Apr 12, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Isaiah Canaan (1) drives to the basket past New Orleans Pelicans center Alexis Ajinca (42) during the first half at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

End Of The Season Houston Rockets Power Rankings

The Houston Rockets went 2-2 for the week (last Monday-Sunday), beating the Lakers and Pelicans, while losing to the Nuggets and Timberwolves. This week’s average rank for these publications is 5.71 , while last week it was 5.75.

Note: Houston Rockets Power Rankings don’t take into account any of Monday-Wednesday’s action


ESPN (Marc Stein)
Ranked – 5 | Last Week – 5

The Rockets appear headed for the precise playoff matchups they want: Portland in Round 1, San Antonio in Round 2. Yet you have to hold off on saying that things are lined up perfectly for them until we know for sure that Dwight Howard is back in the lineup to stay. Ditto for Patrick Beverley.


Ranked – 8 | Last Week – 12

Imagine what they could have accomplished if James Harden gave a crap on defense?


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

Houston won its season series 3-1 against first-round opponent Portland. Dwight Howard averaged 25.5 points and 13.5 rebounds against the Blazers.


NBA.com (John Schuhmann)

Ranked – 4 | Last Week – 5

Pace: 99.0 (5), OffRtg: 108.6 (4), DefRtg: 102.9 (12), NetRtg: +5.7 (5)
James Harden will enjoy facing the Blazers’ defense for 4-7 games. He averaged 30.3 points with an effective field-goal percentage of 58 percent in four regular season meetings. The Rockets need a win or a Portland loss to the Clippers to secure home-court advantage. They’ve won 14 of their last 15 games at the Toyota Center, with the only loss coming against the Clips without Dwight Howard.


Sports Illustrated (Matt Dollinger)
Ranked – 8 | Last Week – 5

The Rockets’ defense will always lag behind its high-octane offense, but they won’t make it far in the postseason if it trails by this much. Houston ranks No. 12 on the season in points allowed per possession, but has dropped to No. 20 since Mar. 29, leading to five losses in nine games.


USA Today (combination of writers)
Ranked – NONE | Last Week – 5


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

Interesting first round showdown with Portland looming, both teams put up a lot of points on the other when they faced off this season. Patrick Beverley will be key for a Rockets team that will need to harass and slow down Damian Lillard. On the flip side, James Harden should have a strong series against Portland’s inconsistent defense.


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

Owning the tiebreaker over the Blazers means that the Rockets enter Monday night with a magic number of 1. One more win or one more Blazers loss and Dwight Howard’s team will have home court advantage in their first round matchup. Finally, Superman returned in Saturday’s 111-104 win over the Pelicans after an 8-game absence.


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