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.
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.
Winning over the Los Angeles Lakers, the struggling Houston Rockets somehow found relief and comfort after losing 5 in a row and falling off the top spot.
But would it be enough reason to celebrate?
Yes, the Rockets have won the game technically but when talking about their drive to achieve redemption, this victory obviously did not satisfy their goal after their tragic 5 straight losses. The game was a near defeat, talking about a double-overtime game which we do not see every day.
If anyone would want redemption, of course, there is a need to seek and achieve full dominance. Meaning, even before the game ended, the winner’ an already decided. And it is obviously the other way around of what happened in Rockets-Lakers game. The game turned out to be so unpredictable that it took two extensions to decide who’ll take the game.
1. In fact, it can only be considered as a revenge over Lakers. Rockets also lost to Lakers on their last 5 downfalls.
2. Despite the victory, it was unfortunate for the Rockets to have James Harden injured. Luckily they still won for if not, Rockets would fall even deeper into despair.
3. Rockets lack main men production. It can be foreseen by simply looking at one player’s numbers. For example, James Harden. We already knew that the Rockets lost with James Harden scoring 51 points twice. Let us now go to their game against Lakers. Harden scored 40 points. A huge contribution from a single man. But still, the game extended up to two overtimes. If there is enough main line up production, an overtime would have not been necessary. Same as them losing 5 in a row.
James Harden may shoot worst in terms of percentage. He’s not a machine with absolute calibration yet he still scores big all the time for the Rockets regardless of being the winner or the loser. It is up to the other 4 starters to make the difference for the Rockets.
This victory is no time to celebrate. In fact, it may make the Rockets worry even more for they have an injured Harden and it was a game that almost went out of hand.
Already out of gas? Houston Rockets, the used to be threatening team on the early phase of the season is now down in the pit with 5 straight losses. Is it already over for the Houston Rockets?
If things get even worse, they might not last long in the playoffs or worst, they might not even make it.
It seldom happens for a team like this, especially when with James Harden. Now, we are all interested of the possible reasons that started this catastrophe onto them.
1. Harden’s Worst Shooting
James Harden never fails to score high but is frequently unsuccessful of minimizing missed shots especially when Capela was unable to play and no one was there to give a higher probability of getting the rebounds.
2. Everyone but Harden Slacked Off
Staying at the top for a relatively long period of time, the team felt a little bit more comfortable and slacked off except for Harden of course which scored 51 points twice in their 5 straight losses.
3. No Rockets Under the Rim?
They never got an edge on rebounding.
A ton of missed shots from key players plus uncontrolled rebounding equals a terrible defeat which was exactly what happened with the Rockets.
4. Crucial Incorrect Officiating Against Celtics
One call could not have spelled a game but not when a call is not made in a ‘winning’ shot? Marcus Smart traveled before hitting the shot that cost the game for Rockets. Not missing the call still may not guarantee Rockets’ victory yet the ball would be on their side and the odds are in their favor.
The simultaneous weak rebounding and worst shooting is the main problem. Either one of the two shall be fixed so that the Rockets may have the chance to get out from the deep pit.
Houston Rockets slide down to number 2 spot after three consecutive awful defeats. On the other hand, the Celtics is trying to keep a hold on East’s top spot. What could be even better if these two teams face each other? And much more importantly, who would be victorious after 48 minutes of action?
Okay, folks let us start with the Houston Rockets.
James Harden scored 51 points twice and lost both games. Facing the thunder, he was outshone by Russell Westbrook. He scored relatively high but misses a lot of shots. James Harden is in his worst shooting form.
Rockets losing in the 1st two games were without Clint Capela. It was thought to be the reason until he came back, and lose against OKC.
How about Celtics?
They aren’t on a losing streak currently but still, one thing is their problem. The unproductive Aron Baynes. Kyrie Irving, being the top scorer for Boston against the Washington Wizards didn’t shoot well. With these scenarios, a strong center is needed, which Celtics does not have.
The solution would be its either Irving must shoot efficiently or Baynes’ effective rebounding.
Who would win the game?
Weighing in all the facts, Rockets have a bigger problem than Celtics. We can notice that if Irving is playing well, most of the time Celtics win. On the other hand, Harden playing extremely well isn’t enough to take the Rockets pass the opponent.
Expect a head to head isolation plays between Harden and Irving.
On the other hand, in terms of the shaded area, Rockets has the advantage with Clint Capela.
