If you had asked me yesterday whether I think James Harden might reach the stratospheric level that LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Chris Paul are currently playing at, I’d’ve probably just looked at you funny. But then I plotted his Game Score data over his entire career (just as I did last week for Dwight Howard), and now the idea doesn’t seem so wild.

Harden career in summary_1-8-14

(Reminder: Game Score is a statistic invented by John Hollinger and available from Basketball-Reference that aggregates all of a player’s box-score statistics into a single performance metric.)

There are two really encouraging things about this chart:
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in essays

The Rockets Daily – January 8, 2013

Down But Not Out – David Barron of the Chronicle’s Ultimate Rockets blog has a story detailing the latest proceedings in the involuntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition filed against Houston Regional Sports Network, the Astros-Rockets-Comcast partnership that owns CSN Houston.

The unanimous consent rule has been cited as a hangup in efforts to increase coverage for the network, which is available to no more than 40 percent of the area’s 2.2 million TV households. Limited carriage led to limited income, which led to the bankruptcy filing by four Comcast affiliates last year in an effort to prevent the Astros from retaking their broadcast rights after they were not paid for several months.

There still appears to be a long way to go in all this mess, with the Rockets leading negotiations with multiple possible investors who might be able to rescue the network from an escalating legal battle.

As someone who currently resides outside of Houston city limits, with a cable provider other than Comcast, I can assure you I’m at the top of the list of people hoping for a quick resolution.  A person can only watch so many iPad-streamed Rockets’ games and nationally televised, mediocre Lakers’ games as a way to get his basketball fix.

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in columns

With all the days off the Rockets have had over the last couple of weeks, fans are hoping for a reboot.  So far, the Rockets are perfect in the new year.  We’re all hoping that the cohesion between players has started and that the team is ready to make a run.  Remember how the Lakers came together at the end of the year and started winning after claiming Howard had integrated with Kobe and the rest of the Lakers?  Is that the Rocket’s fate this year?  Is Howard gelling better with Harden, Lin and Parsons?  That’s the thing I’m looking for as the Rockets play five games in the next seven days.  The Laker game is the only one at home, but all of the games are winnable for the Rockets. As Rahat likes to say, the Rockets should win these games, so they probably won’t.

Maybe the time off has helped to heal Asik and Smiths’ knees.  Unfortunately Parsons now has a knee issue and is questionable for Wednesday.  Smith is also questionable.  The time has given our injured players some time to heal but with Beverley and Asik still out, the Rockets continue to play from behind the eight ball where injuries are concerned.  Everybody has missed games this year except for Howard.  Man, where would the Rockets be without Howard?  Harden hasn’t played in six games this year, Beverley ten, Lin ten, Asik 18 and Smith hasn’t played in 26 games.

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in game coverage

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