Christian Wood praises Rockets’ team chemistry since adding James Harden

Ben DuBose
·2 min read

Following an offseason trade request by superstar guard James Harden and a delayed arrival at training camp, many around the NBA wondered if the team chemistry for the Houston Rockets could suffer.

According to newcomer Christian Wood, that has not been the case. Wood spoke to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on The Woj Pod, and the 6-foot-10 big man explained what the internal dynamics have been like for the team since Harden’s trade request and his late arrival at camp.

Among Wood’s comments:

Believe it or not, the team chemistry has been great. Since James has got in, we’ve all clicked. Especially since James and John [Wall] have known each other before even being on the team with each other. They already had an established relationship, so it was great. And then John and Boogie Cousins had a relationship, so they just mesh well. We’ve all just really come together.

I think our only thing was, we just didn’t have enough practice time together as a group. Either two guys were out, or James would be out, or John would be out. We’ve never just had that group as a whole, except maybe a couple games. The sky’s the limit for us, and I think we can make a push in the Western Conference.

Since signing a three-year contract with the Rockets in 2020 free agency, the 25-year-old has been a revelation as Houston’s starting center, averaging 23.3 points (54.1% FG), 9.7 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game.

Other topics discussed by Wood on Wojnarowski’s podcast include:

  • His long journey in professional basketball after going undrafted by the NBA, including an unsuccessful stint in China;

  • The knowledge and insight he gained from playing alongside elite big men like Joel Embiid, Anthony Davis,and Giannis Antetokounmpo during his early NBA years;

  • His personal experience with contracting COVID-19 in March and navigating the league’s new protocols;

  • How his relationship with new head coach Stephen Silas, who had previously worked with Wood in Charlotte, played a role in his decision to sign with the Rockets in free agency.

The complete podcast episode can be listened to below.

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