Apollo Rocket: Will Harden and Paul Takeoff in Space City?
Written By Rahul Lal
The Houston Rockets finished 55-27 last season. In the past, that would’ve been enough to sit back and get ready for next season but with today’s super teams, the Rockets had to make a splash. They did just that by grabbing future hall of fame player Chris Paul from the Los Angeles Clippers. To make the money match, they had to part ways with a host of players who all provided depth for these Rockets but they should find plenty of success this season led by two superstars.
Most people had one or two major cause of concern - the positional fit and the fact that both of these players are used to being dominant ball-handlers. While some are worried, I’m not. James Harden put up MVP caliber stats as the new age point guard last season and Chris Paul is a player who is so supremely talented that he fits in any scheme in any role.
Fans got a chance to watch the duo play together in the Drew League which showed a host of threes and D’Antoni style offensive possessions. The Rockets will now have two players who are versatile with the ball and have the ability to run their pick-and-roll based offense from either side of the court. While some offenses may limit these players to playing within a system, in Houston they’ll only be defined by their respective skillsets.
Yes, the two do love to shave seconds off the clock holding the ball but neither are selfish. Collectively, Harden and Paul averaged over 20 assists per game in 2016-2017 and have a chance to get close to that given the ridiculous pace the Houston Rockets run at. As a team, the Rockets still boast high talents like Sixth Man of the Year Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson, Clint Capela, Trevor Ariza, P.J. Tucker and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. The Rockets will look to lock up a top two seed in the stacked western conference behind their star guards.