I wrote this at the end of my recap from last night's game, but it bears repeating: The Rockets are a half-game behind the second-place San Antonio Spurs, and they have the same record as the third- and fifth-place Clippers and Grizzlies. The Rockets and, I believe, all of their counterparts in the race have two games left.
The first of those games is tonight, in Charlotte, against the undermanned Hornets. Just like the Rockets don't have Dwight Howard, the Hornets are missing Al Jefferson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. They still have Gerald Henderson, who will guard James Harden, and Bismack Biyombo is essentially a taller, longer, more athletic Joey Dorsey.
The Rockets, still, should win this one. If they can't win against the 11th-place team in the East when there are so many playoff implications, I will have very little faith in this team when the playoffs start next week. However, I have plenty of faith in this team, so I think they pull it out.