The Rockets took a step back in week two, winning just one of their four games since starting the season with a perfect 3-0 record. Since most power rankings come out either yesterday or today, we will post weekly Rockets power rankings updates on every Tuesday. Last week the average rank for these publications was 2.5, and this week it’s 9.5.
Note: National power rankings don’t take into account any of Monday’s NBA action
ESPN (Marc Stein)
Ranked – 9 | Last Week – 2
The honeymoon tied to the Rockets’ first 3-0 start since 2008-09 ended with the thud of all those missed Dwight free throws against the Lakers. Helping Houston rationalize a tough week is the acknowledgment that a dinged-up Harden (26.5 percent on 3s) hasn’t been seen at top speed yet.
CBS Sports (Matt Moore)
Ranked – 13 | Last Week – 4
The defense is a nightmare, the offense goes way too far away from consistent ball movement, and James Harden — though his numbers are good — seems like he’s going through the motions. I have concerns.
Yahoo Sports (Marc J. Spears)
Ranked – 9 | Last Week – 3
NBA.com (John Schuhmann)
Ranked – 8 | Last Week – 3
Pace: 101.1 (6), OffRtg: 105.6 (5), DefRtg: 101.3 (13), NetRtg: +4.2 (6)
The Rockets have looked great in games against teams not from Los Angeles, when Dwight Howard hasn’t been shooting free throws, and when their guards and forwards weren’t getting lost defensively. But three games against the Clippers and Lakers exposed some serious flaws. They don’t play either again until January, but the defensive issues will need to be cleaned up in the meantime.
USA Today (Combination of writers)
Ranked – 8 | Last Week – 1
All you have to do to get Jeremy Lin to play well is bench him briefly.
ProBasketballTalk (Kurt Hulin)
Ranked – 10 | Last Week – 2
A 1-3 week where the Rockets’ perimeter defense was exposed by the Lakers and Clippers. It’s bad. James Harden is part of the issues, and Dwight Howard along the front line can’t clean up all of that mess (when he is position).