Jalen Rose concerned about James Harden and Russell Westrbook nonexistent partnership for Rockets
With how the Rockets preseason went, Rose — an ESPN analyst — has already noticed a concerning nugget about the superstar tandem’s partnership, per Ian Begley of SportsNet New York.
Rose said he believes the Jazz, Rockets and Nuggets have a chance to finish ahead of either the Lakers or Clippers in the West. But he has concerns about the Rockets’ star partnership between James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
“The one thing I’ve seen in the preseason with their team that I hope doesn’t carry to the regular season is James is playing like Russ ain’t on the team,” Rose said. “He’s getting his buckets and he’s balling like he’s supposed to but it’s not a partnership on the floor yet.”
Westbrook and Harden have played together in four of Houston’s five preseason contests.
In those four games, Harden averaged 35 PPG on nearly 21 shot attempts per contest. He also paired those scoring numbers with 5 RPG and 7.5 APG a night. Russell Westbrook, on the other hand, notched just 16.3 PPG on a little over 13 field goal attempts per game, to go along with 3.3 RPG and 4.5 APG.
As you can see with his numbers in the preseason, Harden is already in midseason form. Those stats are pretty much his standard for the regular season and he continues to feast and get his.
On the other hand, Russell Westbrook, who is currently nursing a finger injury, has not gotten his share of the pie. His numbers are a far cry from his usual, especially in the past three seasons, where he averaged a triple double.
Nevertheless, it’s still just preseason and Russ is probably just taking it easy. Still, numbers do talk, and if this continues to be the norm this season, then this could potentially be a cause for concern for the Rockets.