In today’s NBA, it seems to be the Warriors and then everybody else. The Houston Rockets are looking to change that narrative this season. Here is a look at exactly how the teams are going to match up against each other this upcoming season.
Steph Curry is and has been one of the best guards in the game for a few years now. His ability to score just comes second-nature. But he had his great run as the best offensive player in the league. From what we saw last season, James Harden now holds that title. The Beard can attack a defense from every facet of the game; in the paint, beyond the arc, mid-range, free-throws (and drawing them), creating shots, and simply everything capable of an offensive-minded player.
Just between Harden and Curry alone, the advantage goes to Harden. But Daryl did not just stop there this offseason when he acquired Chris Paul, a perennial All-Star.
Chris Paul’s defense is just impeccable, which might be why he just recently was voted 1st team All-Defense. His defensive abilities are going to push this Houston lineup to more offensive opportunities, because he will give the offense a head start when turning the ball over.
We can’t even stop there; Chris Paul is one of the best floor-runners in the game today. His vision of the court is better than that of nearly anyone in the history of the league, proving that with his many seasons leading the league in assists.
Very few teams have a player of James Harden’s caliber, and just about no other team has a backcourt duo with the same talent as Houston does. But no team has ever had guard depth like the 2017 Houston Rockets.
The reason for that last statement is the presence of Eric Gordon and what he brings to the team. Just starting with his game, he is a very pure scorer. He has a touch from beyond the arc that very few people in the league can match, which could be the reason why he won the 2017 3-Point contest.
Beyond his deep ball, he keeps the defense honest by driving to the rim on occasion. He drives opposing defenses crazy, mainly because he often is getting his playing time against opposing teams’ backups. The fact that he brings such a high level of efficiency off the bench is just impeccable. He won the 2017 Sixth Man award in good manner and it was well-deserved.
We still have another All-Star to discuss and that is Klay Thompson. The second member of the Splash Brothers is an elite three-point shooter, and I mean absolutely dominant. But offensively, that is nearly all he brings to the court. Defensively, he is not a lockdown defender and plays above-average at best. His play certainly cannot go unnoticed but he simply cannot matchup against James Harden.
Beyond them, the Warriors tried to find their own Eric Gordon when they signed Nick Young to compete with Shaun Livingston for guard minutes off the bench. Both players are average on both sides of the ball and should thrive in their respective positions. But they simply cannot do what Gordon does.
All in all, the elite talent that the Houston Rockets hold just cannot be beaten (at least on paper).
Guard Advantage: Houston Rockets