Thursday, January 2, 2014

NBA Power Rankings #4

NBA Power Rankings #4
1. Indiana Pacers 25-6
The Pacers look like the team to beat in the East while Roy Hibbert is further showcasing why he should be Defensive Player of the Year.
Last Ranking: 1
2. Oklahoma City Thunder 25-6
Yes, star PG Russell Westbrook is out until after the All-Star break. But backup Reggie Jackson is playing at such a high level that OKC should carry on just fine during his absence. The real worry, however, should be that this is his third knee surgery in 8 months. 
Last Ranking: 3
3. Miami Heat 24-7
Dwayne Wade has shown signs of life amidst recent knee problems but one of the biggest question marks is whether Shane Battier should continue to start. 
Last Ranking: 5
4. San Antonio Spurs 25-7
San Antonio looks like the same team that made the NBA Finals last season and the new big 3 in big D (hey that rhymes) is Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Kawhi Leonard. They are a dark-horse in the crowded West. 
Last Ranking: 4 
5. Portland Trailblazers 25-7
While Portland has cooled off considerably, Damian Lillard and Lamarcus Aldridge create a nice scoring duo. But can they win when it REALLY matters? 
Last Rankings: 2
6. Los Angeles Clippers 22-12
Chris Paul is dishing highlight reel-filling dunks to the likes of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan while allowing opponents to do the same with a bottom-tier defense, the Clippers are must-see TV. 
Last Ranking: 7
7. Houston Rockets 21-13
Dwight Howard hit his prime in Orlando and hasn't been the same since bolting for L.A. The Rockets though, are legitimate contenders in the West if Howard can maintain the high level he is playing at. 
Last Ranking: 6
8. Golden State Warriors 20-13
Live by the jump shot, die by the jump shot. No team relies on the jump shot as much as Golden State (except perhaps Miami) with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee, and Harrison Barnes all being jump shooters. Right now, the Warriors are living by the jump shot. 
Last Ranking: 13
9. Phoenix Suns 19-11
If you thought Miles Plumlee could be a key rotational player, then you have a real eye for talent. But seriously, how has Eric Bledsoe made the jump from solid-backup Point Guard to above-average starting Point Guar? No answer from the Sports Kid.
Last Ranking: 8 
10. Dallas Mavericks 19-13
Dirk Nowvitzki finally has a sidekick that can create his own shot in Monta Ellis but the Mavs have nonetheless cooled off since a hot start to the season.
Last Ranking: 11 
11. Toronto Raptors 15-15 
Last Ranking: 20 
12. Minnesota Timberwolves 16-16
Last Ranking: 10
13. New Orleans Pelicans 14-16
Last Ranking: 12
14. Atlanta Hawks 18-14
Last Ranking: 14
15. Denver Nuggets 14-17
Last Ranking: 9 
16. Washington Wizards 14-15
Last Ranking: 19
17. Memphis Grizzlies 13-17
Last Ranking: 21 
18. Detroit Pistons 14-19
Last Ranking: 17
19. Boston Celtics 13-18
Last Ranking: 18
20. Charlotte Bobcats 14-19
Last Ranking: 23
21. Los Angeles Lakers 13-19
Last Ranking: 16
22. Chicago Bulls 12-18
Last Ranking: 24
23. Brooklyn Nets 10-21
Last Ranking: 15
24. Orlando Magic 10-21
Last Ranking: 26
25. Sacramento Kings 10-20
Last Ranking: 27
26. Utah Jazz 10-24
Last Ranking: 28
27. Cleveland Cavaliers 10-21
Last Ranking: 22
28. New York Knicks 9-21
Last Ranking: 25
29. Philadelphia 76ers 10-21
Last Ranking: 29
30. Milwaukee Bucks 7-24
Last Ranking: 30
Biggest Jump: Toronto Raptors: 20 to 11
Biggest Drop: Brooklyn Nets 15 to 23

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