With the second week of the 2015-16 season complete the new NBA Power Ranking Lists are out with obvious shifts up and down the ladder. Following a surprising 0-3 start to their season the Houston Rockets were looking to get back on track with a 4-game week.
Certainly for the Houston Rockets kicking off their campaign in the manner they did was far from ideal especially when they set an NBA record for losing their first 3-games by 20 points. James Harden specifically took a beating in the press for his shooting performances and fans in Clutch City were getting anxious.
Not helping matters was the first game scheduled in week 2 was against the unbeaten Oklahoma City Thunder who were rested while the Rockets were returning from playing the first game of a back to back in Miami.
Every season there will be ebbs and flows with teams going on winning and losing streaks, yet the win over the Thunder may well be considered the turning point when team performances are assessed at season end. That performance kick started the Rockets week with them going on to reverse their luck winning all 4 games.
With that let’s take a look at where the Rockets ranked with the National Media in their Power Ranking lists:
John Schuhmann of nba.com ranks the Rockets 10th a full 15 spots higher than their entry at . Full week 2 list. Schuhmann points out the Rockets three guard (Harden, Lawson, Thornton) rotation is paying dividends.
Matt Moore of CBS also vaulted the Rockets up his ladder 15 spots from 22nd to 7th and in his video explains the Rockets start was more of an anomaly given one loss was to the Warriors and says Houston can be forgiven for over looking Denver in their first game of the season. Complete list.
Marc Stein ESPN raised the Rockets on his list, but he didn’t have as many rungs for them to climb given he was one of the few National Media guys not to rank them in the mid twenties in week 1. See his full list. Moore makes a great point about the need for Houston to have better ball scoring balance. Then again, it’s not like the Rockets don’t know that, they just need time and a healthy roster to figure out their rotations and build chemistry. No list again for John Hollinger with the website saying it will be up in November, I suspect he’ll wait until the end of the month to have enough stats to compare.
Jeff Sagarin USA Today has a complex ranking system that was one of the few who ranked Houston in their top 10 (8) last week, but this week moved them down a spot… go figure. Guess his rating system looks more at the long term but one would think a perfect 4-0 week would move them up not down. Still his system is interesting and does have the mainly the same teams in his top 10. Once again the USA Today Panel have yet to post a power ranking list, perhaps the won’t this season, however I’ll keep an eye out in case they like Hollinger are waiting until the end of November.
Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated offers his week 2 rankings. He was one of the writers who gave the Rockets a pass for a poor week 1 and like most of the others moved them up this week from 10th to 7th..
Last season Marc J. Spears provided Yahoo.com’s power rankings list, last week Dan Devine of Ball Don’t Lie offered the first week ratings and this week it’s Kelly Dwyer who provides the ratings for week 2. Perhaps the team at Ball Don’t Lie are going to mix it up with different writers each week. Here is Dwyer’s week 2 ‘Most Interesting’ list. Of note: BDL don’t use Power Ranking they use “Most Interesting” instead hence why the Lakers and Trail Blazers both make the list.
And here’s the video he is referencing (in case you have been locked in a room and haven’t seen it yet).
Here's Harden's response after being asked if he's found his rhythm. He just scored 40+ for the 2nd consecutive day pic.twitter.com/NpMy6inwPN
— Juan José Vallejo (@jjvallejoa) November 8, 2015
That wraps up the National Media NBA Power Ranking Lists for Week 2 of the season. I’ll have my list up shortly (hey, it’s a lot of numbers to input). What are your thoughts on how the pundits ranked the Rockets? Let us know in the comments section below.
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