James Harden and Chris Paul have seen a lot of each other this summer. You can hardly open Instagram without seeing the two balling out, settiing each other up for three-pointers, wearing similar clothing.
Being basketball bros.
It’s been refreshing to see. All summer, we talked about how chemistry and fit are the main things that could prevent the Rockets from achieving great things this season. And all summer, Harden and Paul have been playing together, figuring out their fit and building chemistry.
Much of this has taken place in Los Angeles, I believe, Harden and Paul’s home for the summer, while others have happened in Houston, either early in the summer training, or now, as they help with Harvey relief efforts.
After the 2015 turd sandwich of the season, when Dwight Howard opted out and ran to Atlanta, Harden did the same thing with his remaining teammates. Basically the whole team got together in Miami and trained for weeks. The chemistry immediately translated to the court as soon as the whole team got healthy. Remember that time they won 10 straight games then nine straight games? That was awesome.
Just like I wrote last September, there’s no guarantee this will work. Harden came into the season out of shape in 2015 and it was a problem.
Last year, he worked out with his teammates, came into the season ready and had another MVP-caliber season. We already know the dude has beefed up this summer, likely getting ready to guard more power forwards like he did last season in the playoffs.
There’s no guarantee, but this is a great sign for the season. When Harden has been locked in in an offseason, it has translated to sterling on-the-court results. He’ll have his most talented team around him in Houston, and it seems that group will get the most out of Harden. Can the season start already?