Here’s a look at where the Rockets sit in the various rankings for this week:
USA TODAY – compiled from a group of ten voters:
Houston is behind Golden State and Portland. Howard is again listed as questionable for Wednesday night’s rematch against the Warriors who are a league-best 17-2 and are riding a 12-game winning streak into their game Monday night against the woeful Timberwolves. Click for full rankings.
Yahoo – Marc Spears
Spears adds a positive note on Howard, though it was not echoed by anyone following Rockets Monday practice. Seeing them in the five spot might be a bit low, they have wins against two of the teams ahead of them, San Antonio and Memphis. But they have also lost two games to teams ahead of them, Golden State and Memphis. Click for full rankings.
ESPN – Marc Stein
Up four spots from number seven a week ago. The Harden note should be 25, 6 and 6 as Harden is one of just two players even averaging six points and six rebounds a night. The other is Boston’s Rajon Rondo, who is averaging less than nine points per game. Click for full rankings.
SI.com – Matt Dollinger
One more instance of media picking up on only one of the things that McHale said about Dwight Howard. Before the Rockets Saturday win over Phoenix, McHale said he didn’t expect McHale back anytime soon. Then during his post-game press conference, just several hours later that same day, McHale said, “hopefully we’ll get back Dwight back and Isaiah (Canaan) back, hopefully, relatively soon.” So which is it? Most nationally media outlets picked up the comment from before the game and completely ignored the one after the game. Click for full rankings.
NBA.com – John Schuhmann
The only non-top five ranking comes here. It appears to be due to the belief from Schuhmann that injuries are eventually going to slow Houston down. Also, note their recent winning streak actually moved them UP to seven from eight a week ago. If their defensive rating stays top five all season, then the Rockets will be ecstatic. Should note that the Mavericks are one spot ahead of the Rockets after a week that had the Mavs losing badly at home to Phoenix (who the Rockets beat easily the next night) and a pair of wins against eastern conference teams that required buzzer-beaters. Click for full rankings.
ProBasketballTalk.com – Kurt Helin
Yet another site clinging to one McHale quote, but not the other. Also, a hat tip for Donatas Motiejunas, who is averaging 14 points, 7.8 rebounds and shooting 58 percent in his last five games. He also has not picked up more than three fouls in any of the five games, while averaging over 31 minutes per game. Click for full rankings.
By the way, my power rankings would look like this:
1. Warriors, 2. Blazers, 3. Rockets, 4. Spurs, 5. Grizzlies
6. LA Clippers, 7. Mavericks, 8. Raptors, 9. Cavaliers, 10. Bulls
11. Suns, 12. Wizards, 13. Hawks, 14. Kings, 15. Pelicans
16. Bucks, 17. Thunder, 18. Heat, 19. Nuggets, 20. Celtics
21. Magic, 22. Nets, 23. Pacers, 24. Jazz, 25. Lakers
26. Hornets, 27. 76ers, 28. Knicks, 29. Timberwolves, 30. Pistons