If Irving won’t deliver from the outside well, Rockets would win.
If, Harden would hold the ball most of the time, Celtics would win due to lack of team play.
Would there be a chance for the Warriors to take away the no. 1 spot on the west against rival Houston Rockets? Let’s all find out.
Okay folks, now with James Harden and the Houston Rockets losing so badly twice in a row, it would seem to us like the Rockets aren’t in a really great shape perhaps as a team. James Harden was more than just great with a humongous 51 point outrage in both games that they had lost.
On the other hand, Warriors aren’t doing that great in their last match but they have destroyed the same team, the Lakers thrice in a row. Now, if you have read my recent article about the Warriors being a completely different team given the absence of Curry, you’ll see there the Dubs’ weakness and loopholes without Steph in play.
Same goes for the Rockets. In their case, they do not have their primary center Clint Capela which obviously adversely affected their overall game.
So how would it go? Who will be in the number one spot after a couple or more games to pass this season?
Given the circumstances above. Whoever team that makes a more significant streak when their absent key players come back (Capela and Curry) would ultimately take the top spot. We cannot know for sure who’s who unless both squads are in their full form. So whoever strikes hard first wins the battle this phase of the season.
But from the looks of things, Warriors would be able to take the top spot once Curry gets back. The Dubs played more consistently than the Rockets have done especially the key players. Warriors key gunners seldom experience drought.
Still, the best option to break this balance is a match between them. Would Warriors be able to grab hold of James Harden’s shooting and gun their own with the Splash Brothers? Or would Rockets limit their production, take advantage of outside misses and let Harden go all out for as much as every shootable spot on the court?
Why is it the best option for the battle to be sentenced directly by a match?
Of course, it is much better to judge who’s who by the scores and performance of both ends against each other. It would be the most valid and substantial. Warriors would also like redemption. They lost against Rockets this season. It will be a story of a test of will. Who’s stronger and who will prevail? The Rocket’s ultimate revenge or Warriors’ spirit of a champion?
It is undeniably sorrowful to lose when you scored exceptionally high in a ball game. But it is very unfortunate when we talk about 51 points by a single man, not just once but twice in a row.
James Harden has done it again and lost once again. One against the Lakers and another against Clippers. What could’ve been the reason for this?
Well, it is not as shocking when talking about history. Why? Wilt Chamberlain, the man who scored a hundred points also experienced this not just twice but thrice in a row with 50 points above. So technically it isn’t as new as it seemed to both of us. Anyway, it is just an additional fact for each and everyone of you out there who loves basketball so let us now go back to our subject matter.
1. Selfish Basketball is Fatal against Team Play
With one man scoring a humongous amount of points. It is perhaps obvious that he who scored such numbers had the ball with him almost all the time.
1.1 How it Affects the Player Himself
Well as for Harden, he’ll be the main target for the opponent’s defense, as a result he’ll tend to miss a lot of shots despite scoring high. In short, inefficiency. Taking a lot of shots equals making a lot of shots, but behind that is also missing a lot of shots.
1.2 How it Affects Team Play
Team play basically is slowly diluted. With one man, especially if it is a point guard getting the offense on the go, then some guys or the other four on the floor are no longer functional. The point guard is responsible for handling the ball and thus executing a play. In typical games, it is the point guard who handles the ball much of the time. What more in a self-played point guard. Imagine how many minutes the ball had been in the same palm.
The whole team would be stagnant and unproductive with one man scoring too much.
Harden stepped up his game too much. There is a need for filling up Capela’s absence but Harden seems to forgot Clint Capela (Rocket’s center) isn’t the only one who needs his feeding of the ball.
Kyle Kuzma erupts for 38 while Chris Paul gets hurt
Ever since Chris Paul made his season debut with the Houston Rockets upon fully-recovering from his injury, things have been going well for the Rockets as they didn’t lose a game in all of the games that CP3 played with the team. They went down a couple of times but either CP3 or James Harden would save the Rockets from an imminent defeat to come up victorious.
However, everything has a limitation.
As painful as it may sound especially for the fans of James Harden and company, their team’s 14-game winning streak is no more as they were defeated by none other than the Los Angeles Lakers, 122-116.
While the Rockets were able to keep it close during the latter parts of the 4th quarter despite Chris Paul leaving with 10 minutes left in the game due to a sore leg, it only proved one thing: despite James Hardens 51 points, the Rockets aren’t a complete team just yet without Chris Paul in the line-up.
