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Slumping Rockets Slip in Power Rankings

Is it time to worry about the Rockets?

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

After going 15-2 in December, the Rockets are hovering over the .500 mark (10-7 including Tuesday’s win over the Kings) in January.

The Houston Rockets have gone 4-7 in their last 11 games amid injuries to Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson and Patrick Beverley.

“Injuries to Gordon and Beverley showed they’re a little scary thin on the wing,” Lowe said on his “Lowe Post Podcast” with FiveThirtyEight’s Chris Herring on Tuesday.

In that stretch, their defense has regressed to being among the worst in the league in most metrics, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.

The Dream Shake’s Darren Yuvan says the problem in the first month of 2017 is not only roster inconsistency or defensive effort, but also James Harden.

Despite the swoon, neither Lowe nor Herring expressed serious concern, citing a tough road schedule and an up-and-down defense.

“The only thing that would truly worry me about them is if Harden gets hurt,” Herring said.

Rockets Rankings Week 13

Source Rank Trend
Source Rank Trend
ESPN 5 down 1
CBS Sports 7 down 2
USA Today 3 up 1 3 --

Harden is, in fact, healthy, and the Rockets remain a contender, even if some power rankings sites punish them for their rough month.

The Rockets open February on a home stand against three Eastern Conference teams—the Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, and Orlando Magic—who will be underdogs in Houston. Seven of the nine teams the Rockets are scheduled to face in February have losing records.

After a tough start to 2017, look for the short month of February to be the Rockets’ slump-buster.