The Houston Rockets are entering a transition phase, but one thing remains constant: James Harden will continue to carry a very heavy load.
Rockets to Go as Far as Harden Takes Them: The Rockets hope James Harden can thrive under Mike D'Antoni and s… https://t.co/ol4NjnMduZ
— Basketball Insiders (@BBallInsiders) August 23, 2016
Dwight Howard is no longer in the picture; there’s a new head coach in town; and Harden (who inked a massive extension this summer) will be asked to do more than ever before.
Teammate Patrick Beverley says he expects nothing short of an MVP season from the four-time All-Star, and a trip to the NBA Finals.
Per Basketball Insiders:
When asked what he expects from Harden in the upcoming season, Beverley said: “MVP and leading us to the Finals. Simple.”
He led all NBA players in total points and minutes, while finishing sixth in total assists (and first among non-point-guards). His 10.7 offensive win shares ranked third in the NBA behind only Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. His 6.9 value over replacement player ranked fourth, trailing only Curry, Russell Westbrook and LeBron James. […] “He’s only a polarizing figure to people who don’t watch,” (GM Daryl) Morey told said. “Players voted him MVP [in 2014-15] for a reason. He’s had a winning team every season of his career, with multiple Conference Finals appearances.”
“People are definitely overlooking us and we kind of have the underdog mindset, which is fine for us because we’re going to work that much harder, come together even tighter and we’re all going to be on the same page,” Harden said. “We’ll let the chips fall where they may, but starting with this summer and into training camp, we’re going to be all-in. We’re going to have the same goal, and that’s to win. We’ll do whatever it takes.”