After going 1-2 last week, the Houston Rockets fell in SB Nation's latest NBA power rankings.
The Rockets, who defeated the Los Angeles Lakers before losing to the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks last week, are now the No. 17 team in the NBA -- at least according to SB Nation's Seth Rosenthal.
Houston had been ranked No. 14 last week, but the two losses dropped the Rockets down three spots. Here's what Rosenthal had to say about the Rockets:
Poor starts have been hurting the Rockets lately. Even in their win over the Lakers -- the lone victory of the past week -- they had to claw back from down eight at the end of the first and down 13 at halftime. In general, they've been stuck playing from behind, relying on rapid runs (which, to be fair, are a specialty of theirs) to make games competitive. Meanwhile, it remains to be seen how serious James Harden's ankle injury is after he skipped practice on Sunday.
Despite being the fourth-best scoring team in the league, averaging 103.4 points per game, the Rockets find themselves with a 9-10 record, and in fourth place in the Southwest division. As Rosenthal notes, Houston's poor starts have certainly hurt -- and it's something the Rockets will need to remedy if they're going to be consistent.
Houston can easily make a statement this week to move up in next week's rankings, as the Rockets will play host to the Spurs, Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics this week.