STARS DISAPPEARING ACT
One of my pet peeves with superstars is when they feast on poor opposition and disappear when the quality teams come around. The Rockets have suffered this fate, with James Harden as one of the most guilty parties.
Against the Thunder, Harden averages 17.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.7 assists with a shooting line of .370/.278/.867. He posts a minus-12.6 and has a horrific 114 defensive rating. As mentioned earlier, the Rockets are 0-3 against them.
Versus the Clippers, Harden is even worse. He scores 15.0 points with 4.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists, with a line of .340/.105/.733. His offensive rating is 87 and his defensive rating is just 122.
The Rockets might be able to get around that horrific play if Dwight Howard were able to make up for it. Unfortunately, Howard is even worse.
When Howard plays the Thunder, he might as well just stay in the locker room. Dwight averages just 9.7 points and 9.0 rebounds while shooting 34.2 percent from the field and 20(!) percent from the foul line. His plus/minus looks like a typo at minus-30.6. His offensive rating looks more like a good golf round (68).
Things do get a little better against the Clippers, with averages of 19.0 points and 9.3 rebounds. He shoots 60 percent from the field and 50 percent from the foul line. However, his defensive rating of 118 and his minus-23.1 rating erase any of his positive contributions.