Sheridan’s Sunday Power Rankings

Jeremy Lin had a nice week, to put it mildly.

Nobody in New York talks about Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire anymore.

So they Knicks are biggest risers in this week’s rankings, right?

Wrong. (The Mavericks and Rockets are).

Let’s see how Lin’s game works when the max-paid ball stopper and Mr. Apostrophe return. I’m all for the Linsanity, and Friday night was the first time in eons Kobe didn’t receive the most adulation in his annual visit to MSG. But let’s not get carried away. Lin only had a 3.1 GPA at Harvard. Is that MENSA material?

Other risers this week include the Hawks and Suns. Droppers include Pacers, Nuggets and Wolves.

RANKTEAMTHE RUNDOWNLAST
1BULLS
(23-6)
LAST WEEK: 3-0 THIS WEEK: 4 games KEY GAME: THU vs. BOS
Nine-game road trip ends today in Boston, and the teams meet again Thursday night after the circus leaves town in Chicago. By pounding Charlotte, they became the first team in league history to win four road games by at least 20 points. They are 5-1 with C.J. Watson starting when Derrick Rose has been injured, though he hasn’t made a 3 since push began to get him into 3-point shootout at All-Star Weekend.
1
2THUNDER
(21-6)
LAST WEEK: 3-1 THIS WEEK: 3 games KEY GAME: WED at HOU
Just when you thought they had gotten their aberration game out of the way by losing to Wiards, they stumbled against the Kings. Next dreg they face is Hornets a week from Monday. Coming off losses, they are 5-1. And their 12 road wins are second to Chicago’s 14. Serge Ibaka in February: 62 rebounds, 29 blocks. Kendrick Perkins in February: 37 rebounds, 7 blocks. Play 11 of next 15 at home.
3
3HEAT
(20-7)
LAST WEEK: 3-1 THIS WEEK: 4 games KEY GAME: MON at MIL
All four this week are on the road in their six game “we miss South Beach” trip, and we’ll see if they have any vengeance in their souls when they play the Bucks, who are 2-0 against them. D-Wade their leading scorer in the past three games. Still need a beast on the boards: J.McGee and T.Booker of Wiards had 28 rebounds Friday. U.Haslem had 12, snapping streak of nine straight in single digits. His FG pct. is down 10 points.
2
4SPURS
(19-9)
LAST WEEK: 3-0 THIS WEEK: 3 games KEY GAME: WED at PHI
Win streak reached seven as Manu made his return in Newark. Wondering whether they’ll sneak home for a day to re-pack as nine-game rodeo trip moves from Toronto on Wednesday to Los Angeles on Saturday. Average margin of victory during win streak is 10.0. Tim Duncan has four straight double-doubles, nine all season. Gary Neal and Danny Green each have made 32 3s. Tony Parker (six) and Ginobili (14) have combined for 20. Richard Jefferson (43 pct) has team-high 59.
5
5CLIPPERS
(17-8)
LAST WEEK: 3-1 THIS WEEK: 4 games KEY GAME: MON at DAL
Key game is at Dallas because if they win it, they’ll have gone 5-1 on six-game road trip on which they lost Chauncey Billups. Have risen to 22nd in rebounding, and Randy Foye scored 15, 10 and 12 as the new starting 2-guard. Saturday night’s game in Charlotte was like watching the Globetrotters play the Generals. CP3, Blake and Jordan all had double-doubles after 3 quarters. Chauncey surgery is Wednesday. He vows to play again — next season.
4
6SIXERS
(19-9)
LAST WEEK: 2-2 THIS WEEK: 3 games KEY GAME: WED at ORL
Excruciating loss to the Clippers as late game execution was horrendous. In a stretch of playing seven of eight on the road, lone home game is against Mavericks, and Mark Cuban will be mercilessly heckled if he attends. Sixers fans beat out Pistons supporters as most venomous, IMO. Not to look too far ahead, but they will be $20 million under the cap if they amnesty Elton Brand over the summer. If that’s not in plans, this trade makes some sense for both teams.
6
7MAVERICKS
(17-11)
LAST WEEK: 3-0 THIS WEEK: 3 games KEY GAME: MON vs LAC
