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As James Harden returns, Mike D’Antoni warns Rockets’ ‘fire’ will need to as well

There is no arguing how potent the Houston Rockets’ offense would be once James Harden is back on the fold. Head coach Mike D’Antoni, isn’t as excited as one might thought out to be, though, claiming there’s still something missing.

“I think there’s a lift, but there’s also a (potential attitude of) ‘we’re OK,’” said D’Antoni. “You’re never OK in the NBA. You should play with your hair on fire. If you don’t, you’re going to get beat.”

The Rockets have now endured seven, seemingly agonizing games without Harden, who’s recovering from a hamstring injury. The fast-paced attack is still there, but the Rockets are just 4-3 since in that span, and have already given up the Western Conference’s top spot to the Golden State Warriors.

The dark page of the season could soon be over, though, as Harden will return tonight in limited minutes against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Harden also sounded positive when he discussed his status to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

“I’m as good as it can get,” said Harden. “We’ll see. We’ll see how today goes, first time practicing. We’ll just take it for what it is, try to work, try to go through practice without any pain or discomfort and see how tomorrow goes.”

The Beard is pouring in beastly numbers on the season and he’s possibly the most fantasy-friendly player today with averages of 32.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 9.1 assists, 1.8 steals, and 4.1 threes made per game.


The Rockets are entering a three-game home stand, but all three visitors — the Timberwolves, Warriors, and the Miami Heat — all have much better momentum going for themselves. The Warriors and the Heat have each won eight of their last nine games.

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