The Houston Rockets are undoubtedly one of the top title contenders this season. They might have lost a number of role players, including Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams, but they did so to acquire perennial All-Star point guard Chris Paul.
With Paul now playing alongside James Harden—forming what can be considered as the deadliest backcourt duo in the NBA today—there is certainly renewed optimism in Rockets paradise.
Even James Harden himself was positive about the Rockets' revamped roster, going to the extent that he considers it as the best team he has ever been part of. Yes, better than the Oklahoma City Thunder squad that then featured him along with reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook and last season's NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant.
“Yeah. Obviously, the Oklahoma City team was very, very talented but, from top-to-bottom, this team is really deep,” Harden said when asked if the current Rockets team was the best he’s been on, per Rahul Lal of Rockets Wire.
Harden further explained that they almost reached 60 wins last year, suggesting that Chris Paul's addition is a step closer for them to get to the next level. He, however, pointed that the Rockets need to find their identity defensively if they are to make a splash in the playoffs and, most especially, get past the Golden State Warriors.
The five-time NBA All-Star's claim might come as a bit of a surprise given that the Thunder back then made it to back-to-back Western Conference finals. They even reached the NBA finals in the 2011–12 season, during which they lost to the LeBron James-led Miami Heat.
Of course, it might not be far-fetched as well considering that the Rockets are expected to challenge the Warriors for supremacy in the West this season. However, only their results can prove if they are the great team that James Harden thinks they are.