James Harden may have the entire Western Conference fearing the beard in Houston this season.
Photo Credit: SBNation.com
Who said James Harden couldn’t be an alpha dog? Since his trade to the Houston Rockets, Harden has quickly cemented himself as one of the superstars in the league.
There were many out there who questioned whether or not the Oklahoma City Thunder were doing the right thing when they let Harden walk. The Thunder got some nice assets in return, but it’s hard to replace a guy like Harden. The Rockets know that well now.
Harden, through three games, is averaging 35.3 PPG, 6.3 APG and 6.3 RPG. He’s shooting 52.9 percent from the floor, 35.0 percent from three and 81.8 percent from the line. More importantly, Harden has eased into this Houston with no problems whatsoever. The Rockets have jumped out to a nice 2-1 start and will next host the 0-3 Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.
It’s been nice for Harden to have a player like Jeremy Lin by his side in the back-court. Lin has had a lot of pressure on him too and it seems like the presence of Harden has taken a lot of that pressure off of both players in fact. That duo should be an exciting one to watch all season long, barring injury of course.
Does the acquisition of Harden make the Rockets a legitimate contender for the title with your NBA picks this season? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but there’s every reason to expect Houston can challenge for a playoff spot out of the West. The bottom few spots in the Western Conference are always up for grabs, and with down years from other teams, there’s an excellent chance we could see Harden and company in the postseason. How about a Rockets/Thunder series? Wouldn’t that be wild?
Whatever ends up happening, bringing Harden on board has brought new life to the city of Houston. He’ll be making Rockets fans very happy this season.