The Houston Rockets own an NBA-best 14-game win streak and are coming off a dominant 105-92 victory against the Los Angeles Clippers. That game remains in the news, solely thanks to James Harden’s disrespectful step back three-pointer.
Harden’s feelings that “this is the year” for the Rockets is understandable, as he’s paired with electric guard Chris Paul and his dream center, Clint Capela to jump out to the best record in the NBA, 48-13, just a half game ahead of the defending-champion Golden State Warriors.
For Harden, current success doesn’t mean it’s time to get complacent. He understands he and his team need to continue grinding out the regular season and into the playoffs if they want to close the year holding the Larry O’Brien trophy.
Here’s what Harden told the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen ahead of his team’s showdown on Saturday with the Boston Celtics:
For all the criticism Harden has received for not being “a leader” (looking at you, Kevin McHale), the comments sure come off as something a guy determined to lead a locker room would say.
Harden’s Rockets are 1-3 against their next four opponents this season, all playoff contenders in the Celtics, Oklahoma City Thunder, Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors. If there’s a time to get up for slew of games, it’s over the next week, and Harden knows it.