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Dallas Mavericks: Ranking team among division rivals

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic / POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Ranking Dallas Mavericks among division rivals: 5. Houston Rockets

The Rockets had the worst record in the NBA last season at 17-55 as they finished 14 games behind New Orleans who sat fourth in the Southwest Division. Houston would have to make a dramatic improvement just to climb out of the basement in the division.

The Rockets added Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun, Usman Garuba, and Josh Christopher in the 2021 draft. They signed Daniel Theis and are hoping for a healthier season from Christian Wood. Green could make a massive impact as a rookie, but it is difficult to see the Rockets winning more than 35 games. The Mavs only won 33 in Luka’s rookie campaign, and it would be asking a tremendous amount for Green to surpass Doncic’s first-year production.

What will the Rockets do with John Wall and Eric Gordon this season? Houston is destined for the lottery, but both players have multiple years remaining on their deals. Can the Rockets find a way to trade them? If not, how much will each veteran play? It is a difficult decision for head coach and former Dallas Mavericks assistant Stephen Silas.

Expect the Houston Rockets to finish fifth in the division again this season, but they will be significantly improved.