Heisler’s NBA Power Rankings After Week Six




RANKTEAMTHE RUNDOWNLAST
1THUNDER
(17-4)
First team to hold No. 1 two weeks in a row! Haven’t been held below 100 points since Nov. 14. Shooting 53 percent this month, 49 percent from the arc.1
2SPURS
(17-4)
With three elite teams in West, No. 1 has to meet only one in playoffs and No. 2 doesn’t have to play both on road. So Pop may want to try snagging one of those spots before resting everyone.2
3GRIZZLIES
(14-4)
How fastest guns in West became a team: Unselfish Marc Gasol arrived. Hollins started Tony Allen in O.J. Mayo’s place for better D and one less gun. Now Zach Randolph and Rudy Gay are working out their thing. Voila!3
4KNICKS
(16-5)
This is the best Melo there has ever been, averaging 31.7 ppg over his last nine, including the 45 he gave Nets in Brooklyn.5
5CLIPPERS
(15-6)
Seven-game winning streak is franchise’s longest in 20 years. With 13-point victory margin, Griffin wins Player of the Week and barely plays in any fourth quarters.6
6HEAT
(14-5)
No, Wade’s still not done. Beside Sir Charles, whom LeBron told to “shut up,” people have said for years that aggressive style and injuries would finish him. But he just scored 52 on 20-of-25 shooting in last two.4
7WARRIORS
(14-7)
Huh? Team supposedly counting on perennially injured Bogut wins seven of eight, including 4-0 East Coast trip with three left. Unfortunately, one is in Miami.11
8HAWKS
(12-6)
Huh (cont.)? Ten-point win in Memphis punctuates 9-1 run with Drew starting J-Smoove, Horford, Teague and seemingly drawing two more names (Harris? Stevenson? Pachulia?) out of a hat.8
9SIXERS
(12-9)
Philadelphia Inquirer polls readers, “Who returns first, Bynum or the NHL?” Sixers set Jan. 1 timetable. I’m not sure they stipulated 2013, though.10
10JAZZ
(12-10)
Just call him M-Will: Mo Williams, relegated to Clippers bench, gives Jazz something they haven’t had at point since D-Will left, shoting 57 percent this month, 53 percent on threes.15
11BULLS
(11-9)
Bulls fans worry about Tibs burning out Noah, who is averaging 39.6 minutes – with 14-11 and 2.2 blocks. If Jo lasts until Feb. 17, he will have to play in All-Star Game, too.18
12NETS
(11-9)
Brook Lopez’s comeback interrupted by another foot injury. So is Nets’ rebirth with five straight losses, the last four at home.7
13CELTICS
(11-9)
Doc says Jeff Green, their No 3 forward with the four-year, $36 million deal, has shown he “can really play … in stretches.” Yeah, for as long as he’s been alive.9
14NUGGETS
(11-11)
Actually tied for No. 2 road win/home loss differential in West at plus-5 after playing 16 of 22 on the road. Unfortunately by Jan. 1, it will be 22 of 31.13
15MAVERICKS
(11-10)
Major achievement by Carlisle who started one game last week with Derek Fisher, Dahntay Jones, Brandan Wright, Chris Kaman and O.J. Mayo.19
16WOLVES
(9-9)
If Lakers try to move Pau, GM Kahn, who has turned Wolves into NBA version of French Foreign Legion wih Rubio, Kirilenko, Pekovic, Shved and Barea, will be prime bidder.12
17PACERS
(10-11)
Paul George, who looks like Danny Granger without all the shot attempts, tries being less selfless, going from scoreless game in Oakland to 34-22-22-17.14
18BUCKS
(10-9)
You guys hold ‘em, I’ll think of something: Skiles has started 10 of 14 players who dressed. Latest experiment has three guards including Marquis Daniels, averaging 10-4-3, shooting 52 percent this month.16
19ROCKETS
(9-11)
Linsanity is back, for a night: Averaging 10 shots and making 38 percent, Jeremy busts loose for 38 in OT loss to Spurs. Now is it real or is it Memorex?17
20BLAZERS
(9-12)
Lakers have No. 29 bench, scoring 23 points a game, shooting 42 percent. Trail Blazers are No. 30 — by a mile – scoring 14.9 points, shooting 37 percent.21
21LAKERS
(9-13)
D’Antoni, 4-8 on sideline, says Lakers don’t have “the spirit to win.” Maybe he means they’re not too fond of each other with blunt Kobe and sensitive free-agent-to-be Dwight seen arguing on floor.20
22MAGIC
(8-12)
Closest thing to a young prospect is highly regarded No. 15 pick Harkless, averaging 3.9 ppg. But their journeymen are playing tushes off for Vaughn. In latest surprise, just went 3-2 on West Coast.22
23CAVALIERS
(5-17)
Kyrie returns with 28-6-11 as Cavs knock off Lakers. Unfortunately, he was out for 11 games, of which Cavs lost nine.28
24PISTONS
(6-13)
Brandon Knight, who shot 41 percent as a rookie and 36 percent in this season’s first 12 games, is 67-of-144 since, scoring 21-30-22 in last three.23
25SUNS
(7-15)
Remember the buzz out of Phoenix saying Gentry has to go deep into playoffs to stay? Maybe Suns could drop down into the D-League.25
26KINGS
(7-13)
Even calmed down, you wouldn’t confuse Cousins with anyone else, clapping in face of Mavs coach Carlisle who curses at him and swatting Mayo in, uh, groin. “That guy has some mental issues,” O.J. said.30
27BOBCATS
(7-13)
Maybe they should have quit while they were ahead: Since heady 7-5 start, Bobcats have lost eight in a row, including five at home.24
28HORNETS
(5-15)
In not-so-triumphant return after 11 games, of which they lost nine, Anthony Davis gets 13-8 in 25 minutes off the bench in home loss to Wizards, who hadn’t won on the road.27
29WIZARDS
(3-15)
With nothing else to ask about, press pelts Wittman with questions about Wall. Answer: Still no timetable for his return. Wizards’ return to relevance even more uncertain.29
30RAPTORS
(4-18)
Lowry leaves Tuesday loss in Portland with shoulder injury after exits by Bargnani (elbow), Amir Johnson (ejection, suspension). On bright side, at 1-11 since Lowry’s return, things can’t get much worse.26

PREVIOUS RANKINGS: Most Improved | MVP | Rookies | Power

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