So what doomed the Rockets and their winning streak?
Kyle’s Kuz-mazing 38 Points
Kyle Kuzma has been outplaying his more popular rookie teammate, Lonzo Ball and his performance against Houston is no different at all. Kuzma started the game blazing hot, making the first 6 of his 3-pointers before cooling down a bit. By the end of the game, Kuzma has already surpassed his previous career high to come up with 38 points on a 12 for 17 shooting include 7 for 10 from deep. He also had 7 rebounds and 4 assists while playing for 40 minutes.
15 Turnovers for Houston
James Harden had 6 of those turnovers. The turnover problem could be associated with Chris Paul’s absence especially in the 4th quarter as Harden had to take over the ball-handling responsibilities- something that CP3 has done marvelously. However, we all have to keep in mind that the Lakers are among the top 10 teams in the league when it comes to forcing their opponents to commit those turnovers.
Chris Paul’s Struggles and Departure Hurt the Rockets
Before he was taken out of the game for good, Chris Paul has been visibly struggling on the court. He only had 8 points on a horrible 2 for 7 field goal shooting. He also had 3 turnovers and only played for 28 minutes. Although James Harden had 9 assists to go along with his 51 points, there’s no other point guard who can create scoring opportunities better than Chris Paul himself.
While Houston’s latest setback doesn’t change the fact that they are still the best team in the NBA as we speak, they better pray that Chris Paul will be ready to play come the Rockets’ next game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Why? James Harden cannot do everything on his own.
James Harden scored undeniably humongous. 51 points is too distant from usual. What’s even more unusual is that it was insufficient to earn Rockets another victory.
It is just one of the many awful facts behind this shocking loss. In fact, it is quite obvious. Now, let us take a look at its implications behind the curtains.
1. Within Warriors’ striking distance
One more downfall and the Warriors might take them out of their sweet top spot. Same with Celtics’ situation, the Rockets want absolute dominance on the west to retain their threatening form until as long as they could.
Every single defeat of the Rockets let the Warriors come closer and closer.
2. No Capela, fatal for Rockets
Without a huge shadow on the shaded area, Lakers took advantage of the great hole’s vulnerability. Clint Capela being the sole center of Rockets and not being able to play let Rockets’ defense weaken significantly. Lakers dished out 27 assists while Rockets with only 19. Rockets may have won if the battle is a shootout alone but it’s their incomplete defense that pulled them down into the pit.
3. The Trade-off between 51 points and turnovers
James Harden shot well but there can never be some gain without any pain. So what cost the 51 points? Turnovers. Once somebody holds the ball too much, they may tend to score high and turn the ball over many times. Rockets had 15 turnovers and 6 of them coming from Harden alone.
But still, Rockets only let Lakers score 17 off turnovers in contrast to them with 25 turnover points. But what hurt them? Basket in transition. 20 fastbreak points versus 6 for the rockets. They may not have the center Clint Capela which means a smaller and faster lineup yet a fast squad won’t be enough to cover a huge open hole in transition defense.
28 points do not seem that anything went wrong but believe it or not, James Harden produced such a huge one while at the worst accuracy of his shooting against a powerhouse team like San Antonio Spurs.
Half of Harden’s points came from the free-throw line. Knowing that he’s not shooting well especially from his specialty — beyond the arc, he bolstered his aggressiveness to draw out fouls and earn his points easier from the line.
It may have been the worst night for Harden yet he showed flexibility and smart play by knowing what to do in order to provide the needs of the team in a different way in times that his comfort zone seems not really like his comfort zone.
Thanks to Chris Paul who also scored 28 points ‘efficiently’ for the help provided to the struggling Harden and also to a Clint Capela double-double of q8 points 10 rebounds.
With James Harden able to play at his best with the worst shooting, stopping his 3 point shooting is slashed out on the options to shut him down. The only way to shut him down is him being totally out of the game.
The Rockets are getting stronger and stronger. Someone would step up to fill in somebody’s gap. Rockets isn’t only about Harden clearly, there’s Chris Paul, Clint Capela and sooner or later everyone on the squad would be as good as any team’s key players. Who knows? They can be in line with super team’s maybe not with names but with skills and talents.
With a solid performance like this. The number one spot for the Rockets is and will be tightly sealed.
