Houston Rockets: Who should be the team’s main ball-handler?

By Trevor Tazioli
Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /

Should James Harden or Russell Westbrook be the main ball-handler for the Houston Rockets offense?

One of the biggest problems being reported on the Houston Rockets this upcoming season is that James Harden and Russell Westbrook will not be able to share the spotlight with one another. Both players have carried huge offensive loads for their teams in the past and have struggled to play with other superstars. Harden was not able to make it work with Chris Paul and Westbrook had the same problems first with Kevin Durant and then with Paul George. Can these two superstars put it together and finally get over the hump?

Make Westbrook a Two-Guard

One of the possible answers to this dilemma is to move Westbrook from the point guard to the shooting guard position. While he has been a point guard his whole career and has played very well at that position, with Harden it makes the most sense to move Westbrook. Westbrook has the size and athletic ability to guard any two-guard in the league and he has the potential to be a good catch and shoot threat from three.

He struggled from the three-point line last year but he will get more open looks with Harden playing the point and the Rockets offense is designed for those kinds of shots. Westbrook has shown that he can be a good shooter at times in his career, so with him taking better shots he should shoot a higher percentage.

Westbrook has the ability to play this role very well and it will take away any problems that may come with having these two trying to share the ball-handling duties. Westbrook can still be a playmaker for this team to take some pressure off of Harden, but Westbrook should have less ball-handling responsibility than he has had in the past and most of it should still fall on Harden.

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Harden is better at reading defenses and he will make the right pass when he has to. It’s already a near-impossible task to stop Harden by himself, but now that he has Westbrook as a second option it can take the Houston Rockets offense to the next level.