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The Hoop Doctors

NBA Power Rankings: Week 15

The Hoop Doctors NBA Power Rankings

February 11, 2010 – Chip Patterson

NBA Power Rankings

1

Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers

Well, I get to keep my eyebrows.  The newest chapter in “OhmygodtheCavs” is all about J.J. Hickson, whose performances against Memphis and Miami were displayed some of the freakish athleticism that has earned him a premium spot in Mike Brown’s rotation.

2

Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers

As much as I’ve been having watching the Lakers bench play to their potential, I’m glad that they will have the All-Star break to get 100% healthy.  The rest of the Western Conference, however, is probably not echoing my sentiment.

3

Raptors

Utah Jazz

Well, the streak finally came to a halt tonight for the Jazz, but losing to the Lakers does mean the run is done.  I look for the Jazz to come back from the break rested and ready to make a run at locking up one of the top three spots in the West.

4

Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic

Vince Carter had 40 field goals in all of January.  It’s February 11 and he has 44 already.  If this means that the Magic’s success will mirror Vince’s, then I would like to take back my “contender” tag from the Magic’s name.  They need to find other scoring options, or just let Dwight hulk smash opponents.

5

Denver Nuggets

Denver Nuggets

The 127-91 trouncing of the Mavericks was a nice welcome back party for Carmelo.  Also congratulations are in order for Chauncey for his inclusion on the newest Team USA roster.  If these guys together make the Nuggets this good, think what they can do with Bosh, LeBron, and Kobe on the floor with them.

6

Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns

Amar’e In.  Amar’e Out. He loves me.  He loves me not.  The Suns continue to be the hottest story going into All Star Break.  Steve Kerr says the Suns recent wins (four of the last five) have changed the standards of trade talk.  Wait…there are standards for trade talk with Steve Kerr???

7

Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder

Six straight wins.  The last time Durant scored less than 25 was December 19.  They have moved into the 5th seed in the West.  Is there a team that is utilizing their talent more than the Thunder right now?

8

Phoenix Suns

Atlanta Hawks

If Wednesday night’s game against the Heat proves anything, it’s definitely the value of Zaza Pachulia and especially of Jamal Crawford.  Outside of providing points and minutes, they are both the glue guys that keep “The Highlight Factory” from ending up on the cutting room floor.

9

Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

Talk about a team that is about to get a new face.  Whether it is Ray Allen, Glen Davis, Rasheed Wallace, or any combination of the three; it seems like there are about to be some shakeups to UBUNTU.  Will it make them more athletic? Most likely.  Will it make them better?  My opinion is that any shakeup is a good one for this particular squad.

10

Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks

For a team struggling to keep their spot in the top half of the Western Conference, things are not going to get any easier after the All Star Break.  Four games in five days that include Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Orlando, and Miami.

11

Sacramento Kings

Toronto Raptors

After Wednesday night’s game, Bosh said that after the All Star break, it’s “all business” and that “they are pushing for home court.”  Great to see such team focus out of a guy who is being talked about by pretty much every other organization in the league.  If he really is that focused, the Raptors just might get that 4th seed they seek.

12

Houston Rockets

Portland Trailblazers

The Blazer’s win against the Suns was huge for their confidence going into the break.  It was their 12th game without Brandon Roy and the first franchise win in Phoenix since Nash arrived.  It is obvious there are some tensions with this exhausted team, but hopefully the break will mend those issues.

13

Portland Trailblazers

San Antonio Spurs

First Oden, now George Hill?  I heard he was mad that no one was talking about him since the Spurs got (semi-) healthy and wanted to get back in the headlines.  Once thought to be title contenders, the Spurs will likely find themselves fighting for a playoff spot over the next 30 games.

14

Los Angeles Clippers

Charlotte Bobcats

It is usual for the Bobcats to sputter after a hot streak.  Usually it is followed by a long and painful losing streak that will sink them back into the Eastern Conference ditch they came from.  This time though, they bounced back quickly, hardly losing any position in the standings.  Is it a sign of change?  Or maybe the apocalypse?

