Apr 6, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) speaks with guard Isaiah Canaan (1) during the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Rockets Power Rankings Update Through Week 23

The Houston Rockets went 2-2 for the week (last Monday-Sunday), beating the Thunder and Nuggets, while losing to the Nets and Raptors. This week’s average rank for these publications is 5.75 , while last week it was 4.875. 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 – 5 | Last Week – 5

How valuable will Sunday’s crazy comeback prove to be? Scoring 16 of the final 19 points to avoid a costly home loss to Denver kept the Rockets in the driver’s seat for the No. 4 seed. Can’t ask for more when you’re also trying to get Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverley healed for the playoffs.


Ranked – 12 | Last Week – 6

Some people dash to the finish line. The Rockets look more like a bear crawling while hoping they can take a nap soon. But they’re still crossing the line.


Yahoo Sports (Marc J. Spears)
Ranked – 5 | Last Week – 5

The Rockets appear to be settling into the West’s fourth seed. Houston’s lone game remaining against a playoff team is against the Spurs.


NBA.com (John Schuhmann)
Ranked – 5 | Last Week – 4

Houston (51-25)
Pace: 98.6 (5), OffRtg: 108.3 (5), DefRtg: 102.6 (11), NetRtg: +5.6 (5)
The Rockets’ defense has suffered in eight games without Dwight Howard, but their offense has been fine, because they’ve gone to the line at the same rate without so many misses. James Harden hasn’t shot well from the field over the last five games, but has averaged 31.0 points because he’s 65-for-73 from the line. With where his team is in the standings, Howard need not rush back.
This week: @ LAL, @ DEN, @ MIN, vs. NOP


Sports Illustrated (Matt Dollinger)
Ranked – 5 | Last Week – 4

Most teams dream of having a dominant center. The Rockets have two. Dwight Howard has missed five consecutive games, but Omer Asik has filled in admirably, averaging 12 points and 16.8 rebounds, including two 23-board games.


USA Today (combination of writers)
Ranked – 5 | Last Week – 6

Terrence Jones, the second-year forward who is blossoming next to Dwight Howard.


ProBasketballTalk (Kurt Helin)
Ranked – 5 | Last Week – 4

Sunday’s come from behind win is huge for a team trying to hold on to home court advantage in the first round. What really matters is getting Dwight Howard andPatrick Beverley back healthy — they shouldn’t rush back for the regular season but they are needed likely against Portland in the first round.


Basketball Insiders (Moke Hamilton)
Ranked – 4 | Last Week – 5 

A bum ankle has caused Dwight Howard to miss the last 5 games, but the Rockets managed to best the Thunder on Friday, 111-107, snapping a 3-game losing streak. Omer Asik’s 18-point, 23-rebound effort in Sunday’s 130-125 OT win over the Nuggets reminds us (again) why Daryl Morey didn’t end up moving him. Last Week: 2-2.


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