I didn’t watch the game last night. The wife and I landed in New York at 12:30 last night and after baggage claim, getting in to Manhattan, and then grabbing a quick bite, it was 3:00 AM by the time we finally called it a night. She was up again at 7:00 for a work conference, while I just got up like an hour or so ago. I’m downstairs drinking coffee, typing this on my phone – so if you’re reading this, thank you, because I hate typing posts on my phone. I watched League Pass’s condensed version of last night’s game after waking up, which consisted of a roughly ten minute compilation. From what I gather, the Rockets sort of had the lead for a lot of the game, the Warriors came back, turned it on, and then won. James Harden shot poorly and some weird confrontation ensued between he and Draymond Green, after the former allegedly pinched the latter…? Anyways.
First, let’s pump the brakes on jumping ship on the Rockets. Golden State-rejuvenated Portland-Golden State is like, a really tough three game stretch, that could only be tougher if it was Golden State-Golden State-Golden State. Ryan Anderson is also really important and James Harden is clearly injured.
Which brings us to my main point. Please stop the insanity and sit James Harden. This really isn’t worth it right now. 60 wins has been off the table for some time now, and I highly doubt the simplistic mode of thinking that would lead someone to favor Westbrook’s MVP campaign over Harden/Kawhi would lend towards an elastic reaction to a few missed games down the stretch for Harden. To put it another way, anyone who was going to vote for Westbrook was going to do it anyway.
He needs to get that wrist right. I saw some stuff on Twitter the other day about “they’re also factoring in the effects of him not playing on the wrist.” Now, I’m not a doctor but let’s back up here. While I get that perhaps playing isn’t making the wrist any worse, I grew up with the understanding that an injury required downtime for healing. Like I thought that was an axiom. Maybe I’m overreacting, but I hope this isn’t one of those things where ten years down the line we’re all like “hey remember in 2017 when the Rockets lost in the first round after tearing up the regular season because James Harden didn’t rest his injured wrist in chasing the MVP award?” the way I still bring up twenty years down the line how Carroll Dawson went into the postseason in 1997 with Matt Maloney as his only point guard. (I’m not over it). The Rockets as a team will be fine as long as they are healthy. These last three games aren’t some sort of existential indictment on their philosophy the way I’ve seen it suggested in some places. They’re going to be okay. But that wrist needs rest.