Rockets news: James Harden wants Houston 'to block all the noise' in the playoffs
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James Harden wants Rockets ‘to block all the noise’ in the playoffs

James Harden, Rockets

The Houston Rockets have officially started their playoff run against the Utah Jazz, with the goal of finally achieving what they failed to accomplish last season.

The Rockets came up short of making the NBA Finals in the 2017-18 campaign, losing to the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals. Now, the team is more focused on completing the task at hand.

Reigning MVP James Harden has been battle tested in the playoffs, and he’s learned a lot from the setbacks he encountered in the past. He told Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen that it is important for him and his teammates to care less about all the noise surrounding the team from here moving forward.

“Don’t get too high, don’t get too low,” Harden said. “Block out all the negative noise; all the noise. Even when people try to praise you, block it out. Just try to keep that even keel, one possession at a time.”

There has been a lot of talk about Harden’s inability to lead the Rockets to the Finals despite being one of the most unstoppable offensive forces in the history of the league. But the All-Star guard doesn’t want to dwell on his doubters.

He’d rather just play basketball.

James Harden knows that there will be times when everything will go his way and instances when he’ll struggle. He understands that the key to having a consistent performance is to have a balanced mindset. He does not want to be overblown by the praises and he does not want to be upset by his shortcomings.

Whether or not his mentality in this year’s playoffs will finally help the Rockets get past the hump remains to be seen. But Harden is ready, and he will just let his game do the talking for him.