The Houston Rockets are now on a 12-game winning streak
During the last few seasons, the Houston Rockets were one of the inconsistent teams in the league. They had Dwight Howard to team up with James Harden which didn’t produce a championship. Last season, the Rockets bowed down to the San Antonio Spurs in 6 games of the West’s semifinals. While many people were questioning James Harden’s lack of capability to lead his team, we all know if given the right teammates, James Harden can make the fans of Houston proud.
And that’s exactly what is happening right now. Alongside his new backcourt partner, Chris Paul, James Harden is now leading the Houston Rockets to brand new heights as they are riding on their 12-game winning streak after a big victory over fellow Texas team, the San Antonio Spurs, 124-109. That win improved the NBA’s best record to 23-4.
So what enabled the Rockets to win their 12th straight game? Below are the numbers:
The Chris Paul Effect Continues
Like it or not, Chris Paul’s capability to play the point guard position like a god is doing the wonders for James Harden and company. The beauty of it, the Rockets are perfect this season when Chris Paul is playing- averaging 17 points per game. Against the Spurs, CP3 scored 28 points, 8 assists and 7 STEALS. Now that’s a point guard, folks.
Balanced Offense from Starters
The Spurs’ starting unit was outplayed all throughout the game. The Rockets’ starting 5 combined for 97 of the Rockets’ 124 points. Aside from the 28 points each of James Harden and Chris Paul respectively, Clint Capela contributed 18 points and 10 rebounds while Ryan Anderson and Trevor scored 12 and 11 respectively.
On the other side, only LaMarcus Aldridge (16 points) and Kawhi Leonard (12 points) were the lone starters of the Spurs who scored in double figures.
One of the reasons why the Rockets were able to run away to another victory was the fact that they started the game by scoring 31 big points in the first quarter alone while limiting the Spurs to 16 points.
Will the Rockets continue their streak? As of posting time, they are up against the Milwaukee Bucks. Can they extend their streak to 13? That’s up to their backcourt duo.
The Rockets are now 12-0 with Chris Paul in the line-up
While the rest of the NBA are hyped about the Cleveland Cavaliers’ recently rediscovered dominance that was also recently ended by the Indiana Pacers, one team from the Western Conference is also on a streak of their own as they have just nabbed their 11th win in 11 games.
That team is none other than the West-leading Houston Rockets.
This is after the Rockets- at one point only leading by a point, went on to score game’s next 25 points- a scoring run that went between the end of the 1st quarter and the early goings of the second, en route to another dominant win over the Charlotte Hornets, 108-96.
So what enabled the Rockets to keep their winning streak alive? Below are the numbers:
The Chris Paul Effect
As mentioned above, the Rockets have yet to lose a game this season when Chris Paul is in the lineup and IS PLAYING. And he made sure that his presence was felt all throughout. Against the Hornets, CP3 played one of his best games this season, leading the Rockets with his 31 points, 7 rebounds and 11 assists. Having a guy like Chris Paul helped the Rockets in a game that saw James Harden only scoring 21 points on 8 for 22 field goal shooting.
Defense in Threes
Sure, the Rockets were shooting 37% from beyond the three-point line but they also forced Charlotte to only make 19% of their attempts from downtown. That’s a big difference, folks. The Rockets also limited the Hornets’ three-point attempts to 21- where Charlotte only made 4. On the other hand, Houston attempted 45 tries from deep, making 17 of them. Now, who said Houston cannot defend?
This win enabled the Rockets to win their season series against the Hornets at 2-0. Their next game? Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs. Are going to in? Yes.
Chirs Paul is why.
And they don’t look like they’re slowing down anytime soon
Anyone who says that James Harden and Chris Paul cannot play together should probably keep their mouth shut because if they haven’t noticed just yet, the dynamic duo of Harden and CP3 is one of the reasons why the Houston Rockets are the best team in the NBA right now with a 21-4 record. Yes, they are better than the defending champions, the Golden State Warriors and even defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this season.
Ever since Chris Paul made his season debut after fully recovering from his injury, things have been well for the Rockets as they have yet to lose a game with Chris Paul in the line-up. And heading into their next game against the Charlotte Hornets, the Rockets are riding on a 10-game winning streak.
Question: Just how good are the Rockets?
For starters, James Harden has been playing another MVP-worthy season as he’s currently the league’s leading scorer- averaging 32 points per game while also averaging 9.5 assists per game- the second-best behind Russell Westbrook. Clint Capela, who exploded for a good number of dunks off dishes from James Harden in their last game against the New Orleans Pelicans- is the league’s best shooter right now, making 67% of his field goal attempts and also among the top 5 in blocks per game.
