The off guard has been out with a thumb injury and people are beginning to see the ball moves around much better without Harden in the line up.
Playing in the starting line up in his place has been Jeremy Lin.
Lin scored 18 points and netted 8 assist against the San Antonio Spurs in a 97-90 win.
He pretty much repeated that line last night scoring 18 points to go along with 7 assists against the Dallas Mavericks in a 117-115 win.
“When he’s(Harden’s) out, we have a more balanced attack,” Rocket forward Chandler Parsons said. “We run our sets and get the best shot available. When he’s not there, we don’t go one-on-one as much.”
There’s no denying the Rockets are a better team with Harden. Problem is coach Kevin McHale doesn’t have the moxy to tell Harden he needs to share the ball sometimes.
It’s pretty well known Harden will dominate the ball and won’t give it up unless the shot clock is running down and he has nowhere to go.
McHale doesn’t seem to have confidence in Lin and sits him down on the bench almost as soon as he makes a mistake.
As Chris Baldwin in Culture Map put it, “when Kevin McHale has no choice but to use Lin like a real starting NBA player for once, the marginalized man (Lin) delivers.”
The thing is as soon as Harden comes back, Lin will be back on the bench. Through it all, Baldwin says when given his opportunities, Lin will take advantage of it.
You can read Baldwin’s thoughts on Lin in Culture Map.