The Rockets started the season at 11-14. Harden thinks if Houston got off to a better start, they could have been the No. 1 or 2 seed in the West and gotten home-court advantage in the postseason.
“That's exactly…you hit it on the nail,” Harden said. “Especially against a great team like that (Warriors). You wanna give yourself the best chance. Fourth seed, first series we had home-court advantage, second we had to play on the road which is difficult. We have to get off to a better start.”
The Rockets finished the season at 53-29. They defeated the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs in five games and lost to the Golden State Warriors in the second round in six games. That's now back-to-back postseasons the Warriors have eliminated the Rockets.
Houston, thanks to Harden, went on an incredible run during the regular season after their slow start to climb up the Western Conference standings. Harden, who once again led the NBA in scoring, scored at least 30 points in 32-straight games. It was during that stretch where the Rockets climbed up the standings.
Ultimately, though, the Rockets' slow start came back to bite them in the playoffs since they had to face the Warriors in the second round instead of the Conference Finals again like last season.