Rockets star James Harden explains mindset without Russell Westbrook
The Houston Rockets were dealt a significant blow recently when they learned that superstar point guard Russell Westbrook is set to miss a couple of games of their first-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder due to a strained quad. For his part, James Harden talked about how he plays when he doesn’t have Westbrook by his side.
According to Harden, his mindset stays the same even in the absence of his backcourt buddy:
“For me, nothing changes no matter who’s on the court,” Harden said, via Kelly Iko of The Athletic. “My aggressive mentality no matter who’s on the floor. What’s missed is his ability to get to the basket, draw defenders in and create opportunities for our team. Not only him but House, Eric is getting into his rhythm, P.J. didn’t play an entire game—it’s our entire group. We’re fully healthy, which we were these first few games, we’re a really dangerous team. We gotta get guys healthy and get them back on the court as soon as possible.”
Harden, of course, also acknowledged that Westbrook is going to be a big loss for the Rockets. However, he also expressed how he intends to play his game without any difference in terms of his aggressive mindset. Harden has been amazing for the Rockets since the restart, averaging 35.3 points (on 53.6 percent shooting), 9.2 rebounds, 8.7 assists, and 3.0 steals in 35.8 minutes per contest.
The former league MVP, however, will need to take on an even larger role for the Rockets sans Westbrook when the Rockets go up against an upstart Thunder side in the first round.