Heisler’s NBA Power Rankings After Week 14

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RANK TEAM THE RUNDOWN LAST
1 SPURS
(38-11)
Timmy lasts one game after sitting out four with sore knee before he’s hurt again. Spurs win all five anyway, All told, they’ve won 19 of 22 with Pop resting anyone he feels like. 1
2 THUNDER(36-12) Traded wrong one of Big 3? Problem isn’t Westbrook meltdown, railing at Thabo, walking off bench with OKC 15 up on Griz. Problem is it’s not his first time and, it is safe to say he has an attitude problem. 2
3 HEAT
(31-14)
They lead East, but Pacers, one of those big, physical teams Heat’s small lineup is supposed to out-quick, turned them every way but loose in Indy, out-rebounding them by nine. Heat now 0-5 vs. big East contenders Indy, Bulls, Knicks. 4
4 CLIPPERS
(34-16)
Slumping Clips at Defcon minus-10, leading Warriors by three games (and Lakers by 10 1/2) in Pacific. CP3 looks like he’ll rest bruised knee ’til All-Star Game. Blake has hamstring he won’t rush back, either. 1
5 KNICKS
(31-15)
No, Tyson shouldn’t have been Defensive Player of Year over Ibaka. Yes, he’s great guy who needed only good health to play this way for years, now on Rodmanesque run, grabbing exactly 20 rebounds in last three. 7
6 PACERS
(30-19)
Pacers have to make their move now, on 20-8 run, with nine of next 12 at home and Granger on his way back. If they run into Bulls and Rose in playoffs, they’ll need Games 1-2-5-7 in Indy. Listen to Donnie Walsh explain. 11
7 NUGGETS
(31-18)
Now 20-6 since starting 11-12, as home cooking helps slow-starting Gallo, Lawson warm up, with former at 18 a game, shooting 47% and latter at 18, shooting 48%. Unfortunately, Iggy remains Iggy, averaging 12.5, shooting 40%. 8
8 WARRIORS
(30-18)
Warriors go 3-1 with Bogut back. If he’s healthy, he and Lee give them an inside game to go with their fireworks show outside. But we’re talking about a guy who’s missed 94 of his teams’ last 113. 6
9 BULLS
(29-19)
Who, us worn down? All the minutes starters have played is taking toll, with Deng just back but Noah, Boozer and Hinrich missing games last week. They keep keeping on anyway. 10
10 GRIZZLIES
(30-17)
Not that Moneyball NBA Style is going to hell in a handbasket (see intro) but Prince just made his first start as a Grizzly in Tuesday’s home loss to the Suns, scoring just 11 points in 37 minutes. 5
11 NETS
(28-20)
Didn’t you used to be Gerald Wallace?: At 30, he’s at a nine-year low of 8.9 points and in the first year of a four-year, $40 mill deal. The pick they traded to Portland for him is … Damian Lillard. 9
12 BUCKS
(25-22)
Highest-scoring team you never heard of has gone for 107 or more in six of its last eight games, now 9-6 under Jim Boylan. Check out how rare Sammy Dalembert’s 35 was. 13
13 ROCKETS
(27-23)
Harden-Lin-Asik-Parsons-Whoever comprise No. 5 starting lineup at 73.5 points a game. Not bad for GM Daryl Morey, seeing as how he acquired the first three before the season. 14
14 JAZZ
(27-22)
Making their move: 15-17 on Jan. 1, they’re 12-5 since with seven of next 10 at home and hoping to get Mo Williams back at that point, in early March. 15
15 LAKERS
(23-26)
Lakes may go down with all hands but nobody’s getting out of here until then: Kupchak says they won’t trade Dwight or Pau this season. Fortunately for them, they’ve won five of six. Unfortunately, Pau’s foot injury may be severe. 17
16 BLAZERS
(25-23)
In the age of the shooting point guard, Lillard’s 43%, 36% on threes, is nice for a rookie, especially when you remember CP3 was 43-28 as a rookie and DRose was 48-22. 16
17 CELTICS
(24-23)
Too proud to roll over and die: Devastated by Rondo’s loss – or, at last, discovering their missing urgency – Celtics win their first four without the little bleep. 18
18 HAWKS
(26-21)
Settling slowly in the East: Hawks who surprised everyone with their 20-10 start, starting to live down to expectations with 11 losses in their last 17  and eight of next 12 on the road. 12
19 MAVERICKS
(20-28)
Story of their season, or lives since winning 2011 title: With Dirk, Kaman out, Carlisle starts Brand, Marion, O.J., Collison, Dahntay Jones – or no one over 6-8 in stocking feet – at Phoenix. Remarkably, Mavs win. 19
20 SIXERS
(21-26)
Their/his lost season (cont.): 76ers, who said Bynum would practice this week, see him go to New York for “lubricatory” injection to knees instead. Still should play this season – as an upcoming free agent who wants to show teams he’s still an active player. 22
21 WOLVES
(18-27)
In their best – or only – good news in weeks, Rubio starts to look like Ricky Rubio, averaging 11 ppg, 8.0 assists over three, shooting 46% – almost twice what he had shot to that point. 21
22 RAPTORS
(17-31)
Lucky them: Traded Calderon’s expiring contract and a power forward they could afford to move (with Valanciunas, Amir Johnson still there) for Gay, who scored 20-29 in first two. 24
23 PISTONS
(18-31)
Trading Prince, 32, for Calderon, 31, isn’t exactly a youth move. But starting him at point shows what they think of Brandon Knight, No. 8 pick in 2011, who’s now a shooting guard. 23
25 CAVALIERS
(14-34)
Sheridan likes this guy in MVP rankings. Over last 15 games, Kyrie has scored 30 in eight, including one in which he scored 41. Since Jan. 1, he’s shooting 48%, 43% on threes, 91% at the line. 29
25 HORNETS
(15-33)
Either they’re tanking, or Monty Williams isn’t the defensive coach he used to be: Hornets, No. 7 in defense last season when they allowed 93 a game, just went 2-7, allowing 106. 20
26 SUNS
(17-32)
In heartwarming story, they’re 4-4 for Lindsey Hunter before fans could tar and feather him for getting job over local icon Dan Majerle. Now to see if Beasley, averaging 16 for LH, finally keeps it going. 29
27 KINGS
(17-33)
Turned out to be good for them that NBA shot down move to Anaheim. Maloofs worried team wasn’t good enough for SoCal debut this season. With two fewer NBA teams, Seattle won’t be so picky. 27
28 WIZARDS
(12-35)
Oops: With Beal out with wrist injury as Wiz loses four of five, you start to get the idea they really only have two building blocks, Wall and the rook. 26
29 MAGIC
(14-34)
Glug, glug, glug: Big Baby out again – for the season this time – and Jameer, Afflalo sidelined last week as they lose 22nd of 25, scoring 61 in Philly. 28
30 BOBCATS
(11-36)
4-31 since 7-5 start. On bright (?) side, Mullens, out since Christmas, is back, even if celebrating return of 7-footer shooting 37%, who takes 4.5 threes a game defines desperation. 30

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

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  1. Grizzlies are just beginning to pay for letting Rudy Gay go. Bad move for a contending team.

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