While James Harden has always been a prolific scorer, his ability as a passer may return to the public consciousness this season under Mike D'Antoni.
"You see the joy in my teammates getting shots and making shots," Harden recently told Bleacher Report. "They're comfortable. Everybody's happy. When they're happy, I'm happy. It's a different vibe. We're sacrificing for each other. That's where we are. We've got a long way to go, but for now it feels good."
D'Antoni decided in the offseason that he'd officially make Harden their point guard.
"It shocked me at first," Harden said. "And I kind of thought about it, and I was like, 'Yeah! I'm a passer. That's what I do. I create. I create and I give people opportunities to make them happy, to make them score.'"
D'Antoni wants Harden to create for others while also remaining aggressive as a scorer.
"Hopefully, he'll double his number of assists, and he had seven or eight [7.5] last year," D'Antoni said. "I hope he can average double that. He's one of the best passers I've been around."
Last season, Harden became the fourth player in NBA history to average at least 29 points, seven assists and six rebounds per game, joining Oscar Robertson, LeBron James and Michael Jordan.
"It's always been that way," Harden said of his passing. "That's why I call myself an all-around player, because I've been doing it for so long. I might not get as much credit as I deserve, but that's not for me to decide. I still go out there and just do what I've got to do. Eventually it will happen and people will figure it out."