AP Photo/Don Ryan

Are Houston Rockets contenders?

If you ask most of SportsNation, there are three primary contenders for the NBA title: the Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder. But it's not unheard of for an unexpected champion to emerge, and one of those hopefuls plays Wednesday night on ESPN (10:30 p.m. ET): the Houston Rockets. Entering their road game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Dwight Howard, James Harden & Co. are jockeying for first-round home-court advantage with the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers. But do they have enough to be a real threat? Is Dwight Howard still a top player?

How will the Rockets fare in the playoffs?

  •  
    15%
  •  
    54%
  •  
    23%
  •  
    3%
  •  
    5%

Discuss (Total votes: 15,842)

  • Which of these teams is the biggest threat to the Thunder in the West?

    •  
      27%
    •  
      15%
    •  
      37%
    •  
      21%

    Discuss (Total votes: 103,289)

  • Is James Harden an elite player?

    •  
      75%
    •  
      25%

    Discuss (Total votes: 13,955)

  • Where does Dwight Howard rank among the NBA's best players?

    •  
      30%
    •  
      70%

    Discuss (Total votes: 31,787)

  • How many championships will Dwight Howard win?

    •  
      58%
    •  
      42%

    Discuss (Total votes: 14,788)

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