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Q&A with Thunder guard James Harden

By Mike Baldwin, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Published: May 31, 2010
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Thunder guard James Harden
Q: How do you look back at your rookie season, especially since the Thunder pushed the Lakers as much as any team in the West during the playoffs?

A: "It was fun, long, tiring, but I know what to expect now. I'm a step ahead now, how I'm eating and getting my body right. I know what to do to go in and have a great training camp. ... It's exciting to know that we pushed (the Lakers) to a great series. That's motivation to work harder for next year to come back so we don't put ourselves in that situation (as the No. 8 seed).”

What will you focus on this summer?

"I started working out (two weeks ago), slowly getting back into it. I took a couple of weeks off just to relax and clear my mind. Now I know what to expect, how to go into training camp, how to approach the summer... I'm working on my mid-range game, becoming a better defensive player. When I play pick-up games I want to guard the best player on the opposite team which will help me come back with a different mindset.”

Do you feel you ever hit the rookie wall?

"No. I had the (hamstring) injury and a few bad games. But (to me) hitting the wall is where you have a 15- to 20-game stretch where you're not playing well. I had a few (bad) games. But everyone goes through that type of stretch. My teammates and coaches did a great job of getting me out of bad stretches like that. I learned sleeping and eating right matters. Taking it day by day matters because 82 games can wear on you.”