Heisler’s Wednesday Power Rankings

Gee, who’d have thunk this Jeremy Lin thing couldn’t last?

Whatever it was, an Asian-American version of Cinderella as NBA star with a global audience and perhaps just a little (or a lot) of New York tinsel and hype, it’s just a basketball story now.

Since averaging 24 points and shooting 53% over 11 games with the Knicks winning nine, Lin dropped to 14 and 33% over the last four, of which they lost three.

Of course, Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, who missed most of the magic run–which was why Lin had to take all those shots in the first place—returned to claim the 33 attempts they’re used to getting.

Meanwhile, opponents who couldn’t have missed Lin’s run if they wanted to, began giving him LeBron James-Derrick Rose-Kobe Bryant treatment.

Before, opposing big men would hedge on pick-and-rolls–and do it casually, at that–after which he would turn the corner and get to the hoop, or split the defenders and get to the hoop, or back up, cross over, beat his man and get to the hoop.

Now both defenders trap him on pick-and-rolls with someone else assigned to pick up the roll man, just as they diagrammed it on the blackboard before the game as the No. 1 Knick play they had to stop.

Oh, and if Lin somehow got to the hoop, there would be someone assigned to be there, waiting for him, too.

Hey, that’s what NBA stars have to deal with, as opposed to Cinderellas whose names get around.

It didn’t help to have a marquee game in Miami, just as Lin, Melo and Amare were trying to get used to each other, which didn’t go too well.

During the run, I noted that if Lin was hardly likely to stay at this level, I thought he looked like a starting NBA point guard, capable of knitting together the mismatched managerial blunder known as the Knicks.

Of course, even that still remains to be seen — as everything always is.

