2. The Rockets still have James Harden and Russell Westbrook
Although much of Rockets Twitter has been warning of dark times ahead for the franchise, the reality is that the Rockets have two All-NBA players in Russell Westbrook and James Harden, thanks to Morey being able to work his magic. Westbrook and Harden both turned in great performances in 2019-20, as Harden finished as an MVP finalist and led the league in scoring, while Westbrook was one of only three players with 1500 points, 450 rebounds, and 400 assists.
This was an impressive feat for the duo to pull off in their first season with the Houston Rockets, as it normally takes time for superstars to adjust and adapt to playing alongside one another. This is especially the case considering the Rockets’ style of play, which doesn’t fit with Russell Westbrook’s game, at least on the surface.
This was also the case considering the amount of change the Rockets underwent in 2019-20, as they traded away Clint Capela, while bringing in Robert Covington. In addition, the Rockets alternated between Danuel House and Eric Gordon in the starting lineup, which means they made changes at three positions in the starting lineup during the same season.
We should only expect the Rockets to perform better in year two of the superstar pairing, as they’d not only benefit from having more comfortability with one another, but also benefit from having a season without a break in action, which slowed down Russell Westbrook’s heightened level of play heading into suspension of the season.
The reality is that the Rockets will go as far as Westbrook and Harden take them, which is beyond encouraging to be depending on two former MVPs. The Rockets will always be at least a top-five team in the Western Conference, so long as Westbrook and Harden remain in their prime.
Based on how they looked in 2019-20, we shouldn’t expect those prime years to be ending any time soon.
Next: No. 1