The hottest theory on the planet is not R+L=J (Game of Thrones) instead, it's the Houston Rockets will let James Harden be the team's starting point guard this upcoming season.
For years, more and more of the ball handling reasonability has gone to Harden. Last year they tried to pair Lawson with the Beard but that turned out to not only not work but it just might have been one of the things that set back the team.
While the team didn't thrive at all last season, they did get better and start winning games win the rock was in his hand. The recipe of Harden and a three-point shooter has worked very well. Patrick Beverley last year was 40% from three and was a great guy to pair with Harden.
The problem with the Beverley and Harden 1-2 is that only one guy could "really" create shots. Love Bev, but let's be real, he's a three and D guy until he takes his game to another level. Bev's best role is to be on the second unit giving them three-point shooting and pesky defense.
So if Harden is the creator, Harden should be the point guard right? A Eric Gordon and Harden starting backcourt can work just fine because you have two guys who can score and create.
Ever since the hiring of Mike D'Antoni, the biggest question has been, who is the Rockets Steve Nash? If you want to run the Phoenix Suns system, having a "Nash" would be pretty damn helpful.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey mentioned that D'Antoni's staff put together video packages showing Harden making the same passes Nash made in order to help and try to wow free agents.
"They're obviously different players," Daryl Morey said of the comparisons, "but I think people forget how creative and how great James' vision is as a passer. He's by far the best passing wing, we showed free agents how (if) you look at every player in the league how many points were scored off their passes and James was fifth and the first four were all point guards, he's ahead of all the other guys you make think off."
The narrative of Harden being a ballhog and an unwilling passer is just plain false. Harden is a very willing passer and does try to get everyone involved. Last season he created 18 points a game, and that was on a down year with pretty much with the whole team struggling with shooting.
Stephen Curry, the reigning two-time MVP and the guy most consider the gold standard at point guard, created much less than Harden at 15.8 points a game. The Dream Shake's loving editor Ethan wrote that it should be time for #PointBeard, and it seems like that time is actually here.
To get ready for the season Harden did admit he has been watching some old Suns clips to help him learn the system. He even agreed he can see the former two-time MVP in his own game.
"I got a little bit of Nash in me," James Harden said, "he had his own pace of the game, that's what I took out of that (watching the videos), you could never speed him up, you never could make him do what he didn't want to do, that's what separated him from any other point guard at the time."
There is only one Nash! It might take a while for Harden to have as much success he did in the system, but the Beard is a pretty good player in his own right. In transition, there aren't many people better at scoring and getting others shots. In pick and rolls he is deadly, and he can even make the crazy/insane "OMG how did he do that" passes.
Months to go before training camp and we start really seeing how the roles on the team will start working themselves out. But if Harden is getting ready for this season by trying to become Houston's "Nash," uh, count me in!
Outside of maybe a handful of players, the Rockets will not find a better option to handle the rock. If you tell me Russell Westbrook or Ricky Rubio will find their way to Houston, yeah I'll be on the board for that, and I am sure Harden would be to, but outside of that, give me #PointBeard.