Drew Shiller | NBC SPORTS
James Harden has mastered the art of deception.
Nobody shoots more free throws than Harden, and nobody creates space to get his shot off quite like The Beard.
So what’s the funniest “trick” the reigning NBA MVP ever pulled on Warriors big man Kevon Looney?
“Last game, he stepped on my foot and held it for a couple seconds before he did the stepback and I almost fell,” Looney told Mark Willard of KNBR 680 on Friday. “I like that move [laughing]. I’m gonna watch out for that next game.
“He does a lot of stuff, but that one stood out to me because it just happened. I never had anybody do that to me before.”
Watch the video below to see what Looney is talking about with the Rockets guard:
Fortunately for the Warriors, Looney didn’t lose his balance, and he successfully contested Harden’s stepback 3-pointer.
In Game 2 of the Warriors-Rockets second-round playoff series, Harden left midway through the first quarter after being poked in the eye by Draymond Green.
Despite scoring 29 points on 9-for-16 shooting from the field after returning to action, Harden told reporters after the loss that he could barely see. He clearly knew where Looney’s right foot was, but hey, who are we to judge?!
“He’s got a lot of tricks in his bag — from the stepback, he added the floater this year, and he’s crafty getting to the free-throw line,” Looney said about Harden. “For anybody — definitely a big — it’s tough to hold him [down].
“But we got a great team defense. I know not to foul. Had him a lot last year, I was in a lot of isos, so you start to learn the things he likes to do and try to make it hard on him.”
We’ll see how this plays out in Game 3 on Saturday night in Houston.