As a team, the Rockets’ 115 points per game ranks second behind the Warriors’ 117. They’re also the number 3 team in terms of steals per game, averaging 9 steals per night.
But more than anything else, it’s Chris Paul’s mere presence on the floor that has been doing the wonders for Houston. In the 11 games that he played so far- all wins, CP3 has averaged 14 points and 9 assists per game. He has provided James Harden the stability at the point guard position as CP3 is only averaging 1.9 turnovers per game- the lowest in his career.
If anything, the Rockets are having one of the best seasons in franchise history. At the pace that they are playing right now with a backcourt duo of James Harden and Chris Paul leading them, this pundit on wheels doesn’t think any team can catch up with the duo. Not even the Warriors.
LeBron James and James Harden named NBA Players Of The Month
James and Harden have been tearing up the basketball court and have been leading their respective teams to victories. Last month, both players were just amazing.
LeBron James at 32 years old continues to defy father time as he puts up amazing stats after another giving his team 10 wins in a row. Averaging 37 minutes on the floor, there is almost no rest for the King. His production was as prime as you can get with 28 points per game while shooting a high 58% GF, to contributing 8.2 rebounds, 8 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.2 blocks per game.
There is no slowing down for the King and it looks like the deduction of Derrick Rose and other people on the line up may have helped as they became a much more fluid team.
On the other hand, the four years younger James Harden continues to show how hungry he is winning his first NBA championship and MVP. The Houston Rockets is on top of the Western Conference standings because of one man and that man has been averaging 31 points, 5 rebounds, almost 10 assists, and 1.7 steals per game, a stats line worthy of the NBA player of the month award but will it be enough to win the MVP?
It’s too early to tell who would end up getting the MVP or winning the championship but these two players are certainly on the top of the choices to win them all. If they continue to be healthy the whole season, the two players are in a good phase to not only get the MVP but to break records.
Who do you think will be the MVP?
WHAT does this mean and HOW do they do it?
A little bit electrocuted after realizing that the Houston Rockets won their games against two of the most power-packed team in the current league. Know that you’re not the only one who is in the state of shock at the question ‘Just how strong is the Houston Rockets?’
But before that, let us answer today’s whats and hows in order to come up with a conclusion to the very intriguing question ‘Just how strong is the Houston Rockets?
What does this mean for the Houston Rockets?
Of course, it is a good sign of their impeccable gameplay execution. Their game is tighter. Team play is more effective than ever and they are filled with all sorts of positivity as they head on straight to whatever this season’s journey may slap onto them.
What does this mean for the Cavs and GSW?
It almost sounds like, “hey, you two dudes would not be the only reigning kings in the league forever”.
Even Michael Jordan’s career slowly faded out. This loss is very alarming for both teams. Because aside from having a huge obstacle of taking down each other, here comes another perilous challenger – the Houston Rockets.
If it is a problem for the Cavs, it is a current disaster for the Warriors. They are on the same conference and if lucky, they’ll face each other at any stage of the playoffs. Regardless of when, one thing’s for sure, one has to defeat another to get to the finals. Pretty tough, huh?
So, how do the Rockets manage to destroy this two enormous teams?
All is well as long as James Harden keeps on being an effective playmaker and an offensive power source for the team. Harden played a the top of his game as he faced this two monsters. He exploded with 27 points and 11 assists against the Warriors whilst unleashing the beast inside him during the Cavs game with a monster triple-double of 35 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists.
Aside from having a very fluid playmaking led by Harden, the Rockets also have an iron interior established by their center Clint Capela. Capela is a monster on both ends of the court. He produces just enough points for the team and is a very effective interior defender.
If you have watched the Rockets game against the Cavs, he blocked Kevin Love several times and even the king LeBron James from behind to dish out the winning stop in the final seconds of the game.
Now, I think you have a pretty much solid perspective on how strong the Houston Rockets is for their own team, for how the Cavs and Warriors see them and for how they changed the seemingly repetitive story of the league.
Stephen Curry defended by James Harden
This is a new season. We’re back to square one.
2 seasons ago, the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors clashed in the Western Conference Finals, where the Houston Rockets tasted a bitter defeat, 4 games to 1. They failed to avenge their loss last season against the Dubs.
