2012 NBA power rankings: Rockets push for relevance

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets went 2-2 over the course of the last week, but still fell in the SB Nation NBA power rankings.

The Houston Rockets fell to the San Antonio Spurs in overtime and then to the 6-19 Toronto Raptors this week. They also beat the Washington Wizards, as would be expected, and surprised the Boston Celtics with a 101-89 victory.

SB Nation's Seth Rosenthal ranks them No. 20 in his Week 8 NBA power rankings, and says much of that drop from the No. 17 slot last week has to do with the rising belief that the backcourt duo of Jeremy Lin and James Harden is still a work in progress:

'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.

At 11-12 on the season, the Rockets weren't necessarily bad this past week, but the .500-level play wasn't enough with several other teams moving up the power rankings. The Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers leaped the Rockets from last week rankings thanks to each winning all three of their respective games.

And the two wins in a row by the Los Angeles Lakers didn't do Houston any favors as far as the rankings are concerned.

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