Russell Westbrook is taking the Houston Rockets to new heights

Just as one rocket ship was being grounded, another was set to blast off.

Something is happening in H-Town that hasn’t happened in years: There is a new No. 1.

Or, at least a new No. 1A.

Russell Westbrook, over the last ten games, has been vintage Westbrook, averaging 34.1 points, 7.4 assists and 8.4 rebounds. And despite James Harden’s struggles in recent weeks, the Rockets are 7-3 in their last 10 games and are trending up.

It begs the question, is this team better when Westbrook is better?

Westbrook is also shooting 50 percent from the field in this 10-game stretch and has gotten away from three-point shooting, only attempting 11 total.

Now, Russell has missed three games in the past 10, and the Rockets have gone 2-1 in those games.

But as of late, when he’s on, so is the team.

Houston might have some rebounding issues. They traded Clint Capela for Robert Covington earlier this week in an effort to bolster their three-point attack.

But how valuable are rebounds if you’re making shots?

Or if your defense is finally clicking?

There might be some skepticism about the Rockets’ approach, but with the way Westbrook is controlling the game, they are becoming scarier by the game.

Take Thursday’s win over at STAPLES Center for example.

If someone told you Harden would score 14 points on 3-for-10 shooting – including 1-for-6 from three – and the Rockets would beat the Lakers by 10 on the road, what would have been your reaction?

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Exactly.

Fortunately, Houston had Westbrook.

And, he scored those 41 points on 61 percent shooting, making the effort even more impressive.

If the last month is any indication, Westbrook is hitting his stride in Houston.

While both the Beard and the Brodie are critical to the Rockets’ success, we know what Harden can do.

He is – and has been – the rocket ship in its entirety.

But Westbrook might be that extra bit of rocket fuel Houston so desperately needs.