After Chris Paul was traded to the Rockets in June there were plenty of analysts that doubted he could successfully parter with James Harden.
“Well, they were wrong, whoever those guys were,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said before his team took on the Rockets Friday night at Toyota Center.
Since Paul’s return from a left knee injury November 16, the Rockets are scoring 119 points per 100 possessions when sharing the floor, up from their 113.2 season number. While some may be surprised at the early success the Rockets have had this season, Popovich is not.
“Those are two of the best players in the league,” he said. “You’re not going to find a better leader or tougher competitor than Chris Paul. Nobody can guard James Harden, that’s a good problem, and Mike (D’Antoni’s) philosophy works great with those guys and everybody else that’s been put together here, so they’re having a great year and there’s a reason for it. It fits and they’re a monster.”
The Rockets entered Friday’s game on an 11-game win streak, and owned the NBA’s best record at 22-4 despite Paul missing 14 straight games after a season-opening win in Golden State.