NBA Power Rankings: Week 10

Week ten…

It seems like a time when reality is starting to kick in just a bit.

The New York teams, or at least the Knicks, seem to be getting back to the norm.

A few teams are discovering their true identity such as the Lakers.

Let’s see how the teams stack up in this week’s edition of my NBA power rankings.

30. Milwaukee Bucks (7-26, Even): Whether this organization meant it or not, it is in good position to land a top three pick in this year’s outstanding draft.

29. Orlando Magic (10-23, Down 5): His team isn’t making much noise but Arron Afflalo is deserving of an All-Star nod this season.

28. Cleveland Cavaliers (11-23, Down 2): A trade looks to be imminent for the Cavs.  Will it impact the team more now or for the future?

Photo courtesy of thespectrum.com

27. Boston Celtics (13-21, Down 6): Boston recently traded Courtney Lee for Jerryd Bayless and his expiring contract.  I have a good feeling this organization is planning well for the future.

26. Utah Jazz (11-25, Up 2): Trey Burke has suddenly become a strong Rookie of the Year candidate.  Utah functions a lot better with him in the mix.

25. L.A. Lakers (14-20, Down 3): Smart move by the Lakers to somewhat sacrifice this season.  Not that they had much of a choice, though.

24. Sacramento Kings (10-22, Up 1): Although the Kings will likely continue to struggle in the West this season, they finally have something to work with.

23. Detroit Pistons (14-20, Down 5): Fourth quarters have been a disaster waiting to happen.  That’s also at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

22. Philadelphia 76ers (12-21, Up 7): This isn’t such a talented team but Philly competes hard.  The top players do have their shining moments.

21. Brooklyn Nets (12-21, Up 2): That Joe Johnson game-winner over Serge Ibaka was such a tough shot but he does it so often. #Clutch

20. New York Knicks (11-22, Up 7): I know it’s been a couple wins (should have been three), but the Knicks finally seem to have some life.

19. Denver Nuggets (16-17, Down 2): Denver went through a tough eight game losing streak.  Sometimes it can be hard to break out of when things aren’t going your way.

18. Charlotte Bobcats (15-20, Down 2): Al Jefferson averages 18 points and 11 rebounds since the beginning of December.  He’s successfully adjusted to his new system.

17. Memphis Grizzlies (15-18, Down 2): I’m not quite sure why Memphis traded Jerryd Bayless for Courtney Lee.  I just don’t exactly see what that accomplished.

16. Washington Wizards (14-17, Down 4): The Wiz have lost six of its last seven home games including three straight.  That wouldn’t fly in the Western Conference.

15. New Orleans Pelicans (15-17, Up 4): Ryan Anderson left the game a scary injury the other night.  Best wishes go out to the excellent three-point gunner.

14. Chicago Bulls (14-18, Up 6): This Carlos Boozer guy just isn’t cutting it.  It’s been a disappointing year for the two-time All-Star.

13. Atlanta Hawks (18-16, Down 2): Saying Atlanta isn’t the same team without Al Horford may be an understatement.  Paul Millsap has his work cut out for him now.

12. Minnesota Timberwolves (16-17, Up 1): Kevin Love-Nikola Pekovic is becoming an established duo.  Minnesota is a solid team when both can be utilized in the post.

11. Dallas Mavericks (19-15, Down 2): Monta Ellis is shooting 45 percent for the first time in two years.  He and Nowitzki need more consistent help on the offensive end.

10. Toronto Raptors (16-16, Up 4): Atlanta’s injury to Al Horford gives the Raptors a great opportunity to capture the third seed.  Toronto’s game is really flowing right now.

9. Phoenix Suns (20-12, Up 1): Vegas projected the Suns to win less than 20 games this season.  They’ve obviously already broken that barrier.

8. L.A. Clippers (23-13, Down 2): It might get rough without Chris Paul.  This team is just not used to operating without his leadership.

Photo courtesy of usatoday.com

7. Houston Rockets (22-13, Even): Houston’s offense is surprisingly one of the most limited teams in the turnover category.  Superstar James Harden averages nearly four a game.

6. Golden State Warriors (23-13, Up 2): Andre Iguodala back, nine straight wins.  There is a direct correlation between the two.  Iggy has two buzzer-beaters for the win this season.

5. Portland Trail Blazers (26-8, Even): I was shocked after that home loss to the Sixers.  But I guess flukes do happen in an 82-game season.

4. San Antonio Spurs (26-8, Even): Five of the six teams San Antonio has lost to are very good Western Conference teams who are nine above .500 or better.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder (27-7, Down 1): KD35 unveils his superpowers more often without Russell Westbrook in the lineup.  23 of his 48 points came in the fourth in the recent win over Minnesota.

2. Miami Heat (26-8, Up 1): Quite a few flaws showed up in Miami’s loss to Golden State.  They didn’t have a true center to match up with Andrew Bogut.  Stephen Curry also had too much quickness for their perimeter defense.

1. Indiana Pacers (27-6, Even): Indiana’s consistency is on a new level this season.  It has become a deep, proven team of hard workers.

 

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