The Houston Rockets are title contenders again this season and Ty Lawson will give the team another element, but everything begins with Dwight Howard and James Harden.

“We want to grow,” said Howard. “James and myself want to take this team to a great level and I think that together we can lead this team in the right direction, we can be unstoppable. I truly believe that. All of us just have a great feeling about what we can accomplish. That’s the only thing that’s been on our mind. Man, we believe. The first step in trying to be a champion is really believing. This unit, we really believe we have a chance.”

Howard played in the 2009 NBA Finals with the Orlando Magic.

Howard can become a free agent next summer.

“I’m just looking forward to having an unbelievable season,” he said. “As the years go by, you don’t take anything for granted. I remember coming into the league [at age 18], and now I’m 30. It’s my 12th season and now I’m seeing guys who are 20 and 21 and they are just coming in.”