NBA Power Rankings Playoff Edition: Brooklyn Nets Come In Near The Bottom

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Apr 15, 2015; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) after the game against the Indiana Pacers at FedExForum. Memphis Grizzlies beat Indiana Pacers 95-83 Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

6. Houston Rockets (56-26) 2nd In Western Conference

The Rockets got the two seed in the Western Conference on the back of James Harden. Harden did everything for this team, as he was the top scorer and playmaker. The analytics driven Rockets opts for three-pointers and shots at the rim instead of mid-range jumpers and they made it work during the season. Can they carry that success into the playoffs? The easy answer, is yes.

As long as Harden is on the court, the Rockets have a chance. They can score with anyone, and with Dwight Howard rounding into shape they should start playing some defense. That is also the problem for the Rockets, they have so many injured players working their way back it may be too much to overcome. Patrick Beverly won’t be back for at least another month, and Donatas Motiejunas is done for the season as well.

That is a lot to overcome, but Harden has been leading this team by himself for 82-games, so it would be hard to bet against him now come playoff time. It will also be interesting to watch if Harden can get things going in the postseason, as he has always struggled come playoff time compared to his regular season output.

5. Memphis Grizzlies (55-27) 5th Place In Western Conference

The Grizzlies may be a five seed, but they will be as tough an out as anyone in the NBA. Their bruising style of play works perfectly in a playoff series, as they wear down opposing teams throughout, gaining the upperhand as the series goes on. Their duo inside of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol is matched by very few people, but it is on the perimeter where the problems may be in the postseason.

With injuries to Tony Allen and Mike Conley, the outlook of this team changes drastically. Neither was able to play the season finale, and head coach Dave Joerger said even if it was a playoff game, the duo would be out. Without those two, it will be some tough sledding for the Grizzlies, especially trying to slow down Damian Lillard in the first round of the playoffs. The sooner those two are back for the Grizzlies the better, as they are a big part of their success.

Next: Eastern Powers