REPORT: Chris Paul, James Harden Had Verbal Back-And-Forth After Game 6 Loss
Things seem to have gone from bad to worse for the Houston Rockets. Highly regarded as one of the only teams in the league that could matchup with the Golden State Warriors since their run, it seems their two stars are clashing with each other.
Over the course of the 2018-2019 season, members of the team, most notably Chris Paul, reportedly had conversations with Mike D’Antoni about incorporating more movement within the offense.
Watching the Rockets on the offensive side of the ball and you will see very little ball movement and constant one-on-one play.
Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting the star duo had “tense moments” throughout Game 6 of the Western Conference Semis regarding ball distribution and there was “clash of styles brewing.”
“There was something of a clash of styles brewing throughout the Rockets season, with members of the team — most notably Paul — having spirited discussions with Mike D’Antoni about the offense and pushing for more movement, league sources told The Athletic. That type of fast-paced, ball-moving offense is what D’Antoni thrived with in Phoenix, and to the two-time Coach of the Year’s credit, he has adapted it in Houston to allow Harden to succeed in his game.
Charania added later:
“But Harden and Paul had tense moments with one another throughout Game 6, culminating in a verbal back-and-forth postgame that went into the locker room, sources with knowledge of the situation told The Athletic. Sources said the verbal exchange between Harden and Paul was regarding the ball distribution throughout Game 6. By the time the remainder of the locker room was ready to talk, Paul and Harden had gone their separate ways, with Paul swiftly making his way to the postgame podium. The Rockets dispensed with exit interviews this year, so the media hasn’t been able to ask Paul or Harden about the disappointment.”
Both Paul and Harden both need the ball in their hands at a high rate to be effective. Many thought the combination of them on the team would never work. It has so far, but when going against a team like the Warriors, the play is less inclined to work with the amount of all-stars on the team that not many can deal with.
This may be a huge thing and it might be nothing. If you can recall, the two of them got into it during the 2017-2018 playoffs as well, with Harden visibly smacking Paul’s hand in a heated argument. They overcame that situation.