NBA Western Power Rankings Week 8: Clippers hang onto 4th

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Dec 12, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives the ball during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

7th: Houston Rockets (27 points)

By Jeff Nisius

Record: 15-15

Last 10 games: 6-4

A Conference Finals birth was supposed to invigorate the franchise, especially with a potential MVP in James Harden leading the way. However, everything turned south. The Ty Lawson experiment has been a disaster, so much that he isn’t even on the active roster right now. J.B. Bickerstaff taking over seems to have helped turn things around.

The Rockets are 6-4 in their last 10 and sit in 7th place in the West. The offense has been better, especially with Harden playing like himself and the Dwight Howard saga subsiding, resulting in him playing like he did during the playoffs. The role players still need to step up, but the Rockets are rolling right now. How long this lasts is unknown. They are shopping Lawson and Dwight allegedly plans to opt-out. Keep an eye on the Rockets as we approach the trade deadline, because I doubt Daryl Morey stands by and does nothing.

Next: Memphis Grizzlies