Kamenetzky Bros. Power Rankings: Chiming in on Individual Awards Races

Paul George is shooting 40 percent since January 1. Shouldn’t be a big concern, except the offense is already somewhere well south of elite.1
2THUNDER(41-12)They’ve had hiccups against Washington and (inexplicably) Orlando, but those don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. 17-6 vs. teams .500 or better? That matters.2
At some point, a below-average defense means the winning slows down. Whether it happens in the regular season or the playoffs is an open question.4
The Spurs keep piling up wins – four wins in five, including 3 of 4 to start the rodeo trip – but as injuries mount – Manu, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard – that’s got to change, right? Right?6
Currently 14th in defensive efficiency, a slip worrying to some. On the other hand, offenses don’t get much better, and their record against good competition says they can crank it up when the lights are bright.5
In 16 January games (14 without CP3), Blake Griffin went for 25.7/8.1/4.3, on 55 percent shooting from the floor and a totally competent 72.1 percent from the line. February – 35 points, 11.3 rebounds – has been even better.3
As Dwight gets settled, the defense is improving. Up to eighth in efficiency, keying a 13-4 run since the calendar flipped to 2014.8
8GRIZZLIES(27-23)From the outhouse to, not quite the penthouse. Spitting distance from a 6 seed, but Sunday’s loss to Cleveland doesn’t help the cause.7
Still playing basically .600 ball, but in the West that doesn’t go far. Since the 10-game win streak, the Warriors are a middling 6-8.9
Can’t complain with Davis’ inclusion on the W.C. All Star team, but Suns fans aren’t delusional partisans for pushing Goran Dragic. 26.8 points on 60 percent shooting over his last five.10
Seem like the favorite to fall from the playoff ladder as Memphis rises, but aren’t going quietly, winning 5 straight after Sunday’s victory in Boston.11
Rock solid defensively (7th in efficiency) but turn the ball over too much for the offense to thrive. In seven games since posting 51, Terrence Ross is averaging 9.85 ppg.12
How have the Hawks stayed afloat despite losing Al Horford for the year? One reason: The Eastern Conference, where they’ve gone 17-12. Another: The league’s best AST/TO ratio. They share with each other, but not the opposition.15
A full six games back of a playoff spot, the T-Wolves are officially on life support. Losing Kevin Martin indefinitely won’t help the cause.18
Joakim Noah is one of only 12 players across the Association averaging a double-double, leads the team in double doubles, and the NBA in triple F-bombs.17
For everything they do right (wins over Indiana, LA Clippers in the last few weeks) they do more things wrong (losses to Charlotte, Knicks, and Detroit). Can’t get over the hump.13
Our national distaste for Washington politics has even impacted the Wiz. 9-4 in their last 13 on the road, only 6-7 at home.16
Fell back to five games under .500, but three wins in four tries has the ship back on course. J-Kidd was the E.C’s Coach of the Month – something you didn’t see coming in November.14
Still clinging to the E.C.’s eighth seed, but if they’re ever going to make a leap the lottery guys have to contribute more to team success than they are.19
Anthony Davis (22 points, 10.4 rebonds, 3.3 bpg over his last 19) is a worthy addition to the Western Conference All-Star roster, even if the game wasn’t being held in New Orleans.21
Just when it looked like the wheels were coming back off the wagon, Utah knocks off Miami at home. Marvin Williams averaging 22.3 ppg over his last three.25
Via 82Games, per every 100 trips the Knicks score 108.2 points and give up 108.8 with Melo on the floor. Without him, they score 100 and give up 115. Hence the angst about his destination this summer.20
Mo Cheeks is out after only 50 games on the Pistons’ bench. Godspeed to the next manager of Joe Dumars’ Island of Talented But Totally Misfit Toys.22
DeMarcus Cousins is a double-double machine, cranking them out in the last 19 (full) games he’s played. And for all his issues on D, Sacto is four points (per 100 trips) stingier with him on the floor.24
In the last year of his contract, Chris Grant is gone. In the first year of the five-year deal Chris Grant gave him, Mike Brown stays. Enjoy, Cleveland.23
No team in basketball uses more possessions a game than the Sixers. With enough chances, something good can fill the highlight reels every night, no matter the final score. (Though Sunday’s 45-point loss tests that theory.)28
For a couple games, Steve Nash looked kind of like Steve Nash. Then he left Sunday’s game with more nerve irritation. The writing is on the wall, and it’s not fun to read.27
Earlier in the year when they were among the league’s surprises, the C’s were a top 10 group in defensive efficiency. Now they’re 16th. Still can’t score, which means lots and lots of losses.26
Orlando’s prime directive should be keeping Nicola Vucevic healthy. 2-16 in 18 games without him. Consecutive wins over OKC and Indy show there’s a nugget of something going on there.29
– “Three wins in January, Lakers? Three? Why so much ambition?” — The Bucks, after going 1 for that month. (Kudos for already matching that in February!)30

OTHER RANKINGS: MVP | Rookies | Most Improved | Sixth Man

Brian Kamenetsky is a frequent contributor to SheridanHoops.com. Follow him and his brother, Andy, on Twitter.

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