul, Popovich, Jokic

James Harden has been logging heavy minutes and Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni isn’t sure how to reduce his workload, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle relays. Harden had played a league-high 38.9 MPG in the seven games since Eric Gordon suffered a knee injury that required surgery. “You always have concerns,” D’Antoni said. “He’s been shouldering a lot of responsibility, played a lot of minutes. We’ve had guys hurt and Eric can’t spell him. He’s got to shoulder the load of scoring all the time. So, yeah, you worry about it. I don’t have a solution (for) it.”

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Thunder guard Chris Paul has developed strong relationships with young players Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Darius Bazley, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman writes. “I think Chris is just a huge kid, and that’s what it is,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “So, he likes hanging out with guys like me and Baze, goof around a lot, make fun of each other, and it’s all fun and games.”
  • Spurs coach Gregg Popovich thinks it will be a while before a NBA team names a woman as its head coach, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes. “It’s a process and it doesn’t happen quickly. But I think the more women there are [in the game] and as it becomes more commonplace and more the rule, it will then depend on an organization realizing there are women that can do this,” he said. Every woman can’t, every man can’t. But the point is there gotta be enough to choose from and it’s gotta be pretty commonplace before I think somebody’s gonna pull the trigger.”
  • Nuggets center Nikola Jokic has taken some heat on social media for his physique and weight but he shrugs it off, Mike Singer of the Denver Post reports. “It doesn’t bother me,” Jokic said. The max player’s statistics are down virtually across the board. He’s averaging four points less than last season (16.1 PPG) while shooting a career-low 46.7 percent from the field.
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13 thoughts on “Western Notes: Harden, Paul, Popovich, Jokic

  1. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Eric Gordon should only miss about 12 more games then the minutes for Harden, Tucker, and Capela should be easier to manage. Danuel House has been playing great, and he should also be playing at least 30 minutes per game.

  2. Jason Lancaster

    Jokic shouldn’t worry about social media, but he’s taken a huge step back this year. Nuggets aren’t paying him to get worse.

    • IslandFlava

      Too true, too true for now Jokic numbers are lower that’s for sure, but if you look at every season of his, historically he starts the season always slower & gets better as the season goes on, so he will get better. & he does so to the point of last year he got so much better that he was the best player of the playoffs.

        • IslandFlava

          Not even close Jokic was the leader in Efficiency, PER, BPM, OBPM & WS/48, rebounds, 2nd assists… Shall go on dude, ok then 25/13/8 with a shooting line of 51/39/85… so he was simply the best player, had one of the best playoffs of any player in the last 40 years, so yes Jokic was the best player even if he wasn’t on the best team.

          • Theone23

            Uhhh wtf?? Jokic wasn’t even close to being the best player in last year’s playoffs. Sure, he raised his game, but so did many other players. Kawhi, Siakam?? Both of those guys had way better playoffs than Jokic. Not to mention that the Nuggets almost lost to the Spurs (LOL) before getting bounced by the Blazers (even more LOL). So yeah, your comment is ridiculous. Best playoffs in last 40 years?? Then why did their team lose in the 2nd round lol

          • Theone23

            Lillard also had a better playoffs than fatty McGoo Jokic. Jokic is trash and so are the nuggets

            • x%sure

              The last comment ruined your point. Although putting Siakam ahead of Jokic was not helpful.

  3. dynamite drop in monty

    This place is like somebody’s memory of a town, and the memory is fading. It’s like there was never anything here but jungle.

    • x%sure

      Maybe you are responding to Pops talking big picture, or young SGA sizing up CP… I can’t argue that comment sections are not what they used to be, anywhere anymore. If that was your topic. But we have only had them for 10 years or so…

  4. x%sure

    How many people have said that Becky Hammon will replace Popovich when he retires. There was never any proof of this, just a certain sort of politics from the poster.

    Popovich sounds like he is getting these certain fans ready for a letdown. If Pops retires, the new coach is unlikely to be Hammon or any woman. It’s just a matter of numbers if nothing else… Teams have just started hiring women for assistants. The Cavs’ Gottlieb has as much chance as anyone, but, several years from now at least.

    But is Popovich speaking on the future because the Spurs are now not looking good?– It might be a pretty major interview from the HC if Pops is looking at the next stage.

    At this rate he may be more likely to make a big deal regarding Derozan or Aldridge to turn it around for the Spurs before he gets pressure to retire.

  5. harden-westbrook-mvps

    The Rockets are one of the least covered teams by the national media in the entire NBA. They’re the Rodney Dangerfield’s of professional sports. Hopefully that will change when they win their 3rd championship in a year or two.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Clint Capela has 164 rebounds in his last 8 games, but does anyone in the national media even acknowledge this? Nope.

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