Rockets James Harden Unanimously Named First Team All-NBA
The NBA announced that Houston Rockets guard James Harden has been named All-NBA First Team. He was the only player selected to the First Team on all 100 ballots submitted by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
Harden has made All-NBA in four of his five seasons with the Rockets (Third Team in 2012-13; First Team in 2013-14 and 2014-15). He joins Moses Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Yao Ming as the only players in franchise history with at least four All-NBA selections.
For the third straight season, Harden set career-highs in scoring (29.1 ppg, 2nd in NBA), rebounding (8.1 rpg), and assists (11.2 apg, 1st in NBA). He joined Oscar Robertson (3 times) as the only players to have averaged at least 29.0 points, 11.0 assists and 8.0 rebounds in a single season.
Harden totaled 2,356 points, 907 assists, and 659 rebounds in 2016-17. He became the first player in NBA history to record at least 2,000 points, 900 assists, and 600 rebounds in a single season.
In addition to his 29.1 points per game, Harden also accounted for 27.1 points per game by way of assists. That combined average of 56.2 ppg ranked as the second-highest single season total in NBA history, trailing only Nate Archibald’s 56.8 in 1972-73.
Harden helped lead the Rockets to a 55-27 mark this season after Houston went 41-41 in 2015-16. The 55 wins tied for the fourth-most in franchise history. The Rockets also advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals for the second time in three years, in what was the team’s fifth straight playoff appearance.
The 27-year-old recorded 22 triple-doubles this past season, tying for the sixth-highest single season total in NBA history and the second-most dating back to 1974-75. He had nine triple-doubles for his career entering 2016-17. Seven of Harden’s triple-doubles this past season came while scoring 40+ points, which was the second-highest single season total in league history.
On New Year’s Eve vs. New York, Harden recorded a career-high 53 points, a career-high tying 17 assists, and a Rockets season-high 16 rebounds. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became the first player in NBA history to record at least 50 points, 15 rebounds, and 15 assists in a single game. Harden accounted for 95 points (points and points off assists) against the Knicks, which according to Elias, is the second-highest total in league history, trailing only Wilt Chamberlain’s 104 vs. New York on March 2, 1962.
Harden finished third in the NBA in 3-pointers made this season (262), and first in free throws made (746) and attempted (881). Since joining the Rockets in 2012-13, he has made 496 more free throws than any player has attempted. Harden has also scored 890 more points than any other player over that span.