Is The Beard Responsible For James Harden's Legendary Streak?
It's over, but boy was it something.
James Harden, star of the Houston Rockets, just ended a 32 game long streak of 30 point games--which is absolutely wild. Wild enough, in fact, to land him in second place behind Wilt Chamberlain for the longest streak of 30 point games.
Was it really his step back, masterful dribbling, shooting, or (I'll say it) ability to draw fouls, that led him to think historic streak though? We don't think so.
We think it was the beard. So do the numbers.
Pre-beard, Harden was shooting a solid 9.9 points per game. Reasonable, sure. MVP material? Not even close. Post-beard, however, is another story, with Harden's average shooting up to 27.9 PPG.
While one could argue that Harden has had a beard for years, it was not until recently that Harden's beard became an unmistakable icon. Rockets fans flock to the arena clad in fake beards, "Fear The Beard" merchandise sells all across Houston, and Rockets fans endearingly pass memes around praising the beard.
All of this has created an expectation for greatness associated with Harden and his beard. And recently, he has been decisively exceeding that expectation.