Question: Can Chris Paul and company keep it together during that span of time?
The Houston Rockets have been playing efficiently good during the first three months of the regular season. And ever since Chris Paul made his season debut with the Rockets, Houston was almost unstoppable. Almost. They endured a 5-game losing streak to end 2017 before finally winning a close one against the Los Angeles Lakers.
However, their win against the Lakers came with a hefty price. Their star, James Harden was hurt in the fourth quarter while driving towards the basket. The diagnosis: Harden sustained a Grade 2 Hamstring Strain which will put him out for two weeks. Harden will be the third Houston star who got injured this season. Chris Paul just recently returned from a strained left adductor while Clint Capela also missed tons of games due to a bruised right heel plus a right orbital fracture.
How will Harden’s absence affect the Rockets?
Against the Lakers on the final playing day of 2017, James Harden had 40 points and 11 assists before going down with the injury. He played for 41 minutes. If not to Chris Paul, the Rockets would have ended 2017 with a 6-game losing streak. With the Beard out for two weeks, the Rockets will have to find a way to keep on clicking offense amongst themselves without heavily relying on Chris Paul who himself is also known to be prone to get injured.
With James Harden who is averaging 32 points and 9 assists this season, the Rockets have been so effective in terms of scoring on offense as they are averaging a league’s best 115 points per game. So James Harden’s absence will definitely be a big blow for the Rockets but it will a blessing in disguise for the team because it will probably put Eric Gordon back into the starting line-up like he used to do before Chris Paul came aboard. In fact, Eric Gordon is currently the second-leading scorer of Houston this season, averaging 19 points per game while starting in 16 of the season’s first 33 games.
Fortunately for the Rockets, they have 5 other guys who are averaging in double figures this season. While there’s no denying the fact that James Harden’s numbers will be sorely missed, they have one of the league’s best point guards in Chris Paul. It’s only a question of whether or not the Rockets will be able to win with Chris Paul leading them instead of James Harden.