It didn’t take long after Russell Westbrook was traded to the Houston Rockets for people to start questioning how his game would mesh with James Harden’s.
Even though the two have teamed up before — the two played on the Oklahoma City Thunder together with Kevin Durant from 2009-2012 — the concerns are legitimate. Both guards are undoubtedly two of the best offensive players in the league.
Harden averaged a career high 36.1 points per game last season with the Rockets, and had an insane stretch of 32 straight games where he scored at least 30 points. Westbrook averaged a triple-double for the third-straight season last year, too, putting up 22.9 points with 11.1 rebound and 10.7 assists per game. Successfully mixing two offensive talents like that has, naturally, raised concerns.
Harden, though, isn’t worried one bit.
“When you have talent like that, it works itself out,” Harden said Friday, via Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston. “You communicate, you go out there and compete, and possession by possession, you figure things out. Throughout the course of the season, you figure things out. That’s just what it is. When you have talent, you have guys with IQ, you have guys that are willing to sacrifice, it always works itself out.”
James Harden (@JHarden13)says he & Russell Westbrook (@russwest44) don't have to change their games to make this work:"When u have talent like that it works itself out..Throughout the season u figure things out..U got guys that are willing to sacrifice,it always works itself out" pic.twitter.com/WWDiLqAbsI— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) July 19, 2019
The Rockets already have an incredibly talented roster to pair with Harden and Westbrook, including Eric Gordon, PJ Tucker and Clint Capela. Getting Westbrook and Harden to mesh together in the backcourt will certainly be the key for the Rockets this season if they are going to make it to their first NBA Finals since 1994-95.
If they can’t get the two offensive powerhouses to do so, however, it could make the Rockets’ decision to trade away Chris Paul look bad, fast.
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