Heisler’s NBA Power Rankings After Week 17

RANKTEAMTHE RUNDOWNLAST
1SPURS
(45-13)
Something old and new for them: Twin Towers. With Splitter in Admiral’s place alongside Duncan, they’re up from No. 29 in blocks in 2011-12 to No. 14, from No. 17 in opponents shooting to No. 6.1
2HEAT
(44-14)
Looks like LeBron and Wade can play together, after all. In current 12-0 run, Wade leads in fourth-quarter scoring, rebounding and assists. LeBron scored 30 or more in eight of them. And the tandem put up 79 (Bron 40, Wade 39) Tuesday vs. Kings.2
3CLIPPERS
(41-18)
Talking about the shape of things to come: Lamar Odom, a bigger plus all the time, is making $8.2 million on his expiring contract. If he stays, it will be for a lot less.3
4THUNDER(41-15)Coach Scott Brooks, as his supposedly defense-oriented team allowed 109-110-122-111 before holding plodding Bulls to 72: “No question that what we have is not broken. It’s just not working at the moment.”4
5GRIZZLIES
(37-18)
If season ends on a downer, coach Hollins, a holdover with new ownership, may be in trouble. In the meantime, he rights the ship in 7-0 run, allowing 87 a game.5
6PACERS
(36-21)
Not just a low-scoring defensive team as George happens with West in pre-surgery form. Theye were 25th in offense at 92 a game on Feb. 1, averaging 104 this month with Granger on way back. Nice work, Larry Bird, Donnie Walsh, Kevin Pritchard.6
7NUGGETS
(36-22)
Now they’re really, REALLY deep: Wilson Chandler, whose career was paused by injuries and side trip to China, had played 24 minutes four times all season before scoring 22-11-23 in last three, going 5-11 on threes.7
8NETS
(34-24)
P.J., who, after all, worked on Pop’s staff, says he will rest D-Will and JJ down stretch. Unfortunately, these are the Nets, not the Spurs, who are No. 4 in East, one-half game up on Bulls in fight for homecourt in first round.8
9KNICKS
(33-20)
I never thought Melo and Amar’e could play together, but physically diminished Stoudemire is OK with being role player, averaging 15-6 in 24 minutess off bench this month.9
10HAWKS
(32-23)
Is holdover Larry Drew still in trouble under new GM Danny Ferry? On 5-1 run, with four of those wins on the road, they need to show their embattled coach some love.14
11WARRIORS
(33-24)
Fun while it lasted (cont.): Wins over Spurs, Wolves end six-game slide before Tuesday’s loss and fisticuffs in Indiana, with Warriors headed for New York, Boston next.10
12BULLS
(32-25)
No, he didn’t make it back last week, either. And it’s starting to show, too, as Bulls fail to break 75 lousy points in four of last six.11
13JAZZ
(31-26)
People have them as likeliest team for Lakers to catch, but they lead by 3 1/2 games, have already clinched season series and hope to get Mo Williams back in 1-2 weeks.12
14ROCKETS
(31-27)
Miami, which averaged 108 this month, doesn’t have highest-power offense. Rockets do, averaging 113. Of course, their opponents averaged 107.13
15LAKERS
(28-30)
Winners of 11 of 15. On the other hand, if they can’t step up 10-22 record vs. winning teams, they would lose eight of their remaining 11 such games — meaning the most they can win is 45.17
16CELTICS
(30-27)
Heart, they still got: 8-1 post-Rondo spurt ends on 2-3 West Coast trip. But they beat up Phoenix without KG and no starter who’s 6-8 in stocking feet and end trip with OT win in Salt Lake City.15
17BUCKS
(27-28)
The Larry Sanders Show returns after a four-game absence due to back injury. Most Improved Player candidate puts up 11.8 points, 13.3 boards, 3.3 blocks in four games back.16
18MAVERICKS
(25-31)
Lakers boiling at Cuban’s scenario in which they amnesty Kobe, who goes for 38-12-7 in LA’s national TV win in Dallas, then tweets “Amnesty THAT.”19
19BLAZERS
(26-30)
Comparisons to Westbrook suggest what an athletic prodigy Lillard is, but he’s shooting 34 percent on threes. Russell shot 27-22-33-32 percent his first four seasons.18
20RAPTORS
(23-34)
Thanks, Grizzlies! Embattled GM Bryan Colangelo has a new lease on his career, if not his life with Raptors, who started the season 4-19, now 7-3 with Gay.20
21SIXERS
(22-33)
Whip-smart, strung-tight-as-violin coach Collins calls 14-point home loss to Magic in lost season “mind-numbing.” Best move now is elevating him to GM.21
22CAVALIERS
(19-38)
Dion Waiters, coming fast: Rookie shot 36 percent through Jan. 1 – overall – while taking five threes a game, shooting 52 percent in February, taking 1.7 threes a game.23
23WOLVES
(20-34)
My faves to watch used to be Kobe (daring), Manu (creativity) and Nash (skill level). Add Ricky Rubio (wizardry), who just averaged 14-6-9 over five games, with 4.6 steals. Full disclosure: I thought he’d be a bust.25
24PISTONS
(22-37)
Rookie phenom Andre Drummond, the only interesting thing about their season, expected to return from back problems in two weeks.22
25HORNETS
(20-38)
Rookie of the Year runner-up Watch: AD pulls it back together, averaging 15-8, shooting 49 percent over six games – then goes out with a shoulder injury.24
26WIZARDS
(18-37)
Two-plus seasons, one shortened by lockout, another by injury aren’t enough to write off Wall. But you’d like to see more improvement, or any: Shot 39 percent last month, 17-56 in last five.28
27SUNS
(19-39)
Headed back upstairs, he hopes: Interim coach Lindsey Hinter, who came out of front office to succeed Gentry, started 2-0 but is 3-11 since, says he might have to “coach effort.”27
28KINGS
(19-39)
Could they be tanking to undermine local efforts to keep them in town? Oh, right, they’re really this bad.26
29MAGIC
(16-41)
Borrowing new GM Hennigan’s language, Orlando Sentinel says team’s “culture will be tested the rest of the season.” In midst of a 4-28 nosedive, I’d say it has already flunked.30
30BOBCATS
(13-44)
A journey of 100 miles starts with a single step, but so does a journey of 1,000,000 miles: Bobcats one win from doubling 2011-12 total of seven – while losing 39 of last 45.29

