Houston Rockets v Brooklyn Nets Dud: James Harden & Christian Wood
James Harden may no longer be a Rocket, but, as the second greatest Rocket in history, he gets a little grief in his return to a Toyota Center with real live fans.
If you glance at Harden’s box score it looks like an excellent night. He scored 25 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and dished 8 assists. However, he went 4 of 16 from the field and coughed up eight turnovers.
On a night when Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge rested, Harden needed to be special. Instead, he did his best impression of a bad night from Russell Westbrook. For his efforts or lack thereof, the Rockets remain the only team Harden hasn’t scored 40 points against.
Houston Rockets: Christian Wood's Offensive Dud
Christian Wood had his moments last night, a thunderous dunk and a rejection of James Harden being the best two, but he was a total non-factor on offense. Wood scored 12 points on 5 of 16 shooting, which included one of six shooting from three.
Calling Wood’s game a dud has more to do with the all-around excellence of his teammates. His rebounding and defense were good. However, Wood is an offense-first player, and he just didn’t have it against the Nets.
In the first half, Wood seemingly complained to the referees after every missed shot and turnover. Fortunately, the Rockets didn’t need Wood to be excellent to win, but they will in the future.
Wood has been much better now that he’s playing as the lone big, but if the Rockets are going to continue the upward trajectory, he needs to be more mature when things don’t go his way.
Complaining about non-calls is the best way to not get back on defense, and it also sets a poor example for younger players. Wood had a dud, but he’s still a stud.