Title: Harden, Rockets break bench in what has become an ongoing problem for Raptors
Date: March 6, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about the Raptors’ persistent bench struggles following another bench-led loss to the Rockets.
If you can keep James Harden in check, the formula against the Houston Rockets would seem to be relatively straightforward. Harden is among the three top candidates as the league’s Most Valuable Player and, as such, helps drive most of Houston’s success.
Even though the team’s net rating is slightly higher with him off the floor on the year, he carries such a heavy minutes load against the best opposing lineups that you can enter a meeting with the Rockets trying to split his minutes and win the time he sits. Do a reasonable job on Harden and go so far as to win the time he’s on the floor, and a team with solid depth has the makings of a victory against a team that’s looked like the league’s third-best the last little while.
The Raptors got it all backwards.