ESPN released their top 150 on Monday and the guys give their initial thoughts. They specifically offer their tiers for the top half of the first round and eventually make their way through the top…
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
May 11, 2019, 12:06 amJames HardenG, Houston Rockets
James Harden dropped 35 points on 11-of-25 shooting with eight rebounds, five dimes, six 3s, fvie assists and four steals on Friday but it was not enough as the Rockets lost to the Warriors 113-118 in Game 6, ending their 2018-19 campaign.
Harden was uncharacteristically off the mark from the free throw line, where he went 7-for-12 and he also committed six turnovers. The Rockets had a window to tie up the series with Kevin Durant sitting this game out with a calf strain, but it clearly was not enough of a handicap as the Warriors showed why they're the defending champs.
May 9, 2019, 1:15 amJames HardenG, Houston Rockets
James Harden hit 10-of-16 shots from the field and 8-of-10 from the line to finish Wednesday's Game 5 loss to the Warriors with 31 points, four rebounds, eight assists, three 3s, four steals and one block in 45 minutes.
Harden did his best to carry Houston but lacked enough support from his teammates in the first half, when Eric Gordon was having trouble finding his shot. The Warriors lost Kevin Durant in the third quarter with a strained right calf, so expect Harden and company to put on a show in a do-or-die Game 6.
May 7, 2019, 12:33 amJames HardenG, Houston Rockets
James Harden came up clutch in Monday's 112-108 Game 4 win over the Warriors with 38 points on 13-of-29 shooting while adding 10 rebounds, four assists, two blocks and six 3-pointers.
Harden looked different out there tonight, pushing the pace a bit and attacking his matchups more aggressively than years past. He went 6-for-17 from deep and drew some 3-point fouls and came up with huge plays down the stretch to help even up the series. The Beard looks locked in and as a result, we're treated to an exhilarating offensive display between him and Kevin Durant.
May 6, 2019, 10:05 pmJames HardenG, Houston Rockets
James Harden briefly went to the locker room on Monday after a Kevin Durant elbow to the head.
Harden was lying in the floor for quite a while after the collision, but he stayed in the game. He took a short trip to the locker room late in the first quarter before returning to the bench. He should be good to go for the rest of the game.
Source: Jonathan Feigen on Twitter
May 4, 2019, 11:38 pmJames HardenG, Houston Rockets
James Harden finished Saturday's 126-121 overtime victory with 41 points (14-of-32 FG, 5-of-13 3PT, 8-of-8 FT), nine rebounds, six assists and a steal.
Harden hit one of his trademark step-back triples in the final minute of overtime that more or less put the Rockets over the top. He had a brief exchanging of words with Draymond Green early in the game when Green's hand happened to brush Harden in the eye, but The Beard didn't look to be having too many vision issues in this one. Despite a bloody eye, Harden's going to be putting up gaudy numbers for the duration of Houston's playoff run. He and his teammates will try and even the series up in Game 4.
May 4, 2019, 7:32 pmJames HardenG, Houston Rockets
Coach D'Antoni has stated that James Harden is "good to go" for Game 3.
Harden's eyes were visibly red and there was a real cause for concern regarding his sight, but he looks fully available for Saturday's Game 3.
Source: Tim MacMahon on Twitter
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