Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
Dogged by questions about inconsistency and Jeremy Lin's role in the offense, Houston still searches for the spark that will catapult them up the leaderboard.
The Houston Rockets have yet to find a consistent winning model, and the web's NBA power rankings writers appear hesitant to slot them highly until they find that gear.
The Rockets are 8-7 over their last 15 games, and their star guard combo of James Harden and Jeremy Lin has yet to truly mesh. With Lin averaging just 11.3 points per game and shooting just 40.7% from the floor, SB Nation's Paul Flannery has declared "the end of the Jeremy Lin phenomenon."
SB Nation NBA contributor Seth Rosenthal would seem to agree, dropping the Rockets three spots to 20th in his latest set of rankings:
'Twas nice to see Jeremy Lin explode in that near-upset of the Spurs, though he's promptly reverted to limp, inefficient play since James Harden's return. Greg Smith, though. That man's been anything but limp in the last couple games. Totally rigid.
CBS Sports/Eye on Basketball blogger Matt Moore bumps the Rockets up a couple of notches to 17th in his latest set of rankings. NBC Sports/ProBasketballTalk writer Kurt Helin also is pushing up the Rockets, with a one-spot climb to 19th on his leaderboard.
ESPN's Marc Stein has the Rockets holding steady at 17th in his stacking of the league's best, citing his high hopes for Lin as reason for optimism. Former colleague John Hollinger's algorithm similarly punts on moving the Rockets anywhere, keeping them at 18th in the most recent set of rankings.