Brodie and the Beard are teaming up once again for the Houston Rockets.
Earlier today, Oklahoma City Thunder GM Sam Presti sent Russel Westbrook, and a couple of first-rounders in exchange for Chris Paul, and a bunch of other picks to the Houston Rockets.
space City will now have the 2018 Most Valuable Player James Harden and 2017 winner Russel Westbrook. Sounds scary on paper? They do.
According to experts, there is evidence of both playing well in the past. In 2009, their first year together in OKC (Harden’s rookie season), Westbrook averaged 16.1 ppg, and eight assists, while James produced 9.9 ppg, 3.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.1 steals.
In their second season, Russel averaged 21.9 ppg, and 8.2 assists while Harden increases his average by scoring 12.2 ppg.
In their final season together, Westbrook became the second-highest scorer by averaging 23.6 ppg. Kevin Durant averaged 28 ppg that season to lead all scorers, and Harden ended third with a 16.8 point scoring average.
The trend comes to show that both players are productive when they played together behind Kevin Durant. While the star was unquestionably the reason for the Thunder’s success, Harden and Westbrook’s presence in the playoffs pushed the Thunder in their first finals appearance in 2011.
Now, there is a chance for that to happen again. Brodie and The Beard will now be the focal points of the Rockets offense. However, there is a condition. Can both superstars sacrifice their roles as Houston’s primary ball-handlers for the better of the team?
There is no question that the deal re-energizes the team. In the offseason, Rockets GM Daryl Morey has witnessed drastic changes in the NBA landscape, he waited for the perfect opportunity to land Westbrook, and that happened earlier today.
It will be interesting to see how Rockets Coach Mike D’Antoni use both stars in the team rotation. The D’Antoni, known for his faced pace play, is regarded as an offensive genius and was credited for the break-out Phoenix Suns team in the mid-2000s.
Houston is known for its one-on-one exploitation, with Westbrook on the floor, there is a likely chance that he will cause a match-up problem. The Rockets will have to find a way for both of them to work together on offense.
Whatever the case is, Brodie and The Beard sound nice.