Skip Bayless gives the Houston Rockets a 1 percent chance to win the West

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In his discussion on James Harden and Chris Paul leading the Houston Rockets to their 16th straight win, Skip Bayless explains to Shannon Sharpe and Joy Taylor what Houston's chances are to win the Western Conference. Can the Rockets challenge Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant's Golden State Warriors?

- I'll give these Houston Rockets a 1% chance of beating the Golden State--


- --for the reasons you just detailed. I'm going to say this one more time, just to declare this, just for the record. If Kawhi Leonard ever gets his head right within the next two weeks, I will give San Antonio a good shot of dethroning Golden State. Because this is a deep San Antonio team.

And all of sudden, Tony Parker is starting to look like Tony Parker again. So they got all the elements. Rudy Gay just came back. LaMarcus has been hurt. But they're 3 and 8 in their last 11 games. So they're also in danger of missing the playoffs.

SHANNON SHARPE: Yeah, they better get on the ball.

- That's what I'm saying because this thing from 3 in the west down through about 10, somebody is going to get bumped, man, they're all like 4 and 1/2 games separating all those teams.

So, back to the Rockets, I do have to say this, I am amazed at how well James Harden and Chris Paul are playing together. I'm just like blown away by it.

And I sat back last night, they just dismantled Oklahoma City at Oklahoma City. It wasn't-- like Melo got off hot to start. And then, as usual, he's faded into the woodwork. And James Harden and Chris Paul took turns toying with the Thunder's defense.

And what amazes me is, I didn't think they could play together, especially this quickly. But here's the point, they don't actually play together. They don't play two man basketball where they're playing off each other. They take turns.

They're like co-solo stars. And they're happy with it. Like you watch James sometimes, he'll just be a little winded and he's been, you know, because he's working on defense a little harder than he used to. So he'll be like, OK, I'm going to go stand over here and you and Capela play pick and roll, OK?

And then now's my turn, I'm going to play pick and roll with Capela or whoever else wants to come pick for me. And I'll do it. And they're happy because they seem to really like each other, like truly like and respect each other.

SHANNON SHARPE: Yeah, Chris Paul seems really, really happy in Houston.

- He seems very happy. And I've got to tell you, I've never seen him shoot threes like this. Because I didn't ever think he was that much of a marksman. And now, what is he up to 38%, no it's 39%? Wow, that's Chris Paul shooting like that? He's a dead eye.

SHANNON SHARPE: But I tell you what. Let James Harden turn the ball over 10 times against Golden State.

- OK, all right, OK.

SHANNON SHARPE: And see what happens. They're not winning by 10. They're losing by 10.

- OK, right now, they have the best record in basketball. Let them go on a little losing jag and let's see how happy Chris is, right? Let them get down three to one in a playoff series and let's see how happy Chris is, right?

- Yeah, because we've seen, we know the Golden State Warriors are battle tested. And I know Kawhi got hurt, but they were down 23. We saw them down late in the ball in game three in Cleveland. And they come back and win the ballgame.

So we've seen them. They were down early in Portland, 15. Dame Lillard is going bonkers. CJ McCollum is going bonkers.


- So I know what the Warriors are capable of come playoff time. We still don't know-- we know what Houston is doing in the regular season.

SKIP BAYLESS: I don't know.

- Regular season is one thing. Come playoff time, being down by five late in the ball game is something entirely.

- I agree. And it does seem still a little gimmicky-- I know Daryl Morey loves this analytical concept of taking so many threes. Do you realize the Houston Rockets have attempted 381 more three point shots than the next team? Brooklyn Nets, they've got the second most three point attempts. 381 more? They're just jacking it from everywhere.

Wow, and yet, they have now sort of replaced Ryan Anderson in the lineup who's a big three point shooter with PJ Tucker, who plays a little bit of defense. So they have risen up in the defensive ranks.

They're reasonable now in defensive efficiency. They're up to ninth. Well, that's pretty good compared to what they were last year. So they play a lick of defense.

- Well, you've got Trevor Ariza that plays D.


- PJ plays D.


- Mbah a Moute plays D.


- So they've got guys on the court at all times. You're going to have guys that can play defense as opposed to guys that just--

SKIP BAYLESS: And James and Chris both are a high steals guys.

- Yeah, and Chris Paul has always been a defensive guy. He's been on the all defensive team.

SKIP BAYLESS: OK, so at least you have that. But Golden State sunk some defensively, but they're still tied for fifth. So they're just better defensively. And then in every offensive category, it's Golden State one and Houston two. And I think because on efficiency, offensive efficiency, it's Golden State.

And they don't, they don't try nearly as many threes. They're a two point team, you know? They'll beat you from two.