NBA Power Rankings: Warriors redeem themselves after loss to Clippers
From 30 to 1...
Monte Poole stacks up all 30 teams...
30) Magic (12-31)
We remember the 8-4 start that inspired a smidgen of hope. You’ve since gone 4-27. Lost seven in a row. There’s no magic in sleeping without a pillow on the subfloor of the cellar.
29) Hawks (12-31)
The best G-League team in the world is playing in Atlanta, sniffing its cap space, printing its free-agent wish list and staring at its draft board.
28) Kings (13-30)
They’ll always have the sweep of Philly and wins over the Warriors and Cavs. They also have at least twice as many losses as wins. Yo, G-Hill, who is that dreadful dude wearing your jersey?
27) Jazz (17-26)
This is where you live, at least for another couple weeks. Big Rudy should be back by the end of the month. Thanks, Rodney Hood, for giving us an unforgettable moment. It was worth it to us, though it cost you 35K.
26) Grizzlies (14-28)
Got nothing for ya, Grizz. Every time you lose, we understand why. Every time you win, we wonder how. Please, Mike Conley, come back soon.
25) Nets (16-28)
You’ve lost five of your last six and 13 of your last 18. But you’ve got moxie. We respect that. Take your time coming back, D’Angelo, for we’ve come to really like Spencer Dinwiddie.
24) Hornets (17-25)
Any conversation about the worst contracts in the NBA has to include you, Nic Batum. We remember when you had game. Five years, $120 mil. You’re supposed to earn it, not steal it. Keep working, Dwight.
23) Suns (16-28)
We know you’re young, but the more we see of your roster, the more we realize Earl was a fall guy and the GM can’t cover his own backside forever. We like Devin Booker. Is rookie Josh Jackson finally waking up?
22) Lakers (15-28)
Magic, Jeannie . . . all the bosses love you now, huh Luke? LaVar Ball blasts you, and your team defends you by winning four in a row for the first time this season. Keep an eye on Lonzo’s left knee.
21) Knicks (20-24)
With KP6 and not much else, you never fooled us with that 16-13 start. You’re not as bad as have been since then either, losing 11 of your last 15. We do, however, enjoy it when Michael Beasley finds his zone.
20) Mavericks (15-29)
Two reasons why you’re higher, for now, than you’ll be later. No. 1, your grumpy coach is excellent. Which explains No. 2: only two of your last 15 losses were by double digits.
19) Bulls (17-27)
Welcome back Zach LaVine! Can’t wait to see your hops. Now we can commence with a fair assessment of Coach Fred. At least until you find a team willing to give you something decent for Niko Mirotic. Shouldn’t take too long.
18) Pistons (22-20)
Blown out by 36 in Philly, then win by 34 in Brooklyn. Stan, you and your fellas make no sense at all. We see you, Stanley Johnson. You’re a Cali dude. Is it cold out there on the trading block?
17) 76ers (20-20)
No shame having that four-game win streak snapped by Boston in London. To the contrary, we believe the experience was good for you. You might be seeing them again in, say, mid-April.
16) Trail Blazers (22-21)
Dame and CJ are taking this bunch only so far. So, we’re waiting on you, Nurk. Beginning to think your strong finish last season was a product of playing angry in the wake of being traded.
15) Clippers (22-21)
Oh, the injuries. Blake returns, and DJ hobbles off. He was your Iron Man. Welcome back above .500, which wasn’t easy considering you were seven below four weeks ago. Don’t touch Sweet Lou. You’ll get burned.
14) Pacers (24-20)
We’re loving some VO, and he’d better make the All-Star team. We salute you, Coach Nate, because you’ve got these boys believing; the proof was in destroying that 22-point deficit against Cleveland.
13) Nuggets (22-21)
Your defense is improving. Your offense is solid. You’re decent. So how the #%#& did you lose to the bleeping Kings and Hawks five days apart? Never mind. Tread water until Mr. Millsap returns next month.
12) Bucks (23-20)
They’re waiting for you, Khris. You’re the shooter, stretching the floor. But your shot is broken right now. You’re better than 34 percent from 3. Until you start cooking, your team will dance with .500.
11) Wizards (25-19)
We keep hearing about your backcourt and some of the noise comes from you. Shut up and play. You’ve lost twice to the Nets and been swept by the Jazz. We hear you barking, but where are your teeth?
10) Heat (25-18)
You have no business here. Big Hassan has missed 19 games. Bad Dion is out for the season. We bow to you, Coach Spo, for winning with a sub-mediocre roster. Coaching matters in the NBA after all.
9) Pelicans (22-20)
48 and 17 at the Garden? Come on, Brow. Don’t hurt ‘em like that. OK, keep hurting them but don’t you get hurt. Shhh, don’t tell anyone that Raj Rondo is shooting a higher percentage than Boogie.
8) Thunder (24-20)
Gotta hand it to you, Sam Presti, for your effort. But you’re seeing how hard it is to win with three guys who do their best work with the ball. Your biggest problem is balance. There isn’t any. But on the right night . . .
7) Cavaliers (26-17)
You’re stumbling, and the grumbling can be heard from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Those footsteps, LeBron, are from Father Time. He’s stealing your D as well as that of your teammates.
6) Spurs (29-16)
Amazing what you’ve done, Pop, with your starting lineup together for only six games. Kawhi is back again, so maybe it’s Go Time. Hey, LaMarcus, your prize for being this teams first-half MVP is a ray of light.
5) Raptors (29-13)
We see you DeMar and we so want to believe you and your guys can get over your FOL (Fear of LeBron). But that 34-point win over the Cavs came January. Best we can do is give you props for a terrific first half.
4) Timberwolves (29-16)
Following back-to-back losses at Brooklyn and Boston with five straight wins tells us the Jimmy B Plan is starting to take effect. Equal parts heart, soul and skill. Minny, you have a leader. Follow him.
3) Rockets (30-12)
We’re hearing The Beard could return this week, in time for the next battle with the Warriors. Meanwhile, CP3 has been terrific, holding it down. Thank you for dusting off the wonders of Gerald Green.
2) Celtics (34-10)
Kyrie and Al have been great. Marcus Smart has become your Andre Iguodala. But you wouldn’t be where you are without that fabulous rookie. You’d better hope Jayson Tatum’s knee injury isn’t serious.
1) Warriors (36-9)
What have you fellas done to “Roaracle?” That loss to a Clippers team down four starters is your low point. You redeemed yourself nicely with back-to-back nights at Milwaukee and Toronto and thumping Cleveland.