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Home Sport Rockets' James Harden debuts another move sure to annoy NBA fans

Rockets’ James Harden debuts another move sure to annoy NBA fans

James Harden could have remained under-the-radar for a little while longer and pushed off passionate debates about his playing style until closer to the regular season. Instead, he overshadowed the Donatas Motiejunas revenge game Monday in an exhibition against the Shanghai Sharks.

Early in the first quarter, Harden collected the ball in the right corner, sized up his defender and took a one-foot hop-step 3-pointer fading out of bounds. He missed. Because it represented another example of his dance in the gray area between traveling and pulling off revolutionary moves, though, it gained widespread attention.

More attention at least than poor Motiejunas, once a Rockets forward, received for scoring 27 points and collecting 11 rebounds in a blowout loss to the NBA team that let him go.

MORE: Warriors center to miss most of October

NBA fans who believe Harden travels on almost every perimeter shot will probably not be happy with that off-shoot of his patented step-back 3. The scorn will intensify should the move become part of his regular-season arsenal. In reality, though, this particular play appears within the bounds of league rules — slowed down, he performs one fluid leap off the dribble.

What might stop the new move from being useful, though, is that fading horizontally in such a manner while shooting with his left hand exposes the ball to the defender. Top-notch NBA players could probably block the effort unless he manages to speed up its process.

In any case, Harden has people debating his skill set all over again, keeping himself in the spotlight as he prepares to make a run at league MVP.

Harden delivered a 10-point, 17-assist, 12-rebound line in just 21 minutes against the Sharks.

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