Rockets 15-0 when Chris Paul, James Harden, Clint Capela start, 15-12 when they don’t
The Houston Rockets, despite a recent slide, are still squarely in the second spot for the playoffs in the Western Conference. The biggest reason for that could be because of the availability of their main players.
The Rockets, currently 30-12 and five games behind the Golden State Warriors in the playoff picture, have lost all 12 of those games when either James Harden, Chris Paul or Clint Capela does not play. When they all play, the Rockets are undefeated — literally — per ESPN Stats and Info.
The Rockets are 15-0 this season when James Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela all play. They are 15-12 in all other games.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 18, 2018
Of course, every team will be better when all of their best players take the floor. But what makes this interesting is the fact that Paul is new to the Rockets this year.
There were plenty of voices out there in the NBA universe that openly wondered if Paul would fit well with Harden, and if maybe Paul’s specific skill set was redundant for that particular Rockets team.
But numbers don’t lie. With Paul, the team is dominant. And he is obviously fitting in seamlessly with the other players on the Rockets.
The reason Paul fits is because he makes the Rockets that much more dynamic. Harden was the only ball-handler last season, and all defenses would need to do is force it out of his hands to muck up the offense.
Now with Paul, there’s two players who can create and score well. Capela is the perfect complement for both Paul and Harden because all he has to do is set good screens and he’ll get dunks and lobs all night long.