Houston Rockets: James Harden Is Dominating the Game Without Dominating the Ball

Vinny Hardy@http://twitter.com/VinnyHardyCorrespondent INovember 2, 2012

October 31, 2012; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) talks to referee David Guthrie (16) in the fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Let's just preface everything by saying it's still early. The season is just two games old. However, this is all there is to go on at this point.

James Harden is starting the season on some kind of insane groove.

How well will he play when he really gets acclimated to Houston and comfortable with all of his teammates and surroundings?

The Houston Rockets defeated the Atlanta Hawks 109-102 to improve to 2-0 on the young season. James Harden entered the game averaging 37 points a game. He left Philips Arena averaging 41 points per game.

The Hawks saw Harden's act against the Detroit Pistons Wednesday night. They knew what they were in for, or so they thought. Harden lit them up to the tune of 45 points, seven rebounds and two assists.

As great as he was against the Detroit Pistons in the season opener, he was even better against Atlanta.

Harden went for 37 points on 14-25 (56%) shooting against the Pistons; against the Hawks he was 14-19 (73%). He upped his rebounds from six to seven.  He shot 40% from three-point land in his first game, then connected on half of his attempts in game two.

All of this is hard to do, but Harden is making it look easy. He has epitomized efficiency in his first two games with the Rockets.

His stamp has been all over both games, but he hasn't had to be an excessive volume shooter. The Rockets attempted 90 shots against Atlanta. Harden scored his 45 points on 19 shot attempts. He scored 41 percent of the team's points while only taking 21 percent of the shots.

Let that sink in for a minute.

For the season, Houston has scored 214 points on 169 shots. Harden has 82 points on only 44 shots, that means he's supplied 38 percent of the offense while taking only 26 percent of the field goal attempts.

That's insanely efficient.

He's picking up where he left off when he was with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Now he's just doing it on a bigger scale and stage.

As we all know, it's early and Harden won't be able to keep this torrid pace up. But two stellar games into his Rockets career, credit had to be given where credit was due.