Tomorrow Minnesota Timberwolves' fans will get to enjoy a moment 14 years in the making. With the summer addition of all-star point guard Chris Paul, Harden has been able to shoot at will with Paul's great passing abilities opening the offense even more.
Given the long odds, and the fact that Minnesota hasn't won a playoff series since the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals, is drawing Houston accomplishment enough?
"You go out there and compete, and go back to what you've been doing all year", Harden said. Harden, who also had a steal in that span, capped the run with a 3-pointer that prompted Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau to call a timeout. Andrew Wiggins is the third double-digit scorer and Jeff Teague is dishing seven assists. The Houston Rockets are shooting 36.2 percent from beyond the arc and 78.1 percent from the free throw line.
Harden got Capela in on the scoring after that, finding him for an alley-oop that pushed the lead to 101-93 with less than three minutes left.
Outside of James Harden, nobody was more valuable to the Rockets than Clint Capela in Sunday's 104-101 Game 1 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Minnesota is 30 in the league in threes with eight per game and is 19 in the league in three point shooting as they've hit 35.7 percent of their attempts from downtown. I'm taking the over in this spot, as it's a popular trend when these teams meet and both of these clubs can get what they want offensively.
The Cleveland Cavaliers star has broken numerous personal and league records during his 15th season in the National Basketball Association, including playing all 82 games for the first time in his career. The Rockets are just 13-8 without him (52-9 with him). Derrick Rose added a bucket seconds later, but Houston scored six straight points after that to put Houston up 68-65.
Picture James Harden going on a blind date. That said, it was not about Towns bricking his shots. Given the way the regular season meetings went, there's little reason to think the Timberwolves can slow Houston's attack: look for the over to come up here.
The Rockets led 54-47 at halftime.
As I was looking over the potential playoff scenarios this week, I kept looking at the ways the Timberwolves could avoid the Rockets - because that matchup meant the likelihood of a four- or five-game exit for the Wolves. He is the Wolves' biggest mismatch against Houston.