Houston Rockets: Where Harden/Westbrook rank in top-5 backcourts
In their acquisition of Westbrook, the Houston Rockets re-established the fact that they have one of the best starting backcourts in the league. However, is it the best starting backcourt in the league?
The blockbuster move to bring Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets still has the fan base in a frenzy, and rightfully so. How does a backcourt of Russell Westbrook and James Harden stack up against other star-studded backcourts across the league?
I will lay out my opinion on the top 5 backcourts, should they all be healthy, and see where the Rockets fall within the list.
No. 5: Washington Wizards
Point Guard John Wall and Shooting Guard Bradley Beal– I am fascinated by this paring for the Wizards. On one hand, this pairing has never been able to the promised land of winning an NBA title, but man oh man, I love both of their games. In the 2018-2019 season, these 2 (combined), averaged on a per-game basis: 46.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, 14.2 assists, 3 steals, and 1.6 blocks. It should be noted that Wall only played in 32 games, before suffering a season-ending injury.
No. 4: Utah Jazz
Point Guard Mike Conley Jr. and Shooting Guard Donovan Mitchell– Yes, we have not seen this pairing appear in any games as of yet. However, their pairing certainly should scare any opponent on a nightly basis. Last season, Mitchell averaged on a per-game basis: 23.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and only 2.8 turnovers. With the addition of master ball handler, Mike Conley Jr., that is only going to elevate Mitchell’s game.
No. 3: Portland Trailblazers
Point Guard Damian Lillard and Shooting Guard C.J. McCollum- This paring is an anomaly for me. One one hand, their talent is undeniable. Last season, they finally willed their team to western conference finals appearance (which is why they are this high on my list). On the other hand, they lost in a clean 4-0 sweep to the Warriors. With a much different looking Warriors team, can this be the season the Blazers take the next step and represent the West in the NBA Championship?
No. 2: Houston Rockets
Point Guard Russell Westbrook and Shooting Guard James Harden- From a statistical perspective, it does not get much better than this pairing. Their numbers are off the chart (36.1 points per game, 6.6 rebounds per game, and 7.5 assists for Harden, and (22.9 points per game, 11.1 rebound per game, and 4.1 assists for Westbrook ). At this point in their career, they have to set aside the need to garner the huge numbers, and focus on the ultimate goal… WINNING A CHAMPIONSHIP FOR H-TOWN! The question is, can they do it?
No. 1: Golden State Warriors
Point Guard Stephen Curry and Shooting Guard Klay Thompson– As much as it pains me to put them in this spot, I have no choice. Since the 2015 season, the Warriors have won 3 NBA Championships. With that accolade alone, this pairing deserves to be at the top of this list. With Thompson out for the majority of 2019-2020 season, we are going to learn a lot about how much of the burden Curry can shoulder without his fellow splash brother. With the addition of D’Angelo Russell, will the Warriors make another run at the NBA title? That is certainly of the many fascinating headlines heading into next season.
Fellow Rockets and NBA fans, what do you think of the list? Agree? Disagree? Please let me know your thoughts. Now, and forever, GO ROCKETS!!!