Houston Rockets: Re-ranking the top 10 NBA backcourts after 50 games

Houston Rockets Russell Westbrook James Harden (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Russell Westbrook James Harden (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets Russell Westbrook James Harden (Photo by Cato Cataldo/NBAE via Getty Images) /

1. Houston Rockets – Russell Westbrook and James Harden

Combined average: 62.1 PPG, 14.6 APG, 14.4 RPG
Previous rank: 1

50 games after our previous prediction, the Houston Rockets’ backcourt has not given any reasons to knock them down this list. The team itself has some issues they need to work out before legitimately contending for an NBA championship, but those have more to do with some necessary roster and strategy changes than anything Russell Westbrook or James Harden are doing wrong.

As you can see from their combined averages, Houston’s backcourt is doing it all for the Rockets, scoring 52 percent of the team’s 118.7 points per game by putting up 62.1. The duo, which as of Thursday now has 17 NBA All-Star selections between the two, is producing at an insane rate compared to every other backcourt in the league.

Related Story. The Rockets need to ditch Harden isolation plays

James Harden is averaging a league-leading 35.6 points per game along with 6.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists while Russell Westbrook is pitching in 26.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.4 assists of his own. The numbers the two have been putting up throughout their entire careers were already impressive enough, but having them part of the same starting lineup now is giving the Rockets two dangerous weapons on any given night.

Most 40p/10r/5a games since 1982:

26 — James Harden
25 — Russell Westbrook pic.twitter.com/QKXwPp40ZP

— StatMuse (@statmuse) February 2, 2020

Despite having the first-ever NBA backcourt comprised of former NBA MVPs, Mike D’Antoni still hasn’t been able to live up to expectations so far after 49 games. With their roster as constructed, the Rockets should have a realistic shot at finishing the season as at least the number three seed in the West, but they currently sit at 2.5 games behind that position as of Monday.

Next. Eight 3-and-D players the Rockets should pursue

The good news for Space City is their backcourt is performing as they were expected to coming into the season. With some adjustments and/or roster changes, the league’s best backcourt could translate to playoff success come mid-April.