Kamenetzky Bros. Power Rankings: The Curious Case of the Pelicans

Given their success when everyone was hurt, is it surprising that the Spurs are the NBA’s hottest team, now tops out West? 30/5 from Tony Parker Saturday vs. Orlando shows he’s feeling pretty spry.4
Wins over Miami, Indiana, and Portland in the last seven days, part of a 14-2 run. Finally got a productive performance Sunday from Jeremy Lin, his first 20-plus effort since December.5
No team has a better point differential than the LAC. CP3 and Griffin are an elite pairing, Davis shores the front line. The concerns now are about health, particularly Crawford and Redick.6
4THUNDER(46-17)Too early to freak out, but OKC has lost three of its last four to plus-.500 squads, plus Sunday to the Lakers. And with Thabo Sefolosha out, the perimeter D takes a big hit.3
Drop all three in a brutal roadie through Texas and Chicago. Still rock solid overall vs. the league’s elite, but it doesn’t take much to slip in the rankings against the West’s best.1
A bad week for the vaunted Indy defense is alarming, because the O is still weak. Didn’t crack 90 points against Charlotte or Houston.2
Looking more and more like a bottom four playoff team in the West. The upshot: The D hurting them all season has been a top-10 group efficiency-wise over the last month.7
Charging hard behind a top shelf defense. 97.6 points per 100 trips over the last month, second only to the Bulls. Helps explain a 9-2 run and a shot at a five seed.8
9GRIZZLIES(36-26)It’s officially time for high seeds out West to worry. The Grizz are in the top eight, and if they stay there will be a very, very unpopular draw.11
Recovered from three straight losses with home wins over Portland and Indy. Monta Ellis shooting nearly 49 percent in four March games.9
Not to get bogged down in “what-ifs,” but their record seeds them third in the East. Right now, they’re on the outside looking in, with only seven more home games remaining.12
Joakim Noah has thrust himself into the MVP’s top five, and in eight games since the All-Star break, Jimmy Butler has shot 46 percent (vs. 38 percent in the first half).10
Basketball Prospectus says they have an 11.7 percent chance of reaching the Finals. Sounds small, but nobody would have believed it in November.13
Over his last five games, Kevin Love has gone for 33/12.2/5.4. That’s about what it takes for the Wolves to win four times over that stretch.15
Lone loss in their last nine was by six to the Grizzlies, but the sked tightens up from here: Just two home games in their next eight.14
They’re 21-9 since a 10-21 start. Not quite elite, but enough to be threatening. The D is improving, forcing TOs at a rapid clip.16
It’s fun to mock the East, but by any measure the progress Charlotte has made under Steve Clifford this season is impressive. Big Al is a beast.17
Five wins since February 1. Only the Sixers have a worse efficiency differential over the last month.19
Falling out of the East’s top eight is harder than leaving the mob. Hawks have won once since Feb. 4 and are still holding final postseason spot.20
The shine is off the post-Chris Grant firing apple. Four straight losses doesn’t put the postseason out of reach, but despite Atlanta’s collapse the Cavs aren’t making real gains.18
AD goes off for 32/17/3 with six blocks Sunday vs. Denver. Must have known we’d be writing about him.23
It seems like trolling to say this about a team that has lost 10 of 12, but the Pistons are still only three games out of a playoff spot.22
It’s hard to picture a world in which James Dolan gets out of the way enough for Phil Jackson to take over, but then again nobody complains about Donald Sterling anymore.24
From Nov. 1 to Jan. 31, the Kings were the NBA’s worst defensive team. Since Feb. 1, they’re 14th in efficiency. Baby steps.27
Rajon Rondo has posted 10-plus dimes in eight of his last nine games, no easy feat on one of the NBA’s worst offensive teams.28
Enes Kanter is averaging almost 15/10 over his last five but is still confused defensively. Helps explain five straight losses to non-Philly squads.21
Time to take a moment to acknowledge Kyle O’Quinn. Orlando is better on both sides of the ball with him on the floor, particularly on D. Second-rounder is a legit rotation guy.25
The defense is porous on epic levels, the coach is embattled, the star is unlikely to appear again this season, and now Phil Jackson (and Jeanie Buss) could be squeezing Jim in a power play. Never a dull moment.26
Announced attendance for Saturday’s loss to Washington was nearly 15,000. Who are those people, and how can we get them Bulls tickets?29
It’s not just 16 straight losses, it’s 16 straight losses with only three by less than six points. They start the week with Knicks and Kings, so maybe the streak dies? (Nah.)30

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

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


  1. steppxxxz says

    good rankings but Raptors and mavs should exchange places I think. Toronto has been impressive. Really impressive. And the pistons, eeeesh, cant they be lower…..just on principle.

  2. steppxxxz says

    imagine if Demps hadnt made those moves. If they kept Robin Lopez and Vasquez, kept their two #1s and drafted say ……mason plumlee or Dieng, or michael carter williams or whoever………and didnt waste the money on Tyreke. This would be a much better team because even with Holiday, a slightly overrated poing guard, they werent that good.

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