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The Hoop Doctors

NBA Power Rankings: Week 9

The Hoop Doctors NBA Power Rankings

January 4, 2010 – 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

Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers

Mo hitting All-Star form may have come too late for him to make his second All-Star game. But it’s just in time for the Cavs to get back to the winning ways of a year ago. If the slow start is attributed to a new lineup, then this means they have finally begun to gel. That fact is very, very, scary.

2

Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe breaks his finger, scoring average goes up. With the exception of the Christmas Day FAIL the Lake Show is looking pretty sharp, annoyingly sharp. Pau signing the three year extension fully completes the Evil Empire parallels. It wouldn’t surprise me if Phil Jackson could, in fact, shoot lightning bolts out of his fingers.

3

Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic

If possible, could Jameer’s injury have been a good thing for the Magic? Jason Williams was able to gel with the new Magic squad and get his game back. With Nelson healthy, the Magic have some serious depth in their backcourt. That is going to be a necessary to make a deep run in the East.

4

Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

Other pundits are staying high on Boston, but the bionic joints in Pierce and Garnett are nearing their expiration date and recent murmurs out Boston are that Rivers is going to start going all Week 17 with his lineup.

5

Hawks

Atlanta Hawks

The home-and-home exchange with the Cavs at the end of 2009 was a good litmus test for the Hawks squad. I know that it’s cliche to say that you can gain from losses, but the Hawks gained the knowledge that they can hang with the NBA’s best.

6

Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks

Dirk is continuing his scoring ways, J-Ho appears to be healthy, and I’m starting to eat my words on my “average age of the starting lineup” dig from a month ago.

7

Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns

Even in this slump of late the Suns still are showing enough consistency to know that this is only a phase. Channing Frye is the x-factor on this squad. When his outside shot is on, it spreads the defense and allows Amare to do work inside the lane.

8

Portland Trailblazers

Portland Trailblazers

Joel Pryzbilla had been doing a great job filling one of the many holes in the Portland lineup. In other news, Chill Out Juwan Howard.

9

Denver Nuggets

Denver Nuggets

Similar to the slumping Suns, the Nuggets have hit a bit of a reality check here after such a hot start. Starting to develop an affinity for losing close games, not good news for a team hoping to reach the Western Conference Finals again. Additionally, not good news for George Karl’s blood pressure.

10

Houston Rockets

Houston Rockets

A Top 10 team without T-Mac, and now that the trade issue has been resolved, the Rockets essentially will get a player for free. Maybe/Hopefully they can land a big man so they don’t have to rely on Chuck Hayes as much.

11

San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs are 8-2 in their last 10 including a 5 game winning streak.  Hopefully that means they are back on the right track.  However, it could be just because they were playing bad teams.

12

Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder

Chugging along as the the most fun “on the cusp of greatness” teams to watch in the Association. It’s been said before, and I’ll say it again, but other than Carmelo, nobody scores easier than Kevin Durant.

13

Heat

Miami Heat

Miami will make the playoffs entirely based on the fact that they are in the Eastern Conference. The Big Bad West would most likely eat the Heat alive. But where they are at, they are sitting around the 4 or 5 seed right now.

14

Jazz

Utah Jazz

The Jazz seem to be a team desperately struggling to find an identity. At times they look like the Jazz of old (12-4 at home) and sometimes they look like a collection of lifeless nutcrackers moving around on the court. Getting rid of Eric Maynor and Matt Harpring’s corpse was clearly a move for the future, Boozer still won’t want to stay if they stink though.

15

Grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies

Zach Randolph is on a streak of six consecutive games with 20 plus points and ten plus rebounds in December. Considering he has been identified as the question mark this season, I’d say things are looking up for the Grizz.

16

Sacramento Kings

Sacramento Kings

Kevin Martin will have his wrist re-evaluated on January 12. After that we will get a much better idea of when he will be 100% and how he will mesh with this new crop of Sac-Town ballers.

17

Raptors

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors have been benefitting from an easier streak in their schedule, if they can take that momentum forward then they could become a playoff team in the fluffy East.

18

Los Angeles Clippers

LA Clippers

Consistently good against bad teams and consistently bad against good teams. The Clips have been a bookies’ dream, except for when Baron triggers his inner Giant-slayer.

19

Hornets

New Orleans Hornets

Confusion, mystery, drama, and despair. Is it the new TNT Original Series? Nope. Just the current state of the New Orleans Hornets organization.

20

Knicks

New York Knicks

The Knicks are getting closer and closer to being a playoff team. Which of course is TERRIBLE news for the Lebron/J-Wall plan.

21

Bobcats

Charlotte Bobcats

If the Kitty Cats want to reach their first postseason in franchise history, they have got to learn to win on the road.(2-14)

22

Pistons

Detroit Pistons

Last time I discussed that soon the Pistons will be healthy, and could be dangerous if they haven’t slipped too far already. Well they are finally healthy, and in the middle of a nine game losing streak.

23

Bucks

Milwaukee Bucks

Jennings is looking less like a Pteradactyl with Fire Wings and more like a whiny pit bull. I think the NBA Winter is starting to wear on the youngster. Unfortunately, as Jennings goes – so do the Bucks.

24

Bulls

Chicago Bulls

How does Vinny Del Negro still have a job?

25

Warriors

Golden State Warriors

Monta Ellis is that guy on the pickup court who never sits out, never passes, yet is still sometimes good to have on your team because he is talented. Sometimes.

26

Wolves

Minnesota Timberwolves

The last place team in the West gets beat up by the bullies night and night out. But it sure is cute to watch them try.

27

Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia 76ers

A month ago, I was so excited to get AI back I purchased a jersey and spent hours on end rewatching the Allen Iverson Rewind. A month later, those are the only good clips I can get my hands on.

28

Wizards

Washington Wizards

Stephen Jackson thought the Gilbert-Gun scenario was crazy. That’s when we know something is wrong with the Bullets.

29

Pacers

Indiana Pacers

If Guantanamo Bay was still in operation, they would replace water boarding with Pacers-Nets games. Every time the ball bounced a high pitched squeal would be emitted from the speakers. The only way to stop it is for Roy Hibbert to hit three pointers from the corner. Have fun.

30

New Jersey Nets

New Jersey Nets

Go ahead and line up your promotions and endorsement deals, at least now we know John Wall is entertaining.

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