NBA Power Rankings: Top 4 teams from Western Conference
From 30 to 1...
James Ham stacks up all 30 teams...
30. Timberwolves (7-19)
The Mavs are old. The 76ers have “The Process”. What excuse do the T-Puppies have? Too much talent to be this bad. You are last.
29. Mavs (7-20)
I’m not quite dead yet! A 3-5 stretch has everyone breathing a little easier in Big-D. Let that sink in for a moment. Someone get a shovel.
28. Philly (7-20)
Nerlens Noel has a rock hammer and he’s digging his way out. Someone get him a Raquel Welch poster.
27. Nets (7-19)
Russia can hack the DNC and possibly help skew the outcome of the US election, but they can’t get Prokhorov to put a better product on the court? NBA always wins.
26. Suns (8-19)
Things are heating up in Phoenix. Not like summer heat. More like too warm for a sweater. Maybe turtleneck weather.
25. Pelicans (9-20)
2-8 over their last 10. Anthony Davis is leading the league in scoring. He’s not leading much else.
24. Heat (9-19)
Goran Dragic is having a nice season. It’s probably time to send him somewhere else. Welcome to South Beach, now it’s time to rebuild.
23. Lakers (11-19)
Fire Luke Walton. Wait… The Lakers have lost nine out of 10 and the one win was against Philly. This team overachieved early. Now they are underachieving. At some point they are going to be just right. Or maybe this is who they are.
22. Kings (10-17)
Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives… Cousins vs. Sacramento Bee is complex. Winning for Joerger in Memphis was a highlight of another awkward week in Kingsland.
21. Magic (12-17)
There are a group of teams that should get together and make a major six-team trade. Orlando could host the meeting. So many duplicate pieces, plus, everyone gets a trip to Harry Potter World.
20. Nuggets (11-16)
Lose to the Nets, Mavs and Wizards and then beat the Knicks, Blazers and Magic in the same 10 day stretch? Nuggets are tracking down Portland, but there has to be a shorter road to travel.
19. Trail Blazers (13-16)
That sound the Blazers hear isn’t the Columbia River. It’s the sound of a growing group of playoff seekers tracking them down from behind.
18. Wizards (12-14)
We got a runner! Four out of five? Someone put down the petty in-fighting and went to work.
17. Hawks (13-14)
Swapping Al Horford for Dwight Howard has been a wash. The real loss for this team was dealing Jeff Teague. You have to start over at some point, but getting caught in the middle between young and old often makes you mediocre.
16. Bulls (13-13)
This is the most polarizing team in the league and for good reason. It’s oddly constructed, but veteran talent usually wins out. When they are on, they’ve fun to watch. When the ball stops, it’s ugly.
15. Pacers (14-14)
Playing slightly better than their win total, this team is a work in progress under Nate McMillan. He has plenty of tools to work with, but the Pacers have yet to string three wins together. It’s tough when you can’t build momentum.
14. Pistons (14-15)
Reggie Jackson isn’t quite Reggie Jackson yet and the Pistons are having a tough time adjusting. This is a team that will look much different at game 60 than they do 29 games in.
13. Bucks (13-12)
There is a path to greatness here, but it’s long. Milwaukee still needs to balance their roster, but there is plenty of talent on the Bucks.
12. Knicks (14-13)
This team was in the three spot in the East just a few days ago. Are they good? Are they bad? Let’s ask Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony, they both seem to have an opinion on the subject.
11. Hornets (15-13)
So Marco Belinelli can shoot again. Not quite sure what happened in Sacramento, but Charlotte is loving the 45 percent accuracy. Six players averaging double-digit scoring makes this one of the deepest teams in the league.
10. Celtics (15-12)
Back in the 3-spot in the East. Versatile team always waiting for that big piece to put them over the top. Will Ainge find a seller for all of his assets to make this team a contender?
9. Thunder (16-11)
Russell Westbrook even amazes himself. 26 points, 22 assists and 11 rebounds against the Suns should amaze everyone.
8. Grizzlies (18-11)
Mr. Miyagi did some crazy healing spell on Mike Conley Jr. Who returns three weeks early from a lower back fracture?
7. Jazz (18-10)
Dangerous. After years of waiting for it all to come together, Quin Snyder has his Jazz team playing sweet music. This is a defensive juggernaut that still isn’t fully healthy. Wait for it.
6. Raptors (19-8)
They win the second seed in the East by default. They score, play solid D, hit more than 40 percent from behind the arc and they don’t make mistakes. Winning recipe. Kind of like a really good meatloaf.
5. Cavs (19-6)
With very little competition in their conference, the Cavs have set the cruise control button until March. Kevin Love’s return to All-Star form is intriguing.
4. Clippers (20-8)
Chris Paul helps negotiates a new CBA, saving the NBA world. New deal allows for him to sign a $210 million extension in the summer. NBA world loses. $50-plus million for a 37-year-old Chris Paul in the 2021-22 season? Pay the man Steve Ballmer!
3. Rockets (21-7)
Mike D’Antoni is an evil genius. 24-for-61 from three? With 10 straight wins, this is the hottest team in the league. If they keep shooting 38.3 percent from downtown on 38.9 attempts per game, Houston is going to be a tough out come playoff time.
2. Spurs (22-5)
San Antonio retired Tim Duncan’s jersey Sunday night in an emotional ceremony. After watching video of The Big Fundamental D-ing up Pau Gasol at practice, you have to wonder if we’ve really seen the end of no. 21.
1. Warriors (24-4)
Dubs are on pace to win 70 and they aren’t even firing on all cylinders yet. The big four are carrying a ton of the load. At some point Steve Kerr is going to need another player or two to step forward and ease the minutes burden.