The Houston Rockets are the most intriguing NBA title contender in the Western Conference. Still, there are a number of concerns heading into the second half of the season that make them a bit of a wild card.
Through 43 games, Houston has proven to be a talented-yet-flawed team. The emergence of Terrence Jones and Jeremy Lin to go along with their big three (Dwight Howard, James Harden and Chandler Parsons) gives the Rockets one of the best starting rotations in basketball.
However, the team's dominance has mainly come on one side of the ball. Their high-powered offense is currently fourth in the NBA with an average of 105.6 points per game, but the defense is giving up 102 points a night as well (22nd in the league).
The West is the deepest its been in quite some time. There's no concrete front-runner and any of the conference's top six teams could make a run to the Finals. The Rockets are included in that mix and are coming off a huge win on Jan. 20 against Portland.
Houston should finish the month out strong. They host Sacramento on Jan. 22 before playing home-and-away with slumping Memphis. After that, they'll face San Antonio, whom they've owned this season (2-0), and finish with a roadie against Dallas.
Despite the favorable stretch, the Rockets still have some work to do before the playoffs come calling. Here are a few areas of concern Houston has as it enters the latter portion of the regular season.