I know exactly what your thinking, there is no way in the world that James Harden is going to win an NBA title this year with LeBron and Kawhi hanging out in the West. While its probably more likely that Nicolas Cage will revive his character as Johnny Blaze, and ride Ghost Rider 3 all the way to an academy award, I do think there are some legit reasons why Harden and the Rockets could walk away with a title this year.
Top 5 Reasons The Rockets Will Walk Away With The CROWN
1. Harden is a ball hog – for starters, Harden is one of the best ball hogs of all-time. His ability to score at will from basically anyplace on the court makes him a legit threat in any playoff season. Look Harden can create shots from just about any place on the court, plus he will be fresh from not playing for the past 4 months. One of the knocks on Harden has always been he runs out of steam during the playoffs, that should not be an issue this year.
2. No fans in the stands – Harden’s past playoff failures have occurred in arenas all across America that were filled with Harden haters. Unlike many other NBA superstars who thrive in hostile environments, Harden has struggled during the playoffs in opposing arenas. The fact that these games will all be played on essentially natural courts should provide Harden a pathway to success that he wouldn’t normally have.
3. Batman + Batman – I’m willing to bet that during the upcoming playoffs Russell Westbrook will not play like Robin and will give the Rockets a second Batman on the court. Just think about how easy it is for Westbrook and Harden to score when they are both equally sharing the ball. From a pure scoring standpoint, they are by far the best dynamic duo in the NBA today. Plus, I can’t wait for the report that stats Westbrook showed up in the bubble with over 100 garment bags. I figure he will be the best-dressed ping-pong player in the bubble.
4. Uncharted waters – as the NBA restart draws near, I’m sure there will be many key role players who opt-out of the bubble. As teams scramble to replace these often undervalued contributors, the teams that can simply score at will should have an advantage that they would not normally have in a traditional playoff year. Playoff basketball normally delivers more defense and rebounding than an average regular-season game, but in the bubble that could change dramatically because defense team chemistry might be difficult to reestablish because of new players being forced into uncharted waters.
5. Hungry for a chip – sure everyone is hungry to win an NBA title, but when you look at Harden and Westbrook’s past playoff experiences its easy to see that they both have extra motivation to get it done this year. The reality is both Batman’s are going to be fresh entering the playoffs for the first time in their careers and I’m sure they will look at the bubble as their best opportunity in years to bring home a championship.
Stirring The Pot To The Titile
Don’t think for second that Harden and Westbrook aren’t going to stir the pot during the upcoming playoffs. They both have extra motivation to get it done this year and the bubble might be the perfect environment for them to thrive. Teams who can score at will might actually be able to get away with not playing defense which certainly favors the run and gun mentality of the Houston Rockets. I’m sure Jerry Tarkanian would be proud of the Rockets.
While LeBron or Kawhi will probably be hugging a disinfected NBA trophy, I do believe that if Harden and Westbrook can get on a run, they could be the team conducting a virtual championship parade this year.