Somehow the Houston Rockets lost to the Nuggets and Kings but beat the Lakers and Clippers. I don’t get it.. Where do they stand this week among the national media’s NBA power rankings? (Power Rankings done based on action from last Monday through this Sunday’s games.)
This week’s average power ranking: 16.6
Last week’s average power ranking: 17.33 (click here to view)
ESPN (Marc Stein)
Ranked – 15 | Last Week – 15
The West amazingly has only two teams at the minute with winning records against .500-or-better opposition, but the Rockets have quietly inched as close to break even as anyone else in the conference at 6-8. We might need the rest of the season, though, to figure out how these guys went 0-5 against Denver and Brooklyn.
CBS Sports (Matt Moore)
Ranked – 16 | Last Week – 15
They’ve won seven of their last 10, nine of their last 13. In December they have the fourth-best net-point differential per possession. It looks like they’ve turned a corner. So … why doesn’t it feel like that? Maybe it’s that their last three losses are to the Kings, Nuggets, and Nets (?!). Maybe it’s the absence of a quality win outside of Dallas and the (incredibly inconsistent) Clippers. Still, they’re taking care of business. Dallas and New York jumped them, but they’re basically in the same rating space as last week. A 2-1 run through Charlotte, Orlando and San Antonio this week would jump them several spots.
NBA.com (John Schuhmann)
Ranked – 19 | Last Week – 18
Pace: 100.5 (6) OffRtg: 102.3 (13) DefRtg: 104.6 (22) NetRtg: -2.3 (21)
J.B. Bickerstaff started Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejunas next to Dwight Howard in losses in Denver and Sacramento before going back to Clint Capela for wins over the Lakers and Clippers. The Rockets have outscored their opponents by 20.1 points per 100 possessions with Capela and Howard on the floor. They’ve only played 108 minutes together, but that’s a combination that Kevin McHale never used.
This week: vs. CHA, @ ORL, vs. SAS, @ NOP
Ranked – NA | Last Week – 17
ProBasketballTalk (Kurt Helin)
Ranked – 16 | Last Week – 16
They climbed up to .500 again thanks to a quality win over the Clippers Saturday, but can they sustain it this time (Hornets, Magic and Spurs on the docket this week). The Rockets need to go big with Clint Capelaand Dwight Howard paired more often, as they did against the Clips.
Sports Illustrated (Jeremy Woo)
Ranked – 17 | Last Week – 17
Houston’s effort continues to be flaky and was noticeably lacking in a loss to Sacramento, but a win over the Clippers brought its record back even. They’ve got more things to figure out to avoid embarrassment on Christmas against the Spurs.
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