Harden worthy of a roster spot

James Harden has averaged just over 29 minutes the past three games.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Rookie shooting guard James Harden of the Oklahoma City Thunder (7-7) is finally starting to play like the No.3 overall selection that he was in this year's NBA draft.

And it all about getting the opportunity on the floor.

In his first 11 games, Harden played more than 20 minutes just one time and was averaging 5.8 ppg. However, over the past three games, Harden has averaged just over 29 minutes and not coincidentally, has his three highest scoring games of the year.

On Wednesday, the former Arizona State star shot 7-for-14 from the floor to hang a 24-spot up against the Orlando Magic. The following night he broke his "personal best" mark with 25 points against Gilbert Arenas and the Washington Wizards. Sunday night he suffered through a tough shooting night against the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers, but still managed double digits.

Harden is still coming off the bench behind Thabo Sefolosha, but it's only a matter of time before he slides into the starting lineup between point guard Russell Westbrook and small forward Kevin Durant.

The good news is that Harden's only owned in 35% of all fantasy leagues. He is certainly worth a look if you need backcourt depth and should definitely be picked up in keeper leagues.

James Harden Rookie Year Statistics
Year Gm Min PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3PT% FT%
2009-10 1-11 17.4 5.8 2.6 2.8 0.7 0.4 33.3 32.0 80.0
2009-10 12-14 29.3 19.7 3.3 3.3 2.7 1.3 42.5 43.4 93.4


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.