Shannon Sharpe explains how Houston can dethrone an unhealthy Golden State team

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In his discussion about the Houston Rockets defeating Damian Lillard's Portland Trail Blazers 115-111, Shannon Sharpe explains to Skip Bayless and Joy Taylor how James Harden and Chris Paul's Rockets continue to impress this season and can dethrone an unhealthy Golden State Warriors team.

- Shannon, what did you learn last night?

- Well, they continue to-- the Rockets continue to impress me. They're the best team in the NBA this year. And I still believe they are the strongest contenders to unseat a healthy Warriors team.

Skip, James Harden is special. And we saw on the-- in the video right there, Aminu and Lillard, they tried to double team him. And he pulls off from 27 feet and splashes the three. He has no weakness offensively, Skip.

And the thing is that they put you in a high pick and roll. So now, he's going to get your big. He's going to get Nurkic on it-- yeah, Nurkic. He's going get him on him. He's going to go by him.

OK, now, you know, you try to play off him, sag off him. He'll raise up and put the three ball in. They put the pick and now he has Shabazz Napier on him. And he's just dancing, getting to the basket. And again, shot 15 free throws last night.

So-- and when you look at it like this, Eric Gordon played more minutes than James Harden and Chris Paul. Skip, he's a bench player. When you can have a bench player play more minutes than your two superstars in a game of this magnitude on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers, who were the hottest team in basketball, it tells me, come playoff time, these guys will be fresh.

James Harden scored 42 points in under 33 minutes. He's special. I don't know about you, Skip Bayless, but I thought LeBron killed Nurkic last-- well, clearly, he hadn't had enough. Because everybody's still dunking on him. How long do you think that Jarvik's-- I'm going to dig myself-- and you know about the Jarvik 7, the artificial heart in the early 80s, they inserted one in Barney Clark-- I don't know how much longer this artificial heart's going to last in Nurkic, but he's on everybody's poster, Skip.


- But I told-- yeah, everybody!

CHIP BAYLESS: And I saw a completely different game. I don't know. Joy, I must have flipped to the wrong game. I don't know.

JOY TAYLOR: Well, he did--

CHIP BAYLESS: Maybe it was just so late.

JOY TAYLOR: --he had his glassed last night.

CHIP BAYLESS: Maybe it was the glasses.

- Oh, you didn't see Capela dunk on him?

CHIP BAYLESS: I did not see that. I didn't see it like you saw it.

- Yeah, I saw it.

- Oh, OK.

- Yeah, I saw it. I could-- because I could see clear. I was sitting with my glasses. And my dog's looking at me like--

- Really? Who are you?

- Exactly.


- Skip, this is the best team in basketball right now. James Harden is playing unbelievable. Chris Paul-- because think about starting the four and James Harden starts on the bench. And they extend that lead. So unfortunately, we're going to talk about your team that you see as the biggest challenge to the Golden State Warriors.

CHIP BAYLESS: Oh, I definitely see them.


I definitely still see them as the biggest challenge.

SHANNON SHARPE: But James Harden and the Rockies, they're special. And there is nothing he can't do offensively.

CHIP BAYLESS: They may be special, but I am still not buying the Houston Rockets. I saw a very different game than you saw, and I got LASIK surgery. I don't know. That's all I got.


- I don't know, I got like 20-15 vision. I can see clearly. I can see all--

- No, you can't.

- I saw a game last night in which Houston still looked terribly vulnerable in the late and close situation that that game suddenly somehow became. And I saw Chris Paul III get away with another non-call on a gray area, borderline dirty play at the very end of that game that just drove me out of my mind.