Houston Rockets star Chris Paul has said that he doesn't see any other team beating his in a seven-game series.
Of course, the 11-12 Rockets would have to make it to the Playoffs first to prove Paul right. And, admittedly, things are looking pretty bleak.
Houston is coming off a 103-91 Monday-night loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, having blown a 19-point first half lead to score a measly 29 points in the second half. They're now back below the .500 mark with 23 games gone and could struggle to even play past the regular season if they don't find some solutions.
Paul, who scored just five points on Monday, was still pretty defiant after playing one of the poorest games of his career. The tally marks his fewest in a game for over a year and he hit just one of his seven three-point attempts, also committing five turnovers.
On the whole, the Rockets are facing many problems this season. Apart from their Carmelo Anthony venture not working out, there are the injury problems and lack of personnel. There's also the pressure of being expected to rival the Golden State Warriors in the West after taking them to seven games in the conference finals last term.
Paul has admitted that the Rockets aren't all that good this season, however, he fully expects them to sort things out. And, come playoff time, he doesn't see anyone beating them four times.
"Our record ain't that good [but] I'm still not that concerned, to tell you the truth," Paul told CBS Sports this week. "Somebody's gotta beat us four out of seven times. I don't see that happening.
"It's a lot different than last year. But once we figure it out, we'll be alright."
The Rockets only lost 17 games all of last season but are only five shy of that mark after just a quarter of the campaign gone. Unsurprisingly, everyone is running away from the comparisons now.
"This is our team this year. Who cares? Who cares? That's the Rockets of the past," head coach Mike D'Antoni said after being quizzed over the differences between this season and the preceding one. "We can't compare ourselves to Olajuwon or anybody. This is us. We gotta figure this out."
What This Means
Paul's confidence in his team's ability to arrest the slump and sharpen themselves for the playoffs isn't unrealistic. Despite losing key players over the summer, they could be back on top of things by the time the season reaches its halfway mark, as long as they stay healthy.
Adversely, it's very possible they don't even make it to the playoffs, albeit with reigning MVP James Harden leading the way. But that would still be a huge surprise even taking the way they've started things off into consideration.