Space City Scoop Round Table – Houston Rockets 2015-16 Season: Part 4

By Tamberlyn Richardson
4 of 6

May 10, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) is defended by Los Angeles Clippers guard J.J. Redick (4) in game three of the second round of the NBA Playoffs. at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Q18: Assuming the Rockets are healthier this season James Harden won’t have to shoulder so much of the load. Because of that what aspect of his game will be affected the most?

Andre: His defense hopefully. But also by not having to shoot or drive every time when on the offense his game will gradually improve and he might pick his shots more judiciously.

Anthony: Definitely his user rating, he nearly generated all of our offense last year.

Coty: I think James Harden’s assist number will take the biggest impact this season. Last season Harden averaged a career high 7.0 assists per game. He had to create for his teammates and score as well. Since Ty Lawson is a past-first point guard, Harden will no longer have to worry about being a facilitator on the court.

Eric: If Ty Lawson does indeed start, he will take the ball out of Harden’s hands at times, which can do two things. First, Harden’s assist numbers may go down a little. Second, Harden will almost certainly get some more open shots playing off the ball, which can increase his field goal percent. Also, (and most importantly), Harden will not be required to expend as much energy on offense with Lawson starting, which means he will have more energy to focus on defense.

John: I don’t see any major drop off in any aspect of his game. This is Harden’s team and Houston can only go as far as he takes them. I would have to say that we may see a few more big assist games from him due to all the shooters around him there should be quite a few open looks for guys on any given night.

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  • Joshua: Teams won’t be able to focus on just Harden this season, so his offense will come easier as the court opens up. If teams do choose to collapse on Harden, he will be able to find other open players he can rely on. Not having to force everything on offense, Harden’s game will become more natural, and he will also have more energy to spend on defense.

    Trey: His numbers, he will still be aiming for a triple-double every night, but he will have to deal with a small minutes reduction.

    Tamberlyn: With Lawson on board I say the primary stats that improve are his catch and shoot as well as his effective field goal percent while his usage rating and assists will diminish. Given he’ll have to do less (creating) with more (depth) I’d say his defense will slightly improve especially in critical games versus the top Western squads. Ultimately, the key will be getting him healthy and rested to spring.

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