James Harden and the Rockets lost in Game 1 of their second-round matchup against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday by a score of 104-100. The Rockets were upset after the game because they felt as though the referees let the Warriors get away with a plethora of fouls. In fact, the Rockets were so mad that they conducted their own detailed report which they passed on to the league.
In light of these complaints, Harden has been receiving criticism as many around the league believe he cheats the system in order to draw foul calls.
“He flops on offense just like I flop on defense,” Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart said according to Bleacher Report. “He’s been in the league a long time, and he’s built that reputation. It’s hard to guard him knowing that, at any given moment, you can get called for a foul.”
Kevin Durant was recently asked about Harden’s flopping by ESPN’s Nick Friedell and KD was surprisingly diplomatic with his answer, saying “He’s not cheating the game… he’s playing within the rules of the game.”
Durant was a lot more complimentary of Harden than his teammate Draymond Green, who practically laughed at Harden when a reporter told him that he simply wanted a “fair shot” from the refs.