Time to lean on the other guys

The James Harden streak is over, and that is a good thing for the Rockets

Kevin C. Cox

I'm glad it's over.

There. I said it.

I'm glad James Harden's streak of 30 point games ended on Monday night.

Sorry Hardenites or whatever James Harden fans are called.

I was sick of it. It's a nice personal achievement but basketball is a team sport. And it was boring. Iso ball sucks. I hated it during the Steve and Cuttino days and I hate it now.

You can't tell me that a team with one of the best point guards of all time can't move the ball around and get guys open looks. Case in point, the Warriors game. Without James, Chris Paul had 23 points and 17 assists and led a team that was overmatched talent-wise to a 118-112 win.

I'm going to divide this season into three parts. The crappy start to the season, the #unguardabletour season and the gang is back together season.

The crappy start to the season was well, crappy. Coming off the 65 win season they began this one 12-14 which was inexplicable. They just plain sucked. It's a time I would rather not dwell on. It's best to leave these things in a dark place in the deep recesses of your mind and never touch them again.

Then there was the #unguardabletour. It has its place in Rockets history. I'm not going to put it up there with all time Rockets achievements. It was a great individual achievement. James got a bunch of national media attention which was nice. They were 21-11 during that stretch which was good too but not spectacular. They did have a bunch of injuries which meant they had to rely on James to carry the load. He did.

Those days are over and they are healthy again playing better basketball. Since the All-Star break and the return of Clint Capela and the resurgence of Chris Paul they look different. They look cohesive offensively. They look like a winner and they're doing it with James struggling, further proof that they are better playing team basketball as opposed to iso ball.

The win over the Warriors without James was eye opening. No they're not better without James but they have proven this past week that they are not nearly as reliant on him as was previously thought.

In their last three games they beat the Warriors without James and they beat the Hawks and Hornets while James was less than stellar. These past two games while the Rockets were scoring 119 and 118 points James has shot just 34% from the field and under 10% from 3. He's made just 1 of his last 21 three-point attempts. That's bad. Real bad.

Yet the other guys are picking him up. Against the Hornets the other guys shot 52%. Against the Hawks 46%. That's really good. This notion that James has to do it all himself has got to change. He doesn't, not with a heathy supporting cast. They can make shots if you put them in position and give them opportunities to make shots. When you only get a couple shots a game it's hard to get into any kind of rhythm. The more shots you get the better the chance you'll make them.

Plus it's just more fun to watch. James dribbling out the shot clock at the top of the key is brutal. It's not going to end but they can cut back on it and let Chris Paul drive and distribute. He's making $40 million a year for a reason.

I'm not saying they're last year's team. They're different. They're different than they were two weeks ago. And that's a good thing.

ROCKETS ROUNDTABLE PRESENTED BY TEXAS STAR GRILL SHOP

How Tilman's cunning business style will dictate the Rockets next big move

Composite photo by Brandon Strange

The Rockets have certainly had an exciting offseason to say the least, but many fans are curious if there are more moves to come and if Tilman will spend big money when the time is right.

Andre Iguodala is a player that has been talked about that might end up in Houston, but nothing has happened so far.

ESPN 97.5's Joel Blank, Barry Laminack, and Raheel Ramzanali discuss the potential moves for the Rockets, and what to expect from Tilman Fertitta going forward. The Rockets Roundtable is presented by Texas Star Grill Shop.

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