1. James Harden
Surprise, surprise, James Harden is number one. Although it’s become obvious for Harden to sit atop a list, we simply can’t leave him off, especially after his 60-point outing in the Rockets’ last game against Atlanta.
During that game, Harden had only 24 field goal attempts and shot a scorching 57.1 percent from downtown. On top of that, he got to the free throw line 23 times and made 87 percent of his free throws. As if this weren’t enough, Harden also dished out eight assists and had three steals as well, which should continue to shut down the narrative of Harden applying lackluster effort on the defensive end of the floor.
During the Houston Rockets’ two games against the Hawks during the 2018-19 season, Harden averaged 29.5 points per game, which seems low for a player as great as Harden. With Westbrook not playing in this game and Eric Gordon possibly on a minutes restriction, expect Harden to have the green light to fire away. Not only is Harden impossible to stop, the Hawks don’t necessarily have anyone who is viewed as an elite defender, which also spells trouble.
On top of that, Harden is coming off of five days of rest, which was much needed considering the heavy minutes he’s been asked to play this season. While it’s hard to top a 60 point outing, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Harden drops 50, which would also be entertaining to watch. Considering the fact that Harden will be asked to carry the load with Westbrook resting, and it seems like a lock for him to score at least 40 points.