Week 12 Power Rankings

1. Oklahoma City Thunder 30-8
-OKC are winners of four in a row, and Westbrook and Durant combined for 77 points last night in a win over Phoenix. Also, Kevin Durant has continued ruining lives. (EJ)

2. Los Angeles Clippers 29-9
-The rest of the league needs to be a little worried if the Clippers are winning in that dominant of a way without Chris Paul. Eric Bledsoe had no turnovers in 28 minutes of efficient basketball in a 16 point win over Memphis, and LAC continued to roll on. (BF)

3. San Antonio Spurs 29-11
-Just to put what Tim Duncan is doing this year into prospective, consider that the past two years he has averaged 13.4, 8.9. and 1.9 (points, rebounds, blocks) and 15.4, 9, and 1.5.  This year he is averaging 17.1, 9.6 and an amazing 2.7.  He had 7 blocks, a season high on Sunday. The Big Fundamental is still bringing it after all these years. (AL)

(“So what if I’m boring? So is this ‘regular season’ business.)

4. Miami Heat 24-12
-As much as the they want to hide it, the rebounding is an issue and it showed against last night in a loss to the Jazz. After getting rebounded by 17, is their anyone on this team that is attractive for a team with a big? Maybe Ray Allen bites the dust. (BF)
5 Indiana Pacers 23-15
-Three straight wins over Milwaukee, Miami and the Knicks shot this team up the rankings, even with the loss to Brooklyn on the road. The next step for the Pacers is finding a way to work Danny Granger in the offense in a beneficial way once he returns. (EJ)

5. New York Knicks 24-13
-Apparently Carmelo had been fasting the previous 15 days, eating no meat or carbs during that period. Doing that during the season is ridiculous, but he has played decent ball during that stretch, however his shooting percentage is only 42% in January.  After seeing him fall into his old habits of poor jump shots over the past week, I’m not convinced Melo is ready to make the jump this year to a truly elite player (winner as well as someone with great stats).  The Knicks are also showing there age with a bevy of injuries.  Most Recently Marcus Camby will be out around 6 weeks. Time will only tell with this team…They are great, but have there vulnerabilities on both ends of the floor. (AL)

7. Memphis Grizzlies 24-12
-With trade winds swirling around this team, they continue to play quality basketball, specifically on the defensive end of the floor. They had won 4 in a row heading into Saturday’s tilt with the Mavs in which they were blown out by over 20 and were trailing by over 30 during the game.  This team needs to prove its a championship contender soon or ownership will sell of some of pieces. (AL)

8. Golden State Warriors 23-13
-The Warriors were out muscled at home against Memphis and on the road against Denver, where they lost the rebounding battle by five both times. This team needs to win the battle of the boards against the elite teams in the West to be more than a first round exit. (BF)

(While the Warriors still have plenty of reasons to smile, the road in the West is never a fun one.)

9. Denver Nuggets 23-16
-With the schedule from hell over, the Nuggets have quietly wont five in a row and are 8-2 in their last 10. This team is first in rebounds, third in assists, sixth in points, and are playing their best basketball of the year. (EJ)

10. Boston Celtics 20-17
-I apologize if I’m overreacting to the recent stretch of games, but it’s hard not to notice how differently this team has played since 1)The return of Avery Bradley and 2) the increased minutes Jared Sullinger has been receiving.  Sullinger is a top tier rebounder who has averaged 10.2 points and 10.2 rebounds over his last 5 as well as providing incredible energy to the second unit.  Boston’s second unit is coming on strong of late with great balance and effort. The east playoff race is extremely close, as the C’s, who are currently the 8th seed, sit only 5.5 games back of the Heat. (AL)

11. Brooklyn Nets 22-15
-The team continues to play well under interim coach PJ Carlesimo, posting a 7-1 record in his short time as HC. Deron Williams finally looks to be turning a corner, scoring 20 a game while shooting 48% from the field including 44% from downtown. (AL)

12. Chicago Bulls 21-15
-The Bulls continue to win with defense and out hustling other teams. The rest of the East has to be a little worried how well they are hanging around, and knowing Derrick Rose is chomping at the bit in the shadows. (EJ)

13. Atlanta Hawks 21-16
-The Hawks scored 58 points last night. 58. My rec league team scored 60 in a shorter timed game with a running clock. Atlanta is free falling, having gone 3-7 in his last 10 games. (BF)

(The Bulls’ D made the Hawks look dreadful, scoring just five points in the 2nd quarter in last night’s loss.)

