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Rockets GM: Adding CP3 will lessen Harden's load

Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Whoever's concerned about how James Harden and Chris Paul will share one ball is looking at the problem entirely backwards.

Sharing the workload is precisely why Paul was brought in since Harden wore down last season as Houston's lone creator. The MVP runner-up was stellar in the regular season, but his production dropped off in the later rounds of the postseason which ultimately cost the Rockets a chance to return to the Western Conference Finals.

"From my perspective, (managing fatigue) was a big motivation with the Chris Paul move," Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said on ESPN's The Woj Pod.

"It's just too much to ask one guy to carry a team all the way to the Western Conference Finals or the Finals. It caught up to him."

Harden was the NBA's most efficient high-volume creator last season as he poured in 29.1 points and 11.2 assists per game on a true shooting percentage of 61.3. His singular brilliance allowed the Rockets to produce the second-best offense along with the third-best regular-season record.

That production, however, waned as the playoffs wore on. Harden's scoring, passing, and shooting efficiency all dropped off during Houston's six-game loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

Harden ended his playoff run with 10 points and six turnovers on 2-of-11 shooting in a 39-point blowout in Houston's last playoff game.

Adding Paul will not only spell Harden in the playoffs, but it should also open more opportunities to rest during the regular season. Harden leads the league in minutes played and has sat out games for rest just twice over the last three seasons.

"The Chris move is an important move no matter what, but I think a big thing is that you won't see a guy dragging on the last few steps up the mountain to try to win a title.

"We needed to not put that much burden on one guy, and I think Chris allows us to do that," Morey added.

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