The Rockets acquired CP3 back in July, and ever since then, there have been people doubting how well CP3 and James Harden could play together. Filled with “analysts” saying that two balls won’t work, and James Harden is a ball hog, many wrote off this team early. Chris Paul has been adapting to his new role better than ever… Especially when he comes up to lead the second unit while Harden rests. Historically, this second unit has one of the better offensive ratings for a bench, and the Rockets as a team currently sit in first place with an offensive rating in history (might not stay up, but is still impressive).
The Rockets played against the Hornets and Chris Paul lead a nice 25-0 run with the second unit against them. The starting unit came off the bench sluggish and not ready to play it seems, but when Harden and other starters went to sit, Chris Paul stepped up. CP3 began to carry the offense with a barrage of 3’s, breaking people’s ankles and also feeding his team behind the arc. CP3 even hit a buzzer-beater 3 in the first half. The Rockets have been blowing out teams all year- so what? They have proven that they can hang around with the elite teams, and could make a matchup with Golden State very interesting come playoffs- if they advance that far (Spurs are the Spurs I’m sorry to say it). With Harden running a great show that is MVP worthy this season, not all attention has been focused on Chris Paul and his ability to help this team when Harden sits, or even when Harden might not have the best night shooting. Chris Paul is obviously a Hall of Fame point guard so we know what kind of ability he had, but many in the media didn’t see it. Many are now eating their words seeing Chris Paul run the second unit at such a great efficiency. Rockets are +37.7 points per 100 possessions (Basketball reference) when Harden is on the bench and CP3 is running the show with the second unit. That is incredible, in which they are just straight up dominating the competition.
This team is ready to challenge the big dogs in the league, and with CP3 running the floor with and without Harden, I think they have a legitimate shot at winning it all this year.