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Is James Harden As Good As He Says He Is?

Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (Feb. 21, 2017), we revisit how the Kings got fleeced in the DeMarcus Cousins trade with FiveThirtyEight’s Kyle Wagner. Next, we call up bracketologist Chris Dobbertean of SB Nation to break down the stakes in men’s college basketball as March Madness approaches. Finally, is James Harden as good as he says he is? We investigate.

Links to what we discussed this week:

    • The New York Times’ Benjamin Hoffman reports on the details of the DeMarcus Cousins trade.
    • ESPN Stats & Information takes a look at the numbers behind the trade.
    • Kyle Wagner wrote about whether the trade made sense for the Kings.
    • Chris Dobbertean’s latest analysis of the NCAA men’s field.
    • The NCAA is looking at changing the way it chooses teams for March Madness, writes FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine.
    • In a profile in TIME, James Harden makes the claim that he’s the NBA’s most valuable player.
    • Significant Digit: 110, the number of points that Grinnell College scored against Illinois College last Saturday. Grinnell employs the Grinnell System, the hallmarks of which include shooting a lot of threes, subbing entire lineups in and out at once, and employing a full-court press.