Sunday, February 23, 2014

NBA Power Rankings #10/Playoff Picture/Award Picks

Power Rankings
1. Oklahoma City Thunder 43-14
Russell Westbrook is back, and it's time for Head Coach Scott Brooks to begin to re-assert his back from injury Point Guard into the lineup. 
Last Ranking: 1
2. Miami Heat 40-14
Injury-prone Center Greg Oden is proving to be a valuable rotation player, but come on, he's not stopping Roy Hibbert if if Hibbert is at his best. 
Last Ranking: 3
3. Indiana Pacers 42-13
After more than a few mediocre games, Indiana no longer looks as invincible as they did at 17-0.
Last Ranking: 2
4. Houston Rockets 37-18
The Rockets have climbed all the way up to #3 in the West standings, and they have the NBA's most underrated player in Chandler Parsons. 
Last Ranking: 5
5. Los Angeles Clippers 38-20
It was a nice win over Oklahoma City last week for them, but the Clippers still lack a championship-caliber defense to pair with their high-octane offense.
Last Ranking: 6
6. San Antonio Spurs 40-16
With Manu Ginobli getting worse by the second, the Tim Duncan retirement rumors haven't helped either. 
Last Ranking: 4
7. Portland Trailblazers 37-18
The Trailblazers don't look like a championship-caliber team, and it also looks as if they'll fail to secure home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. 
Last Ranking: 7
8. Memphis Grizzlies 31-24
If they get into the playoffs, the Griz will be a major dark-horse in the crowded West. 
Last Ranking: 11
9. Golden State Warriors 34-22
When their shooters are hot, the Warriors are legitimate title-contenders. Unfortunately, they're not always hot. 
Last Ranking: 10 
10. Phoenix Suns 33-21
Point Guard Goran "The Dragon" Dragic is having a breakthrough season in his second stint in Phoenix and is (in my opinion) the 3rd best Point Guard in the NBA (behind only Stephen Curry and Chris Paul in no particular order.)
Last Ranking: 
11. Dallas Mavericks 34-23
Monta Ellis has rejuvenated his career in Dallas, and has been a borderline All-Star this year. 
Last Ranking: 8
12. Chicago Bulls 29-26
Derrick Rose's health is still a major ? mark and now it's become time to start evaluating Shooting Guard Jimmy Butler and whether or not he should be given long-term money. 
Last Ranking: 13
13. Toronto Raptors 31-25
Oh by the way, on my top Point Guard's list Raptor Kyle Lowry is #4.
Last Ranking: 12
14. Brooklyn Nets 25-28
Newly-acquired-former Sacramento King-Shooting Guard Marcus Thornton could prove to be a valuable young asset to a Brooklyn team that is among the NBA's oldest. 
Last Ranking: 14
15. Washington Wizards 28-28
Perhaps freshly-acquired Andre Miller can provide a substantial backup Point Guard figure for the Wiz. 
Last Ranking: 16
16. Minnesota Timberwolves 27-28
This team is fully healthy, yet they're still out of the playoffs (currently) in the tight West.
Last Ranking: 17
17. Charlotte Bobcats 27-30
Although I personally liked Ramon Sessions, the former-supposed savior of the Lakers has left Charlotte to go to Milwaukee. He was originally drafted by the Bucks.
Last Ranking: 18
18. New Orleans Pelicans 23-32
Anthony Davis is a top 15 NBA player, but he needs his supporting cast to stay healthy. 
Last Ranking: 19
19. Detroit Pistons 23-33
No major deals at the deadline for Detroit, who are suddenly fine with mediocrity. 
Last Ranking: 22
20. Atlanta Hawks 26-29
All the way down #7 in the East the Hawks have shown us something we all already know: you can't lose your best player (Al Horford) and not miss a beat. 
Last Ranking: 14
21. Denver Nuggets 25-29
Center Javale McGee is out for the season and things are looking rather bleak at the moment for Brian Shaw & co.
Last Ranking: 20
22. Utah Jazz 19-36
Trey Burke is my pick to win Rookie of the Year, because since Burke came back from injury the Jazz have been nearly .500.
Last Ranking: 23
23. Cleveland Cavaliers 22-35
Adding Spencer Hawes did...what exactly? This teams best-case scenario is getting hammered by Indiana or Miami in the first round.
Last Ranking: 24
24. New York Knicks 21-35
With no moves at the deadline, it looks as if the team will finish the year below .500.
Last Ranking: 21
25. Sacramento Kings 19-36
The rumors that Point Guard Isaiah Thomas was going to be traded proved to be false. 
Last Ranking: 25
26. Boston Celtics 19-38
As Rajon Rondo returns to All-Star level, Jared Sullinger has quietly been a borderline All-Star. 
Last Ranking: 26
27. Los Angeles Lakers 19-36
Since Kobe Bryant and Lebron James gave their NBA Mount Rushmore's, I'll give you mine (in no particular order:) Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Reggie Miller. 
Last Ranking: 28
28. Orlando Magic 17-41
The Magic were wise not to make a panicky deal at the trade deadline. 
Last Ranking: 27
29. Philadelphia 76ers 15-41
Philadelphia definitely helped its chances of getting the #1 overall pick in the draft by trading two of their three best players at the trade deadline. 
Last Ranking: 29
30. Milwaukee Bucks 10-45
Last Ranking: 30

Playoff Picture 
1. Miami Heat (Last Week: 2)
2. Indiana Pacers (1)
3. Brooklyn Nets (7)
4. Chicago Bulls (5)
5. Toronto Raptors (3) 
6. Washington Wizards (6)
7. Charlotte Bobcats (8)
8. Cleveland Cavaliers (N/A)

Conference Quarterfinals 
(1) Miami over (poor) (8) Cleveland 4-0
(2) Indiana over (7) Charlotte 4-0
(3) Brooklyn over (6) Washington 4-3
(4) Chicago over (5) Toronto 4-3 
Conference Semifinals 
(1) Miami over (4) Chicago 4-1
(2) Indiana over (3) Brooklyn 4-1

Conference Finals 
(2) Indiana over (1) Miami 4-2

1. Oklahoma City Thunder (Last Week: 1) 
2. San Antonio Spurs (2)
3. Houston Rockets (4) 
4. Los Angeles Clippers (3)
5. Portland Trailblazers (5) 
6. Golden State Warriors (8)
7. Memphis Grizzlies (N/A)
8. Phoenix Suns (7)

Conference Quarterfinals 
(1) Oklahoma City over (8) Phoenix 4-1
(7) Memphis over (2) San Antonio 4-2
(6) Golden State over (3) Houston 4-3
(4) Los Angeles over (5) Portland 4-2

Conference Semifinals 
(1) Oklahoma City over (4) Los Angeles 4-2
(7) Memphis over (6) Golden State 4-2

Conference Finals 
(1) Oklahoma City over (7) Memphis 4-1

NBA Finals 
Game 1: Thunder
Game 2: Thunder
Game 3: Pacers 
Game 4: Pacers 
Game 5: Thunder 
Game 6: Thunder 
Oklahoma City over Indiana 4-2
Finals MVP: OKC SF Kevin Durant

Award Picks 
League MVP: SF Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder 

Defensive Player of the Year: SF Paul George, Indiana Pacers 

Rookie of the Year: PG Trey Burke, Utah Jazz 

Coach of the Year: Steve Clifford, Charlotte Bobcats 

Most Improved Player: SF Chandler Parsons, Houston Rockets 

6th man of the Year: PG Reggie Jackson, Oklahoma City Thunder 

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