Are Harden and Westbrook the Best Duo in the NBA?

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For years James Harden has been Batman while occasionally having a Robin on his team. Chris Paul in 2017 was Robin on the Rockets and up until now the best player that has played with Harden. Last year Paul was in and out of the lineup and had an under whelming Playoffs.

Russell Westbrook had a slow start to the year. Coming off off season knee surgery Westbrook wasn’t able to play for most of the summer. Even when the season started for the Houston Rockets and Westbrook was dealing with several injured fingers and it took him awhile to get acclimated with his new teammates.

Since the calendar turn to 2020 Westbrook has solidified himself as possibly the best running mate Harden has ever had and quite possibly forming the best duo in the league.

Why the Rockets duo is special

When you as a duo are averaging 62.5 points, 14.5 points, and 14.3 rebounds you are a dominating pair. Harden and Westbrook are the leading scoring duo in the league by a wide margin the next closest is Lebron James and Anthony Davis at 52.2. Of course scoring isn’t everything Westbrook and Harden are also averaging 3.3 steals and 1.2 blocks a game. Lets put that 62.5 into perspective.

This is all time level of scoring that this Rockets duo is putting together this year.

The answer to who is the best duo for most of the season was Davis and James the Lakers have had the best record in the Western Conference for the entire season. But you can not base this on record alone.

The Houston Rockets have gone through a major transformation since the start of the year. They have gone from a pick and roll vertical offense team. To a five out, fast-breaking turnover forcing small-ball juggernaut.

With the trade of Clint Capela, the Rockets have unlocked the best version of Westbrook and the entire team. Since going small ball full time the Rockets are 9-2 and are on a five-game winning streak. They have beaten every opponent by double digits and Westbrook has been a top-five MVP candidate. Harden still leads the league in points, 3-pointer made and free throw made and attempted.

The difference is now they are both playing at a Hall of Fame level at the same time. It was a lot of discussion of how would “two ball dominant guards work together” it was at the time a ridiculous question and even more now considering how well they have played together this year. Their games fit perfect together Harden is the premier one on one player in the league who can score from anywhere. Westbrook is the best player in the league scoring in the paint.

They can get even better

With the trade of Capela the Rockets signal they were going all in on the small ball era. They have completely open the lane for Westbrook and Harden to drive and kick at will. These are some Westbrook numbers since the trade.

The Rockets also added Jeff Green and DeMarre Carroll who add two more players that fit perfect with this version of the Rockets. The Rockets only have two back to back games left so that means Westbrook should only have two scheduled games off which should give them even more time to gel. There is no defense for the Rockets right now especially for Harden and Westbrook you just have to pray they miss.

With the current lineup the Rockets will get even more open shots than before if you decide to double Harden than Westbrook will feast in the lane. You single cover Harden and he will gladly drop 50.

The Rockets as stated early started the season slowly but have a chance to move all the way up to the second seed by the end of the year.

Conclusion

I am sure there will be push back on this article as Davis and James have been considered the best duo for most of the season. The duo of Harden and Westbrook are putting up historic numbers. They both top 10 in points and top 11 in assist on the same team. Those type of numbers have not been seen in decades if ever. Thats why Harden and Westbrook are the best duo in the league. Harden finally has another Batman to team up with and possibly bring home the duos first championship.

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