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The Hoop Doctors

December NBA Power Rankings

The Hoop Doctors NBA Power Rankings

December 4, 2009 – Chip Patterson

Chip Patterson, recent graduate of University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, writes for TheHoopDoctors.com and BusterSports.com. A lifelong student of the game, he has passionately followed the NBA and College Basketball since C-Webb was calling “Timeout!”.

NBA Power Rankings

1

Los Angeles Lakers

LA Lakers

Pau’s back, the offense is clicking, and Shannon Brown has pogo-stick legs. It is beginning to look like Adam Morrison is going to be getting a lot of minutes, if you get my drift.

2

Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns

The NBA’s “biggest surprise” team isn’t surprising anyone anymore. Regardless of what happened in D’Antoni’s Revenge (great movie title), these guys are playing some of the best ball in the league.

3

Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic

Stan is a happy guy now? I don’t know how he couldn’t be. Somehow, the Magic have revitalized ghosts of NBA past with Carter and J-Will playing well below their age.

4

Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

Rondo has finally stepped up as a clutch player down the stretch. Haters are saying Rasheed’s three points attempts are a problem, they won’t say that when he shoots himself out of the slump. And he will shoot himself out.

5

Denver Nuggets

Denver Nuggets

Carmelo Anthony has scored at least 20 points in all 18 games. Don’t expect that to slow down anytime soon. “My Name Is Earl” Smith back in the lineup, and the Nuggs are 11-2 when they break the century mark.

6

Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers

Is it possible that Cleveland is quietly becoming dominant again? On a 12-3 run since starting 0-2, the only thing that scares me is how disgruntled LeBron got about Big Z.

7

Phoenix Suns

Atlanta Hawks

Everyone jumped on the Hawks bandwagon and they have started to play with less fire. I think they play much better with a chip on their shoulder.

8

Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks

I originally had this team ranked higher, then I looked at the average age of their starting lineup. No way they keep up this kind of heat deep into the season.

9

Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz

The home court advantage seems to be back. So is the ball movement. The Jazz are leading the league in assists again and AK47 may have settled on a hair-do.

10

Portland Trailblazers

San Antonio Spurs

We can add George Hill to the list of names that don’t match the person’s race. We can also add George Hill to the list of biggest surprises thusfar. His guard play in Parker and Ginobli’s absence has been one of the reasons the Spurs have stayed competitive.

11

Miami Heat

Miami Heat

Don’t look now, but Mario Chalmers and Michael Beasley might be maturing, and they might be really good. The Heat are facing a difficult West Coast swing, it will be a good test for the young Heat.

12

Houston Rockets

Portland Trailblazers

They looked awful against the Grizzlies and the Jazz. Brandon Roy’s unselfish play is killing this team.

13

Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder

Absolutely my favorite team in the NBA right now. Jeff Green is starting to step into an eerily Pippen-esque role. I’m not saying they are worthy of an early Bulls comparison yet, but Pippen ain’t easy.

14

Houston Rockets

Houston Rockets

Better without T-Mac? Probably. This rag-tag team has a Major League thing going on that makes me desperate to get some all access. But Spike Lee isn’t rushing to film these guys anytime soon.

15

Toronto Raptors

Milwaukee Bucks

Brandon Jennings has opened a huge debate on the relevance of college in a player’s development. He is quickly closing the debate on Rookie of the Year. Also, Hakim Warrick and Andrew Bogut playing on the same team make me think of the 2005 NCAA Tournament, which is still my favorite of the decade.

16

Sacramento Kings

Sacramento Kings

When Kevin Martin went out, Kings fans were cringing. When Kevin Martin comes back, he is returning to a budding young team with one of the best rookie tandems in the league. Omri and Tyreke…sounds like a sitcom!

17

Charlotte Bobcats

Charlotte Bobcats

I hate to jinx it, I really do. But Stephen Jackson, maybe, just maybe, could be the difference maker to turn the Bobcats into a playoff team?

18

Los Angeles Clippers

LA Clippers

Knowing their luck, Chris Kaman and the Kamanites will play just well enough to put them right on the edge of the playoffs and at the bottom of the lottery. Misery ensues.

19

Chicago Bulls

Chicago Bulls

The talent is there, and they are still a playoff contender in the East. Their current five game losing streak is exposing the weaknesses in Vinny Del Negro’s coaching, which is his coaching.

20

New Orleans Hornets

New Orleans Hornets

Chris Paul being hurt has been great news for the development of the New Orleans rookies. But will it mean that they can make a miracle push when he comes back?

21

Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors

I predicted that Hedo would get fat and happy with his contract and under-perform. I had no idea that it would be this bad. The Raptors are making their front office look like a bunch of morons, and that is not a good way to try and keep Bosh in 2010.

22

Milwaukee Bucks

Indiana Pacers

Indiana is an optical illusion. Their record has them right around the middle of the Eastern Conference. But their wins include New York, New Jersey, Washington, Golden State, and the Clips. Not a sign of a good team.

23

Washington Wizards

Washington Wizards

You know when you take a few foods that you like and mix them together? It works a little less than half the time. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Washington Wizards.

24

Golden State Warriors

Golden State Warriors

While Nellie is usually the Grim Reaper for young talent, he doesn’t have anyone else healthy. So I guess they are fun to watch?

25

Detroit Pistons

Detroit Pistons

One day – Hamilton, Prince, Gordon, Villanueva, and Wallace will be on the floor at the same time and the Pistons will have the talent to compete with about anyone. Of course, by then the season will be done and those five will most likely be completely out-of-sync on the court.

26

Indiana Pacers

Memphis Grizzlies

The local Memphis game promotions claim that “O.J. Mayo and the Grizzlies have the firepower to run and gun with anyone on the court.” This is a true statement. They forget to add that you have to play defense as well.

27

Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia 76ers

Monday cannot come soon enough. I spent the entire morning hitting “refresh” on the NBA Store to get my new Iverson jersey. Five days until we get The Answer. Seven to Ten until I get my jersey. Sounds like we all win.

28

Minnesota Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves

Your team is in a sad state when you are saying “Hey, just wait until Kevin Love gets healthy.”

29

New Jersey Nets

New York Knicks

Will the Knicks be able to keep David Lee in their efforts to build this team for the future? Has Mike D’Antoni finally got this team of misfits running in his system? How long will Larry Hughes play well? I don’t foresee positive answers to any of these questions.

30

New Jersey Nets

New Jersey Nets

As Matt Anaya said, adding John Wall to this backcourt makes the 2010-2011 Nets especially scary.

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