Wednesday night gave James Harden one final chance to get a win against his old team as the Houston Rockets faced the Oklahoma City Thunder. Harden did everything he could to help the Rockets, scoring 46 points as Houston rallied for a 122-119 win. Oklahoma City fell to 39-15 while Houston improved to 30-26. While the Rockets won this game, having no defense is going to cost them at some point.
We are learning quickly that the Rockets are basically the Harden show with almost no help around him. Jeremy Lin is a solid point guard who can score 15-20 a game, but players like Omer Asik are only good for a few points a night. This Rockets team also needs to learn how to play defense because they can’t stop anyone right now. While Kevin Durant had one of his worst nights of the season, Thabo Sefolosha and Russell Westbrook lit Houston up for Oklahoma City, combining for 56 points.
If Houston wants to be a team that can scare opponents in the postseason, they can’t keep giving up 115-120 points a night. It isn’t going to work ever, not this season or any season after this one. There needs to be a concentration and an effort on defense that this team just isn’t showing right now and hasn’t shown all season. Harden could score 50 a night but Houston is still going to lose on a lot of nights until they amp up their defense.
Houston may have escaped on this night, but nights like this aren’t going to happen all the time. This game belonged to Harden.