NBA Power Rankings: Weekly Analysis, March 7, 2018
What happens when a team loses 14 games in a row and sinks to the bottom of the league? They also thump to the basement of the Bracket Yard’s NBA Power Rankings. Wha’ ha’ happened, Memphis? You made the playoffs last year, then you got the coach shitcanned, and are about to get the next one sent packing as well.
Contrast that with Houston, a team with 16 consecutive victories. Might this finally be a year where someone other than Golden State wins the West? We have to see it to believe it.
NBA Power Rankings: Weekly Analysis, February 28, 2018
The two best teams in the NBA are still in the Western Conference, but if you’re Houston, you have to save your best punch at Golden State for the playoffs. The latter are the kings of the conference (and league) until proven otherwise.
Cleveland sitting at seventh should not concern Cavs fans; check back in April before you get worried.
Look at New Orleans surging; there could be a playoff team in Louisiana for the first time in three years. Please note that while the Pelicans got into the field in 2015, they were the eighth seed in the West. As of now, they are in sixth, which would be the franchise’s best finish since the Hornets won the Southwest Division in 2008.
Finally, Phoenix, what are you doing, besides losing all the time? The Suns have dropped ten games in a row and it looks like another possible 15th-place finish in the West. Phoenix has not made the playoffs since 2010, which is an accomplishment considering that 53 percent of the league gets there every year.
NBA Power Rankings: Weekly Analysis, February 2, 2018
There are no particularly long win streaks and only a few notable losing streaks these days in the National Basketball Association. As such, there were only a few major movers in the power rankings, despite two weeks having elapsed.
Now, the Oklahoma City Thunder had won eight in a row, only to drop their last two. That 8-2 stretch was good enough to get them to Number 7, their highest ranking so far. As long as opposing fans stay off the court, they should be okay.
The Dallas Mavericks are a lousy basketball team. I know, breaking news.
NBA Power Rankings: Weekly Analysis, January 19, 2018
It’s a slow sink for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who find themselves eighth in this week’s power rankings. How much lower can you go when you still have the third-best record in the East?
If the Miami Heat have any say, the Cavs won’t be in third much longer. Miami continues their rise, and even though Cleveland is slightly ahead in the standings, they are not in the power rankings.
As for another team that flipped the switch, say hello to the Los Angeles Clippers. Winners of six in a row, they find themselves in virgin territory for the 2017-18 season: a playoff slot. Never a doubt.
When you mosey up the coast on I-5, you arrive in Sacramento, home of the NBA’s coldest team and our new Number 30. They allow on average nine more points than they score, which is the worst differential in the league. In their last ten games, the Kings lost nine. Six of those were double-digit losses. At least they are not the worst shooting team in the NBA: that’s Brooklyn at 43.5 percent. (The preceding, however, is an example of how statistics can sometimes mislead. The Nets attempt more shots per game than the Kings, and score about eight more points per game. Sacramento is surely the worse offensive team.)
NBA Power Rankings: Weekly Analysis, January 12, 2018
Right now, the Cleveland Cavaliers don’t look so hot. Cue the hyperventilating “Are the Cavs In Trouble?” articles from ESPN. However, those of us who know recent sports history — as in, last season — remember what the Cavs did. They were 7-8 in January and 10-14 between March and April. Cleveland still went to the NBA Finals. This Cavs team is third in the East; they are fine. Because sports media can’t go five minutes without reminding you that LeBron exists, they’ll talk about this, but it’s all smoke and no fire.
We have a new team at the bottom of the rankings: the Orlando Magic. Nothing magical about this posse of clowns, except for their insane losses, sitting at 12-31 and losers of 16 out of 17. Expectations were minimal, but they harbored slim hope earlier in the year that they might not be so bad. Oh, they are.
NBA Power Rankings: Weekly Analysis, January 4, 2018
Breaking news: Golden State is the best team in the NBA — again. What is not that surprising but certainly speaks well of them anyway is that the Boston Celtics are also near the top. When Gordon Hayward went down Day 1 of the season, one might have expected a setback for the C’s. Instead, they haven’t missed a beat.
The 76ers and the Clippers appear to have found a bit of momentum, while we’re damn sure the Pacers and Lakers have none. Los Angeles’ “A” team has lost eight in a row as of January 4, sinking to the basement of the power rankings.
NBA Power Rankings: Weekly Analysis, December 30, 2017
There will be no record-breaking regular season from Golden State or anybody else this season, but the cast of characters we expected to be here are here. The Warriors, Celtics, Rockets, Spurs, and Cavs are all good. Odds are, one of those teams will win the NBA championship this season, and we can say that even in December. This is the way it is, but they’re not hurting for entertainment value.
If you expected better things from the Memphis Grizzlies, you are not alone. They own the NBA’s second-worst record, and they fell apart out of the gate like a 1979 Yugo with its doors duct taped on.
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