By going 3-1 last week, the Rockets, now 9-5 are skyrocketing up the standings and the all-important power rankings.
In the fifth week of the NBA, five national sites have the Rockets in the top 10.
The Rockets earned quality wins against the Utah Jazz, Detroit Pistons, and Portland Trail Blazers. They bested the Pistons, who had been lights out on their home court, in the motor city.
James Harden is averaging an absurd 28.7 points and 12.5 assists per game while also putting in much more effort on the defensive end. Harden notched his 12th career triple-double on Thursday against the Blazers. He is just two triple-doubles away from the franchise record.
Houston is also getting major contributions from Eric Gordon (15.4 ppg, 38.5 3P%) and Clint Capela (20.22 PER).
Matt Moore at CBS Sports, who has consistently ranked the Rockets in the upper echelon, says “this is undeniably the best basketball James Harden has ever played, on both ends of the floor.”
Harden’s success has been attributable to Mike D’Antoni’s system and his move to the point guard position. Moore also cited the Rockets’ 22nd-ranked defense, another D’Antoni-ism. It’s still not great, but it’s improving, as are the Rockets.