Southwest Division standings (as of Tuesday)
New Orleans Hornets 6-0
San Antonio Spurs 5-1
Dallas Mavericks 4-2
Memphis Grizzlies 4-4
Houston Rockets 1-5
Let's uh, lets hope that gets better this week, yeah? Or else this season could be just as irrelevant as the last one. Here's what the Rockets have on tap for this week:
Wednesday, Nov. 10: @ Washington Wizards -- Washington is 1-4. Coach Flip Saunders just canceled an entire practice due to the lack of effort, and they are 28th in the NBA in offensive rating right now. Look for both teams to push the ball as they are both top five offenses in pace so far. Also, look for the Rockets to continue to regress to the mean after that slow start. Prediction: Rockets 117, Wizards 109.
Friday, Nov. 12: @ Indiana Pacers - The Pacers are 2-3, and are hovering right around the same level of offensive badness that the Wizards are, 27th in the NBA in offensive rating as of this writing. The two teams they have wins against have a combined record of 3-11. They haven't been a relevant NBA team since the mid-2000s. While they could be a bit feistier than the Wizards, I think the Rockets will continue to trend up. Prediction: Rockets 112, Pacers 103.
Sunday, Nov. 14: @ New York Knicks - The Knicks, thanks to new addition Amare Stoudemire, have become an early Eastern Conference contender. All things being equal, the Rockets probably have the better team. But as feisty as Chuck Hayes is, I can't see anyone on this Rockets team who can defend Stoudemire in the post. Toney Douglas and Wilson Chandler have also really stepped up this year, and I think this game has serious "last game of the road trip, lets get home" potential. Prediction: Rockets 102, Knicks 113.
Other Southwest Division schedules for this week:
New Orleans: Tues vs. LAC, Sat vs. POR, Mon @ DAL.
San Antonio: Wed vs LAC, Sat vs. PHI, Sun @ OKC
Dallas: Wed @ MEM, Fri vs PHI, Mon vs. NO
Memphis: Wed vs. DAL, Sat vs. BOS, Mon @ ORL
If nothing else, it looks likely that the Rockets can at least gain some ground on Memphis this week. The Rockets draw by far the easiest schedule of the teams in the division for this week. If you're pulling for Houston's comeback you'll want to pull for the Clippers and the Sixers this week. I mean, someone has to, right?
A completely arbitrary power ranking for each Southwest Division team: