A 3-1 week, although one admittedly fueled by wins over the weaker stepsisters of the NBA, haven’t been getting a ton of love from the power rankers. With only incremental gains this week as outside minds try to decide how this team will operate without Yao Ming. The Rockets have one more game this week, tonight against the Clippers, before they take off until Christmas is over. Here’s the impression that they’ve left on the power rankers we trust:
Pro Basketball Talk: 17 (LW: 18)
They went 3-1 last week. Now they can forget about trying to integrate Yao and just go out and run. This is a fun team to watch when they just let it go.
ESPN: 18 (19)
You figured the Rockets, deep down, were expecting the devastatingly bad news about Yao’s potentially career-ending setback. Not the vibe we’re getting, though. They really did think he’d be back sometime this season.
Hollinger: 9 (11)
The average of those three, which last week was 16, is now 14.6. The Hollinger system continues to be bullish on the Rockets chances, while the human raters see that they aren’t in the playoffs and continue to punish them for it.
SB Nation’s own poll separates teams into Eastern and Western Conferences, so I can’t count it against these other three all-NBA polls, but like with the other two human polls, the Rockets aren’t getting any respect until they crack the Top 8 in the West again. Right now, they’re ranked 10th. Just like last week.