Austin Rivers Says Rockets' Offense Was 'Frustrating' With James Harden's Ball-Dominant Game

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 04:  James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets high fives Austin Rivers #25 after scoring against the Phoenix Suns during the second half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on February 04, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Rockets defeated the Suns 118-110. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets v Phoenix Suns | Christian Petersen

James Harden has spent the last two NBA seasons producing ridiculous numbers and even exceeding some of the best in league history when it comes to his offensive production.

Just this past season, the reigning MVP averaged a career-high 36.1 points, accompanied by a solid 7.5 assists per game and 6.6 boards.

Those numbers were achieved in large part due to an utter dominance of the basketball that had him post the second-highest usage rate of all time, at a jaw-dropping 36%.

While most of his teammates haven't publicly aired any issue with the way Mike D'Antoni empowers his superstar, Austin Rivers shed some light on what it's like to operate as a role player in the Houston Rockets' offense.

Appearing on ESPN First Take, Rivers believed that despite the success the system has had, a more diverse approach would yield better results.

Rivers had signed with Houston on a one-year deal midway through the 2018-19 season after being released by the Phoenix Suns. Despite his short tenure on the roster, he seems to have some strong opinions on the way the offense was organized.

"Mixing it up" could have benefited the team, but the Rockets dealt with a handful of injuries to key players, meaning Harden had no choice but to take on a bigger load in order to survive in the West, especially given their weak start to the season.

Rivers had his moments, but ultimately struggled to acclimate himself, shooting just 41.3 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from the 3-point line. Maybe he would do better with a 36% usage rate.