Magic Johnson doesn’t see Rockets as a championship contender
Count Magic Johnson to the list of “non-believers” that the James Harden and Russell Westbrook tandem can deliver a championship to the Houston Rockets.
The Rockets’ new dynamic duo looked out of sync in their season-opener loss to Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, which did not escape the watchful eye of the NBA Hall of Famer.
Johnson discussed the reunion of the former Oklahoma City Thunder teammates in an appearance at the Skip and Shannon: Undisputed show.
“Westbrook is fantastic on his own, James Harden is fantastic on his own. I think they’ll work it out. It’s going to be tough. It’s a bigger adjustment for Westbrook than for Harden because he’s used to having it all the time in his hand. Westbrook is going to be the adjustment,” he told host Shannon Sharpe.
Both dominant ball-handlers in their own right, Westbrook and Harden took turns directing coach Mike D’Antoni’s offense last night and managed to get their usual numbers.
Westbrook waxed hot in the fourth quarter where he scored 16 of his 24 points to keep the Rockets in the game. He also grabbed 16 rebounds and dished out seven assists.
Harden, on the other hand, struggled shooting from the field missing 11 of his 13 attempts for 19 points. He still managed to get his teammates involved and collected 14 assists.
Johnson made it clear that he believes the pair is talented enough to co-exist together, but doubts if the rest of the team can match-up with the top-tier squads in the Western Conference.
“My problem with them is not with them two. It’s the team. We saw that last time. You have to play defense at the end of the day. I don’t think they’re a very good offensive team, but I’ll think they’ll be a great offensive team”.
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