Rockets’ James Harden lays an egg vs. Bucks, then takes blame for the loss
The Houston Rockets’ James Harden-Russell Westbrook experiment didn’t launch the way they wanted to as they fell short to the Milwaukee Bucks. The team’s two superstars struggled to get things off the floor as they both had lackluster performances compared to Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The star guard was approached by the press after the game. Tim MacMahon and the basketball press asked about the team’s failure to close out against a team that saw their star player foul out during the game’s most important moments.
He had a simple explanation for the team’s rattled performance.
James Harden: “This one’s on me. I wasn’t aggressive enough.”
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) October 25, 2019
A quick look at the box score would explain why Harden felt like he could have done better. He made 13 field goal attempts but only finished two of them. The only reason he got to 19 points was the 14 free throw attempts he made during the game. He was largely ineffective on other fronts as well, making seven turnovers and giving up five personal fouls.
Russell Westbrook, his running mate, fared a bit better in comparison. He finished with 24 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and a block on 41% shooting. The game flowed through him and was vital for the Rockets throughout the game.
This is probably what some Rockets fans expected. Sure, they were teammates during their earlier years at Oklahoma City, but they have since grown to ball-dominant players who require the ball. Eagle-eyed fans probably saw the friction start to happen when the two friends got into it during the game.
Of course, they are still adjusting to playing next to each other again. It will take a bit of time before they play as efficiently as they once did. However, Westbrook will have to defer to Harden from time to time and get him rolling for the team’s sake.
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