Ironically, former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant made some comments about how ball dominance doesn’t win championships. This was a jab directed at James Harden, who has needed to embark on superhuman efforts as the Houston Rockets’ only high-level scoring option.

Harden told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle that Bryant’s comments don’t bother him:

“I have to be ball dominant because we have injuries. For right now, he’s probably right. This way won’t get us where we want to go. We haven’t had a full roster yet. I’m excited for that.”

Harden has been utterly ridiculous over the last couple of months. His play has thrust himself straight into the MVP race. He’s averaging 36.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 8.1 assists per game while shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 37.0 percent from beyond the arc. Nearly all of his scoring for the Rockets has come unassisted.

The Rockets started out this season fairly slow. Losing top wing defenders in Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute was a big problem early on. This put a lot of pressure on P.J. Tucker, who has taken on a huge role.

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Meanwhile, Chris Paul has dealt with multiple injuries this season. This, combined with his substandard production when on the court, has led Harden to take on such a large offensive role.

James Harden and the Rockets are now 31-22 on the season and sit fifth overall in the Western Conference. They face off next against the Sacramento Kings next at the Golden 1 Center.