Nov 22, 2010, 12:52 PM EDT
Our weekly NBA Power Rankings, or, how the West looks better than the East right now by a long shot.
1. Spurs (11-1). Distraction? What are you talking about? Right now the Spurs are focused and playing the best basketball in the association — and the offense is really clicking with Parker dishing a little more.
2. Lakers (12-2). Los Angeles is playing well, but we need to note they have played one of the five softest schedules in the league so far. They’re beating who they are supposed to beat, though, and big wins over bad opponents are a good sign.
3. Hornets (11-1). Jarrett Jack can be a nice backup point guard and play a little two, sure, but what really matters is that Chris Paul likes him, and all that really matters for New Orleans is what makes Chris Paul happy.
4. Magic (9-3). Four wins in a row, but not against he strongest of competition (although they did beat Memphis, something the Heat couldn’t do. Monday night against the Spurs is a much better test.
5. Thunder (9-4). Big jump up the board because despite Kevin Durant having to sit a game they beat Boston, Utah and Milwaukee in one week. They are getting their swagger back.
6. Mavericks (8-4). What Dallas is doing poorly so far? Getting the ball on the offensive glass. What Dallas is doing well so far? Not fouling on defense.
7. Jazz (9-5). All credit to Jerry Sloan, I thought this team would take a step back this season and so far they are what they always are — a good, professional side.
8. Celtics (9-4). The Celtics are playing with the passion usually reserved for a road trip in February already. I suppose we should have expected that. They need Rondo back soon, mostly for his defense.
9. Heat (8-5). The long front line of Memphis pushed the Haslem-less Heat around at the end of their loss this week. Pat Riley needs to do something about that, but his options are limited.
10. Hawks (8-5). Al Horford is tearing it up this season, 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds a game, a true shooing percentage of 68.5 percent (third best in the league) and a PER of 27.8 (behind only Chris Paul).
11. Bulls (7-4). Tom Thibodeau has them running, the Bulls are playing at the fourth fastest pace in the league.
12. Nuggets (7-6). Carmelo Antony isn’t playing much defense, JR Smith and coach Karl are butting heads — despite all the rumors everything remains the same as it ever was in Denver.
13. Blazers (8-6). Brandon Roy and Greg Oden will never be quite the forces that will lead this team everyone had hoped for. Rich Cho’s job has gotten a lot harder.
14. Pacers (5-6). They are cruising along in the middle of the East, which for them is a big step forward.
15. Warriors (7-6). Hey, new owners, lots of hope. Look at that and not that Sunday night game against the Lakers. Ignore the man behind the curtain.
16. Cavaliers (5-7). Nice win against Boston this week, but suddenly it’s trendy for every middle of the road team to beat Boston. Can they play Antawn Jamison and JJ Hickson together?
17. Suns (6-7). Without Steve Nash this team is not good on offense, and they are terrible on defense either way. Nash may be back Monday night.
18. Bucks (5-8). I think they are the best 5-8 team in the league, for what that’s worth. Which isn’t much. Andrew Bogut can’t fully extend his arm on his shot release, which is why he is shooting 46.3 percent on free throws.
19. Knicks (6-8). Three wins in a row, following a week with three losses in a row to bad teams. Inconsistent. Why? Well, this goes a long way in explaining it.
20. Bobcats (5-8). Stephen Jackson with the franchise’s first triple double — that took a long time.
21. Grizzlies (5-9). OJ Mayo has not been good this season (PER of 10.4 best example). Despite that they get a quality win against the Heat, ending a five-game losing streak.
22. Raptors (5-9). Three straight wins including one over Boston. And they’re doing it with defense. Didn’t see that coming.
23. Pistons (5-8). When an opposing coach (Phil Jackson) questions your team’s effort and the response is “yea, he’s probably right” things are bad.
24. Wizards (4-8). Gilbert Arenas is racking up big, inefficient numbers. John Wall should be back this week.
25. Rockets (3-9). Kyle Lowry is no Aaron Brooks, and no Yao Ming now for a couple more weeks. They have lost three in a row.
