Robert Covington was the first Rocket player to score any points in this game. Seven minutes after the opening tip, he hit a three-pointer to put the score at 3 to 20 in the Hornets’ favor. That seems extremely pathetic, and it is extremely pathetic, but who knows how long the scoreless spell would have continued if Covington had missed that shot? It could have continued indefinitely. Just missed shot after missed shot, the opposing team’s confidence and jubilation growing with each one, until the final buzzer sounds and the Rockets players all do the walk of shame back to their locker room.
Imagine the fallout for James Harden if his team had scored zero points against one of the worst teams in the league. Not only would his MVP candidacy be completely destroyed with no hope of recovery, but it would call into doubt his capabilities as a professional basketball player. Everybody else on the team would be rightly vilified in the aftermath of such an embarrassing and unprecedented defeat, but Harden, as their leader, would be vilified the most. He would be forced to retire in disgrace and take up residence somewhere where nobody knows what NBA basketball is. Somewhere like Kentucky.
Thanks to Covington’s heroic efforts, however, the Rockets were not held scoreless for the entire game. In fact, Covington’s final total of 25 points accounted for over 1/4th of his team’s scoring, not bad for somebody who’s just a catch-and-shoot role-player for the most part. James Harden should be leaving huge piles of cash in Covington’s locker as thanks for saving him from total professional ruin.