When the Houston Rockets acquired James Harden in the offseason from the Oklahoma City Thunder, there were many who wondered if it was the right move for both teams. As the Christmas holiday passed, it appears like the trade hasn’t affected Oklahoma City much yet with the second-best record in the Western Conference while Harden has blossomed in Houston. Harden is averaging over 25 points per game and is proving that he is much more than just a sixth man.
Harden scored 26 points in Houston’s blowout win over the Chicago Bulls on Christmas Day as the Rockets jumped out to a 35-point lead and cruised to victory. It was obvious from day one with Harden in Houston that it was going to be something special with his new team after scoring 82 points in his first two games. Houston is turning into a legitimate threat to make some noise in the playoffs in a few months. The Rockets may not get too far but could win a first-round series or put a scare into a team.
It is quite possible that the Thunder will regret making this trade this season or maybe next year with how Harden has played, but it looks like that both teams made a solid trade now. Houston sits as the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference presently and is a team that the top teams in the conference won’t want to play in the playoffs. Harden has proven once and for all that he is one of the top players in the National Basketball Association and one that doesn’t need to come off the bench to do it.
Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports or like his Facebook page.