The 2006 NBA Finals Reenactors, aka The Memphis Grizzlies, have fallen on New Year’s Eve to James Harden and The Rockets. Yes, we’ve gotten to that point. Harden’s the headliner, the Rockets are the backup band right now. But James Harden is such a big star, the way he’s playing, that he deserves the top billing, and he can carry the whole act.
The past two victories have both threatened to spiral into Friendly Blowouts for the Rockets, but a combination of bad shooting, turnovers, inspired opponent bench play have prevented this. The main downside there is that James Harden and the starters have to play minutes that they otherwise would not.
It’d be nice if MDA would have a bit of faith in letting the blowouts happen, instead of using James Harden to fix any and all problems. Perhaps when Chris Paul and Eric Gordon return?
In any case, it’s a win, the Rockets are relevant, and they went 11-4 for December, and 13-2 was entirely possible. James Harden is otherworldly, and the Rockets seem to have a roster that works. Oddly enough, the addition of Austin Rivers (and the return of Nene) tipped the bench from “not too destructive” to “can destroy opponents”.
The Rockets are not just surviving the loss of Chris Paul against a murderer’s row of competition, they’re winning. It’s a testament to the Headliner, the best player in the NBA, James Harden.
Honorable Mention - Gerald Green made some huge shots tonight to stop Memphis runs.
Name the Backup Band
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