James Harden’s brilliance in Game 1 of Houston’s Western Conference Finals tilt wasn’t enough, as the Rockets fell to the Golden State Warriors, 119-106. Harden’s 41 points led all scorers, while his seven assists were tops on the squad. It’s not unusual for Harden to have such big games, but one player having a big game isn’t going to be enough to beat Golden State.
While much of the conversation about the Rockets has been whether the team should get away from the isolation-heavy offense that has brought them so much success, Harden thinks it’s a matter of everyone playing their best ball. The MVP frontrunner spoke with the media on Tuesday and didn’t challenge his teammates as much as he wants them all to come together and play their best.
“We’re in this together,” Harden said. “I can’t do it by myself. We need everybody to be at their top play. Whether it’s [Chris Paul], whether it’s [Eric Gordon], whether it’s [P.J. Tucker], we just open up and talk about the game, talk about things that we see, that they see from their angle. We can get better on things that they saw that actually worked, and we’ll figure it out.”
Beating this Warriors squad four times in seven games is a really tall task. Harden is right that the team needs everyone at their best to accomplish this — whether or not that ultimately ends up happening is another story.