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Rockets Roster & Starting Lineup With Russell Westbrook

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Russell Westbrook, his agent and the Thunder worked together to send the 2017 NBA MVP to a destination of his choice and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Royce Young, he wanted to reunite with James Harden, who convinced the Rockets to go after his former teammate in OKC.

Rockets Roster & Starting Lineup With Russell Westbrook

*Notates expected starter

C: Clint Capela*, Tyson Chandler, Isaiah Hartenstein, Dyonta Davis
PF: P.J. Tucker*
SF: Eric Gordon*, Danuel House Jr., Gerald Green, Gary Clark
SG: James Harden*, Michael Frazier, William McDowell-White
PG: Russell Westbrook*, Austin Rivers, Chris Chiozza, Shamorie Ponds, Chris Clemons

Harden and Westbrook played together with the Thunder for three years and their Big Three with Kevin Durant reached the 2012 NBA Finals, eventually losing 4-1 to the Heat.

Adding Westbrook keeps the Rockets in the mix in a tough Western Conference that has an impressive amount of star power.

With James Harden and Chris Paul leading the way, the Rockets came the closest of anybody to taking down the Warriors in the Western Conference in the last two seasons but according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Harden and Paul had tense moments with one another throughout Game 6 of their second round series against Golden State in last year’s playoffs, culminating with a “verbal exchange in the locker room regarding ball distribution.”

The championship window for the Rockets remains open with Westbrook replacing Paul but these former teammates have crazy usage rates.

Harden and Westbrook need the ball in their hands and one of them will have to make a sacrifice. Paul only had usage rates of 24.5 and 22.5 in 2017-18 and 2018-19, respectively while a usage rate below 25 is unfamiliar territory for Westbrook. Still, Westbrook has averaged a triple-double in three straight seasons and the pairing with Harden looks astonishing on paper.

Can Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni reconstruct his offense to tailor the needs of Harden and Westbrook? This roster has plenty of questions and the Rockets will go as far as Harden and Westbrook’s willingness to sacrifice takes them. Houston was at +1400 to win the NBA Championship before the Westbrook and now they’re at +800.

Odds to Win the 2019-20 NBA Championship
(Courtesy of BetOnline)

Los Angeles Clippers +350

Los Angeles Lakers +500

Milwaukee Bucks +500

Houston Rockets +800

Philadelphia 76ers +900

Golden State Warriors +1400

Utah Jazz +1400

Denver Nuggets +1400

Boston Celtics +2000

Brooklyn Nets +3300

Portland Trail Blazers +3300

Toronto Raptors +3300

Dallas Mavericks +4000

Indiana Pacers +4000

Miami Heat +5000

San Antonio Spurs +6600

New Orleans Pelicans +10000

Sacramento Kings +12500

Atlanta Hawks +15000

Detroit Pistons +15000

Oklahoma City Thunder +15000

Orlando Magic +15000

Minnesota Timberwolves +20000

Chicago Bulls +25000

Memphis Grizzlies +30000

New York Knicks +30000

Phoenix Suns +30000

Washington Wizards +30000

Charlotte Hornets +50000

Cleveland Cavaliers +50000