Web MD describes 'Dissociative Identity Disorder' as a "severe mental process which produces a lack of connection in a person's thoughts, memories, feelings, actions, or sense of identity." I've written multiple articles this season trying to describe the Jekyll & Hyde nature of this team, but I think this disorder is a perfect fit. The Rockets have beat the Grizzlies twice, the Thunder twice, the Lakers, the Spurs twice, and handed the Bulls their first back to back loss since February 5-7th of last year. On the flip side, they've lost to Toronto, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Golden State; it's impossible to predict the outcomes of their games at this point. Yes Derrick Rose was out last night for the Bulls, but the game was at Chicago, the Bulls are 14-7 without him, and they still had two All-Stars (Boozer and Deng), plus Joakim Noah on the court.
So what's to make of this team? They're currently the 8th seed in the West but only trail 5th seed Memphis by 1 1/2 games; up on 9th seed Utah by just 1 game. When you look at the splits, the difference between their wins and losses are pretty clear. When they rebound well and try on defense, they win; when they don't, they lose, and lose bad. Of course, they lost the rebound battle last night 47-38 to the Bulls and still won by 6 on the road. No way to figure out this team, other than knowing they're inconsistent.
They're like a teeter totter with two people on it who weigh the exact same amount; it really could go either way with their playoff chances. The Rockets have 12 games left, my guess is they need 7 wins to lock up a playoff spot. They play the Lakers, Kings, Blazers, Jazz, Suns, Nuggets (twice), Mavericks, Hornets (twice), Warriors, and Heat to finish the season. Obviously the most important game left is at home against Utah, who they're 1-1 against, so the winner will decide the tie-breaker for playoff scenarios. Utah only has 4 games left against teams with losing records among their final 12, so I like the Rockets odds to take the final playoff spot. If the team they face in the 1st round is the Thunder, despite beating them twice, I'd expect the Thunder to handle them easily. If the Spurs catch the Thunder and take the top spot (trail by 2 1/2 games), that could be a good, long series. No matter what, I'm sure they'll find a way to prove the predictions wrong.