Thomsen: Rockets "Real Candidates" To Break Through

With James Harden and Chris Paul, the Houston Rockets are very much NBA title contenders, Ian Thomsen says

The DA Show
March 01, 2019 - 12:48 pm
James Harden Chris Paul NBA Houston Rockets

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Ian Thomsen dropped by CBS Sports Radio to discuss his new book, “The Soul of Basketball: The Epic Showdown Between LeBron, Kobe, Doc, and Dirk That Saved the NBA,” as well as the 2018-19 NBA season – the Houston Rockets, in particular.

James Harden scored 58 points in a 121-118 win over Miami on Thursday, as Houston (37-25) enters March as the 5-seed in the West.

Is this team a legitimate title contender?

“Yes, I think so,” Thomsen said on The DA Show. “We know how good James Harden is, but it will depend on how Chris Paul looks over the coming weeks. We all remember the playoffs last year before Chris Paul got hurt in that series, he was the best player. He was the guy making the biggest plays and, at times, they were almost overcoming James Harden. So they need both of those guys, and it’s really going to come down to Chris Paul, his health, and how much he can give them.”

The Rockets have been knocking on the NBA Finals door in recent years, only to get turned away each time. Many past champions suffered that same fate before ultimately breaking through and winning it all.

The Rockets look like real candidates to do that,” Thomsen said. “You say, ‘Are they really that good anymore? Do they still have a chance after a couple of years of trying?’ Well, in fact, those couple of last years, that is what gives them a chance. It gives them a bit of integrity and resilience, and maybe – in the tight moments of Games 5, 6 and 7 – that makes all the difference. So I would not dismiss them at all.”