After a delay in traveling to Orlando to join the Houston Rockets ahead of the NBA restart, All-NBA guard James Harden will reportedly participate in his first practice of minicamp today, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports.
Houston Rockets star James Harden plans to participate in his first practice today from Orlando, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 16, 2020
Both Harden and backcourt mate Russell Westbrook did not join the Rockets en route to Orlando initially, but had always planned to join their teammates prior to the restart of the NBA season. Harden’s presence will be a welcome addition for a team that operates so fully around him on offense. Westbrook, on the other hand, remains in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.
To be fair to Harden, if there is any player in the NBA who you can trust to do his thing after missing practice time, it’s probably him. Harden can roll the ball out and manage his drive-and-shoot game, but Houston’s aim is still a Finals berth, so they’ll need all the time to gel that they can get.
Expect a lot of talk about Harden’s physical fitness and additions to his game once he’s back on the court for the Rockets, as his hiatus workouts in Arizona have already become folkloric. Let’s hope whatever caused a delay in travel for Harden does not affect his game and the fascinating small-ball Rockets can pick up where they left off in March.