3. Team Chemistry
There is no doubt that the heart and soul of the team are Westbrook and Harden. They play a pivotal role in setting the tone before, during, and during games. In the last two games against OKC, Westbrook is often huddling up the squad during timeouts and coaching them. When this is happening, you can visibly see the team listening and observing what Russ is saying and doing.
Harden usually doesn’t show much emotion while on the bench, but during the 17-0 run at the beginning of the fourth quarter by Houston on Thursday, James could not keep his excitement contained — perhaps because this type of run doesn’t usually take place while Harden is on the bench.
Watching Harden cheer his teammates on with a big smile on his face is something we’re not used to but is a welcome addition. This type of energy from your leader is infectious and helps lift everybody to where the team believes anything is possible.
After a tremendous Game 2, the Houston Rockets proved that they are made up of many dimensions and shattered stereotypes that are held against them by oozing team chemistry, locking down on defense and stepping up while Harden is struggling.