It didn’t take long for any early-season optimism to dissipate in Houston.
The Rockets entered 2020–21 with some confidence despite James Harden’s trade request, looking at a reshaped roster as a potential contender in the Western Conference. Does Harden agree with that sentiment after Houston’s 3–6 start? Not exactly.
“We're not even close, honestly, to [the Lakers]. ...and all the other elite teams out there,” Harden said after the Rockets 17-point loss against Los Angeles on Tuesday. "I mean, you can tell the difference in these last two games. "We're just not good enough.