NBA Power Rankings: Where do the Houston Rockets land?

Where do the Houston Rockets land in the NBA's power rankings?
Where do the Houston Rockets land in the NBA's power rankings? / Amanda Loman/GettyImages

It's over. The Boston Celtics are your 2023-24 NBA champions.

That's the sixth new champion in six years. We really are in the parity era, aren't we? There's just so much talent around the league.

That could be a problem for the Houston Rockets. The competition will remain stiff. ESPN was quick to release their league-wide power rankings after the Finals.

Where did the Rockets land?

Houston Rockets closer to bottom of league

They landed 20th.

That feels disappointing. After a .500 season, the Rockets are hoping to make a push toward the playoffs. If they're the 20th-best team out of 30 teams...well, you do the math.

It's not that ESPN is low on the Rockets, either. They had plenty of glowing words for the organization.

"Houston has put together a talented young core over the last few drafts and spent big in free agency on veterans Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks last summer to make the leap back to respectability -- the Rockets were .500 this season, the best record they've had since 2020. If the right situation arises, GM Rafael Stone has the assets to take a big swing in the trade market..."

Tim MacMahon, ESPN

Still, they've placed them 20th in the NBA. Are they being cruel?

Or, are they being realistic?

Houston Rockets have to earn their place in the league

Let's be honest - they're being realistic.

Don't take these power rankings as gospel. This modern NBA is fluid. The Rockets have a golden opportunity to leapfrog some of these teams in 2024-25.

Still, it's difficult to look at the teams immediately ahead of them and argue that the Rockets are suffering an injustice here. The Memphis Grizzlies landed 19th, and they're getting Ja Morant back this year.

Could the Rockets surpass the 18th-ranked Warriors? Sure - but they have to do it before anyone acknowledges it. The Warriors won five more games than Houston in 2023-24, and they're not so far removed from a dynasty.

They may not have come close to winning a title this year, but in all fairness...

Neither did the Rockets.