Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
There's nothing wrong with your mouse. This is the next slide.
And yes, this one's about Harden again. Because it's not just Harden's stellar play that will elevate Houston in the playoffs.
It's also his ability to inspire his teammates by his play.
I've heard commenters complain about Harden's Houston teammates too often standing around watching when Harden starts an isolation duel. I've even occasionally complained about it myself.
But what we miss when we complain is why they're standing around in the first place.
Richard Dreyfuss talked once about Robert Shaw's Indianapolis speech in the movie Jaws. This was before the advent of widescreen televisions. Dreyfuss said it was a shame that the cropped television version cut him out of the scene, because he thought Shaw's delivery was "one of the most riveting things he'd ever seen or heard," and that the amazement on his face in that scene is real.
It reminds me of how I, and probably the rest of the Houston Rockets, view Harden when he squares up and squares off against a defensive player one on one. It's like Olivier on hardwood. It's hard to want to do anything but stand around and watch.
In the playoffs, Harden has been a huge asset (minus his struggles in the 2012 Finals). But just as his transition from sixth man to starter has been a revelation, I anticipate the same revelatory bump not only in his playoff play, but in the play of the young guns around him.
Most of the roster will be brand new to the playoffs. Harden's all-out effort will be a beacon to them all.