15

Jazz

New Orleans Hornets

Darren Collison has been fantastic.  As the Skeets and Tas pointed out over at The Basketball Jones, he really has been learning under Chris Paul and has mimicked much of his game, all the way to “walking the dog.”

16

Heat

Miami Heat

They have only won 3 out of their last 10, but yet somehow the Heat continue to come up with just the right wins to keep them relevant.  Many other pundits have written off the South Beach squad, but Amar’e or not, I think they still make the playoffs.

17

Hornets

Chicago Bulls

Derrick Rose took a nasty spill Wednesday night and might be sitting out the weekend’s festivities.  Injuries are never a good thing, but when he got up and it was revealed to be a hip injury and not the ankle that made him three steps slower I gave a nice Jersey Shore fist pump.

18

Houston Rockets

Houston Rockets

The Rockets might get Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood in a three-way trade that involves just letting go of McGrady?  I think we might have our Western Conference dark horse.

19

Grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies

Formerly the hottest team in the league, the Grizz need All Star Weekend to be a full blown reset button.  They’ve lost four straight at this point with Phoenix, Toronto, and Miami on the schedule after the break.  Need that reboot bad.

20

Pistons

Milwaukee Bucks

At this point it really does feel like coin flip what Bucks team is going to show up.  They have put together great performances with Bogut crashing the boards and establishing himself down low (2/10 vs. Nets).  They have also put together horrendous games where it looks like they all forgot how to play basketball (2/9 vs. Pistons).

21

Wolves

Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers have won five of their last six and actually been playing some pretty good ball in the City of Brotherly Love.  I’m not going to call it coincidence, but the fact that they have been games where Allen Iverson has been virtually absent might be a signal to Eddie Jordan.

22

Knicks

Los Angeles Clippers

Congrats to Chris Kaman for finally getting the nod, no thanks to Roy’s injury.  Outside of Kaman’s personal successes, the Dunleavy resignation and current four-game losing streak have the Clippers falling apart at the seams.

23

Philadelphia 76ers

Detroit Pistons

The Pistons have been doing a much better job of staying in games.  They have been doing a terrible job closing games.  That leaves them where they are now, beating the 1/3 of the teams worse than them and losing heartbreakers to the rest of the league.

24

Bobcats

New York Knicks

Tracy McGrady to the Knicks?  I understand the cap space benefits, but are you guys planning on playing this guy?  I would love to be proven wrong, but I’ve got a hunch there is a reason that Houston wasn’t chomping at the bit to play him.

25

Warriors

Indiana Pacers

When Earl Watson is making Pacer’s highlight reels for the week, the team ain’t doing too hot.  Lottery pick Tyler Hansbrough seemed just fine to travel to Chapel Hill to get his jersey retired.  I thought that guy had an inner ear infection.  WTF?

26

Bucks

Sacramento Kings

The most recent reports say that the Kings actually have no interest in trading Kevin Martin.  That means one of two things: a) they are trying to raise his demand or b) they actually think they can make a push.  Neither of these smell like success to me, so just go ahead and trade him so Tyreke can get back to doing Tyreke things.

27

Wizards

Washington Wizards

David Aldridge said that Caron Butler “will be gone by Dallas” on Monday.  Hey DA, I know it’s your birthday week and all, but it’s Thursday morning and he isn’t gone yet.

28

Pacers

Minnesota Timberwolves

Wins over Dallas and Memphis over the weekend vaulted the Timberwolves out of the 29 spot.  Then they gave the Bobcats a good run.  They aren’t going to make anything of their season, but I still love when all this young talent is playing well together.

29

Bulls

Golden State Warriors

Randolph out for the season, Monta out with a sprained knee.  MORE CURRY FOR ME!  The triple-double against the Clippers one Wednesday reminded me of the same kid I watched light up the Southern Conference in Belk Arena just a few years ago.

30

New Jersey Nets

New Jersey Nets

Only 1,016 people saw the Nets play on Wednesday night.  Were you one of them?

Chip Patterson, graduate of University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, writes for TheHoopDoctors.com and serves as Basketball Editor for BusterSports.com.

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