Mike D'Antoni, the Houston Rockets new head coach, is known as an offensive mastermind. His most famous creation was the Phoenix Suns of a decade ago, known for the 7 Seconds or Less offense -- meaning they'd jack up shots so early in the shot clock that even today's Golden State Warriors might get dizzy. D'Antoni brings that mindset to Houston, where even the name of the team fits his style and penchant for speed. Plus there's James Harden, league leader in both minutes played and giving defenders fits. D'Antoni figures to somehow make Harden even more free on offense, which given Harden's prodigious production in the last few years will be a feat to behold.
But one big question remains about the D'Antoni-Harden partnership. Yes, Harden's offensive gifts mesh beautifully with D'Antoni's offensive mind. But Harden is, by every definition, a scoring or shooting guard - sometimes called the two-guard. All of D'Antoni's biggest successes have been driven by elite level point guard play. Two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash led D'Antoni's 7 Seconds offense in Phoenix. Even D'Antoni's uneven stint with the New York Knicks was most memorable for the burst of Jeremy Lin point guard play known as Linsanity. In Houston, D'Antoni may decide James Harden is really a scoring point guard, the way Allen Iverson was in Philadelphia. But that puts Harden on defense against the NBA's elite penetrators...The BEST SALES on Amazon NOW ]