The above mentioned trade makes sense because it clears Marion’s salary to give them room to sign two max free agents, and because Rick Carlisle has had a man-crush on Nocioni since seeing him practice with Argentina in 2002 at The Palace prior to 2002 World Championship. “I want 10 of him,” Carlisle once told me. Carlisle’s current crush is on Delonte West, 2OT savior Sat. night vs. Blazers.
16
8HAWKS
(18-9)
LAST WEEK: 2-1 THIS WEEK: 4 games KEY GAME: SUN vs MIA
Gutsy win over the Magic, who they own like the Magic used to own them two years ago. Josh Smith in his last four games: 76 points, 38 boards, 16 assists, 13 blocks. But he’s not an All-Star? Four of next five are against teams with winning records. They are 13-1 against sub-.500 teams.
10
9ROCKETS
(16-11)
LAST WEEK: 3-1 THIS WEEK: 4 games KEY GAME: WED vs. OKC
Big movers this week with three straight impressive road wins. If you are debating the best backup PGs in the league, Goran Dragic (11 points, 11 assists vs. PHX has to be in the conversation with C.J. Watson, Andre Miller and Earl Watson. These guys go 10 deep with quality players. Only the Bulls can say the same.
17
10MAGIC
(17-11)
LAST WEEK: 2-2 THIS WEEK: 3 games KEY GAME: WED vs PHI
Both losses last week came in overtime. When clicking like they were in win over Heat (17 3s, 25 and 24 from Dwight) they can beat anyone. And with a heckler in Milwaukee having spurred Jason Richardson to 9 second-half 3s Saturday night, maybe the stroke he left in Phoenix is finally back. If you missed it, owner Rich DeVos says chances of Howard trade 50-50.
8
11PACERS
(17-10)
LAST WEEK: 1-3 THIS WEEK: 3 games KEY GAME: THU vs NJ
Losers of three of four, are they falling back to earth? Their three-game week consists of a back-to-back-to-back vs Heat, Cavs and Nets. Have yet to score 110 points in a game. 109 in Sat. night loss to Denver was their second 109. They also have a 108. Danny Granger was not an All-Star snub. All-Stars do not shoot 38 percent.
7
12CELTICS
(14-12)
LAST WEEK: 2-2 THIS WEEK: 4 games KEY GAME: THU vs LAL
We were all set to elevate them into the top 6-7, then they followed up tough OT loss to Lakers with inexcusable meltdown in Toronto. Debatable question posed by Bernucca in Sunday column: Does Paul Pierce crack top 5 Celtics over Kevin McHale and Sam Jones? Points say yes. Titles say no.
11
13NUGGETS
(16-12)
LAST WEEK: 1-3 THIS WEEK: 3 games KEY GAME: TUE vs PHX
Overall record says they belong here. Recent record (lost seven of nine) says they don’t. Of all the teams allowing an average of at least 100 points, they are the only one with a winning record. They lead league in dropping dimes, but in win at Indiana, starting backcourt of Ty Lawson (27 points, 2 assists) and Arron Afflalo (23, 2) combined for just four.
9
14BLAZERS
(15-13)
LAST WEEK: 1-3 THIS WEEK: 4 games KEY GAME: THU vs LAC
Should have had a 2-2 week, but erroneous goaltending call cost them victory over OKC (a call that could ultimately cost them a playoff berth in crowded West race). Have a back-to-back-to-back this week ending against the Clippers, then another B-to-B-to-B next week vs. Lakers, Spurs, Nuggets. Yikes.
13
15LAKERS
(15-12)
LAST WEEK: 1-2 THIS WEEK: 3 games KEY GAME: TUE vs ATL
Pau Gasol didn’t come right out and rip Mike Brown for not putting a better defender on Jeremy Lin, but he came pretty close. If I am Mitch Kupchak, I call the Hawks and offer them a future No. 1 pick for Kirk Hinrich, whose salary fits nicely into the Lamar Odom trade exception.
16
16GRIZZLIES
(14-13)
LAST WEEK: 2-2 THIS WEEK: 5 games KEY GAME: TUE vs HOU
Measurement week includes three games against teams crowding 6-11 spots in West. Zach Randolph was shooting before Wednesday’s game against Minnesota, has been working out in a pool and will start non-contact drills on the court next week. Congrats to Marc for being the only Gasol in the All-Star game.
17
17KNICKS
(13-15)
LAST WEEK: 4-0 THIS WEEK: 3 games KEY GAME: TUE at TOR
Who greased Matt Winick? Cupcake week against Raptors, Kings and Hornets. That could mean an 8-game winning streak amid the Linsanity that has masked the fact that this team has looked better without Carmelo Anthony than with him.
