James Harden
James Harden is looking forward to the upcoming 2018/19 NBA season. In this picture, Harden of the Houston Rockets attends a promotional event in Taipei, Taiwan, on July 5, 2018. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Houston Rockets guard James Harden is looking forward to continuing the franchise's journey into the upcoming 2018/19 season.

The Rockets enjoyed a stellar regular season in 2017/18 as they finished with a league-high 65-17 record that saw them enter the playoffs as the No. 1 seed from the Western Conference, notably above the Golden State Warriors.

Harden, along with his partnership with Chris Paul, was a big factor for Houston's success as the former's impressive numbers of 30.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game resulted in him being named MVP for the first time in his career.

However, there was a feeling of regret during the playoffs as the Rockets were leading the Warriors 3-2 in the Western Conference Finals, requiring just one win to reach their first-ever NBA Finals since 1995.

It wasn't to be though, as the Warriors took advantage of an injury of Paul in the last two games to reach a fourth consecutive NBA Finals and go on to win their third championship under Steve Kerr.

Nearly three months on since that disappointing Game 7, Harden is excited for the upcoming campaign and believes the team's failure in the playoffs will only make their overall journey that much better.

"I'm excited. I'm excited for the journey," Harden said recently. "Last year was an amazing journey, obviously the journey didn’t end how we wanted to, but the journey is what makes the teams great and it’s what will make that story even better."

"I’m excited for that process. From training camp, even from summer time, hanging out with the guys, doing regular stuff when we actually have time to do it, traveling with the guys, a lot of traveling with [P.J. Tucker], hanging out with [Chris Paul] a lot—last year was kinda thrown onto us, but this year, it’s a lot more settled in."

Harden also believes the addition of Carmelo Anthony will prove vital.

The former Oklahoma City Thunder forward is the main arrival at the Toyota Center this summer, while the likes of Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute both departed in free agency.

Anthony signed a one-year, $2.3 million deal after he was first traded by the Thunder to the Atlanta Hawks, before having his contract waived. While there is skepticism over the move, Harden is one who has always been open to his arrival and believes he will fit in well.

"Bringing Carmelo in is gonna be a good fit for us," Harden added.

As per ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski, Anthony will get a chance during training camp to compete for a starting spot. However, he could also come off the bench if that is what head coach Mike D'Antoni sees as the best option, particularly with Harden and Paul likely to remain the focal points of the side.

Anthony, of course, said he would not accept a bench role following the Thunder's disappointing postseason, and late last month claimed he would know when it was time for him to be the sixth man.

"I know how to play this game of basketball," he explained. "I’ve been playing it for a long time. When I feel like I’m ready to take that role, then I’ll take that role. Only I know when it’s best for me to take that role."

"I’m not going to do that in a situation where I still know my capabilities and what I can do. And at the end of the day, the people who really matter know my capabilities and what I can still do. You start getting to the media and debates, it’s going to always be kind of back-and-forth."