February 10, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin (7) and shooting guard James Harden (13) look on during the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena. The Kings defeated the Rockets 117-111. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
With the Houston Rockets currently dropped back to 8th place after a horrible beginning to their pre-All-Star break road trip, I have decided to analyze their future placement in the NBA Playoffs. Their current competitors are the Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors.
Utah Jazz will most likely lose against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are sitting at second place in the Western Conference.
The Portland Trail Blazers lost against the Orlando Magic, will probably lose against the Miami Heat. The New Orleans Hornets is a toss up, so it does not look like they will get into the Playoff picture before the All-Star break.
The Golden State Warriors will be another important game for Houston. The Sacramento Kings were an easier team. However, Jeremy Lin did lead his team to a dominant win over the Warriors last week, so a good performance this game would not be surprising. It would tie the teams for the number of wins in the Western Conference.
The Los Angeles Lakers are 4 games behind Houston. Not a problem before the All-Star break, but can be if Houston loses all their games on the road.
Forget about the Memphis Grizzlies as they well probably win their next 10 games.
The road to the playoffs should be ok afterwards. The only accepted losses would be against the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, and at Memphis with the Grizzlies for an acceptable 21-7 run in the West. Memphis may even be a win because of their lack of transition defense, but one must not forget Portland’s great run against the Houston Rockets. It’s a shame that Houston does not have more games against the East. I think they were 10-2 against them before. They could try and get the 4th spot and home court advantage in the Western Conference. Till then, things will stay as they are for the NBA Playoffs.