Friendly Bounce Belt: Rumors of James Harden’s demise were greatly exaggerated


Welcome back to the Friendly Bounce Belt, our weekly power rankings of awesome moments in the NBA.

harden belt
harden belt /

The champion: James Harden

James Harden was not himself to start this NBA season. Through last Sunday, Harden had averaged 18 points on a horrid 22% from the field in his first 3 games. He changed those bad performances up in a hurry, though, going for an incredible 38.5 points per game in the week since then, all that on 46.4% from the field, which is just as impressive, considering the volume of shots taken. This hot shooting also included back-to-back 40-piece performances against the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Clippers. I guess one could say that after a bad start, Harden has his rhythm going now.

Ok, maybe let’s just say that any worry about Harden’s slow start wasn’t really necessary at all because he’s still one of the league’s best scorers. That kind of ability doesn’t just vanish.

(h/t @World_Wide_Wob)

".@JHarden13 put on a show tonight in Houston. 37 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals & 2 blocks. #Bearding— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) November 3, 2015"

"James Harden GOES OFF for 43 points, 13 assists & 6 rebounds in @HoustonRockets win. — NBA (@NBA) November 7, 2015"

The contenders:

Blake Griffin’s dribbling expedition

Griffin has always had a teriffic handle for a post playerr, but, come on, this is just insane.

(h/t @outsidethenba

Bradley Beal’s buzzer-beater

With the implementation of the Washington Wizards’ new pace-and-space offense, Beal is coming into his own as a star in the league. Being a star in the league means that your team is going to rely on you to hit game-winning shots from time to time. Beal pulls through here, and embarasses the San Antonio Spurs’ LaMarcus Aldridge in the process.

(h/t @talkhoops)

Festus Ezili wants you to meet him at the rim

Blake Griffin is known for dunking on people. This is a fact. If you are an NBA rim protector, it’s bound to happen to you at least once. Unless you’re Festus Ezili.

(h/t The Cauldron)

Will the Thrill lives up to his nickname

When your name is Will “The Thrill” Barton, you’re contractually obligated to throw a couple dunks like this down per season.