Rockets History

Houston Rockets: A retrospective of the James Harden era

James Piercey
Los Angeles Lakers v Houston Rockets
Los Angeles Lakers v Houston Rockets / Carmen Mandato/Getty Images
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James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Five / Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Rockets' short-lived Russell Westbrook era in Houston

The Westbrook acquisition was the moment that rational fans began to realize we were done. The only-one-ball maxim becomes a truism when each backcourt partner is either unwilling or unable to do anything when they don’t possess the ball. Beyond that, the game plan going into the year was a little unorthodox: shoot the most threes in the league, with two players in the starting lineup who can’t shoot threes.

Russell Westbrook and Clint Capela probably couldn't co-exist on any NBA team in 2020, but certainly not on Mike D’Antoni’s Rockets. Still, the Capella trade was the moment the Rockets officially jumped the shark. Don’t worry about it, became the official team slogan. PJ Tucker, all of 6’5, the height of several people I know personally, will battle with some of the planet’s largest humans on a nightly basis.

In all actuality, I had personally long yearned for Robert Covington alongside a Chris Paul and James Harden backcourt with Clint Capela in the middle. That core would have formed a balanced dangerous lineup capable of elite offense and defense.

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