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James Harden vs Jimmy Butler

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With the departure of Kobe Bryant who is the second greatest shooting guard ever, and an aging Dwyane Wade who many consider the third, the top shooting guard in the NBA is up for grabs. With that being said, Who’s the best shooting guard in the NBA now a days?  James Harden?  Jimmy Butler?

 

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Over the last 2 seasons, many people would consider James Harden as the best shooting guard in the NBA. A large amount of fans believed he should have been last season’s MVP, even voted in by the players as the MVP. After leading the Houston Rockets to the Western Conference finals last season, there was no doubt that James Harden would come back stronger than ever, and claim his throne as the best shooting guard.

 

But this season has been quite different with the rise of the Chicago Bulls superstar, Jimmy Buter.

If we take a look at stats, Harden is clearly ahead of Butler. Harden is averaging 29 PPG, 6.4 RPG, and 7.1 APG. Which are great numbers by the way.

 

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Jimmy on the other hand, is averaging 22.4 PPG, 5.3RPG, and 4.3 APG. Butler also having a solid stat line.

So why is it such a debate on who’s the best shooting guard, because looking at the stats, Harden is clearly better right? Well not necessarily.
James Harden is clearly the better offensive player, there’s no doubt about that, Harden can score 15 points on just free-throws alone. Call it what you want, but he has a skill to get to the free-throw line which is quite impressive (it’s annoying when he flops though). His ability to score and distribute to his teammates is really what makes him tough to defend.

 

Now Jimmy Butler also have the ability to score, but he has more help meaning he’s not utilized as much as Harden. Butler has to share the ball with Derrick Rose, who’s a former MVP, and who is becoming better each game. He also have to share with Pau Gasol, who will go down as a hall of famer and top 50 player of all-time when it’s all said and done.

 

So what seperates the two? What is the determining factor on “Who’s the best shooting guard in the NBA?” Well it’s actually pretty simple. Defense!

People often forget that there’s two sides of the game, offense and defense. James Harden is clearly better than Butler on offense, but it’s not by a large margin because of his utilization over Butler.

But Butler’s defense is what stands out the most between these two players. Butler is a great defender, and will most likely be on several all-defensive teams throughout his career. His defense on opposing superstars really help his team down the stretch. Not only does he have great on the ball defense, but his awareness off the ball is very high as well. Butler Is always alert off the ball, he seems to always be in help position, and he communicates very well to his teammates.

Both are great players, so who do you take? Do you take the player that’s GREAT on offense but is average on defense? Or do you take the player that is pretty good on offense, but GREAT on defense?

Personally Butler is the better Shooting guard, because of his ability to play great defense and good offense.

So who do you feel is the best shooting guard in the NBA? Feel free to share your comments below.

About Emanuel Godina

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