NBA Power Rankings: Strange times leave Warriors alone at the top
FROM 30 TO 1...
Welcome to this week’s version of the NBA Power Rankings, where in recent days we’ve seen Kevin Durant take zero shots in overtime and both Stephen Curry and LeBron James miss layups in the clutch. These are, as you may have noticed, very strange times.
30) Nets (9-42)
Nine straight losses. Your old roommates are gone. You’re alone in the basement. At least, there’s the lottery. Oh, wait, the Celtics own your pick. Ouch.
29) Suns (16-36)
E-Bled is legit. D-Book is on the path to legitimacy. Meanwhile, Big Tyson is being paid well to waste his time.
28) Lakers (18-36)
We see you, Luke, swapping age for youth, replacing Deng and Mozgov with Young Brandon and T-Black. Makes sense, despite the $$$ riding pine.
27) 76ers (18-33)
We want The Process. We want The Process. Please get healthy, TP. We don’t care if you trade Jahlil. We want TP!
26) Magic (20-33)
As the trade speculation swirls about you, Serge, you should beg to be moved. Only reason to stay is if you love Disney World too much to go.
25) Knicks (22-31)
Doesn’t our man Melo realize getting out of town is best for him, as well as the Knicks? Oh, Philip, what a Big Apple mess you’ve failed to fix.
24) Timberwolves (19-33)
Just as we see you making a move, you lose Zach LaVine and the bottom falls out. Here comes B-Rush. Can he channel 2012 and be a savior?
23) Pelicans (20-32)
If you guys can get at least 25 more games from AD and Jrue, the 8-seed will be there for you. And, yes, we think trading for Okafor would help.
22) Bucks (22-28)
So long, Plums and your contract. Now. You have a solid D. You move the ball. You need shooters. Khris Middleton returns this week to help with that.
21) Kings (20-32)
Yo, Boogie, do you really have to come unglued every time you’re whistled for a foul? It’s as if you’re constantly auditioning to join the Clippers.
20) Hornets (23-28)
You’ve lost seven straight. You have to be happy to see the Nets this week. You’d be happier if Cody Z returns to the court; you’re 1-12 when he’s sidelined.
19) Trail Blazers (22-30)
With Dame and CJ together, most nights are gonna be a shootout. They’re going to score a ton, and give up maybe a ton and a half.
18) Mavericks (20-31)
Massive comeback under way. With Rick Genius Carlisle on the sideline, HB ballin’ and Curry the Younger showing out, you boys are resurrected.
17) Pistons (24-28)
Call us next time you beat a playoff team. Or win four straight. Or get to .500. Or trade Reggie Jax. Any one of the four will get our attention.
16) Nuggets (23-28)
Hey, Coach Malone, if Big Nick stays clean and healthy, your team will become a factor. Surround him, watch and wait. BTW, we love Will Barton.
15) Heat (22-30)
Eleven wins in a row, huh? OK. Keep it up. Stay stubborn. You do realize that you’re blowing perfect conditions to, uh, can we say “tank?”
14) Bulls (26-26)
We see you, MCW, trying to get it together. We see you, too, D-Wade. But this misfit roster is a serious test of your leadership ability. Good luck with Rajon.
13) Clippers (31-21)
If Doc had magic in his pocket we’d have seen it by now. CP3 is a month away, by which time you could have tumbled into the No. 7 spot.
12) Hawks (30-22)
Your last five losses were by 25, 23, 26, 10 and 23. Yet you’re 6-5 over that span. We don’t know what to make of you, other than first-round exit.
11) Thunder (30-23)
Most impressive sequence we’ve seen lately: You’re down three and Russ outscores Grizzlies 15-0 over final 2:45. You win by 12. Killa.
10) Raptors (32-21)
There is a reason so few beyond Canada believe in you. Here in the United States states, “Raptors” is pronounced “Fools Gold.”
9) Grizzlies (32-22)
Mr. Vincent Carter, age 40, blocks LaMarcus Aldridge and Kyle Anderson seconds apart at the rim. Gets Aldridge again minutes later. He is a Memphis Gritty.
8) Pacers (29-22)
We were all set to blame Coach Nate, and all of sudden here you are. Seven straight? About time you showed up. Whatever happened to Monta?
7) Jazz (33-19)
As long as you stay reasonably healthy, you’re a lock to be a top-four seed in the West. Love your D.
6) Wizards (30-21)
Ouch! You’ve been Kyried. Dubs know the feeling. Proud of you, though, for making us interested. For so long, J-Wall was the only reason to watch.
5) Rockets (37-17)
Cooking early this season, Gordy has cooled, which largely explains the .500 mark over the past month. Classy move, though, retiring Yao’s jersey.
4) Celtics (33-18)
We can’t say enough about IT4. That covers Isaiah’s jersey number and the quarter in which he is king. BTW, Paul Pierce is forever a Celtic.
3) Spurs (39-11)
It seems every time Pop glances at LaMarcus, these specific and remorseful words fly out of his mouth: “You can’t carry Timmy’s plaid shirts.”
2) Cavaliers (35-15)
We saw you blow that late-game layup, Bron. You’re great and all, but we know who the Cavs’ best closer is. We should call Kyrie “Playboy,” becase he specializes in breaking hearts.
1) Warriors (43-8)
Between Steph blowing a layup, visible signs of frustration and losing to the Kangs, not a good look in Sac. But family quarrels can be useful -- if they lead to a tighter bond.