Houston Rockets swingman James Harden believes his team is ready for a big lift off this season after acquiring Dwight Howard last summer.
Harden, who became an All-Star last season after he was traded to Houston by the Oklahoma City Thunder, believed each player on the Rockets roster has improved during training camp and ready to take on immense pressure this seaoson.
"Good. We're ready for it," Harden said in an interview with Jonathan Feigen of Houston Chronicles. "Each individual guy got better this summer and is ready to take on that pressure."
Third-year small forward Chandler Parson thinks keeping their focus will be a key for them as they look to contend for the title this season.
"We don't pay attention to all that going on," Chandler Parsons told the Houston Chronicles. "We know how good our team can be, and we know our guys are going to work. We understand that nothing is going to be given to us.
"When we lose some games - and we will lose some games - the media is going to talk about how we are not that good and not championship contenders. You don't even see people picking us now to win it all. We are just going to go out there and play. We know what we have to do."
"There is so much more hype around it. We have never had James Harden and Dwight Howard on our team, so there is more attention. But I can tell you those guys have worked just as hard as anyone I played with in my first two years, so there is no real difference except the preseason hype, which is pretty much irrelevant anyway," he added.