At the moment, Houston is tied for the 10th best record in the West with Utah, the Lakers, and Dallas all bunched up together at just one game ahead. They’re pretty much right on track for their usual finish at #14.
In all seriousness, after the recent rough stretch, I think things are extremely encouraging. The Rockets, historically, in this decade, have always started slowly and then taken off later on in the year. Add in the fact that they did not have Harden in training camp and at least one of the rookies is bound to break out–as has almost always been the case–and I do think this team will be fighting for a playoff spot come April.
As of now, I see the Spurs, Thunder, Clippers, Nuggets, and Lakers (they’ll get their act together) as locks. After that, it’s everyone else vying for the final three spots. And from those remaining teams, including even Dallas with Dirk, Harden is the single best player and closer, in my opinion giving Houston an edge.