Houston Rockets Fantasy Outlook
By Jason Gomez
Dec 31, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) pushes the ball upcourt while New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas (42) pursues during the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
Analyzing our Houston Rockets to help make the most of your fantasy team
Red Nations Fantasy Summit
James Harden and the Houston Rockets began 2017 the same way they ended 2016, winning in record breaking fashion.
On New Year’s Eve James Harden lit the Knicks for a new career high 53 points (9 triples), 16 boards, and 17 dimes. With this stat stuffing line, “The Beard” became the first player in NBA history to post a triple double with a 50-15-15 line. And, in the process tied the great Wilt Chamberlain, for the most points in a triple double. This game gave Harden five triple-doubles in December and got him voted as the Western Conference player of the month. Yea, Santa was good to our Rockets.
Now how do you provide an encore for the fans and media still crying for more? Hmm…how about you become the first Rocket ever to post three straight triple-doubles. In a battle against John Wall (Eastern Conference player of the week) and the Wizards, Harden led the Rockets in comeback fashion for a thrilling victory. He finished with 23 points (2 triples), 10 boards, 10 dimes, and 3 steals. This triple-double gives Harden his ninth of the season. If this isn’t MVP type caliber play, then what do you call that (in my Juvenile voice).
The “Rocket Launchers”, as they are being affectionately called, have also been integral to the success of this season. Ariza, Anderson, Gordon, and Harden have combined to hit more threes than any other entire NBA team this season. Impressive to say the least.
Now in this abbreviated fantasy outlook, let’s take a quick glance at how a few of our Rockets have performed over the last few games.
Next: Eric Gordon
October 26, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon (10) moves the ball up court against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Gordon-Sixth Man front runner
It’s funny what some will call a “slump” and others call an average night. Prior to killing the Wizards, Gordon scored 15 (3 triples), 13 (2 triples), 19 (4 triples), and 15 (5 triples) points. I guess you can consider that a mini shooting slump, when in comparison to his scoring earlier in the season. Since he has been so consistently great, it worries us when we see less than that. But, Gordon eased any concerns with his game against Washington. “Splash” Gordon finished with 31 points (6 triples), 2 boards, and 3 dimes and 1 block. In fact, he single-handedly kept the Rockets in the game and made way for their comeback win.
Eric Gordon currently leads the league in three pointers made at 136. Most of the media make it a point to say this is more than Steph Curry, but with Durant on the team, it’s obvious why the Warriors offense has changed. In my opinion, it’s kind of silly to mention this.
On another matter, Gordon has currently made it known he would like to participate in All Star Weekend. Specifically, in the three point contest. But, according to Harden, he believes Gordon is worthy of a roster spot in the big game. With games like the one he had against Washington, it’s hard to argue why Gordon isn’t deserving of an All Star spot and the Sixth Man award.
Next: Montrezl Harrell
Dec 30, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Montrezl Harrell (5) reacts after a play during the second quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Trez Harrell-more than just an option
Red Nation had some obvious anxiety when Capela went down, but Trez has been a beast. He has currently put up double digits in the last three games and is still only 37% owned. Against the Clippers, he finished with a career high 29 points, 3 boards, 3 dimes, 1 steal, and 1 block.
Last week Harrell averaged 18.7 points, 5.3 boards, 2.7 dimes, and 1 block per game. His energy helps to fuel the bench mob and Coach D’Antoni has come to trust this young man. It will be interesting to see how the rotation adjusts once Capela returns, but in the meantime Harrell’s enthusiasm is contagious.
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The Houston Rockets are coming off of a red hot December and have some tough games remaining this week. Westbrook and the Thunder are always a tough match and will be in Thursday evening. “The Brodie” seems as though he is trying to validate himself in OKC and distance himself from his MVP counterpart. Expect a good game when these two collide.
The remaining games are against the Orlando Magic in the second of the back to back. Then the Raptors on Sunday. These two games are on the road, so we shall see if the Rockets can keep up their intensity.
Be sure and follow Space City Scoop as the Rockets look to build on their current five game win streak. As always, make some noise Red Nation! See y’all at the game on Thursday.