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Monday
Jan092012

Behind The Basket Power Rankings 1.1

The Blazers have ridden their frontcourt to some big wins so far.Again, I cannot state enough how variable these ranking and the play of teams will be this year since the range of tiredness for clubs will be much wider, causing more injuries and even more variance in how clubs perform.

 

Looking Great

1.Miami Heat (8-1): Big stars hurt, but the Heat keep winning. Word of caution, though: their schedule has been pretty easy so far.
2. Oklahoma City
Thunder (8-2): Eric Maynor’s knee surgery could be a bigger deal than most fans think, as he was the smart, unselfish yang to Westbrook’s lots-of-bad-shots yin.
3. Chicago
Bulls (7-2): Tonight they start one of the easiest back-to-back-to-backs anyone can hope to face: Detroit, Minnesota, and Washington – Timberwolves are the only chance of a trip up.
4. Portland Trail Blazers
(6-2): Truly a fun team to watch, with lots of running and plenty of good players to make it work in a season when most opponents are tired.
5. Philadelphia
76ers (5-2): Four of five wins are by 20-plus.

 

Looking Good

6. Denver Nuggets (6-3): Thriving, spread-it-around offense helping PG’s look like geniuses. Expect even more good things when Nene returns and Kenneth Faried gets integrated.
7. San Antonio
Spurs (6-3): If they’re going to lose, they’re going to lose big and get the bench valuable playing time. Keep an eye on rookie Kawhi Leonard.
8. Orlando
Magic (6-3): Have gotten through easy schedule pretty easily, but they have no quality wins and a few tougher teams on the horizon (Port, SAS, LAL).
9. Atlanta
Hawks (6-3): Riding very streaky shooting nights to very inconsistent results.
10. Los Angeles
Clippers (4-2): If they want to truly show they’re at the next level, they need to win 2 of 3 against Portland, Miami, and LAL, their only 3 games all week.
11. Los Angeles
Lakers (6-4): Getting some wins behind great rebounding and interior defense; on a related note, Bynum is back and playing at full strength.
12. Dallas
Mavericks (4-5): Don’t look now, but they’re starting to get it and Lamar Odom is starting to do something. They could/should win all 4 contests this week (Det, Bos, Mil, Sac).
13. Phoenix
Suns (4-4): Offense quickly improving. Markieff Morris is your early co-Rookie of the Year (Rubio).
14. Minnesota
Timberwolves (3-5): Are playing better than their record, particularly on the defensive side of the ball (opponents shooting only 43% against them).
15. Utah
Jazz (5-3): BARELY winning games, but winning them nonetheless.
16. Indiana
Pacers (6-2): Good record against terribly easy schedule will take a hit soon – cue up the huge loss coming tonight in Philly.

 

Looking Bad

17. Memphis Grizzlies (3-5): Offense sputtering without Z-Bo, but rookie Josh Selby is picking up the marijuana-related incidents slack.
18. Houston
Rockets (2-6): Good offense, bad defense, and all against one hell of a schedule so far. Will improve once the league stops screwing them over with killer back-to-backs (like in LA 2 nights in a row, or against OKC 2 nights in a row).
19. Boston
Celtics (4-4): Picking up some W’s against pitiful, pitiful schedule. Enjoy Dallas, Chicago, and OKC over next 7 days.
20. Golden
State Warriors (2-6): Have actually shown improvement while losing last 3 in a row (by 6 in SanAn, by 7 in LAL, by 1 to Utah). Can they keep contests versus Miami and Orlando close?
21. Cleveland
Cavaliers (4-4): Kyrie Irving getting better and more aggressive; his defense has looked good, as well.
22. New York
Knicks (4-4): Have played a crap schedule and are barely staying even through it.
23. New Orleans
Hornets (2-6): Sure the schedule’s been rough (and continues to be for the rest of Jan.), but this offense is not up to snuff.
24. Milwaukee
Bucks (2-6): Injuries and a missing Andrew Bogut (personal issues) strike again.
25. Toronto
Raptors (3-5): Bad schedule and bad losses means you slide.
26. Sacramento
Kings (3-6): As hard as it is to believe, the Kings are probably even worse than their record indicates.

 

Looking Terrible

27. Detroit Pistons (2-6): Uh-oh.
28. Charlotte
Bobcats (2-6): Racking up 20-point losses like they’re going out of style.
29. New Jersey
Nets (2-7): Big-time implosion happening – can’t see how they’ll swing a deal for Howard with this mess going on.
30. Washington
Wizards (0-8): Might be worse than last year’s Cavs or the previous season’s Nets and Timberwolves.

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    Response: muebles manizales
    [...]Behind The Basket Power Rankings 1.1 - Behind the Basket - The Antidote for Conventional Wisdom[...]

Reader Comments (3)

It's definitely good ot see the Sixers get some good pub since they've been crusthing teams all over the place. Gotta agree they'll wipe out the Pacers tonight. Who will look like a contender first, the Lakers or the Mavericks?

January 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHighLife

Living in MN I'm glad to see how well the Timberwolves are doing. Also looks like Heat have this in the bank.

January 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGav

@Gav
It does look like the Heat are in a league of their own right now. Things can change as the season moves on.

@HighLife
If I had to guess, the Mavericks will look like a contender first. The reason is everyone more or less knows what they're supposed to do to help the team win. They have more flaws than the Lakers, but everyone on the team is aware of them and on board with fixing them. The Lakers' biggest problem is that they don't seem aware how much better their offense would be if their players who shot 55% saw more of the ball, meaning less of it for guys shooting 45%.

January 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZachariah Blott

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