James Harden, Russell Westbrook’s delayed bubble arrival will benefit Houston, claims Austin Rivers
Turning a negative into a positive is a great virtue to have in life, and Houston Rockets combo guard Austin Rivers is practicing it by looking at the positives of James Harden and Russell Westbrook not being in Orlando at the moment.
Westbrook tested positive for COVID-19, so he’s still in quarantine. Harden, meanwhile, is said to be feeling healthy and will join Westbrook on the plane ride to Orlando whenever Russ is cleared from COVID-19.
While speaking to Rockets reporters on Tuesday, Rivers talked about the bright side of not having Westbrook and Harden with the team at the moment at Disney World.
“I imagine for most teams, Thursday, by Friday, energy kind of sorts of goes down because of a lot of practices in a row. But when we get James and Russ, it’s going to be a whole jolt of energy,” Austin Rivers said, per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
Before the 2020 playoffs start, the Rockets will face the Dallas Mavericks, Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers in the seeding games.
It will be a good opportunity for Houston players to get back into game shape after not playing since March.
Prior to the season getting suspended, Harden was leading the league in scoring for the third consecutive year. The Beard was averaging 34.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 7.4 assists in 61 games for the Rockets while shooting 43.5 percent from the field, 35.2 percent from beyond the arc and 86.1 percent from the free-throw line.
Westbrook, meanwhile, was putting up 27.5 points, 8.0 boards and 7.0 assists in his first season with the Rockets. He was shooting 47.4 percent overall, 25.4 percent from deep and 77.7 percent from the charity stripe.
Once the playoffs begin, the Rockets will ultimately go as far as Harden and Westbrook can lead them offensively.