The Houston Rockets are definitely not the same mediocre team they were last year and they are winning games. Perhaps I should say that James Harden is winning them games. After a dominating 37 points 12 assists performance against the Detroit Pistons, many wondered if Harden had the ability to repeat his performance. He answered this question in a massive way by scoring a career-high 45 points in their 109-102 victory against the Atlanta Hawks. Frankly when watching Harden play, one almost forgets that he was once under the shadow of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook while in Oklahoma City. These back-to-back dominating performances do not come as a surprise, as many saw this potential during his days with the Thunder. At this point James Harden is not only proving that he was worth the five-year $80 million dollar deal he signed last week, but he is becoming the face of the franchise when many believed this mantle would belong to Jeremy Lin (though arguably Lin and Harden are the NBA’s best back court). After coming off an season opening loss against San Antonio on Thursday night, many have already noted that Oklahoma City many no longer be the championship contender many predicted them to be before the trade. In my point of view not only did Oklahoma City lose a talented player when they traded James Harden, they lost a big part of their identity; one which they may never be able to supplement the same way.