The Houston Rockets are playing their best basketball at the right time

James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets are playing some of their best basketball of the season and  James Harden says the team is catching a rhythm.

This season didn’t start off as well as the Rockets had envisioned.

Houston walked right into a mountain of adversity, starting the season 1-5. Paul was suspended for the third and fourth games of the season after throwing hands with Rajon Rondo at Staples Center.

Just 10 games into the season, it became painfully clear that Carmelo Anthony didn’t fit into Houston’s scheme on either side of the ball. So, the Rockets quickly parted ways with the forward, a player the team had tried for years to bring to Houston.

In fact, none of Daryl Morey’s offseason acquisitions fit well with the team. James Ennis, Michael Carter-Williams, Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss were all gone by the trade deadline.

By the 25th game of the season, the Rockets had just 11 wins and were only ahead of the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference standings. Then, Chris Paul injured his hamstring again on Dec. 20, forcing him to miss about a month of action. A few weeks later on Jan. 13, Clint Capela injured his thumb, which sidelined him for the next five weeks.

In short, the Rockets have faced all kinds of adversity this season, but it has only made them stronger as a group. James Harden told Yahoo Sports that the teams in the top spot in each conference haven’t gone through the ups and downs that Houston has endured this year.

“We’re still in fifth place with an opportunity to climb even higher. That’s all you can ask for. A lot of teams in that top spot in both conferences haven’t really had to go through adversity, so it feels good.

The calendar has flipped to March and the playoffs are right around the corner. Harden feels like the Rockets are getting healthy and are on a winning streak at the best possible time, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.

“It feels really, really good to kind of have a full roster and catch a rhythm. This is a perfect time for it.

After defeating the Boston Celtics 115-104 on Sunday, the Rockets have now won five consecutive games. They’re just one game behind Oklahoma City for the third seed in the Western Conference after starting the season 11-14.

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The Rockets won’t win a league-best 65 games like they did last year, but they can be just as dangerous in the postseason if they can just stay healthy.