The Rockets went 3-2 for the week (Monday-Sunday), beating the Spurs, Grizzlies, and Pelicans while losing to the Mavericks and Thunder. This week’s average rank for these publications is 7 while last week it was 7.83. Since these power rankings come out throughout the day on Monday, our national power rankings post will come out early Tuesday every week.
Note: National power rankings don’t take into account any of Monday’s NBA action
ESPN (Marc Stein)
Ranked – 7 | Last Week – 8
The contention here is Sunday’s sorry showing in OKC was a schedule loss on the heels of Houston’s impressive Christmas Day dismantling of the Spurs and ensuing wins over Memphis and New Orleans. Having just three games in the next 11 days is a welcome break after some crazy travel.
CBS Sports (Matt Moore)
Ranked – 5 | Last Week – 8
Five games in a week was going to mean some losses, but it does take the luster off an impressive three-game winning streak. The win over the Spurs on Christmas might have been the best they’ve looked this year.
Yahoo Sports (Marc J. Spears)
Ranked – 7 | Last Week – 7
The Rockets have a good opportunity to get some rest with just two games before Howard plays his old Lakers team on Jan. 8 in Houston.
NBA.com (John Schuhmann)
Ranked – 9 | Last Week – 8
Pace: 98.2 (7), OffRtg: 107.4 (3), DefRtg: 102.4 (13), NetRtg: +5.0 (7)
The Rockets just played seven games in five cities over the last 10 days, a stretch that featured Christmas’ best performance (a comfortable win in San Antonio) and ended with a serious thumping in OKC. Now they get a well-deserved break and a chance to enjoy those Christmas presents they got from Dwight Howard, with only home games against the Kings, Knicks and Lakers over the next 11 days.
This week: vs. SAC, vs. NYK
USA Today (combination of writers)
Ranked – 6 | Last Week – 8
James Harden and Dwight Howard are pretty great, but their combined 7.2 turnovers a game could use work.
ProBasketballTalk (Kurt Helin)
Ranked – 8 | Last Week – 8
They just completed a brutal stretch of the schedule — 7 games in 10 days. It showed in the loss to OKC Sunday night. Houston looked tired and slow. They have just three games in the next 11 and no team over .500.