The Houston Rockets produced their most consistent effort of the season in week 4 which is reflected in the National Media Power Rankings.
Lots of positives for the Houston Rockets in week 4 of the NBA regular season. Defensive minded guard Patrick Beverley made his season debut versus the Blazers. Whether directly attributed to PBev’s return or simply coincidental Houston jumped from 28th to 22nd in defensive ranking. But for one bad quarter in Oklahoma City the Rockets were close to sweeping their 4-game week.
Specifically, the Rockets beat the Philadelphia 76ers, a Blazers team suffering from growing pains, and in their most impressive victory easily dismissed of an improving Utah Jazz squad.
Definitely strides were made on the defensive end of the court with fans re-iterating their belief that Jeff Bzdelik has some magic up his sleeves. As expected the solid performance of James Harden and the Rockets impressed the National Pundits as they rose up the ladder.
Here’s how the National Pundits ranked the Houston Rockets in week 4:
John Schuhmann of NBA.com ranked the team 9th moving them up 4 spots from the week prior:
The Rockets are undefeated (2-0) with Patrick Beverley, who made his season debut (after having knee surgery) on Thursday. He hasn’t improved the defensive numbers just yet, but just as important is that Houston actually got some good minutes (plus-11) with James Harden off the floor (and Beverley playing point guard) in Saturday’s win over Utah. With Beverley starting, Eric Gordon is permanently coming off the bench, from where he has shot better (45 percent) and averaged more points (17.8) than he has as a starter (40 percent, 15.8).
Marc Stein of ESPN ranks the Houston Rockets 9th moving them up 2 notches after the 5 rung leap of last week:
No longer is James Harden averaging 30+ point and 10+ assists. Dare we say you can cut him some slack, though, since this league has only seen three players EVER who averaged 25+ points and 10+ dimes over the course of an entire season: Michael Adams in 1990-91, Tiny Archibald in 1972-73 and the inimitable Oscar Robertson five times. Harden heads into a new week at a robust 28.7 PPG and 12.5 APG, which means he’s still nearly doubling his assist norm from last season (7.5 APG).
Matt Moore of CBS.com seems suitably impressed with the Houston Rockets and even more so with James Harden moving them up to a top 5. That’s a 4-rung jump over last week:
This is undeniably the best basketball James Harden has ever played, on both ends of the floor. The same can be said for Eric Gordon, and Clint Capela. But they’re still 22nd in defense.
Jeremy Woo of SI.com is more impressed with the Rockets this week or more accurately James Harden as he moves them up three spots to 9th.
A league-low 5.2% of Houston’s points are derived from midrange jumpers, 37.2% of them are coming off threes, and the Rockets are conceding 105.9 points per 100 possessions. Maybe Daryl Morey and Mike D’Antoni were made for each other. Or maybe James Harden is just great.
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So that sums up how the pundits view the Houston Rockets in week 4. All are in awe of James Harden’s prowess and with Beverley back if they pull off another 3-1 week they should continue to climb the ladder.
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