Rockets star James Harden takes massive ‘first’ step ahead of restart
Harden arrived in Orlando on Wednesday after a slight delay kept him from joining the rest of the team. Teammate Russell Westbrook announced his positive test for the novel coronavirus on Monday while big man Bruno Caboclo was forced into extended quarantine after breaking it during the initial two-day confinement.
The Rockets will have to wait a while before their full team is assembled, as Westbrook still has to test positive twice before rejoining the team.
Thankfully Harden, who runs vast part of the half-court offense, will be back in practice today, giving the team two full weeks of their best player on the court.
Houston is sixth in the Western Conference and hoping to inch a few spots higher to draw a better playoff matchup. Now that home-court advantage is nonexistent at the Walt Disney World complex, the Rockets will have to line out the best possible playoff series to make their way to the NBA Finals.
Mike D’Antoni, who did not sign a contract extension with the team in the summer, likely has his job hinging on that very accomplishment.
The team’s success and failure will be in part connected to Harden one way or another after falling short of that grand goal in recent seasons.