James Harden: Rockets 'in this together; I can't do it by myself'

James Harden: Rockets 'in this together; I can't do it by myself'

On Tuesday, James Harden spoke with reporters.

He was pretty upbeat and talked about the Rockets needing to clean up some defensive breakdowns heading into Game 2.

The likely MVP also mentioned how he and his squad need to keep their "swag" and confidence high despite losing Game 1.

Did he speak with teammates about maintaining that attitude?

[LISTEN: Warriors Outsiders Podcast: Curry's defense on Harden; Rockets smart to attack Looney?]

"Yeah, yesterday I called guys. After the game I called guys," Harden said. "You can just tell as a leader when guys aren't happy or when guys aren't moving or having the same swag. So I just called guys to see how they're feeling.

"Some of the guys, it's their first time being here, but I know how hard they worked to get to this position so I want to make sure they're good and in a good place. And all the guys seem happy and motivated."

Hmmmmmm. When Harden said "guys aren't happy" is he referring specifically to Eric Gordon?

On Monday night, the Rockets' sixth man said the following to Marc Spears of The Undefeated:

“I definitely would like to get the ball more for me to be aggressive and get good looks. Offensively with everybody, we really don’t get real good looks ... we can’t isolate as much against a good defensive team. I don’t care who you are."

Speaking of looks, it's not a good look for Houston for comments like that to surface after just one game in the Western Conference Finals.

Harden was then asked a follow-up question: "What do you think it means for guys on this team -- role players particularly -- to hear from you after a game like that?"

"It means a lot, and it's not like it's the first time it happened," Harden said. "I called guys (during the) regular season, go eat with guys after games or what not. But it's a great feeling.

"Teammates call me because we're in this together and like, I can't do it by myself, and we need everybody to be at their top play -- whether it's CP, whether it's Eric, whether it's Tuck -- we just open up and just talk about the game, talk about things that we see, that they see from their angle.

"We can get better on things that they saw that actually worked, and figure it out."

One thing that needs to be made clear here is that when Harden said "I can't do it by myself," it wasn't delivered in a selfish context.

However, it's still an interesting choice of words.

Harden was spectacular offensively in Game 1 -- 41 points (14-for-24, 5-for-9 from 3) and seven assists.

But his defense was... absolutely awful:

Harden is right in saying the biggest adjustments for the Rockets need to be on the defensive end.

He is a big part of that...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Warriors coach very impressed with Eric Paschall in one specific area

Warriors coach very impressed with Eric Paschall in one specific area

Considering what the expectations were, Eric Paschall has been nothing short of fantastic so far this season.

The rookie is averaging 15.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, while shooting just under 53 percent from the field.

“His work ethic has been impressive from the jump,” Warriors assistant coach Theo Robertson -- who works closely with Paschall -- told Ethan Strauss of The Athletic. “His goal this season was to get on the floor and to this point he’s done everything necessary to facilitate that.

"We spend a ton of time watching film. I’ve been very impressed by his IQ. He’s been well-coached and sees the game.

"Moreover, his ability to apply concepts or teaching points immediately has been very impressive. He can execute a game plan and really understands the ‘why’ in a lot of things.”

Paschall -- who turned 23 years old last week -- spent five years in college, and greatly benefitted by playing for Villanova coach Jay Wright.

He constantly communicates on the defensive end and knows where to be.

As Strauss writes:

Synergy Sports grades Paschall out as “very good” on defense so far, which is tough to do on a Warriors team that’s putting up historically bad defensive efficiency numbers.

[RELATEDWhat Kerr wants Draymond to focus on offensively for Dubs]

Ultimately, it doesn't matter if Paschall starts or comes off the bench. He's going to play around 30 minutes per night.

But moving forward, hopefully we will get to see Paschall share the floor as much as possible with Draymond Green. Those two need to learn each other's tendencies and develop chemistry on both ends of the floor, and that can't happen when the rookie checks into the game for the three-time All-Star.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Ayesha Curry stars in series 'Fempire' helping female entrepreneurs

Ayesha Curry stars in series 'Fempire' helping female entrepreneurs

Ayesha Curry is continuing her busy schedule by adding yet another project to the list.

Ellen Digital Network in partnership with Lorissa's Kitchen have developed "Fempire," which will star Curry as the host of the six-episode original digital series. She will use her business savvy and wisdom to assist female entrepreneurs of all ages and stages to take their "Fempire" to the next level.

The series premiere is Wednesday where Ayesha surprises Melanie, an employee of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show,"  who has a side hustle operating Melanie's Bakeshop out of her home during her spare time. Melanie has two kids and a full-time job and wants to take her business to the next level.

That's where Ayesha comes in. She surprised Melanie at work joking she's the show's "new intern."

Curry's learned a lot building her own empire all while being a wife and mother of three. She's happy to pay it forward with what she's discovered with other powerful women.

[RELATED: Watch Canon go crazy when Ayesha plays 'Baby Shark']

And we are pretty familiar with her culinary success as she showed us in "Cookin' with the Currys" series. 

You can watch the first episode here