NBA

James Harden sees similarities between the Rockets and his 2012 OKC team

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The new-look Houston Rockets team is yet to hit the floor together but superstar James Harden is already comparing it to arguably the best team he's been on.

The five-time All-Star has reached one NBA Finals in his career and he achieved that with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012 where they were defeated by the Miami Heat.

The Rockets made one of the biggest trades of the summer when they acquired All-Star point guard Chris Paul from the Los Angeles Clippers.

'The Beard' surprisingly sees similarities between his old OKC team and the current Rockets squad.

"Both teams are similar as far as talent and versatility, a mixture of vets and young guys. Both are very, very, very talented," he told Vice Sports' Michael Pina. "Now, obviously, the difference is we were younger back then, but both are good."

The shooting guard was in his third year in the league during that season and had not blossomed into the huge star he is today.

However, he was named as the Sixth Man of the Year for his contributions during the shortened 66-game campaign, averaging 16.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.7 assists.

With a talented young group also featuring Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka, the Thunder were primed to make regular appearances in the Finals but Harden was soon shipped off to Houston after failing to agree on a contract extension.

From once being a threat off to the bench, the 28-year-old is now the leader and face of the Rockets franchise.

The addition of CP3 has already reshaped the entire team. It will allow the duo to create a deadly backcourt partnership and give Harden a chance to play off the ball and benefit from Paul's playmaking abilities.

But the point guard's arrival also saw the team give up a number of pieces including All-Defensive guard Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker and Lou Williams.

But the nine-time All-Star is the best teammate Harden has had since his days in Oklahoma City and that's why he's so optimistic going into this season.

Along with Paul, Houston has also improved the roster by bringing in P.J. Tucker, Luc Mbah a Moute and Tarik Black.

They also re-signed Nene and retained the services of reigning Sixth Man of the Year Eric Gordon and sharpshooter Ryan Anderson.

The Rockets have been in discussions with the New York Knicks throughout the offseason to secure a trade for Carmelo Anthony, but it now appears those talks have stalled.

But with the team they have at present, Houston should still be a serious threat in the Western Conference and could potentially match the 2012 OKC team by making it to the finals.

Topics:
Southwest Division
Western Conference
NBA
Chris Paul
L.A. Clippers
Pacific Division
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division
Houston Rockets
James Harden

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