When James Harden is on the court, the Houston Rockets are 13.3 points better per 100 possessions — their offense understandably jumps by better than 10 points per 100. He is an elite shot creator and averaged has 24.2 points a game this season.
Which is why this is bad news — Harden is out Saturday night due to the left foot injury that caused him to sit out the Rockets’ previous game. He is also questionable for Monday, reports CSNHouston.com.
The foot has bothered him for three weeks and Marc Stein at ESPN said Harden will sit out two games then be re-evaluated. Which means after resting it for three games it could be more once they see how it’s healing.
In the short term, this is going to mean a lot more Jeremy Lin, which isn’t all bad as his jump shot and shot creation have improved this season. But it’s not the same.
Still, with a player like Harden, the Rockets need to be patient. Better to have him miss games in November and get it right then have it linger through much of the season and drag down his play. Health matters. They can afford to have him miss a few games.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.