The question that’s been on everyone’s minds since the D’Antoni hire is whether or not Harden can mesh with the new coach’s system.
James Harden is a premier basketball player. I’ll argue to anyone that he’s a top five talent in the league. However, Mike D’Antoni‘s best years were when he had a pass-first point guard in Steve Nash, not a guy like the Beard who likes to hold the ball for upwards of ten seconds at times.
If a compromise is reached by Harden and D’Antoni, the Houston Rockets could be looking at a prosperous future. It’s just worrisome because neither of those guys are known for compromising.
Houston Rockets news and notes from around the web
Rahat Huq of Red94 opined on the D’Antoni situation as well as other Rockets issues, notably making a case that Houston should forego the pursuit of an A-list free agent and instead try to stock up on B-listers like Jeremy Lin or Alan Crabbe.
"If you strike out on the top guys, you end up with nothing. I also still think sometimes about how the Rockets had Kyle Lowry wait while they courted Chris Bosh a few summers ago. There’s no clear indication Lowry would’ve chosen Houston over Toronto, but one can’t deny the odds would have been greater had they made him feel like a priority."
An opinion on the D’Antoni hire that isn’t so gloomy is that of Space City Scoop’s own Daniel Zepeda. He made five predictions for what the Rockets might look like under their new coach, and not all of them are bad. There are no assumptions of NBA titles, but Houston could go back to being relevant if the D’Antoni system integration goes well.
"Harden guarantees you an offensive weapon that only a handful of players in the league can match. With the return of , Ariza and Beverly, it gives you options both at the three-point line and attacking the basket. Team chemistry will continue to be the Rockets’ greatest concern. Michael Beasley"
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It’s been wondered by many how much influence Harden had in this whole situation. It’s assumed that he had his hand in D’Antoni getting the job, but according to Ananth Pandian of CBS Sports, he may have been too busy filming commercials with Trolli, the gummy worm company.
Harden and the Rockets will look to bounce back next season under the guidance of new head coach Mike D’Antoni, though it appears as if the All-Star guard has gotten a head start to his offseason training.
In a series of commercials for Trolli, the sour gummy candy company, Harden shows off some of his offensive skills in three old-school, 80’s inspired ads. His “coach” is quite the amusing character and helps Harden show off the hook shot:
Whatever Harden is doing during the offseason, his schedule better include more working out than it did last summer. The Rockets can’t afford to have their best player showing up out of shape again, especially with D’Antoni pushing the run-and-gun offense.
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