Thursday, March 8, 2012
NBA Power Rankings Week 11: Grizzlies Crawl Into Top 5; Bulls #1
Here are my Power Rankings for Week 11. Enjoy!
(+2) 1. Chicago Bulls (33-9): The Bulls are playing some good basketball, lead by Derrick Rose. They can't be thrilled with how the Rip Hamilton situation has worked out. Look for Chicago to make a deal.
(-1) 2. Miami Heat (30-9): They had a couple tough losses at the end of last week in Utah and Los Angeles. But Chris Bosh was out due to family matters. I think Bosh's absence showed his value.
(-1 )3. Oklahoma City Thunder (31-8): They may be the best in the West, but that bench is still thin. There's a lot of pressure on James Harden to bring the spark off the bench. They need to add another weapon off the bench if they wanna make a serious run at the title.
(+/-) 4. San Antonio Spurs (26-12): The biggest concern for the Spurs is health. Manu Ginobili slipping in and out of the lineup due to his health, etc. The Spurs are younger than last season. But the core has a ton of miles on them. Gregg Popovich is gonna have to manage every minute of his team very carefully down the stretch.
(+8) 5. Memphis Grizzlies (23-15): The Grizzlies have come out of nowhere, winning 5 in a row, and 9 of 10 since Valentines Day. The Grizzlies are rolling, and once Zach Randolph gets back, this team will really threaten to win the west.
(+3) 6. Los Angeles Lakers (23-16): Big win on Sunday against the Heat, but road losses to the Pistons and Wizards cooled things a bit for them. They are not a very good road team at only 6-14, but they are 17-2 at home. They really need to solve their road woes. Also, Metta World Peace's good performance against the Heat really showed how much they need him to wake up.
(-2) 7. Los Angeles Clippers (22-15): Lob City is cooling a bit, and it sounds like they really are looking to deal for a SG to replace Chauncey Billups. Jamal Crawford, Ray Allen, and Kirk Hinrich are names that are being leaked as possible replacements for Billups.
(+/-) 8. Orlando Magic (26-15): Can the trade deadline come any faster? The future of Dwight Howard is on every body's minds when it comes to the Magic.
(-3) 9. Dallas Mavericks (23-17):Lamar Odom better put up or shut up. He needs to be grateful he didn't go to bad team like Charlotte. He's playing for the defending champs, not a lottery team.
(+2) 10. Indiana Pacers (23-14): They are still a dangerous team, but as expected, they've hit some bumps along their journey. Still don't sleep on them come playoff time.
(-1) 11. Atlanta Hawks (23-16): Josh Smith wants out of A-Town, and Joe Johnson has been linked in trade rumors. Change could be coming in Atlanta.
(+5) 12. Denver Nuggets (22-18): Ty Lawson is stepping up as the leader of that team. A leader has so far been what they lack. Their depth is superb, but they need a go to guy in crunch time. Maybe Lawson will be that guy.
(-6) 13. Philadelphia 76ers (23-17): They have really slipped, losing 7 of their last 10 games, but their lead for the division is still secure. Maybe they're just getting complacent.
(+5) 14. Minnesota Timberwolves (21-19): The Wolves are on the rise, and they are definitely a team to watch for in the coming years. But are they ready to make the playoffs is the big question in Minneapolis.
(+1) 15. Boston Celtics (20-18): The fact that these Rajon Rondo trade rumors won't die leads me to think there is something to these reports.
(-2) 16. Houston Rockets (21-19): The problem in Houston is they are ok. Just ok. Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, and Kyle Lowry make up a nice little trio, but nothing to really fear.
(+1) 17. Utah Jazz (19-19): They've won a couple in a row in their road trip, and they got a much needed win at home against the Heat. Utah is an under the radar team that can do some damage. Especially if Devin Harris wakes up.
(-3) 18. Portland Trailblazers (19-20): Remember when we were talking about the Blazers maybe winning the west? It seems like that was eons ago.
(-8) 19. New York Knicks (18-21): They are hitting a rough patch, and are really struggling to gel. Don't be surprised if the Knickerbockers pull the trigger and make a big move.
(+1) 20. Phoenix Suns (17-21): Steve Nash is playing great basketball, but the rest of his team is looking sub-par. They can play great at times, but they aren't consistent enough.
(+2) 21. Golden State Warriors (15-21): At some point, these Monta Ellis trade rumors gotta go somewhere, maybe this is the year they actually deal him. They gotta retool and start over up in Oakland.
(-2) 22. Milwaukee Bucks (15-24): So much talent with Brandon Jennings, Drew Gooden, Eran Ilyasova, and Andrew Bogut. But somehow they don't gel. Losing Bogut hasn't helped either.
(-1) 23. Cleveland Cavaliers (14-23): Kyrie Irving is already playing like a 5 year veteran. The Cavs got a future with Kyrie Irving at the helm.
(+/-) 24. Detroit Pistons (13-26): They still got a ways to go, but I'm encouraged by what I'm seeing from Brandon Knight.
(+1) 25. Toronto Raptors (13-26): I wonder where this team would be if Andrea Bargnani hadn't gotten hurt.
(-1) 26. Sacramento Kings (13-26): This Jimmer Fredette story isn't helping things out, they gotta find a way to develop him and not hurt the team chemistry. Or trade him.
(+/-) 27. New Jersey Nets (13-27): That game winning shot by Jordan Farmar over the Clippers, and Deron Williams' 57 point game has made this a nice post-all star break period of time for the Nets. Landing Dwight Howard could make things even sweeter.
(+/-)28. Washington Wizards (9-29): Last night's victory over the Lakers gave us a glimpse into how good they could be if they were more mature. They do have some pieces that look good. They just gotta develop.
(+/-) 29. New Orleans Hornets(9-30): Next stop Seattle? This team is really looking bad.
(+/-)30. Charlotte Bobcats (5-32): zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... ok, I'll say something about the Bobcats. All they got to look forward to is the lottery.