The Rockets continue to flounder a little bit, particularly against their conference opponents, and it is really hurting them in the various Internet Power Rankings. And yet, they continue to rank much higher than another team might if they were at five games under .500. It's almost as if they know that the Rockets are supposed to be better than this, they are just waiting for the team to catch on. So without further adieu, here is where they stand.
SB Nation: 13 (LW 14)
Quite possibly the best five-game-under-.500 team in history, the Rockets continue to lose a good share of the close ones. Houston is 4-10 in games decided by five or fewer points. Studies suggest those games are toss-ups; logic, then, suggests that the Rockets are playing against a loaded coin.
ESPN: 19 (17)
The standings say Houston still has some measure of hope for sneaking into a West playoff spot. The Rockets' 12-18 record against their conference rivals -- 2-9 since the calendar flipped to 2011 -- says otherwise.
Hollinger: 12 (12)
Pro Basketball Talk: 21 (20)
They are four games out of the final playoff spot in the West. The only way they are making that ground up is if Carmelo Anthony falls to them.
The average rankings actually jumped to 16.25 this week with the SB Nation and Hollinger rankings climb outweighing the losses in the other two. But 16.25 only qualifies for the playoffs if we're rounding down, and with all the good teams int he West, that isn't happening. They're close to playoff contention, but close just isn't going to cut it in this Conference.