Houston, we might have a potentially significant problem on our hands. And it is reportedly coming from the most unlikely of locations.
A report from ESPN's Tim McMahon detailed "turmoil" on several levels of the Rockets organization, which included supposed beef between star guards James Harden and Chris Paul.
It goes without saying that the Rockets wouldn't have made it anywhere near the Western Conference Semifinals if not for Harden's historic regular season, during which he averaged an astounding 36 points per game. But, even that wasn't enough for CP3, who, according to McMahon tried to coach The Beard throughout the regular season and playoffs.
Don't kid yourselves, folks. That wasn't the only damning quote.
"Paul pushed for more plays and sets in the Houston offense, more screening and deception, despite Harden being in the process of putting together a historically dominant individual offensive season," wrote McMahon.
Sources close to the ESPN reporter even noted that Paul was regularly irritated at Harden's "tendency" to ignore the unremarkable dynamics that contribute to winning basketball, such as creating space. Paul detailed how Harden rarely moved after giving up the ball and how this severely hindered Houston's offense.
Paul's criticism is utterly shocking when you consider how effortlessly him and Harden appear to jive on the court. And they're marginally ignorant when you remember just how much CP3 declined and faded in the postseason.
If true, this is unquestionably a rift that the two superstars must address and patch up before next season -- a season that, thanks to the injuries to Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson -- positions Houston with a stellar opportunity to finally get over the hump and reach the Finals.