NBA personnel doubt Russell Westbrook and James Harden experiment will work

Former OKC Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook with new teammate James Harden (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
Former OKC Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook with new teammate James Harden (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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NBA assistant coaches and scouts unanimously believe reuniting former OKC Thunder teammates Russell Westbrook and James Harden is an experiment bound for failure.

In an article by Sean Deveney of Heavy.com NBA personnel weighed in on the reuniting of former OKC Thunder teammates Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Although critics of the union have been plentiful it was surprising to learn every assistant coach and scout Heavy.com spoke to believes the experiment will fail.

Stats offer credence to the naysayers who witnessed Westbrook’s regression in shooting efficiency last season.  Assistants and scouts in the article cite the pace issues and ball handling. On the latter, the question is who will be the primary ball handler since both players are ball dominant.

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Others point to how much the Rockets defense suffered last season when they lost Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute and note Westbrook has a penchant for taking plays off and doesn’t close out.

Harden greeted working with Dwight Howard and Chris Paul with optimism yet everyone knows how both took a turn and ended with each star unceremoniously leaving town.

None of these points are surprising from the critics of the pairing. In fact, in an article Thunderous Intentions wrote about Chris Paul a few days prior to the Deveney piece we cited all the same points.

Perhaps there aren’t many members in the NBA who are convinced Russ and James can find gold on the hardwood. And yet, it’s doubtful any of the 29 members of the opposition won’t be actively figuring out how to defend Harden and Westbrook when they are both pose the ability to take over a game.

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Mike D’Antoni may have a tough task ahead but as Thunder Nation knows a motivated Russell Westbrook isn’t someone anyone is keen to face.