There's an awful lot on the plate for this Friday show, with the Raptors hoisting a trophy, Klay tearing his ACL and trying to play anyway, and a Rockets post-mortem.
October 18, 2019, 11:17 pmJames HardenPG, Houston Rockets
James Harden continues to torch the preseason with his scoring as he dropped 44 points (12-for-26 shooting) including eight 3-pointers, seven assists, five rebounds and five steals as the Rockets topped the Heat 144-133.
This was vintage Harden as he also drained 12-for-13 shots from the charity stripe. The five steals are also good to see as steals are an underrated part of Harden's fantasy profile. If the preseason is any indication, the arrival of Russell Westbrook won't keep Harden from producing the type of numbers that make him a perennial MVP candidate.
October 16, 2019, 10:48 pmJames HardenPG, Houston Rockets
James Harden put up a very James Harden line in Wednesday's preseason loss, scoring 40 points (13-of-27 shooting) to go with 10 rebounds, seven assists and seven 3-pointers in 34 minutes.
Harden lead the charge for Houston while Russell Westbrook by contrast struggled to get things going (14 points on 3-of-13 shooting). The narrative for these two is how they will be able to mesh their gargantuan stat sets together. So far it's been a mix of one going off while the other struggles or even output from both that don't exacly mirror the hge numbers we're used to seeing out of them. They're both going to have relatively fine seasons, with Harden in particular still in contention to be the number one fantasy player again, but it's clear these two will experience growing pains as they continue to remember how to play with one another.
October 10, 2019, 12:23 pmRussell WestbrookPG, Houston Rockets
Russell Westbrook and James Harden scored 22 points apiece in Thursday's preseason victory, with Westbrook going 7-of-17 from the field with three rebounds, four assists, three triples and three steals while Harden added three rebounds, nine assists, three steals and a triple on 6-of-16 shooting.
It's worth noting that Harden did more of the distributing here, and that's definitely a wrinkle to watch as the preseason rolls on. The two make for a solid on-court fit but fantasy players will want to be mindful of how the duo could have a major effect on Westbrook's assists. It shouldn't be this drastic in the regular season, but Westbrook's stat set can't really support a major dip in dimes — at least not at his ADP.
October 8, 2019, 9:05 amJames HardenPG, Houston Rockets
James Harden had 34 points, seven assists, four triples, a steal and a block on 11-of-14 from the field and just 8-of-13 from the free throw line, as the Rockets fell to the Raptors in Tokyo.
The Beard played just 27 minutes and looked unaffected by the presence of Russell Westbrook next to him. Harden has looked unstoppable in the preseason so far and managers shouldn’t be at all worried by the addition of Russ to this Rockets team.
October 4, 2019, 11:01 amJames HardenPG, Houston Rockets
James Harden dropped 37 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, two steals and four 3-pointers as the Rockets topped the Clippers in Friday morning's preseason tilt in Volcano.
Harden went off like a volcano, doing this all in just 28 minutes. He somehow made 20 trips to the line in that time, hitting 17 of them. Russell Westbrook wasn't around for this one so we don't know what that pairing will look like just yet, but The Beard should be coming off draft boards in the top two picks.
September 30, 2019, 11:14 pmJames HardenPG, Houston Rockets
James Harden posted a 10-12-17 triple-double to go with a steal, two blocks and two 3-pointers in Monday's 140-71 win over the Shanghai Sharks.
Harden only attempted seven shots in this game and prioritized getting his teammates involved over himself. The competition was severely lacking which led to him getting a triple-double in only one half of action and he debuted his new one-legged 3-pointer (which missed) tonight as well. The Rockets ran a few sets where Harden played off the ball which was a new wrinkle that has rarely if ever been used. The usage should drop with the addition of Russell Westbrook, but if Coach D'Antoni can utilize both of his guards off the ball, we may see an efficiency increase.
September 11, 2019, 12:41 pmRussell WestbrookPG, Houston Rockets
Russell Westbrook and James Harden plan to work on more off-ball movement now that they are teammates on the Rockets, according to Alykhan Bijani.