21
18JAZZ
(13-12)
LAST WEEK: 0-3 THIS WEEK: 4 games KEY GAME: FRI vs WAS
Losers of five of their last six, they need that Friday night home game against Wizards like I need a day off (none since Labor Day, none scheduled until after Olympics). Josh Howard (8.7 ppg, 3.3 rebounds) not producing as they expected. They’ve made 93 3s as a team. Ryan Anderson has 77.
12
19WOLVES
(13-15)
LAST WEEK: 1-3 THIS WEEK: 3 games KEY GAME:  MON at ORL
Karma’s a bitch, eh Mr. Love? Wolves now 1-3 since his stomping on Scola. They’ll see each other again Friday. Ricky Rubio held Lin to 3-of-14 shooting. Spanish rook leads league with 69 steals. With exception of Wednesday game at Charlotte, every game for the rest of this month is against a good team.
14
20BUCKS
(12-15)
LAST WEEK: 2-2 THIS WEEK: 3 games KEY GAME: MON vs. MIA
Stat of the week entering “Can They Do It Again?” night against LeBron’s, oops … I mean D-Wade’s team. Get this: They are 4-0 against Heat, Lakers and Spurs, 8-15 against everybody else. Props to Drew Gooden for the job he did on Dwight Howard.
19
21SUNS
(10-13)
LAST WEEK: 3-1 THIS WEEK: 4 games KEY GAME: FRI at LAL
Steve Nash’s week that was: 60 points, 40 assists, 26 buckets on 39 field-goal attempts. Team just went 5-2 in a stretch of playing five of seven on the road. His FG pct is .563, better than Gortat’s .561
25
22CAVALIERS
(10-16)
LAST WEEK: 1-3 THIS WEEK: 2 games KEY GAME: FRI vs CLE
Broken wrist for Varejao absolutely kills them, and it hurts more than his injury last year because expectations had risen. LeBron comes to town Friday night, and Scott Raab is covering for SheridanHoops.com. Brace yourselves.
20
23PISTONS
(6-20)
LAST WEEK: 2-0 THIS WEEK: 4 games KEY GAME: SUN at WAS
Four wins in a row, and they get the Wiards as a cherry on their Sunday. Greg Monroe deserved All-Star selection over Hibbert based on production, but not team’s record. Ben Wallace shot his first two FTs of season last week. He missed both.
26
24RAPTORS
(9-19)
LAST WEEK: 1-3 THIS WEEK: 4 games KEY GAME: FRI vs CHA
Jose Calderon’s last two games: 29 assists, one turnover. He is taken in your fantasy league, But James Johnson might not be. Run, don’t walk, to waiver wire if he’s available.
27
25WARRIORS
(9-14)
LAST WEEK: 1-1 THIS WEEK: 4 games KEY GAME: MON vs PHX
Monta Ellis’s 48-point outburst tied Kobe for highest-scoring game this season. Stephon Curry’s 36, 7 and 7 the next game was better, because they won. In a stretch of playing 15 straight vs. West opponents. After that, it’s five straight road games vs. East.
24
26KINGS
(10-17)
LAST WEEK: 1-2 THIS WEEK: 4 games KEY GAME: MON vs NO
Mad props for beating the Thunder. They’ve won four of six, but now embark on a six-game Eastern swing. Dead last in the NBA in FG pct. and assists. Only Warriors and Bobcats allow more points.
23
27NETS
(8-17)
LAST WEEK: 0-4 THIS WEEK: 3 games KEY GAME: WED vs. MEM
Drop five spots to 27th, but it’s a strong 27th. MarShon Brooks has returned, and Deron Williams somehow made All-Star team over Brandon Jennings and Kyrie Irving. Did David Stern cast Monty Williams’ vote?
22
28WIZARDS
(4-19)
LAST WEEK: 1-2 THIS WEEK: 4 games KEY GAME: SUN at DET
Actually won a game, and John Wall had 75 points in three games shooting 28-of-53. Still awaiting his first 3-pointer, though.
28
29HORNETS
(4-19)
LAST WEEK: 0-3 THIS WEEK: 3 games KEY GAME: FRI at NYK
Have lost 23 of 25, and can’t even sniff at knocking the Bobcats out of 30th place. Play Charlotte Mar. 12 and Apr. 16. Tickets should be available. This was their highlight of the week.
29
30BOBCATS
(3-24)
LAST WEEK: 0-3 THIS WEEK: 3 games KEY GAME: SAT at LAC
Have lost their last six games by a combined 149 points. Think about that. ‘Gana Diop and Bismack Biyambo airballs FTs in the same game vs. Bulls. These five guys could beat them.
30
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Comments

