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Ranking the Houston Rockets: The Top 9

A power ranking of the top 9 Houston Rockets for the 2015 -2016 NBA season.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

This is the second installment of a two-part series where Max Croes and I POWER RANK the 2015 Houston Rockets roster.

In part one we ranked the bottom half of the 2015 Rockets. In this article we place eight other guys behind James Harden.

We each ranked the players based on preseason statistics, personal preferences, and 2015 projections. Career accolades, injuries, and off-court mishaps were considered, but not highly scrutinized in the rankings. We averaged the results of our two lists to produce this POWER RANKING.

9: Clint Capela

Congratulations on the promotion, Clint. There's no timetable for the return of Dwight Howard or D-Mo... you're starting. -Max

8: Patrick Beverley

Beverley is a solid player. His role as backup point guard on this team (even if it means splitting 50/50 with Lawson) is optimal. Playing alongside Harden also suits Bev because there is no burden to create offense. Beverley can spot up for three, but struggles off the dribble. Obviously, his signature skill is his tenacious defense which is unmatched across the league. He is only the eighth most valuable Rocket because of his reduced role. -Danny

7: Donatas Motiejunas

His rebounding skills are questionable, but Donatas Motiejunas' post moves are certainly elite. On 271 recorded post ups, Motiejunas scored at least 1 point on 49.4% of the post ups. That number is good for third in the league for players qualifying with at least 200 opportunities. -Danny

6: Corey Brewer

"The Drunken Dribbler" does one thing exceptionally and he probably does it better than anyone in the league; he leaks out on the fast break off a turnover or rebound. Brewer is consistent, dependable, and plays his role brilliantly. He deserves the sixth spot on the team not because he is necessarily the "sixth man," but because his unique speed and fast break ability. -Danny

5: Terrence Jones

With his rookie deal expiring and his first real contract in the balance Jones has the ability to add $20 million (or more) to his price tag. Absent another debilitating series of mysterious leg injuries and continuing the progress he's shown over the past three seasons, he's set to have a year that makes it impossible for the Rockets to retain him. -Max

4: Ty Lawson

I want to trust him. Lawson is only fourth (in my rankings) because we still don't know the condition of Donatas Motiejunas' back. His name is written on any POWER RANKING in pencil until we're sure certain the demons that caused Denver to view him as a toxic asset are gone: alcohol, a bad attitude and a lack of motivation. -Max

3: Dwight Howard

An extended injury will knock Dwight Howard down this list and a "past Dwight" will move him up this list. From back injuries to MCL tears, Dwight Howard is our maximum contract Rolls Royce and we're going to talk about him like it and treat it like him no matter what the setbacks are. -Max

2: Trevor Ariza

The best ability is availability. Ariza shows up for every game on both ends. He played all 82 games in red and the year before he missed just five contests. His consistency and dependability have earned him league-wide respect. -Danny

1: James Harden

Is it too early to proclaim The Beard as one of the greatest Rockets of all time? What he did last year was remarkable and his prime should continue for the next few years. -Danny

Argue our rankings in the comments. Or agree with everything.