Tomorrow, these two powerhouse teams will go head-to-head once again, back to square one.
The match up of James Harden and Stephen Curry is of particular interest in this game and up to the next games that they’ll be facing each other. Both players are unquestionably great point guards and penetrators. They even have the magic dribble that may break their defenders’ ankle. Who will stand higher against these two prodigies?
James Harden is holding on a slim lead in terms of PPG this preseason, sitting in the number two spot with 21.3, whilst Curry is right on his tail, with 20.8. But Steph Curry’s shooting and scoring is significantly more efficient, harden makes only 37.3 % of his shots. On the other hand, Steph delivers more than half of his attempts with a 50.9 percentage.
The better point guard will be able to yield better plays for the team. Better plays are measured through assists. James Harden is more than one step ahead of Curry on this aspect. He is currently the number one player in terms of assists, averaging 10.3 per game whilst curry is nowhere to be found near, deep down in the 33rd spot with only 4.3.
Curry is more of scoring for himself than passing for his team. Yet, he was unable to put a huge deficit in point averages against Harden. If Steph would play like this tomorrow, then the only way for him to win this match up is to be efficient in his shooting, miss less for his team who relies on him as the main offensive power.
Harden’s point guard sense will be tested tomorrow against the super team. His average in terms of assists are quite high but just how good is it against an extraordinary team which thwarted them in the semis, and that is way back when Kevin Durant is still with OKC. Even LeBron James admitted that Kevin Durant was the difference of this team. His presence polymerized an all new dubs.
It’s going to be Curry’s shooting efficiency against James Harden’s passing ability that will be tested tomorrow.
Open Court gave their insights on who they think will be the MVP this NBA season
In the age of super teams, what would it take to be a super player and the MVP?
Last year, Russel Westbrook answered the question with a performance that not a lot of players think would be broken. Westbrook surpassed Oscar Robertson’s record and became the new triple double king averaging 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.4 assists. This was the stats of the MVP last year but what does MVP really mean and what are the criteria behind it?
Aside from getting an all-around great basketball game, different people may have different definitions of an MVP. Even basketball legends like Shaq, Kevin McHale, Charles Barkley, Isaiah Thomas and Dennis Scott have their different opinions. Let’s check in with their prediction of who will be the MVP for this upcoming season.
James Harden – Charles Barkley
Sir Charles believes that James Harden will be the MVP this season and believes that Harden has made the most amazing transformation in the NBA and has definitely become the best point guard in the NBA. He could have been the MVP without Westbrook’s triple-double.
Kawhi Leonard – Dennis Scott- Shaq O’Neal – Isiah Thomas
Shaq thinks that Kawhi Leonard has something to prove and without the injury, Spurs would have done better. Dennis Scott seconded the motion by saying that Kawhii has improved a lot and is the best two-way player in the league. Isiah Thomas could not have agreed less as he thinks he also was the best player last year.
Kyrie Irving – Kevin Mchale
Kevin McHale chooses Kyrie, a dark horse. He looks like he has a little reservation with his answer but just like Kawhi, Irving with his new home, has something to prove as well and according to Kevin McHale he will do a lot better in shooting and passing this year.
Aside from these three players, there are certainly a lot more great basketball players in the league that could potentially win the MVP and I could not believe that they left out the reigning MVP in the conversation and the greatest basketball player today in LeBron James. I think the two, regardless of who they are playing with should still be part of the conversation. Golden State Warriors is a different story as they all have accepted a leveled role within the team but with the case of OKC and Cavs, LBJ and Westbrook will still be the main man and the go-to guy. I am not picking the two to be the MVP this year but they will always be part of that conversation.
Kawhi Leonard and James Harden looks to be the most likely to win because they will have more chances of being the man on the court since no one else will or can. So I guess it could be between these two players.
James Harden and Zaza Pachulia may need to do some adjustments.
Golden State Warriors vs San Antonio Spurs in a critical game 1 of the western finals playoffs. Leonard takes the jump shot then Zaza Pachulia chases him over but not to block the shot but to occupy his landing space, that in the end injured the star player of the Spurs Kawhi. Warriors won that series.
In other news, Houston Rockets needing to score and James Harden got the ball but heavily defended. He leans towards his opponent and takes the shot and the foul, and one!
These are the kind of plays that will be closely watched by the referee this upcoming season in an effort to ensure fair play, protect players and make the game just a little more exciting.
