Heisler’s NBA Power Rankings After Week 13

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RANK TEAM THE RUNDOWN LAST
1 SPURS
(36-11)
Team Ghost: Latest of Pop’s guys to sit out is… Pop? He’s home sick as winning streak reaches eight – with their coach out for three, Timmy out for three, Manu for five. 3
2 THUNDER(34-11) Kevin Martin says he’d take cut in $12.4 million salary to stay, which is why they traded Harden, whom they miss when Westbrook’s cold, as in their last five when he shoots 34.7% as they go 2-3. 2
3 HEAT
(28-13)
The way I hear it, Riles relaxed their dress code after acquiring Birdman to shore up their rebounding, so he only has to keep his Mohawk neatly trimmed. 4
4 CLIPPERS
(33-13)
Reality check: After going 3-0 without CP3, lost next four. Injury now “bone bruise,” not just bruise, with no timetable for return. In other words, they’ll be as careful as Bulls are with Rose. 1
5 GRIZZLIES
(29-15)
Oops: Griz hoped getting below tax threshold would end trade talk, which Z-Bo says was “definitely” a problem. Unfortunately, talk about dealing Gay persists, as does their fade since 18-6 start. 6
6 WARRIORS
(28-17)
Curry get All-Star snub despite averaging 21-4-7, then goes out with another sprained ankle. Happily for them, they have Jarrett Jack, game’s best backup point, who has 26-12 in win at Cleveland. And Bogut’s back! 8
7 KNICKS
(27-15)
SSRLC (Still Seeking Real Level Cont.): 9-10 since 18-5 start with Melo shooting 42% this month. On the other hand, Felton returns, and win at Boston shows they’re tougher than they were in recent Charmin Era. 11
8 NUGGETS
(28-18)
How high can Nugz go? They’re 17-6 since 11-12 start. I guess this is where we note teams above – and several below – have No. 1 options like KD, CP3, Tony, Steph, Z-Bo, Jefferson, Harden, Lillard, Kobe…. 7
9 NETS
(27-18)
DWill, a great shooter in Utah but barely at 40% as a Net, makes 28-49 over last four. If he goes back to being DWill, they’re the big team in town, not just the borough. 10
10 BULLS
(27-17)
Deng, No. 1 in the NBA in minutes, returns after missing five games with hamstring pull. The players whom Tibs hasn’t worn down yet win three times led by Noah, who’s No. 6 in minutes. 9
11 PACERS
(26-19)
He’s alive! Hibbert, averaging single figures and – in a feat thought impossible for 7-foot NBA starter – shooting 39%, bumps it up to 11, 48% this month! 5
12 HAWKS
(25-19)
Remember the Highlight Factory? Now they’re the Smurf Factory with Devis Harris startig in three-guard lineup with Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver, as Hawks win their first three without Lou Williams. 12
13 BUCKS
(24-19)
Crowded race for Interim Coach of the Year: Jim Boylan’s now 8-3 to PJ Carlesimo’s 13-4, as Bucks average 104 under him after averaging 96 for Skiles. 14
14 ROCKETS
(25-22)
Curry, averaging 21-4-7 for Warriors who lead Rox by four games, got robbed. But it’s hard to call Harden, averaging 26-5-6 for team in playoff slot, “undeserving.” 15
15 JAZZ
(24-21)
Still one of the league’s underrated personnel operations. Imagine if they could have kept DWill, Boozer, AK-47, Wes Matthews, Koufos to go with Jefferson, Millsap, Hayward? 13
16 BLAZERS
(23-22)
Note to Suns: This is how you rebuild: Highest-scoring starting unit at 81 a game to OKC’s 77 with Aldridge-Matthews-Hickson-Batum-Lillard at age 27-26-24-24-22. 17
17 LAKERS
(20-25)
Who had Kobe playing point with Nash off the ball as their answer? If I did, I wouldn’t have written “Lakers RIP” last week. After losing 11 of 14, just went 3-0 as Kobe scores 49 points on 34 – with 39 assists. 20
18 CELTICS
(21-23)
The Hard Truth: At 35, Pierce, averaging 19 but shooting 42%, a nine-year low, beaten out for All-Star Game by Deng after playing in five in a row—and no one even says it’s controversial. 16
19 MAVERICKS
(19-26)
Last week’s starting centers: Kaman, who suffered a concussion, followed by Brand, followed by rookie Bernard James as Carlisle looks for something – anything – that will work while losing 16 of 24. 18
20 HORNETS
(15-30)
Figuring out his role – and it’s not shooting threes despite starting 20-37 as a Clipper rookie – Al-Farouq Aminu, a force on boards for small forward, averaging 9-10 this month, shooting 51%. 21
21 WOLVES
(17-24)
Rubio shooting 25.7% (twenty-five-point-seven percent). I’m guessing that’s right up, er, down there with any starting guard in shot clock era. 19
22 SIXERS
(18-26)
Jrue, latter-day Mo Cheeks averaging 21 this month, shooting 48%, becomes All-Star. Sixers got him at No. 17 in 2009 after five PGs went before him, including Tyreke, Rubio, Flynn. 25
23 PISTONS
(17-28)
Drummond is stat geeks’ fave with high efficiency ratings. But whatever he does to keep Frank yo-yoing him, he just did it again, averaging 13-9 over three, 5-6 in next three, then going for 18-18. 22
24 RAPTORS
(16-29)
Now 1-7 since end of improbable 10-3 run and trying to decide whom to move – Lowry, who has friendly contract with only $1 million guaranteed in 2013-14, or Calderon, before he leaves as free agent. 24
25 CAVALIERS
(13-33)
It’s not easy to become an All-Star in your second season, while missing 11 of 43. But Kyrie deserved it, averaging 26-3-6 this month and looking like best young guy since KD. 29
26 WIZARDS
(11-32)
If this keeps up, he’ll be an MVP candidate: Wiz now 6-4 with Wall after going 5-28 – and losing 13 of their last 14 – before his debut in their 33rd game. OK, maybe their team MVP. 23
27 KINGS
(17-29)
You’ve heard of players whose scoring averages goes up every season? Tyreke’s has gone 20-18-17-15. Did you see this item about Phil Jackson? 26
28 MAGIC
(14-30)
On the bright side: Redick gets 26-14-31 as starter and Davis back for last eight. Unfortunately, the team, once 12-13, has lost 17 of 19. 27
29 SUNS
(15-30)
Interim Lindsey Hunter isn’t playing the kids, either – what there are of them: Starters are still Scola (32), Gortat (28), Dudley (27), Tucker (27) and Dragic (26). 28
30 BOBCATS
(11-33)
One of your longer-running rebuilding programs: Kidd-Gilchrist, chosen at No. 2 over Lillard and Beal, averaged 11-6 through Jan. 1 but dropped to 7.5 and 41% this month. 30

PREVIOUS RANKINGS: Power | Most Improved | MVP | Rookies | Sixth Man | Euroleague

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