  1. the mecca says

    Methinks Chris’ preseason prediction of NJ Nets at 29th is probably going to be pretty spot on in the end. Considering how the rest of the NBA weren’t exactly jumping over themselves to hire Billy King or Avery Johnson when they were unemployed, I can’t say I’m surprised.

    Rubio may have gotten Lin-ed on Saturday night but the guy still looks impressive. ROY for sure.

  2. says

    Chris,

    I completely disagree with your placing of the Knicks. They are now a top 5 team with linsanity and the return of Melo and Stat. The Knicks have been title contenders all season, and just lack respect from anyone.

  3. Danny Lanzetta says

    Wow. I came to you all the time for lockout updates. But you’re revealing yourself as a pretty dumb guy. You said that the Clippers would only be slightly better than the Hornets, a comment which at the time I thought was more about shock value than analysis. That was my first hint that you might have agendas you’re trying to promote. But then you (apparently un-ironically) call out Lin’s intelligence because he had a B average at one of the most difficult academic institutions in the country. No wonder you had to leave ESPN.

    • says

      Danny, you completely nail it. Chris is an absolute moron. He ranks the Knicks too low, and has this idea that the Hornets are competing for an NBA title this year…Chris definitely has agendas, and as they have been exposed it hasn’t been pretty.

  4. Jimbo says

    Think it’s safe to say that there’s not much consistency in most of the teams this season. Aside from the The Bulls, Thunder, and Heat (consistently good) and the Wizards, Hornets and Bobcats (consistently atrocious) there’s no telling what will happen on any given night/week. The Magic look great, then crater and have to hear about Dwight Howard trade requests again, only to put things back together. The Knicks fall apart early and look like a huge disappointment, only to rebound due to some dude from Harvard who almost got cut. And I bet as soon as Melo comes back, they fall apart again! Certainly an interesting season…

Trackbacks

  1. [...] When Willie Green (17) is the Hawks’ leading scorer, they are in trouble. The Heat completely dominated Atlanta and the fourth quarter was garbage time, with rare appearances by players of no fantasy relevance. Throw out this game entirely. Kirk Hinrich had been showing signs of life and is still on my watch list. Sheridan suggests he could on the Lakers’ watch list, too. [...]

  2. [...] SheridanHoops.com – Chris Sheridan: 7th The above mentioned trade makes sense because it clears Marion’s salary to give them room to sign two max free agents, and because Rick Carlisle has had a man-crush on Nocioni since seeing him practice with Argentina in 2002 at The Palace prior to 2002 World Championship. “I want 10 of him,” Carlisle once told me. Carlisle’s current crush is on Delonte West, 2OT savior Sat. night vs. Blazers. [...]

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