The Houston Rockets went 2-0 for the week (last Monday-Sunday), beating the Timberwolves and Wizards. This week’s average rank for these publications is 3.71 , while last week it was 5.14. 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 – 4 | Last Week – 5
The Rockets, with seven wins in a row, have ignited and are ascending closer to the elite teams. James Harden and Dwight Howard are clearly jelling, which makes Howard’s move to Houston look smarter by the day … just in time for Wednesday’s return to Lakerland (Eric Nielsen,Red94)
CBS Sports (Matt Moore)
Ranked – 5 | Last Week – 6
I have a weird feeling this team has something good up its sleeve. They’re becoming a sneaky dark horse for a Western Conference finals run.
Yahoo Sports (Marc J. Spears)
Ranked – 4 | Last Week – 7
Houston would love to trade center Omer Asik, and a source said it is actively shopping Jeremy Lin as well. Both, however, have pricey contracts.
NBA.com (John Schuhmann)
Ranked – 3 | Last Week – 3
Pace: 98.0 (7), OffRtg: 107.7 (5), DefRtg: 102.1 (9), NetRtg: +5.6 (6)
No team needed the All-Star break less than the Rockets, who went in as the league’s hottest team. Holding on to the 3 seed will be tough, because their remaining schedule is road heavy (starting with a five-game trip through the Pacific Division). They’ve scored over 123 points per 100 possessions with James Harden, Dwight Howard and Chandler Parsons on the floor during the streak.
This week: @ LAL, @ GSW, @ PHX
Sports Illustrated (Matt Dollinger)
Ranked – 4 | Last Week – 4
The Rockets have won seven consecutive games to move into third place in the West. But they’re 0-5 against the other teams in this top five. Tread lightly.
USA Today (combination of writers)
Ranked – No Update | Last Week – 7
ProBasketballTalk (Kurt Helin)
Ranked – 3 | Last Week – 4
Winners of seven in a row, but they have done it all with offense, which isn’t how they can win in the playoffs. I think we’re going to have a trade deadline without Daryl Morey making a move, which is one of the signs of the end times.
Basketball Insiders (Moke Hamilton)
Ranked – 3 | Last Week – 5
The hottest team in the league that both has room for improvement and youth on its side. Why can’t the Rockets win the conference? What can they fetch for Asik? How much better will Dwight be once he’s at 100 percent? We can’t wait to find out the answers, but their season-long seven-game win streak proves they’re FOR REAL.