Houston Rockets superstar James Harden was far from derailed by his recent hamstring injury. With the All-Star break fast approaching, Houston’s #1 guy sets his sights on the All-Star game.
The Houston Rockets (31-12) are currently second in the Western conference and have endured some adversity along the way. Luc Mbah a Moute missed time with a dislocated shoulder. CP3 missed time at the beginning of the season. Recently, James Harden missed 7 games with a hamstring injury. Through it all, the Rockets remain one of the top teams in the NBA.
Then there was the locker room incident a few games ago. Trevor Ariza and new addition Gerald Green were hit with two-game suspensions. And speaking of Green, he’s among the new guys in the rotation that have come and gone this season. In other words, the Rockets have just about seen it all this season. However, it hasn’t derailed the team and their leader, despite being hurt, has been fantastic all season.
Despite missing those 7 games, Harden still finds himself among the top 5 in many categories. Here are a few notable areas James Harden leads in:
Points per game: 31.7
Player efficiency rating: 30.1
Win shares: 8.0
Box plus/minus: 10.0
Combine a player like that with Chris Paul, and this team is to be a true contender. And that’s exactly what the Houston Rockets are at full strength.
While the stats won’t show it, Harden has also made a difference defensively. On the season, Harden is averaging 1.8 steals a game and when on the defensive end, his stance even looks better. In other words, James Harden actually stays on his assignment better than in years past. And while that’s not a glamour stat, it doesn’t matter as long as it helps the team win.
And indeed, winning is what this team has been up to. Another amazing aspect of James Harden’s season is his leadership. While many experts most likely expected Chris Paul to be the voice of this team, it has actually been Harden demonstrating that he is the undisputed leader. Why is that? It’s simple. Because this team will go as far as James Harden can take them. The difference this year is that cast around him is prepared to take on the best of the NBA, the Golden State Warriors.
What is also noteworthy is that James Harden’s importance was on full display when he got injured. The team is simply not the same. While CP3 is not by any means a downgrade, it just helps the offense to have both on the floor. He is very deserving of being a starter in the All-Star game. Next goal, win the MVP. Because he is certainly the MVP of the Rockets. Congrats, James! Well deserved honor and there is no one better to represent the Rockets out in L.A. this year! Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for more Rockets!