Is it time to give up?

Was pairing James Harden with Russell Westbrook a bad idea?


James Harden and Russell Westbrook have not been on the same page at all this season. They have struggled to be efficient. Is it time for something new?

When the season began, Harden looked unstoppable on the court. Harden was able to average up close to 40 points per game earlier this season. Westbrook on the other hand, was still trying to figure things out. At times, he looked skittish on the basketball court with Harden. Westbrook found it real hard to find his own shot in the beginning of the season. Even though Westbrook was averaging 21.5 points per game, he was still forcing shoots and looked like a bystander. It almost felt like Westbrook was a weak link to Harden...

Recently, things have reversed between the two. Harden has not played his best basketball since January 3rd against the Philadelphia 76ers. He is also shooting 35% from the field in January. Harden is even taking fewer shots this month. Is he losing confidence in his shot? Suddenly, Westbrook has turned things around for the month of January. He is playing at better pace than Harden is right now. Westbrook is shooting the ball at 52.8% from the field this month; which is great. The Rockets have also been relying on Westbrook instead of Harden late in games this month.

How come these two are not on the same page? This team has struggled because of that. When Harden and Westbrook sat out Monday night against the Utah Jazz, the whole entire Rocket's team played great basketball. Eric Gordon was able to go off for a career high 50 points. Danuel House and Austin Rivers both went off for 21 points each as well that night. Was Harden and Westbrook the problem?

Watching this team struggle against the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday night is questionable. Westbrook was able to have a good night by shooting 55% from the field and scoring 31 points. While Harden was struggling from the field by shooting 27% and scoring 18 points Wednesday night.

Honestly, it feels like the Rockets are struggling with these two on the same floor. Harden and Westbrook cannot even play the correct way on the court. Should one of them go so the team can succeed? The trade deadline is approaching for Daryl Morey.

Friday on First Take, Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman discuss James Harden responding to Giannis Antetokounmpo's joke about Harden's reluctance to pass the basketball. Stephen A. supports Harden's retort, but Max doesn't think it's a good look.

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