Don't expect huge changes from either star, but it will be interesting to see how both Westbrook and Harden can take advantage of playing together. In particular, Westbrook had difficulty in isolation with the Thunder last season. Expect him to take advantage of defenses distracted by Harden's skill set.
Source: Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic
July 31, 2019, 11:40 amJames HardenPG, Houston Rockets
Daryl Morey talked about load management for James Harden and Russell Westbrook on the Dan Patrick Show, and when asked about whether that was part of the plan he said "Yeah, it always is (part of the strategy).
"We try not to label it. It’ll be a very put together plan by our staff throughout the season to have our guys peak in April," said Morey. Harden has won that battle and stayed on the floor as he played through injuries to pursue MVP awards, and Westbrook isn't exactly known for dialing it down, though both players could be wise to limit their pitch counts at this stage of their careers. On the other hand, the Rockets' depth is practically nil and they need to re-learn how to play together, so this could easily be a case of August talk not mattering a whole lot. We'll be monitoring the situation throughout the preseason.
Source: Alykahn Bijani on Twitter
July 19, 2019, 4:34 pmJames HardenPG, Houston Rockets
James Harden has taken his name out of consideration for the FIBA World Cup this summer.
Harden will be focusing his efforts on getting ready for next season. There figures to be a large adjustment coming with Russell Westbrook replacing Chris Paul, and Harden playing alongside a ball-dominant scoring guard rather than a distributor will be something that figures to have a rough patch or two. Still, Harden reportedly told the Rockets that he's comfortable with playing off the ball more, so it should work out. Team USA, meanwhile, figures to be just fine considering the depth of talent available.
Source: Jonathan Feigen on Twitter
July 17, 2019, 9:05 amJames HardenPG, Houston Rockets
Mike D’Antoni believes that Russell Westbrook will succeed in Houston, not because of how different he is than Chris Paul, but because of what he and James Harden have in common.
“That’s what great players do,” D’Antoni said. “Great players figure it out. They make it work.“ Considering all the Rockets gave up in order to acquire the 2017 MVP, there seems to be some urgency in order to make this work, but MDA sounded optimistic about the duo’s future in Houston. We’ll have to wait and see how this translates on the court but the initial signs from all parties involved sound extremely positive.
Source: Houston Chronicle
July 11, 2019, 8:34 pmRussell WestbrookPG, Houston Rockets
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Thunder have traded Russell Westbrook to the Rockets in exchange for Chris Paul, first-round picks in 2024 and 2026 and pick swaps in 2021 and 2025.
What a bombshell on a Thursday night. For all the talk about Westbrook to the Heat, we've ended up with the reuniting of Westbrook and James Harden. Paul will again become the main ballhandler in Oklahoma City and Westbrook and Harden can fight over who gets to chuck up more shots.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
May 24, 2019, 9:48 pmMike DAntoniCoach, Houston Rockets
Despite Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta stating his intention to bring back coach Mike D’Antoni, recent departures of key staff may indicate that the team is trying to nudge MDA out according to NYT’s Marc Stein.
Large parts of D’Antoni’s staff including assistant coach Roy Rogers, assistant Mitch Vanya, video coordinator John Cho and player development coach Irv Roland (noted for his work with James Harden) will not be returning next season for the Rockets. There’s some speculation that despite Fertitta’s comments, GM Daryl Morey isn’t fully on board and might be the primary reason behind the recent firings. D’Antoni has one more season on his contract and it’s looking increasingly likely that there will be another shoe to drop.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
May 23, 2019, 12:56 pmJames HardenG, Houston Rockets
According to reports from Shams Charania of The Athletic, James Harden and Chris Paul differed about the Rockets offensive style throughout the season culminating in a verbal back-and-forth throughout Game 6's second-round loss to the Warriors.
If true, this outlines deep discord among the teams two superstar players and their head coach. The report adds that Paul was pushing for more ball movement and distribution on offense and less emphasis on the iso-oriented approach that the Rockets heavily relied upon. The Rockets have the offseason to work on things, and with Harden and Paul making close to $80 million combined next season they'll need to figure out a way to mesh their philosophies quickly.
Source: NBC Sports
Houston came up short despite more brilliance from The Beard