NBA Power Rankings: Warriors inch closer to No. 1
Monte Poole's Power Rankings
Welcome to this week’s version of the NBA Power Rankings, which may not impress Gregg Popovich but surely won’t be the worst Steve Kerr has ever seen in his life. And if Mark Cuban complains about our officiating, we’ll point at his team and smirk...
30) Nets (4-12)
You’re hurting. We understand. But we’re not sure how much J-Lin could help right now. You’re on a seven-game losing streak. Sorry. Wear it.
29) Suns (5-13)
Teenagers everywhere you look, which helps explain losing four of five – with all four losses to teams with losing records. Hey Earl, you’re stuck in this purgatory. We feel for you. As for Tyson, you’ll soon be free.
28) 76ers (4-13)
Welcome to Moral Victory State College. This is what it looks like when you take an aging college team, add a talent like Joel Embiid and shove it into the NBA.
27) Pelicans (6-12)
We were ready to give you love. We were. Then came Dallas. You are penalized six points here for blowing a fourth-quarter lead to the Mavs. Hey Jrue, don’t make it bad; take this sad team and make it better.
26) Mavericks (3-13)
Do these Texans want to secede from the NBA? Ravaged by injuries and savaged by opponents, we can’t decide if Coach Carlisle’s bunch is the new Pelicans or the title of a sad country song.
25) Magic (6-11)
You lose your fourth in a row, and it’s punctuated by, get this, an 0-of-12 performance by Aaron Gordon. Biyombo or Vucevic? Does it really matter? We want Mario Hezonja. He’s not good, but he sure is fun.
24) Heat (5-11)
A full month into the post-Heatles hangover, and there is nothing to indicate this headache and dry mouth won’t last until April. Proud Pat, the Godfather of South Beach, quietly reads “The Debonair Man’s Guide to Tanking.”
23) Wizards (5-10)
Sprinting out to an enormous early lead in the “Underachiever of the Year” race, the Wiz deliver nightly proof that wretched chemistry can sabotage a reasonable amount of talent.
22) Timberwolves (6-11)
Ten times you’ve allowed at least 110. We get it. This is Kidsville, and kids have been known to get spankings. You’re young and bouncy. You’ve got KAT and Zach and Wiggs. Good times are ahead.
21) Nuggets (7-10)
You’re playing hard and fast for Coach Michael (Do not call him Mike!), crashing the boards and actually scoring big; you’ve been under 100 only four times. You’re a decent defense away from mediocrity.
20) Kings (7-10)
Yes, Boogie can shoot the 3. He can give away turkeys. He’s going to be traded. He’s not going to be traded. He loves Sac. He hates Sac. Oh, the drama. It’s never far away, which is why we hope Cuz stays a King forever.
19) Pistons (8-10)
Love your D, Stan. Hate your O. We hear Reggie Jax is getting close to returning. That’ll help. Meanwhile, can somebody check Stanley Johnson’s head and see what’s there? A suspension? We thought he was a “mature” 20.
18) Trail Blazers (9-10)
Oh, Portlan. What happened to your D? That you’ve lost six of your last eight indicates it has only gotten worse in the two weeks since Dame said, “we kind of suck right now.”
17) Bucks (7-8)
We love you J-Kidd, have since you were a puppy prince at St. Joseph’s in Alameda. We also love the Greek Freak. But .500 is how you’re going to live until you find a shooter or three.
16) Knicks (8-8)
We see you coming. We see #KP6 is almost ready for his close-up, even as Melo remains “the star.” We also see you, Philosopher Phil, fidgeting for the 73rd time amidst rumors you’re peeking toward LA.
15) Lakers (9-9)
Hey Luke, your crew could’ve packed it in after two drubbings by the Warriors. But no, they pulled it together and smoked the Hawks. Love that bench. Health permitting, LA will be in the race for the playoffs.
14) Pacers (9-9)
Thank you, PG13, for calling a players’ only meeting that was followed by back-to-back 20-point wins. We were beginning to think you boys were feeling sorry for each other.
13) Jazz (9-8)
The worst of it is over, fellas. Gordie is back and so is G-Hill. You are thisclose to becoming that team nobody wants to play. Don’t bungle it, Coach Quin.
12) Hornets (9-7)
Kemba is a beast, according to resident sage Mo Speights, and we don’t dare argue. What made us stop and rub our eyes was guard Jeremy Lamb (yes, the sleepy-eyed dude from UConn) grabbing 17 rebounds in a game.
11) Thunder (10-8)
Seven triple-doubles in 18 games. OK, Russ. We hear your roar. What we wonder, though, is how can you rack up so many assists without making your teammates appreciably better?
10) Celtics (9-7)
Hello, Big Al. Hello to you, too, Jae. Welcome back. You’ve won three of four since losing to the Warriors, and we see many victories in the near future. We see your schedule and we sense a run is coming.
9) Hawks (10-7)
Is there such a thing as a partial revival? If so, that’s what Dwight is experiencing. Maybe that’s why we see you and your teammates as we see cheap beer: You may quench thirst, but you can’t satisfy.
8) Rockets (11-6)
Oh, Bearded Wonder, you are the leader in our MVP of the Month race. You’re irrepressible. You’ve blurred the lines between point/shooting guard and you’ve carried your teammates higher than anyone else. Props.
7) Grizzlies (11-6)
Surprised to see y’all running with the big dogs. But you’ve earned it. Coach Fizdale has been fine, Big Spain is bringing it and somehow folks still forget that Mike Conley Jr. is really good.
6) Bulls (10-6)
Jimmy B is ballin’ and D-Wade is showing up, too. This team is showing grit. If the Rondo does not fit, he must a-sit.
5) Raptors (10-6)
How on earth can you boys be 26th in rebounding? Fix that, hope DeMar keeps rolling and maybe you can get a grip on second place in the Leastern Conference.
4) Clippers (14-3)
In the midst of a six-game roadie, the air miles are showing. The once-stingy defense suddenly is generous. DeAndre isn’t jumping as high, and neither is Blake. And, maaan, it’ll be Dec. 4 when they see LA again.
3) Spurs (14-3)
Ten straight road wins to start the season; four more ties 2015-16 Warriors for best start ever. Nine consecutive wins overall. Joy to the Spurs? No? Not when the Oscar for Curmudgeon of the Year goes to ... Coach Pop.
2) Warriors (15-2)
In full-clobber mode. KD playing superhero, Klay splashing, Steph is doing Steph Things. The league’s hottest team stays hot, even with its hottest head is parked on the sideline with a bum ankle.
1) Cavaliers (13-2)
Champ stays champ. We’d salute K-Love’s 34-point quarter, but real life intervenes: Condolences to sharpshooter Channing Frye, who lost his father on Thanksgiving Day, exactly four weeks after losing his mother.