Commentary

Time for a reality check

PER Diem: Dec. 9, 2010

Updated: December 9, 2010, 3:04 PM ET
By John Hollinger | ESPN.com

 John WallRay Amati/NBAE/Getty ImagesThe Wizards may be down now, but with their rookie phenom leading the way, their future is bright.

Not all losing records are created equal as we can see by comparing the relative lack of success of some of the league's bottom feeders this season. On one hand, you have teams like Houston. The Rockets might be 8-13, but they've scored nearly as many points as they've allowed, have played 12 of their first 21 games on the road and have played most of the season without stars Yao Ming and Aaron Brooks. They're unlikely to stay in the bottom of the standings for long; in fact, Thursday's Playoff Odds project them to squeeze past Phoenix for the No. 8 seed in the West.