Power Rankings: Where the Rockets Rank Amongst the Top Teams in the NBA

Anthony Duckett
Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
5 of 6
LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers battles for space with Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors
LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers battles for space with Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

4. Los Angeles Lakers

Many people won’t agree with this ranking. Yes I know the Lakers added Anthony Davis to pair with LeBron James but I also know the Lakers were wanting to add a third star for a reason. Sure it would give them an advantage competitively but there are questions about this duo. For starters, Anthony Davis has never played 82 games in his entire 7 year career. He’s an injury prone big that  never really led the Pelicans anywhere in the postseason. Granted, he will be Robin to LeBron’s Batman but Bron is also 34 and missed 27 games this past season. In addition, we know LeBron can play facilitator but Davis can’t create offense for others. In fact, the Lakers can’t even get a commitment from Davis right now!

I think the Lakers did a good job salvaging pieces after being left at the altar by Kawhi Leonard. The Lakers’ problems this season will stem from them being a dysfunctional organization that will self-implode. We’ve already seen the back and forth between Magic Johnson (who is still involved with the Lakers front office) and Rob Pelinka. You could very well make the argument that Johnson caused them to miss on Kawhi, as he was leaking information from the meeting despite Kawhi asking teams to keep quiet.

The Lakers also have dysfunction on their coaching staff, as they ended up hiring Frank Vogel well after many of their other top choices turned them down. And even with that, it was leaked that they wanted to hire Jason Kidd as the head coach but chose to make him an assistant coach because of many things off the court. So how will that work? Vogel inherited a lead assistant that he didn’t pick? I could see the Lakers winning 50+ games and making it to the Conference Sem-Finals but I can’t see them making it out the West.

3. Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers will look much differently next year. They landed the prize of free agency, Kawhi Leonard and shocked the basketball world by acquiring Paul George. They also have a great coach in Doc Rivers and a great front office, led by Jerry West. In my eyes, they will be a top 2 seed in the West undoubtedly. They managed to keep solid players such as JaMychal Green and Patrick Beverley and will be a force defensively with elite defenders such as George, Leonard and Beverley in their starting line-up. They don’t have a facilitator however, which could present a problem. For as great as Beverley is as a 3 & D player, he’s not a facilitator and needs another player to create offense for him. But George and Leonard aren’t passers either and need the ball in their hands themselves.

This is, in my opinion, going to be a big problem for the Clippers. Sure, they made the playoffs last season with arguably the same problem but that was different. It was different because Lou Williams led the Clippers in assists last season with 5.4 per game, but Williams won’t have the ball in his hands as much with the additions of Leonard and George. Now I understand that Rivers is a great coach and they will be sure to figure it out long-term, I just think it will take them time to figure out how to make this work. I’m expecting them to make it to the Western Conference Finals however.

Next: Nos. 1-2