James Harden took no time acclimating himself to the Houston Rockets' schemes, and after three games he has helped the team to a 2-1 record and a No. 8 power ranking heading to the second week of NBA action.
SB Nation's Seth Rosenthal tabs Houston in the top 10 because of Harden's scary numbers, but he's also gotten help from offseason acquisition Jeremy Lin:
Three games in, the Rockets seem like the most "as [player] goes, so goes [team]" team ever. James Harden (and Jeremy Lin) is everything over there. He and Lin run-and-gun and manage pick-and-rolls with their friends and with each other and with various spectators and referees and the occasional scorekeeper.
Harden's "off-night" was in a Saturday loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, but that only saw him put up 24 points, six rebounds and five assists. His 8-for-24 shooting was far from the efficiency he played with in the first two outings, where he shot 63.6 percent on 44 total shots.
Prior to the first loss of Houston's season, Harden had scored 37 and 45 points in the first two games of the year.
Lin has quietly gone about his business as well. He is averaging 15.3 points, 7.3 assists and 5.7 rebounds a game.