James Harden played 78 games last season and does not believe in taking games off to rest.
Russell Westbrook has missed just 14 of his last 328 potential games.
Does that change this season? Houston believes it is a title contender and both stars are entering their 30s.
That decision has yet to be made, sources told NBC Sports’ Tom Haberstroh.
Last month, Houston GM Daryl Morey made headlines when he responded to a question about load management on “The Dan Patrick Show,” saying the team will have “a very put together plan by our staff throughout the season to have our guys peak in April.” But sources told NBC Sports that no decision has been made to rest James Harden and Russell Westbrook entire games. Neither Westbrook or Harden have gone that route before, but it must be noted that Harden will enter his 30s, joining the 31-year-old Westbrook, later this month.
(Haberstroh’s story is about a new app that can help alert fans when a player is likely to get a DNP-Rest so said fans don’t head to the arena expecting one thing only to get another. It’s worth a read.)
The Rockets need to have both stars fresh and healthy for the postseason to have a chance (Harden has seemed to run out of gas in the playoffs in the past). That one-two punch of isolation players should prove tough to stop in the postseason, especially if the Rockets can have enough shooting around them.
How well Houston can defend with Harden and Westbrook on the court together will be the biggest factor in determining how long the team’s postseason will last.