James Harden and Chris Paul are two players who like the rock in their hands. That wasn’t much of a problem last season when they were both playing for different teams, but now that they’ll find themselves sharing the court as teammates, most folks are left wondering whether it’s such a smart idea for the Houston Rockets to cuddle two ball-dominant players on the same team, let alone on the same starting unit.
Steve Smith of NBA TV raised the issue to Harden and Paul and as expected, the players’ answers were very diplomatic. After all, there’s no reason to ignite the flame of unnecessary intra-rivalry when the season hasn’t even begun yet.
"It's definitely going to work." @JHarden13 and @CP3 discuss the move from LA to Houston. #NBAMediaDay pic.twitter.com/srwARujohy
— NBA TV (@NBATV) September 25, 2017
As noted by Harden, he and Paul are “two high IQ guys” who have the common goal of bringing a title to Houston.
Under Mike D’Antoni’s head coaching last season, Harden developed into a legitimate point guard. That’s about to change, as he’s expected to shift back to his original shooting guard/small forward hybrid role with Paul ready to assume point guard duties in Houston’s backcourt.
Harden had an MVP-quality type of campaign last season when he averaged 29.1 points, 11.2 assists, and 8.1 rebounds per game for the Rockets. Paul, on the other hand, put up 18.1 points and 9.2 assists per contest for the Los Angeles Clippers.