James Harden is feeling pretty good about his team right now.
His expectations are sky high.
"This is the year. For sure," Harden told Jovan Buha of ESPN.com.
You can't really blame The Beard for feeling this way.
[WARRIORS OUTSIDERS PODCAST: Michael Wilbon says many players think Rockets better than Warriors]
The Rockets (47-13) lead the Warriors (47-14) for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
Houston also owns the tiebreaker because they took two of three from Golden State this season.
Then there's these facts:
Since 2000, 42 teams have played Denver and Utah back-to-back. The Rockets are only the 4th to get the sweep. Others were Heat last year, Boston in 2003 and Detroit in 2002. Shows how brutal that is.— Kelly Scaletta (@KellyScaletta) February 27, 2018
The Rockets during their 13-game win streak:
- LAST in pace at 97.14 (Warriors 3rd at 103.16)
- 29th in assist percentage at 51.3 (Warriors 2nd at 69.6)
- 4th in defensive rating at 102.9 (Warriors 6th at 104.5)
- 1st in 3-point attempts at 39.8 (averaged 43.2 first 47 games)— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) February 27, 2018
Back in 2012, Harden played on the 2012 Thunder squad with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka that reached the NBA Finals.
"This is probably the best team I've ever been a part of, from top to bottom," Harden told ESPN. "The chemistry that we have, included with the coaching staff -- I mean, we're having a lot of fun."
In addition to the team success this year, Harden is the front-runner for MVP.
He's averaging 31.4 points, 8.9 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game, while shooting over 38 percent from deep.
And in case you missed it:
Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller