Blakely's NBA Six Pack Power Rankings: Jan. 30
THE FLAT PACK
30. (30 last week) Milwaukee — Larry Sanders' lack of growth on and off the court may result in a new zip code for him between now and Feb. 20 trade deadline.
29. (26) Boston — The Celtics have lost all six games Rajon Rondo has played in this season.
28. Orlando — Expect interest to pick up for Jameer Nelson from playoff hopefuls (Washington, Dallas) looking for veteran backup.
27. (27) Sacramento — Losers of five straight, but the last four have been by single digits. #progress
26. (28) Utah — Re-establishing home court edge, winning three of its last four games.
25. (24) Los Angeles Lakers — Five straight losses. No Kobe anytime soon. The season of disappointment for Lakers fans continues.
BACK OF THE PACK
24. (23) Philadelphia — Michael Carter-Williams continues to bolster his resume for Rookie of the Year award.
23. (21) Cleveland — Have lost four of last five, but defense continues to make positive strides.
22. (20) Detroit — One of five teams ranked in the bottom 10 in both offensive (20th) and defensive rating (21st).
21. (22) New Orleans — A sweep of their upcoming four-game homestand would jumpstart their fading playoff hopes.
20. (25) New York Knicks — Carmelo Anthony leading the way as the Knicks have averaged more than 116 points in last three games - all wins.
MIDDLE OF THE PACK
19. Charlotte (18) — Has there been a player inexplicably plummet as fast and as hard as Ben Gordon has?
18. (19) Minnesota — You wonder how much longer will Kevin Love accept these good, but not good enough seasons put together by the Timberwolves.
17. (14) Dallas — One of the NBA's best shooting teams, shoddy defense will keep them on the playoff bubble for the rest of the season.
16. (16) Chicago — Got six-game road trip off to good start with win at San Antonio. The foes will only get easier from here.
15. (12) Denver — Four of the Nuggets' next five games are against teams from the East. Coming up? #winningstreak
14. (15) Atlanta — The Hawks are too good to be bad, but not good enough to be an elite team. #mediocritysucks
13. (13) Washington — Have played - and lost - all five games this season in which they had a chance to get above-.500.
12. (17) Toronto — DeMar DeRozan goes down, Terrence Ross steps up and scores 51 points. And they can defend which makes them a scary first-round playoff foe.
11. (11) Memphis — Since joining Memphis, ex-Celtic Courtney Lee has averaged 14 points and 2.5 rebounds while shooting a career-best 55.3 percent from the field.
RUNNING WITH THE PACK
10. (10) Brooklyn — Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett returning to Boston has been one of the more moving, memorable moments of this NBA season.
9. (8) Golden State — Hard to believe, but the Warriors are just two games from being OUT of the playoffs. #wildwildwest
8. (9) Phoenix — In the shot-happy Western Conference, having the second-best 3-point percentage defense helps ... a lot!
7. (7) Miami — The longer they continue to look mortal, the more one assumes they're just not at the level above others, that we're accustomed to seeing.
6. (4) San Antonio — 0-7 against top teams (Indiana and Miami in the East, Oklahoma City and Portland out West) in the NBA this season.
5. (5) Houston — Have won four of six against in-state rivals Dallas and San Antonio which includes knocking them off on back-to-back nights.
HEAD OF THE PACK
4. (3) PORTLAND — Coming off pair of bad losses, need to get back on track quickly with five of next seven on the road.
3. (6) LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS — The return of J.J. Redick has given this team a boost on and off the court.
2. (1) INDIANA — With six of next eight prior to the All-Star break at home, Pacers should be back atop the power rankings very soon.
1. (2) OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant has been sensational, but it's his supporting cast that has the Thunder playing exceptional basketball.