According to Randy Harvey, James Harden's poor defensive effort has been a primary reason for Houston's defensive decline this season (GameFace-Photos/Creative Commons).

According to Randy Harvey, James Harden’s poor defensive effort has been a primary reason for Houston’s defensive decline this season (GameFace-Photos/Creative Commons).

Subscribe on iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

As the Houston Rockets battle for a postseason berth, it’s the perfect time to bring on Houston Chronicle sports editor Randy Harvey. Of course, the Rockets have wildly underperformed, just a season after their thrilling Western Conference finals appearance. Much uncertainty surrounds the team, including Dwight Howard’s future in the Space City and a likely vacancy at head coach. Choice highlights can be found below:

3:27-4:19 on James Harden’s role in the team’s defensive regression:

“You’ve got to start with Harden. One thing that a lot of people forget is that before last season, he was coming in off a World Championship team, so he worked all summer and came in in shape and played really well defensively, played very well at both ends of the court. This year, there was no national team endeavors in the offseason, and he came in really out of shape, and he’s never really caught up. So you start with that defensively.”

8:15-9:18 on the importance (or lack thereof) of Houston making the playoffs: 

“I think it would be better for them not to make the playoffs, get the lottery pick, than it would be for them to play San Antonio or Golden State in the first round, and you’re basically four games and done. And what’s the point of that? I really don’t see any real advantage for the franchise. I will say this though: Les Alexander has always, even when they weren’t very good going back two and three years ago, never was a tank guy.They were never gonna tank for a draft pick or for a lottery pick…He’s gonna be demanding that they make the playoffs.” Continue reading