26. Nets (4-9). The offense really needs to be more about Devin Harris.
27. Kings (4-8). If the Kings start to play defense consistently like they did against the Hornets they are going to start winning some games and moving up these rankings. But we need to see it to believe it.
28. Timberwolves (4-10). Man, Ron Artest just took Kevin Love out of his game. They could use Jonny Flynn back to provide some scoring punch.
29. Sixers (3-10). The Sixers offense has been terrible the last week or so. The defense isn’t great, but the offense is terrible.
30. Clippers (1-13). Blake Griffin’s highlights mask a bad team right now. And Baron Davis coming back soon isn’t really going to help that.
Jul 30, 2014, 4:29 PM EDT
Thunder star texted Davis after winning the award last season: ‘You on your way to get it’
Tony Parker says skipping FIBA World Championships this summer was a way for him to ‘give back to the Spurs’
Jul 30, 2014, 3:41 PM EDT
Parker has played 91 extra games since his last summer break three seasons ago.
Jul 30, 2014, 2:59 PM EDT
“Guys that don’t have a reputation for playing hard defense are picking up full court.” —Damian Lillard on the level of play at Team USA training camp.
Jul 30, 2014, 2:19 PM EDT
Dallas originally signed Lewis, but voided his contract once it was discovered he would require knee surgery.
Jul 30, 2014, 1:34 PM EDT
Cleveland, Chicago, Indiana, Miami, Toronto and Washington all simply shake their heads.
Jul 30, 2014, 12:47 PM EDT
World Peace hasn’t drawn legitimate interest from NBA teams, so he’s considering playing overseas.
Jul 30, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT
Silly idea anyway.
Report: Anthony Bennett pulled from pro-am by agent, possibly due to his inclusion in Kevin Love trade talks
Jul 30, 2014, 11:14 AM EDT
Just like Love, Bennett is not going to be playing in any games this summer until a deal is done.
Jul 30, 2014, 10:32 AM EDT
Sixers put a multi-year plan together based on current rules, which would be adversely affected with a quick change to the system.
Jul 30, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT
This was 100 percent guaranteed.
Jul 30, 2014, 9:18 AM EDT
Hayward set to earn $62,965,420 over next four years
Jul 30, 2014, 8:40 AM EDT
“Everyone talks about match-ups (with big teams such as Spain), people have to match-up against us, too.” — USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski
Jul 30, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
LeBron still not as popular as prior to The Decision, though. It’s only a matter of time until he is.
Jul 30, 2014, 1:30 AM EDT
Cavaliers guard says initial response stemmed from his straightforward approach, confidence
Jul 30, 2014, 12:30 AM EDT
Collective Bargaining Agreement limits offseason charity games to United States and Canada
Jul 29, 2014, 11:33 PM EDT
Union voted in Michele Roberts instead
Jul 29, 2014, 10:33 PM EDT
Popovich signed contract extension with Spurs this offseason
Jul 29, 2014, 9:44 PM EDT
“That 2010 team was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I think we have a team that’s even better.” —Kevin Durant
Jul 29, 2014, 8:50 PM EDT
Orlando reportedly plans to send former Pistons point guard to D-League
Kevin Durant knows you’re talking about his free agency but isn’t giving many clues. He liked what LeBron did.
Jul 29, 2014, 7:51 PM EDT
“I just tell everybody that I’m here in Oklahoma City, I love it here. Who knows what will happen.” —Kevin Durant on his 2016 free agency.
- Report: Anthony Bennett pulled from pro-am by agent, possibly due to his inclusion in Kevin Love trade talks 37
- Report: Sixers fighting against immediate changes to NBA Draft Lottery system 48
- Team USA going small ball, but how many bigs do they keep on the bench? 4
- Report: LeBron James more popular than he ever was with the Heat 14
- Durant says 2014 USA team better than 2010 version that won gold 6
- Kevin Durant knows you’re talking about his free agency but isn’t giving many clues. He liked what LeBron did. 16
- Byron Scott makes ridiculous optimism sound reasonable 44
- Derrick Rose told Carmelo Anthony that if he came to Chicago “the game would be easy” 42