Power Rankings: Week Twelve

Entering the third month of the season, see how your team is doing so far this season in our rankings. 

  1. Golden State Warriors(35-2)- Even without Stephen Curry, Golden State was able to steamroll its opponents. Now with Harrison Barnes back in the line-up, Golden State should be able to dominate even further, and will be able to throw off the naysayers, who say the Spurs are the better team. It is just two weeks away for the matchup we are all waiting for with the Spurs and Warriors.
  2. San Antonio Spurs(32-6)- San Antonio continues their tearing up of the league. They rank in the top five for both offensive and defensive efficiency. All the talk use to be about Duncan and Co, but now we barely hear his name. Duncan is still doing great for a 39 year old center by the way. With Kawhi Leonard playing like a top five player in the league, and Aldridge playing as a great sidekick, this team is extremely dangerous to the Warriors.
  3. Cleveland Cavaliers(26-9)- Cleveland has hit the spot we have been waiting for. Kyrie has come back to quickly average 15.9 points per game and 3.6 assists per game. Although the assists numbers are extremely low for a point guard, Irving’s scoring is what Cleveland wanted, and they are getting it. With instability in the Chicago rotation, and the lack of interior defense for Toronto, it is hard to say at this point that either of these teams can upset the Cavaliers in the playoffs.
  4. Los Angeles Clippers(25-13)- Since Blake Griffin has been injured, Los Angeles has started a nine game winning streak. Blake Griffin has started non-contact drills, so his return could be as early as this week, but the Clippers are being conservative, and saying he will be back next week. The role players are finally starting to contribute at a high level, and they can actually be looked at as a title contenders.
  5. Oklahoma City Thunder(26-12)- Oklahoma City bkew two games this past week they should have won. The game against Portland showed their lack of defense across the board. Although Westbrook and Durant have been terrific, without the role players stepping up, this team is not going to make it out of the Western Conference.
  6. Toronto Raptors(24-15)- Toronto continues to win against lesser teams, but struggle against the elite teams in their conference. Toronto needs to add some interior defense to make a run for a conference title, and a Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah, or Dwight Howard could help this. With about a month to go until the trade deadline, expect Toronto to be hitting the phones extra hard.
  7. Atlanta Hawks(23-15)- Atlanta finally got a win to convince people they belong in the Eastern Conference, with a dominant victory over Chicago. Their offense has been scoring a lot lately, and if this trend can continue, expect Atlanta to start flying up the Eastern Conference standings.
  8. Chicago Bulls(22-13)- After Jimmy Butler made the comments about the team not being pushed hard enough, the Bulls have been on fire. They were finally grounded when the Hawks dismantled them on both ends of the court. Jimmy Butler has become the new star for this franchise, but with all the uncertainties with the bench, frontcourt rotation, and inconsistent Rose, it is hard to see how far this team can go in the playoffs.
  9. Dallas Mavericks(22-16)- Dallas has been playing extremely well on both ends of the court. They did drop a tough loss to the Milwaukee Bucks that stopped them from a perfect week. This week features Cleveland, Oklahoma City, Chicago, and San Antonio, so it will be a brutal week, and a .500 record is all this team can ask for.
  10. Miami Heat(22-15)- Miami had a pretty poor week of basketball, which all stemmed from poor defense. Hassan Whiteside is a great shot blocker, but his need for highlight reel plays his hurting the overall defense. Goran Dragic is not living up to his contract so far this season, while Wade, at this age cannot carry this team. Nine of the next ten games will be on the road so we will see how they handle their exhausting road trip.
  11. Indiana Pacers(21-16)- Tough week for Indiana, as they dropped two games in overtime. Indiana is still relying on Paul George too much for offense, and could look to add a scorer in the next few weeks. Monta Ellis, who they brought in the ease the scoring burden from George, is averaging six less points a game than his career average. Indiana will need him to step up if they want to compete come playoff time.
  12. Detroit Pistons(21-16)- Detroit got two good wins to distance themselves from the rest of the 8th seed competitors in the Eastern Conference. This week features San Antonio, Memphis, and Golden State, so Detroit will need to give their all to get a record better than .500 for this week.
  13. Memphis Grizzlies(21-18)- Memphis is finally starting to get things together after a messy two months of basketball. The next few weeks will feature 8 out of 10 teams, who are below .500, which should allow Memphis to build their record back up to something we thought they should have been at all season. Zach Randolph has come alive the past two weeks, and that could be contributed to the success, and they will need his high level of play to continue in their brutal conference.
  14. Orlando Magic(20-18)- After getting into a prime position to be a playoff contender, Orlando has dropped five of six. Their defense has been horrendous, and their offense has been nonexistent. Orlando needs to snap out of this funk if they want to stay in the playoff hunt over the next few weeks against Eastern Conference foes.