14. Houston Rockets 21-17
-3 straight losses has this team reeling a bit, but now that Chandler Parsons has found his shooting stroke again along with the continued good play of Harden and Asik, the team really needs J Lin to start showing some consistency for this team to maintain there stellar record going forward. (AL)

15. Portland Trailblazers 20-17
-After a huge win against Miami, Portland followed it up with tough losses against Golden State and Oklahoma City. If Portland is going to make the playoffs, they need to beat better teams with consistency, and not once in a while. Are they putting too much pressure on Lillard? (EJ)

16. Milwaukee Bucks 19-17
-The Bucks have fully come down to earth. This once hot team is floating right into mediocrity, but looks to have a stranglehold on that 8th seed in the East. With no true big that can score the ball with consistency, is a trade in the works? (EJ)

17. Utah Jazz 21-19
-While the win over the Jazz was nice, don’t get too excited. This team is heavily relying on Jamaal Tinsley to give them big minute every night until Mo Williams returns. That can’t be good long term. (EJ)

18.Los Angeles Lakers 16-19
-Howard returns, and the Lakers got a big win over Cleveland to snap the losing streak. Wait, the Lakers beating Cleveland is a big win now? With Kobe taking more of a defensive approach, look to see more adjustment in LA LA land. (BF)

19. Minnesota Timberwolves 16-19
-The injury bug has finally bitten the Timberwolves too hard. Four straight losses has them reeling, and it gets even harder. The Clippers, Houston, Atlanta and Brooklyn are next up on the schedule. Where’s the Love? (EJ)

(At some point, no Kevin Love is going to become an issue. Some point must be right now.)

20. Philadelphia 76ers 16-22
-This team is on one of the worst stretches of play of any team in the league this year. They are piling on losses and look to be headed toward a miserable season.  They have a chance to turn it around still as they are only 4 games back of the 8th seed, but they seem over matched on a nightly basis. (AL)

21. Toronto Raptors 14-23
-After a great stretch of basketball, I think this team may come back down to earth soon.  If they can play well over the next few weeks, they may not competely slide away from the playoff picture believe it or not, but I don’t see them winning more than one of there next 5 games (Brooklyn, Chicago, Philly, LAL, Miami). (AL)

22. Detroit Pistons 14-24
-The Pistons have won seven out their last ten, but it gets alot tougher this week. New York, Boston, Orlando, Chicago and Miami are their next five games. a 2-3 stretch there has to be considered a win. (EJ)

23. Dallas Mavericks 16-23
-Dirk has started to look like his old self again, specifically with his ability to draw fouls and get easy points at the line. He has averaged over 5 attempts over his last 5 games, when he gets above 6 and even towards 7 attempts per game, we will know his full lateral quickness has returned  The win against Memphis may have provided a blueprint for success for this veteran bunch. (AL)

24. Orlando Magic 13-24 
-The Magic finally snapped their losing streak, but are still just 1-9 in their last 10. The Magic are finally starting to bottom out, which is what they need to do. With some young pieces, a couple solid draft picks could help this team climb back in a weaker East. (BF)

25. Cleveland Cavaliers 9-31
-Kyrie Irving is just so much fun to watch. He has to be at the top of the list for “guys you feel bad for”, even though it’s only his second year in the league. Imagine what this guy could do surrounding by guys who could shoot? (EJ)

(If Kyrie Iriving isn’t an all-star, nobody should go.)

26. Sacramento Kings 14-24
-The Kings have games against the Wizards, Bobcats, Hornets and Suns are four out their next five. Maybe this is a good time to make a run and show some legitimacy. (BF)

27. Phoenix Suns 13-27
-The Suns can’t seem to get consistent, getting blown our by OKC last night after playing a great first quarter and leading big early. With no true scorer, the Suns has nowhere to turn when the offense breaks down. When that happens, well, it’s ugly. (BF)

28. New Orleans Hornets
-The Hornets are feeling better about themselves after winning four in a row before losing to the Knicks.  I’ll eat my words, Grevious Vasquez is playing good ball and i was wrong that he was a bad player.  The man is averaging 14 points, 9 assists, and 4.5 boards per game.  Also to note,Al-Farouq Aminu is playing great basketball with his increased minuted averaging over 11 boards a game in his last five.  This is one of the best rebounding small forwards in the league. (AL)

29. Charlotte Bobcats 9-28
-The Bobcats have been called lazy, unproductive, and inexperienced in the past. What about just calling them bad? Those early season positives are long gone for a team searching for answers. (BF)

30. Washington Wizards 
-YAAYY! JOHN WALLL!!!! The Wizards have won three in a row and are 2-0 with John Wall. If I am a Wizards fan, I simply watch Beal and Wall and see a future, and forget about the rest. (BF)



3 thoughts on “Week 12 Power Rankings

    1. Raymond Sanders

      *Am I missing something….. and lakers beating Cleveland means nothing.. they are expected to win that game.. Kobe gaurding 1 person is not gonna change anything if the team doesnt understand defensive rotation…

    2. Brian Ford

      Hey thanks for pointing that out, all fixed!

      The reason the Lakers beating the Cleveland is big was because it snapped their losing streak. While usually it isn’t a big win, this year it has be considered one with how badly they have been playing. We did an earlier post last week looking at the Lakers’ overall schedule(You can read it here – http://pickandpopdiaries.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-realistic-look-at-lakers-remaining.html), and honestly they need wins anywhere they can get them looking ahead. I also agree with you that Kobe can’t help much on the defense anymore than he already is. There is an article on ESPN(the link) that D’Antoni discusses how they will use him, but I’m just as skeptical as your are. Thanks for reading!


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