Heat negate Harden's efficiency

OKC's super sixth man not able to take his usual shots

Updated: June 18, 2012, 1:20 PM ET
By Neil Paine | Basketball-Reference.com
James HardenMike Ehrmann/Getty ImagesMiami has been able to successfully limit Harden into inefficient midrange shots.

James Harden is the NBA's reigning Sixth Man of the Year and probably the most efficient medium-usage player in the league. History says players like him frequently tip the scales of the championship in their teams' favor; since the NBA started handing out the Sixth Man award in 1985, the finalist whose reserve ace finished higher in the voting has won 14 times in 20 tries, good for a 70 percent rate of winning the title.

So why isn't any of that translating thus far in the Finals?


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Neil Paine writes for FiveThirtyEight, the data-supported sports, politics and culture site coming soon from ESPN.