RANKTEAMTHE RUNDOWNLAST
1BULLS
(32-8)
LAST WEEK: 4-0  
Getting to look a lot like last season, except with Bulls on top. Hard-working defenders that they are, they have yet to lose two games in a row, despite losing Rose for 10, Deng for seven and Hamilton for 14.
3
2THUNDER
(30-8)
LAST WEEK: 3-1 
So much for Westbrook being their problem: Guy who has never averaged 45% now at 47, making 34% of his threes since Feb. 1, making him, says TNT’s Fratello, “virtually unguardable.”.
2
3HEAT
(29-9)
LAST WEEK: 2-2 
Oops: West Coast trip starts with losses to Jazz, Lakers without Chris Bosh as Dwyane Wade learns it’s still not good to fool with Mother Nature or Kobe, who outscores him 33-13.
1
4SPURS
(25-12)
LAST WEEK: 1-2 
What, them worry? Spurs are 4 1/2 behind OKC for first in West, three ahead of Memphis for first in Southwest Division, just got Manu back. Pop just left a wakeup call for mid-April.
4
5GRIZZLIES
(22-15)
LAST WEEK: 3-0 
Former collection of scorers now up to 21-12 in Zach’s absence, with Gay their high scorer at 19 a game, five more players in double figures and Speights at 8.5. Oh yeah, Zach’s supposed to be back this week. No, this time I really mean it.
10
6HAWKS
(23-15)
LAST WEEK: 3-1 
After years noting their paralyzed ownership suits, managerial blunders like drafting Marvin Williams instead of CP3 or DWill and players’ casual attitudes, I should acknowledge that Larry Drew has them bearing down, on a three-game win streak beating OKC, winning in Indy.
13
7MAGIC
(22-13)
LAST WEEK: 3-2
Oops: One game after ESPN headline notes “streaking Magic” beat Raptors, 92-88, in Orlando, the streakers cough up 20-point lead in Charlotte and lose to Bobcats, warming up for Thursday’s game in Chicago.
5
8LAKERS
(23-15)
LAST WEEK: 3-1 
I never doubted you for a minute, even when Kobe was pounding the ball out front and World Peace was eyeing Mike Brown warily, and Pau was a little upset and Kobe was upset that Pau was upset, and… and…
12
9NUGGETS
(22-17)
LAST WEEK: 4-0 
Just went 4-0 with wins in Houston, SA, as rookie animal rebounder Kenneth Faried averaged 15 points, 9.5 rebounds, shooting 69% and Lawson, Nene, Gallo filtered back in.
16
10PACERS
(23-14)
LAST WEEK: 1-2 
Oops: They had won six in a row when they went into Chicago and lost by 20, after which they went home and lost to the Hawks.
6
11CLIPPERS
(22-14)
LAST WEEK: 2-2 
Missing more than Chauncey Billups, with Randy Foye shooting 37% starting in his place with Caron Butler, who shot 45% in first two months dropping to 37% since, leaving CP3, Blake and bupkus.
7
12MAVERICKS
(23-17)
LAST WEEK: 2-3
Kidd moans refs don’t respect them after they don’t get call in loss at OKC, their fifth in six games. In the bad news, if they’re defending champions, have been around as long as these guys and still aren’t respected, it’s never going to happen.
8
13SIXERS
(22-17)
LAST WEEK: 1-3 
Now 2-8 after 20-9 start. Hadn’t scored 100 since Jan. 23, even if it was only against Wizards—until last weekend when they went for 105, even if it was only against the Warriors.
9
14CELTICS
(20-17)
LAST WEEK: 4-0
Franchise for sale, or at least its individual parts, from gallant Big Three to Rondo, whom they always seem to be shopping, can never cash in on a point who can shoot like CP3 or Westbrook, after which they always seem to be protesting he’s not that much of a pain.
18
15ROCKETS
(21-18)
LAST WEEK: 0-4
Oops: More like what people expected, coming out of the break with nine of their next 12 on the road. Unfortunately, they lost two of the home games to Clippers and Nuggets.
11
16WOLVES
(20-19)
LAST WEEK: 2-1 
Making up for the fact he’s now down to No. 31 in Hollinger PER ratings—that’s just among point guards—Rubio’s now 17-13 as a starter on the team that was 9-30 at this point last season, suggesting efficiency and shooting percentage aren’t everything.
17
17BLAZERS
(19-19)
LAST WEEK: 1-3 
Not that going .500 plays there. Oregonian’s Jason Quick: “I don’t know if some of these guys are trying to get McMillan fired or if they are just sick of Portland and want out…. My sense is all of it is going to happen.”.
15
18SUNS
(17-20)
LAST WEEK: 4-0
In the good news, they’ve won five of six, making them a .500 team (17-17) in games Nash has played in. Or is that the bad news?
22
19JAZZ
(18-19)
LAST WEEK: 3-1 
With all the help they need on perimeter, Devin Harris no longer looks lost as he did for two seasons, modest as February numbers were (10 points, 4.6 assists, 52% from floor in 26 minutes).
19
20KNICKS
(18-20)
LAST WEEK: 1-2
Anyone need a used pumpkin, with only a few games worth of mileage on it?
14
21WARRIORS
(15-20)
LAST WEEK: 2-2 
Why they want to blow this up, offering anyone Orlando wants for Howard without getting a commitment from Dwight: Curry, the only one on the lot they’d build around, goes out for three more games after the break.
21
22BUCKS
(15-23)
LAST WEEK: 2-2
Showing everything can’t go wrong, Ilyasova becomes starting-caliber player, averaging 15-11 since Feb. 1. Of course, aside from that, it’s been a dud.
24
23CAVALIERS
(13-23)
LAST WEEK: 0-4 
Kyrie may or may not have hit the wall, shooting 42% last month, but Cavaliers definitely have, losing six in a row, heading out on trip to Denver and Oklahoma City.
20
24PISTONS
(13-26)
LAST WEEK: 2-1 
Nothing like coming from seven points behind in the fourth quarter and beating the Lakers in OT when Sheridan Hoops Power Rankings (Wednesday edition) are about to skewer you after losing five of previous six.
26
25NETS
(12-27)
LAST WEEK: 1-2
Oops: Looking like Brook Lopez, he averages 19 points and 3.6 rebounds in five games before spraining right ankle, putting him out for three more weeks with six weeks left.
23
26KINGS
(12-26)
LAST WEEK: 0-4 
Maloofs have already said Smart will coach next season. Otherwise, with 12 losses in last 14 since their early February spurt, and 10-21 overall mark since taking over Westphal’s 2-5 team, Keith would feel even worse.
25
27HORNETS
(9-29)
LAST WEEK: 1-3 
Hornets may wind up having showcased upcoming free agent  Kaman for themselves as the consistently inconsistent former All-Star 7-footer averages 18&9 as team that started 4-23 goes 5-4.
27
28WIZARDS
(8-29)
LAST WEEK: 1-2 
Another former young hopeful, Nick Young, hits bench in favor of Jordan Crawford as Wiz gives up an average of 109 in last eight and—surprise!–loses seven.
28
29RAPTORS
(12-26)
LAST WEEK: 2-2 
Center position sort of up in the air, or deep in a hole, with Bargnani easing back into action—well, not quite yet but any day now–and Amir Johnson, who showed Dwane Casey he does, too, have a pulse, hurting his knee.
29
30BOBCATS
(5-31)
LAST WEEK: 1-3 
Barkley says pal Michael Jordan “has not done a great job, plain and simple,” noting Mike’s staffers, who are friends and former teammates, are afraid to disagree with him. Of course, that’s why Mike hired them.
30
Share the Love
Breaking News

Comments

  1. frank vogel is GOD says

    The ads and popups on this site are making it almost unreadable. I understand you need to make money, but you shouldn’t ruin your product in doing so. It took way to long to type this because some ad keeps making my computer pause, locking up my browser, every 15 seconds.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>