Report: Rockets plan to stagger James Harden and Russell Westbrook
The Houston Rockets reportedly plan to stagger James Harden and Russell Westbrook, meaning the two superstars won’t share that much time together on the court, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.
Both Harden and Westbrook are ball-dominant players. The two MVPs will obviously start and finish games together, but Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni plans to let one star run the offense at different points in the game, while the other star rests on the bench.
“When Mike (D’Antoni) had Chris Paul and James Harden together, they often did not play together on the court,” Shelburne said on ESPN’s The Jump. “Their minutes did not overlap. My understanding is that’s the same plan with Harden and Westbrook going forward.”
James Harden and Russell Westbrook have the highest usage rates in NBA history over the past few seasons. Neither All-Star is an effective off-ball player. By staggering their minutes, the Rockets will always have one guy on the floor to run the offense and be the primary scorer. Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr often times staggered Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant.
Westbrook has averaged a triple-double three seasons in a row, while Harden has led the league in scoring the past two seasons. The Rockets will certainly need Russ and Harden to adjust their games for this partnership to work, but it looks like Houston has already made up its mind that staggering their minutes is the best course of action.
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