With the trade deadline sneaking up right behind All-Star weekend, trade rumors continue to swirl. But while the conversation centers on who and where, why is just as important to ask. The Rockets are certain to make a move at the deadline, as they have every deadline under General Manager Daryl Morey’s stewardship. What exactly that trade is speaks to the plans for the future of the team.
Stat Sheet Stuffer – James Harden put up his first career triple-double on Saturday night against the Bobcats. He had 21 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, one block and one steal. That’s a legit triple-double, as opposed to the JaVale variety. Fortunately, someone distilled every one of his buckets, boards and dimes into one video.
Stay classy, YouTube.
After the break: a breakdown of the Beard’s postgame interview, Patrick Patterson owns the 4th, and PED’s might be everywhere.
In a game like this against one of the worst teams in the league, the worst thing you can do is come out slow and complacent. Charlotte is not a team with a big come back in them. By putting up a big 20+ lead early and knocking the belief out of a team used to losing, you ensure you can relax later in the night, perhaps playing the reserves for a stretch. The mantra of “good teams know what to do in the crunch” isn’t really true, after all – if the level of the two teams is disparate enough, the better team should be pulling away in the first three quarters and not allowing there to even be a crunch time. The goal for the Rockets tonight was not just to win – that was expected – but to win comfortably against a team that is still in the NBA basement and only one year removed from the worst season in NBA history.
The grueling January schedule is finally over, and the fact that Houston still remains a playoff team after that is something to celebrate. However, the February schedule is not particularly easy either. While Houston will only play 11 games in 28 days as opposed to the ludicrous 17 games in 31 days of January, only four of those games will be against teams currently not in the playoff race.
This is James Harden’s first season playing major minutes as the focal point of an NBA offense. And not just any NBA offense. Backed by Harden’s ability to turn himself into a one man fast break three or four times a quarter, the Rockets play with turbo boosters at all times. Every 48 minutes he participates in 99.42 possessions, per NBA.com/Stats, which, by a wide margin, leads all players averaging at least 20 minutes per game. Speaking of minutes, he’s played 1798 of them, more than anybody in the entire league.