Houston Rockets: Begin Season At No. 5 In ESPN Power Rankings

By Michael Ma

Oct 25, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Houston Rockets small forward Omri Casspi (18) handles the ball against Memphis Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph (50) during the third quarter at FedExForum. Memphis Grizzlies lose to Houston Rockets 92 – 73. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

In the final installment of ESPN’s pre-season NBA Power Rankings, analyst Marc Stein ranks the Houston Rockets 5th, after heading into the pre-season ranked 11th.

“The sense I get from most well-wired observers is that the new Rockets, as well as they seem to be meshing already, aren’t going to be ready to contend for a title in Year 1 of the Dwight/Harden tag team. But Jeff Van Gundy, for one, is adamant that they can. Which has us re-evaluating.”

Van Gundy, at least Jeff, has always spoken highly of the Rockets even after he was let go as the head coach in 2007. Check out this interview with Bill Simmons a couple of years ago in which Van Gundy talks about how he was fired by Daryl Morey, but still has tremendous respect for him: