Chris Paul, James Harden combine for the most clutch duo in the last decade
When the Houston Rockets traded for Chris Paul last offseason there was a lot of questions about how well he and James Harden would be able to work with each other.
But it was pretty clear early on in the season the two could co-exist and they currently have the Rockets sitting with the best record in the NBA.
Tim MacMahon of ESPN recently dove into what is making the Rockets have so much success, and he found some interesting results.
Clutch time is considered a game being within five points in the final five minutes, and the Rockets have dominated that. They currently have a plus-48 scoring differential when the game is played under that criteria.
James Harden and Chris Paul have been the key to the team being so good in clutch time.
How’s this for Clutch City? James Harden and Chris Paul have the best clutch offensive rating (161.7!) of any duo with 30+ minutes in at least a decade. Story with many assists from @MicahAdams13: https://t.co/WkcIwM1cOa
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) March 6, 2018
“Harden, the NBA’s scoring leader and MVP frontrunner, remains the Rockets’ clear first option in crunch time. His clutch stats when paired with Paul: 42 points on 13-of-23 shooting with five assists and zero turnovers.”
For Paul, his stats aren’t much different when paired with Harden.
“His clutch stats when paired with Harden: 30 points on 7-of-8 shooting with seven assists and two turnovers.”
For Paul all of his career he has been the guy who has had to take the shots when crunch time rolled around, so the fact that he has a guy to lean on has been a welcome change.
Last year Harden wasn’t good during clutch time, so he is also enjoying the success he has had with Paul. With two superstars who can shoot on the floor at the same time, it makes it so the defense can’t key on one guy.
Now the biggest question is will this clutch time be successful in the playoffs. Both of these guys have been known to disappear when the lights were brightest, but they both hope to change that narrative this year.
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