The Houston Rockets went 3-0 for the week (last Monday-Sunday), beating the Jazz, Timberwolves, and Cavaliers. This week’s average rank for these publications is 4.375 , while last week it was 6.25. 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 – 4
The sense I get is that the Rockets are being extra cautious with Dwight Howard’s ankle injury as opposed to being super concerned about it. And thanks to last week’s favorable schedule — which you can review by clicking here – Houston happily managed to go 3-0 without him anyway.
A nice soft bit of schedule after their rough stretch. We’ll see how they finish the season.
Yahoo Sports (Marc J. Spears)
Ranked – 4 | Last Week – 5
After losing three straight games with All-Star center Dwight Howard, Houston has won three straight while he rested a sore left ankle.
NBA.com (John Schuhmann)
Ranked – 4 | Last Week – 8
Pace: 98.3 (8), OffRtg: 108.5 (4), DefRtg: 102.5 (10), NetRtg: +6.0 (6)
The Rockets’ offense has scored more than 110 points per 100 possessions in 11 of its last 17 games, ranks first since the All-Star break, and was off the charts (122.1)in three games without Dwight Howard last week. James Harden is cooking;33-for-65 (that’s 51 percent on more than eight attempts per game) from 3-point range over the last eight games.
This week: @ CHA, vs. PHI, vs. LAC
Sports Illustrated (Matt Dollinger)
Ranked – 4 | Last Week – 6
After losing to the Thunder, Bulls and Heat the week before — and falling to 4-14 when scoring under 100 points — the Rockets took their frustrations out on the Jazz, Timberwolves and Cavaliers last week, averaging 123.7 points.
USA Today (combination of writers)
Ranked – 5 | Last Week – 5
James Harden shoots 41.4% on three-pointers in victories, 27.3% in losses.
ProBasketballTalk (Kurt Helin)
Ranked – 4 | Last Week – 7
Houston is right to be cautious with Dwight Howardreturning from his ankle injury — he has played fantastic ball since the All-Star break and they need him healthy come the playoffs, not with a lingering issue. The Rockets keep winning without Howard because James Harden has sparked the offense in his absence (they scored 124, 129 and 118 in their last three. Big showdown with the Clippers Saturday.
Basketball Insiders (Moke Hamilton)
Ranked – 5 | Last Week – 8
The Rockets took quite a fall after losing all 3 games of a tough road trip a few weeks back, and we’re withholding our affection until Saturday’s battle with the Clippers. Credit is due for last week’s wins over the Jazz, T-Wolves and Cavs… But just not that much. Last Week: 3-0.