The unexpected came to be in Game 4 of Warriors–Rockets.
The Rockets actually made the Western Conference finals a series.
And, most stunningly, James Harden played defense.
It even shocked the Beard himself. He was so surprised to learn that the product of good defense is another offensive possession, that he forgot to launch this wide-open three.
James Harden was left wide open… passes it off pic.twitter.com/qVBxzv1Sa6
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) May 23, 2018
He’d come back to the well of defensive effort.
Harden committed back-to-back steals late in the second quarter to help the Rockets close the first half on a 16-5 run for a 53-46 lead.
James Harden heard all the slander about his defense, back to back steals and scores for the Rockets pic.twitter.com/P5MtvshD1P
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) May 23, 2018
He also swatted Stephen Curry as the quarter expired in the two-time MVP’s f—ing house.
Stephen Curry blocked by James Harden while he loses a shoe to close out the first half. pic.twitter.com/nBQ7RQOF8L
— RealGM (@RealGM) May 23, 2018
Harden was no slouch on offense either, scoring 30 as the Rockets tied the series at 2-2.
Just ask Curry.
Or Draymond Green.
According to NBA.com, Harden defended Curry for 13 possessions in the 95-92 Rockets victory, holding the star point guard to 2-of-7 shooting, Curry’s lowest percentage against any Rockets defender.