James Harden Is a Bad Actor
A few years ago, in typically self-aggrandizing mode, the NBA announced a crackdown on flopping. This year just five fines were given out, each for a couch-change $5,000. Officials still consistently give floppers the call, effectively ensuring that flopping will continue to be the weapon of choice among the league's soft-bellied reprobates. With a refereeing core that – apparently as a matter of practice – get nearly every out-of-bounds call wrong, foul calling restraint is a bridge too far. The winner standing astride this pile of nonsense? Houston's James Harden (who, incidentally, has stopped playing defense altogether). Harden did come away with one fine, which isn't bad weighed against the hundred-plus calls that went his way. Watching him is like watching Buster Keaton, but significantly less funny. Harden’s pratfalls are worth four to six points a game; his defense, a solid negative ten.