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D’Antoni went as far as to dismiss the difficulty completely when requested about integrating Paul right into a Rockets aspect that discovered large success with Harden on the helm.
“To be trustworthy with you – and I’m not making an attempt to be cute – it’s not difficult in any respect,” D’Antoni advised James Herbert of CBS Sports activities.
D’Antoni has loads of causes to be assured.
First off, it isn’t as if the 2 are full strangers. Harden and Paul performed collectively all summer time in open runs throughout the nation in anticipation of their upcoming partnership. Though these reps got here throughout low-depth exercises, the expertise gained ought to go a great distance in the direction of constructing chemistry.
Second, each Paul and Harden could be efficient enjoying on and off the ball. Each guards are elite playmakers when it comes to getting their very own shot or establishing others. They will additionally play off each other: Harden made 38.9 % on catch-and-shoot threes final season whereas Paul made 50 %.
Third, D’Antoni famously runs a excessive-tempo offense that generates additional possessions. Paul and Harden can take turns once they share the ground, then pivot into sole management of the offense when the opposite sits.
However as with all two stars combining, issues do not all the time play out as they do on paper. Harden hasn’t performed with one other excessive-utilization guard since he was traded from Oklahoma Metropolis, whereas Paul has been the undisputed prime canine since he entered the league.