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

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  1. says

    I do not create many comments, however after looking at through some of the remarks
    on NBA Power Rankings by Mark Heisler real trading deadline is before the draft.

    I actually do have a few questions for you if it’s allright. Could it be simply me or does it give the impression like a few of these remarks appear like they are left by brain dead individuals? :-P And, if you are writing at other places, I would like to follow everything fresh you have to post. Would you list of all of all your public sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

  2. kevin oneill says

    Why Collins gets the name recognition and “respect” league wide is a complete mystery. A horrible coach everywhere he has ever been, and he could not even win a championship with Jordan and Pippen. I know I know, former national commentator, full time cheer leader, but a coach who does not teach or express content. All he does is tell his players to play with energy, to hustle, to try hard. Like any 5 grade dad coaching children. No content, but a big member of the NBA good old boys network.

  3. kevin oneill says

    Sixers are the worst team in the NBA. They have lost 12 of 13, losing tonight to a bottom 4 team, the Magic. Looking at their schedule, probable they lose their next 7 in a row, to make it 19 out of 20. They they play the Charlotte Bobcats, who hammered the Magic two weeks ago. It is entirely conceivable that they lose every game the rest of the year. Their best player, guard Holiday, shooting 25 percent from the fileld the last 5 games, and the team does not listen to Collins anymore, who has his bottom 5 players on the court a lot these days.

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