Zaza Pachulia’s infamous moves against Kawhi Leonard made the headline and totally changed the complexion of the game. This year, referees will be able to review replays and figure if the defender is positioned in a way that can injure players or may have different intentions. They could upgrade the call to flagrant foul if deemed that the move is meant to injure and not to defend.
In the case of Harden and other players, it is somehow natural for players wanting to score to fish for a foul and one way of doing that is to jump towards your defender and put your arms right below theirs and there you go, you got a high probability of getting a foul called and earn two shots at the charity line.
It some ways, I feel that limiting the moves would limit the creativity of players as they will try to impose jump shooter to jump straight upward instead of towards the opponent.
What do you think of this rule?
Two of the best guards in the NBA today suited for the same team?
James Harden and John Wall franchise players for their respective teams in blue were putting on a show as they take exhibition shots after another to ignite the fans and put on a clinic.
James Harden breaking ankles, John Wall going between the legs of opponents and more…
James Harden is having a wonderful time in Houston. He is getting everything that he needed including cash and the perfect team mates. Jame Harden declared in this press con that he will stay with Houston forever.
EverythingTop10 is proud to present, The Top Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Houston Rockets Point Guard James Harden! Some of the amazing facts include what high school he attended and how much money his deal with Adidas was worth! Some other fun facts include what faith he practices and the reason why he started growing his trademark beard in 2009! Hope you guys enjoy these interesting facts about James Harden!
James Harden is cooking in Houston and Rockets is liking it. They will pay the NBA player a record breaking 228,000,000 million dollars for 4 years, even better than what the biggest contract given to Curry at 5-year, $201 million.
The amount that Harden is getting equates to 3 million peso a day, wait what?
Here is the computation in dollars.
4 years = $228,000,000
1 year = $57,000,000
1 game = $695,122
1 quarter = $173,780
1 minute = $14,481
1 second = $241
“Since he arrived in Houston, James has exhibited the incredible work ethic, desire to win, and passion to be the best that has made him one of the most unique and talented superstars in the history of the game,Additionally, the commitment he has shown to our organization, the City of Houston, and Rockets fans all over the world makes him a perfect leader in our pursuit of another championship.”
– Rockets owner Leslie Alexander said in the team’s statement.
There is not a lot of things to say here but Harden is the man!
What do you think about James Harden’s contract?
MVP! MVP! MVP! These chants may be filling the stadium of the Thunders and Rockets in their first round battle.
Westbrook and Harden are the strongest candidates for the MVP this season and there is no doubt that they will try to outdo each other to prove their point.
Here’s what they have to say.
Russell Westbrook & James Harden talk about facing each other in Round 1 of the Playoffs.
There are a number of players to be considered as MVP this year but for us it’s just between the two former Oklahoma players. Who do you think would win the MVP?
Watch the video below by NBA Skyline.
00:06 – Are Westbrook’s recent achievements just random or is there something behind it all + his MVP case
02:08 – James Harden confident that HE is the MVP
04:28 – Russell right after cementing his name in history
09:02 – KD on losing his mind throughout his recovery
I’m lost for words this time, hard to come up with a description of what happened last night…
Russell Westbrook cemented his name in history whether you like the way he plays or not and let’s be honest we
knew this was coming after the game in Phoenix where the Suns openly admitted to doing everything they could to bar him from achieving the record.
In the end they did him a favor, getting a record and losing the game don’t do much for a player’s legacy (*cough*Booker*cough) and Russell knows that, that’s why he…well you know what happened next.
James Harden has been very cool with Westbrook’s achievements so far, but after being caught with some tough questions postgame – without wanting to go into too much detail – he confidently thinks that HE is the MVP and getting stats don’t mean anything unless you win. Luckily we get a Houston-OKC matchup in the first round of the playoffs, so we will get to see who can get the Ws.
Finishing the video off with some Durant footage from his pregame press conference – he talks about how frustrating it was to have basketball “taken away” from him and how he managed to get through it.
Video was created in accordance with YouTube Fair Use policies and the 17 U.S.C. § 107 . If you own a clip in this video and want it taken down, please contact us and we will do so asap.
James Harden finished with his 20th triple-double (24 points, 13 assists, 11 rebounds) of the season but Stephen Curry (32 points & 10 rebounds) and the Warriors come out with a 113 – 106 win at Houston.
Let’s check out the best plays from both players’ incredible season as they both continue to compete for the MVP race.
(video courtesy of NBA)