by Yusuf Gadlin
There is something special about the Houston Rockets this year. They are currently the third seed in the NBA’s Western Conference with a 30-9 record trailing the Golden State Warriors 2.5 games for the overall seed in the Western Conference.
Do we thank James Harden or Rockets coach Mike D’ Antoni? Seriously.
I’m really feeling this free flowing offense spear headed by James Harden who is thriving tremendously (28ppg, 8.2 reb, 11.8 ast) basically reenacting the great Steve Nash Phoenix Suns days. Nash won two most valuable player awards playing in coach D’Antoni Ak47 style like Offense (shoot,shoot,shoot.) Nash and D’Antoni made two back to back Western conference finals (2004,2005) losing in both appearances.
Similar circumstances may play out in 2017, but then again, nobody feared Steve Nash the way some, if not most, fear the beard(James Harden)in today’s NBA.
The left handed Two-God not two guard cannot be stopped with the basketball in his hands, period. Just watch YouTube highlights if you don’t believe me. Where I start to raise my eyebrows, yes both, is that James Harden is leading the league in assists at 12 dimes a night.
I love the roster construction of this team too. The veteran sharp shooting of Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon both averaging 14ppg and 18ppg respectively. The experience/inexperienced physical toughness combination of NeNe Hilario and my favorite, Montrezl Harrell. The gritty and grimy thug life defenders in Patrick Beverly , Trevor Ariza (NBA champion) , and Corey Brewer (NBA champion). And to top it all off, a nice solid athletic x-factorish center in Clint Capela (11ppg, 8rebs.) Theres no doubt about it, this Rockets team is oozing with talent .
The key for the Rockets making the NBA Finals is a premium on health, hunger, and chemistry. Sounds cliche, but if this team can be as silky smooth as those 2004, 2005 Phoenix Suns, NBA Finals here they come. The difference is those Phoenix Suns teams couldn’t, didn’t, acted, or probably was instructed not to play defense. This Houston team has the defensive Dogs to make enough stops even though anything remotely close to Defense was shredded in the coaching book of Mike D’Antoni years ago. Just a small inference on Defense should be implemented in the game plan and I’m picking the Rockets to go the NBA Finals.
#HoustonRockets #JamesHarden #NBA