Preseason NBA Power Rankings: Philadelphia 76ers look like Eastern Elite

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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NBA Power Rankings
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3. Houston Rockets

Have the Houston Rockets missed their window to defeat the Golden State Warriors and win an NBA Championship? Probably.

Are they going to take a step back defensively thanks to the absence of Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute and the addition of Carmelo Anthony? Definitely

But are the Rockets going to completely fall apart in 2018? No way.

With arguably the most talented roster in the West behind only the Warriors, the Rockets are still going to play fast, score plenty of points, and pick apart opposing defense with the dynamic duo of James Harden and Chris Paul and will be able to dominate the ISO ball game with Melo running the second unit for stretches of the game.

Mike D’Antoni is certainly going to try to make a statement after having his team doubted all summer. Who knows, maybe he and Daryl Morey will attempt to tip the scales even further and make a trade for Jimmy Butler to add a fourth star? After moving on from Ryan Anderson‘s albatross contract earlier this summer a deal is a lot closer to becoming a reality.

Even with Michael Carter-Williams now on the team, typically a death knell for a team trying to win games, it looks like Houston could, and should be right back in the thick of it for a spot in the NBA finals next spring, even if they lose to the Warriors once more.