Harden's triple-double helps Rockets over Wolves 123-118

Posted April 15, 2017

With the National Basketball Association regular season over, one of the great Most Valuable Player award chases in league history is in the books, leaving a breath-taking season to look back over before filling out ballots. But cheer up, because that just means the 2016-17 Playoffs are right around the corner. "And we'll start Sunday". Looking at the percentages, they are 21st in defensive rebounding. The team has hosted game one three times in that span, but the 2015 first round series against Dallas is the only win.

This has to be the most exciting matchup in the first round.

Did you think Westbrook would average a triple double this year? Can't be the MVP when that's the case. While the votes will already have been cast, these two will each want to prove themselves against their equally talented opponent.

The Rockets led for three quarters of the game, getting ahead by as many as 19 points. Without Westbrook, the Oklahoma City Thunder would be dead in the water in Western Conference standings and would not make the NBA Playoffs. And the potential is there for it to happen. Houston plays the Thunder, and the Clippers battle Utah.

Both teams were different back then in 2013.

Fifty-five seasons later, Westbrook put together a campaign for the ages of his own. The Rockets won the first three games of that series, but in every other, they've either been down 3-0 or 3-1. His 29.1 points per game ranked tied for second in the league with Harden.

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The Raptors clearly have more depth than the Bucks. Don't rule it out.

"The group of guys that we have, especially going into the playoffs - we've got to make sure we come ready to play, because we know they're (Houston) going to be ready", he said. His luck at stopping/frustrating Russ will go a long way in this series. Plus with the return of LeBron James' nemesis, Lance Stephenson, thrown into the mix, there should be some fireworks.

No one-including Westbrook-did more with less. Andre Roberson is a brilliant defensive player who will shadow James Harden the entire series. Even if they lose 200 pounds in a week, will that be good enough against teams with washboard abs? And of course, on the other side, you have one of the most exciting backcourts in the league in John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Robertson showing up on the last day of the season was no coincidence. San Antonio has won the last two, including a first-round sweep last season. So, here we had what could have been a sweep turn into a legit series.

"When Russell was on this journey, I felt that I just had to be here", Robertson told the crowd. But Harden's combination of winning, carrying a flawed roster and executing an all-time great offense to perfection tops a rare statistical feat by Westbrook. I'll still be watching, but I'm not jumping for joy about the fact these two teams will be going at it for a second straight season.

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