“Bonafide Pure Hoopers”: NBA Legend Predicts James Harden to Lead Houston Rockets to NBA Title

Published 07/18/2020, 10:00 AM EDT


The Houston Rockets have not won a title since Hakeem Olajuwon took them all the way back in 1995. Since then, a lot of great players have played for the team, but have not found success. One of them is the two-time scoring champion, Tracy McGrady. TMac played for the Rockets for six years but never won a title. However, he believes superstar James Harden can end this franchise drought of 25 years.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

McGrady made an appearance on ESPN’s The Jump and spoke about the Rockets’ chances for a title. He was all-praise for Harden and said, “We’re talking about a guy that loves to play the game of basketball every night. James Harden is going to have the opportunity of a lifetime to win a championship, more so than ever. Having four months off, dropping 20 pounds, what else do you want? He’s going to be fresher than ever.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Can James Harden take the Houston Rockets to a title?

McGrady says the Rockets’ hopes rest on Harden and Russell Westbrook.

“They have two guys that you could put anywhere on earth, (even) on Mars, that can wake up out of bed and play basketball. These guys are just bonafide, pure hoopers. Superstars need fans; they need that energy to come from fans. Westbrook and Harden don’t need that. If they can stay healthy, the Rockets are going to be a very dangerous team especially with this man (Harden) having four months off to rest.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

James Harden’s Stats from ESPN

Harden is an elite scorer and is on his way to a third consecutive scoring title. However, his rate of scoring has always dipped during the playoffs. Those numbers are still respectable, however his FG has also dropped. Westbrook has also struggled in the playoffs. His FG% has not even hit 40% for the last three seasons.

If this backcourt of two former MVPs can hit their top form, it will be a scary sight for any team. Not only is Harden one of the best scorers in the league, but is also one of the best playmakers. Westbrook also offers similar playmaking and can also grab crucial rebounds. Coach Mike D’Antoni will be banking on his small-ball plan to work in Orlando and will be hoping his superstars can deliver when it matters.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Aaron Mathew

1666 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

essentiallysports's Stories