NBA Power Rankings: Will any team dethrone the Celtics or Nuggets in NBA Playoffs?

As we close the regular season, the Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics appear on a collision course for the NBA Finals.
Boston Celtics v Denver Nuggets
Boston Celtics v Denver Nuggets / Brendall O'Banon/Clarkson Creative/GettyImages
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19. Houston Rockets

After rolling the dice in a big way last offseason, there was an expectation that the Houston Rockets were going to make a big move up the Western Conference standings. Even though they did - going from 22 wins last year to 40-plus this season - it still feels as if this team left a bit to be desired. But perhaps that was some completely unnecessary expectation that we placed on a Rockets team that added Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks. Nevertheless, heading into the offseason, the Rockets will be looking to take the next step in their progression.

From all indications, the Rockets will be fishing for an All-Star talent via free agency or the trade market this summer. Whether they'll be able to find one remains to be seen, but there's no question this front office is going to try to make it happen. If one thing has become abundantly clear about Houston, it's that they're all-in on winning now.

While many expected the Rockets to make the jump to a postseason team this year, we were wrong. Perhaps the real jump for Houston was always going to come during the 2024-25 season.