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NBA Power Rankings: Rockets Gain Respect For Hanging Tough

While the Rockets continue to seem stuck in the mud, that hasn’t stopped their climb over .500 earlier last week from making an impression in the power rankings. They climbed in a number of polls this week, which, again, would be great if the NBA Playoffs operated based on outside sources rather than those pesky “wins” and “losses.” Houston is stuck at three games back behind the Grizzlies for the final playoff spot in the West, and the Jazz and Suns are also still ahead of the Rockets. Nevertheless, at least they’re making friends in the Power Rankings:

SB Nation: 12 (14)

12. Houston Rockets (34-34, Prev: #14) — This isn’t Rick Adelman’s best coaching job — the 2005-06 Sacramento Kings hold that honor — but it’s up there. So many critics have repeatedly bleated that Kevin Martin can’t be the best player on a good team. Guess what? Kevin Martin’s the best player on a .500 team fighting to make the playoffs. Haters stand down.

ESPN: 15 (16)

If the Rockets ultimately miss the playoffs, as seems likely now, here’s one key culprit: They have nine losses after leading in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter or OT, behind only Detroit and Minnesota (10).

Pro Basketball Talk: 17 (17)

Three games out of the last playoff spot in the West, but nobody above them is faltering. They are going to have to get very hot to have a shot.

Hollinger Ratings: 10 (12)

After last week’s average ranking of 14.75, the Rockets improved all the way up to 13.5 this week. As is part for the course with Houston this year, they have been weighted up by the Hollinger Ratings, while PBT continues to give them the lowest ranking.

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