The Houston Rockets have taken the NBA by storm, getting off to an incredible 12-1 run in November. The Western Conference leaders bulked up even more upon the return of All-Star point guard Chris Paul, but surprisingly, this team has done more with Paul or James Harden on the court individually than put together as one of the best backcourt tandems in the league.
According to ESPN Stats & Info via Tim MacMahon, Harden has a plus-32.7 net rating during the team's seven-game win streak when he's on the court by himself, and Paul has a plus-43.9 mark when he's on his own as well — a staggering stat compared to the mere plus-10.7 net rating of the two combined.
Rockets' net ratings during 7-game win streak since Chris Paul's return (via @ESPNStatsInfo):
James Harden/CP3 on floor: +10.7
Just Harden: +32.7
Just CP3: +43.9
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 4, 2017
Paul and Harden are both undeniable All-Star-caliber players on their own right, but separately, they're able to play their own game more freely and really mold the pace of the game to their strengths, the way they did last season for their respective franchises.
The two guards don't necessarily mesh seamlessly with their style, and while they can coexist just fine on the same hardwood, they can best exploit their talents when they are the key presence on the court than when they're sharing the spotlight.