Rockets’ James Harden says he and Russell Westbrook know how to play with each other
The Houston Rockets’ one deciding factor to go all-in on acquiring point guard Russell Westbrook was James Harden’s unequivocal conviction that a pairing with former teammate Russell Westbrook would be as easy as re-learning to ride a bike.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey called his franchise star to discuss his potential fit with the triple-double king, and Harden gently cut Morey off and reminded him: “I know how to play with Russ and he knows how to play with me,” Morey told ESPN’s Zach Lowe of the conversation on Thursday in Las Vegas.
It’s been seven seasons since the two stars-in-the-making played together in Oklahoma City, and besides All-Star games and local runs in their native Los Angeles in the summer, the two have yet to go through the grueling nature of a full 82-game season for the better part of a decade.
Both Westbrook and Harden have developed into high usage monsters within the last few years, both earning MVP trophies due to their individual excellence and high degree of pyrotechnics.
Westbrook is a barreling, whirling dervish with the ball, blazing through defenders on his way to acrobatic finishes and high-octane, rim-rattling dunks. Harden is the finesse opposite, doing most of his damage from the perimeter with crafty change-of-pace handles and swift, elusive finishes at the rim.
Both men have led the league in assists, but have had to depend in an unbelievably-high usage rate to do so, requiring the ball in their hands to make things happen. Surely enough, if this partnership is to work, the race for a triple-double must end for both of these shining stars.
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