  15. Boston Celtics(19-18)- Boston has dropped five of the past six, and their offense is struggling mightily. Isaiah Thomas looks to be the only playing able to score consistently, and he is coming off the bench. The schedule is full of Eastern Conference opponents over the next few weeks, and Boston needs to win if they want to stay in the playoff hunt.
  16. New York Knicks(19-20)- New York has been streaky all season, and although they are winning now, if the season is an indicator, New York will likely to start losing again. New York needs to add some stability to their offense, as it often comes down to Anthony or Porzingis far too often. New York will likely make a move in the next few weeks to become a playoff caliber team, as they have no reason to tank without their first round draft pick for this year.
  17. Houston Rockets(19-19)- Houston has had multiple three game win streaks throughout the season, and they all have been followed by losing. Houston keeps showing the talent to be an elite team, and they looked better off with Ty Lawson suspended. With the trade deadline approaching, expect Lawson’s name to be involved quite often.
  18. Utah Jazz(17-20)- Utah continues to be an up and down team. Rudy Gobert is finally back in the lineup, and Derrick Favors is expected back as well, which should help the stability of the franchise, but no guarantees. With so little production out of the backcourt, Utah will likely struggle for the rest of the season, but will remain in the playoff hunt.
  19. Charlotte Hornets(17-20)- Charlotte decided to tease their fans with wins early on, but have since come back to reality. Charlotte is on a seven game losing streak, and it is likely to continue without any signs of life on offense. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is reported to be ahead of schedule, and could make his debut in the next month, which would be huge for this squad, who need his defensive skills to get back on track.
  20. Washington Wizards(16-19)- The streakiness of this team continues. A healthy Washington is capable of beating anyone in the Eastern Conference, but they cannot stay healthy, and when they do, they struggle with chemistry. Washington is not improving their chances of landing Durant with this poor season.
  21. Portland Trail Blazers(16-24)- Portland remains a feisty team, as evident by their comeback win over Oklahoma City, but even this attitude is not paying off with many wins. The schedule eases up for the next couple weeks, so it will be interesting to see if this squad takes advantage to remain in the playoff hunt.
  22. Sacramento Kings(15-22)- DeMarcus Cousins has been dominant the past few weeks, but his point guard has disappeared. Rondo, who was getting all the headlines for his triple-doubles, has been nonexist. Sacramento needs some more scoring if they want to compete for a playoff spot, but I think they will be sellers at the nearing trade deadline.
  23. Milwaukee Bucks(15-24)- Milwaukee continues to be like the Portland Trail Blazers of the Eastern Conference. They are feisty, and can upset anyone, but they cannot stay consistent on either end of the court. Antetokounmpo’s confidence has disappeared as of late, which needs to be found if Milwaukee wants to make the next step.
  24. Denver Nuggets(14-24)- Denver was able to have a positive week of basketball. Although their offense was nothing special, their defense held up, and propelled them to two victories. The rest of the month only features current playoff teams in each conference, so it will be interesting to see how Denver handles this tough stretch of schedule.
  25. Minnesota Timberwolves(12-26)- Minnesota has dropped ten out of the last eleven. They have only topped 100 points four times in the past month. Although they are a developing squad, they need to focus on how to get their young players more efficient and scoring. With such poor performances on the offensive end, Minnesota will likely to continue losing.
  26. Phoenix Suns(13-26)- Phoenix is dreadful to watch. They were able to snatch a victory for the first time in three weeks, with a victory over Charlotte. With how unstable this franchise currently is, it is hard to predict how they will do over the next few weeks with a mediocre schedule.
  27. New Orleans Pelicans(11-25)- New Orleans is one of the biggest disappointments of the season. They have very little consistency on either on the court, and with the trade deadline looming in a month, expect this team to be big seller to try and rebuild with the right pieces around Davis.
  28. Brooklyn Nets(10-27)- Brook Lopez continues to put up great stats, but his inability to play defense negates everything else he provides. No one else on the roster looks capable of giving max effort every game, and this caused for Lionel Hollins to be fired on Sunday. Brooklyn is a lost franchise. They lack talent, cap room, and draft picks to be relevant, so it will be a long time for this franchise before they get good basketball again.
  29. Los Angeles Lakers(8-31)– After a three game win streak, Los Angeles is back to their losing ways. The highlight of the week was Kobe Bryant telling Jordan Clarkson he needs to start playing more like a dark skin than a light skin. Los Angeles can end the losing with a win over New Orleans on Tuesday before they go back to playing playoff caliber teams.
  30. Philadelphia 76ers(4-36)- As bad as this season has been, the team has remained competitive in most of their matches and it is beginning to show with victories happening more often. With having the best odds to land Ben Simmons, Philly needs to look into trading one their big men before they have a spacing nightmare on their hands.

By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s