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NBA Power Rankings: All Star Game Edition

Chip February 18, 2011 Blogs, Power Rankings 2 Comments

The Hoop Doctors NBA Power Rankings

February 18, 2011 – Chip Patterson
Follow on Twitter – @cnpatterson3

NBA Power Rankings

1

Los Angeles Lakers

San Antonio Spurs

Gregg Popovich thinks winning is boring? He wasn’t saying that when the Spurs won four titles between 1999-2007. The Spurs continue to play another level above the rest of the league, and hopefully will have a chance to prove themselves as the best team in basketball come May/June. With how successful the season has been, I would hate to see a 2010 Cavs-type situation with a Conference Semis exit.

2

Dallas Mavericks

Miami Heat

Dwyane Wade has been on fire, LeBron James is catching 90 foot passes, and Bosh is dropping digits on his old team. The Miami wrecking crew is in full effect, and now they take their talents to Hollywood for the weekend. I wonder how the Big 3 and Boston’s Big 4 will co-exist on the Eastern Conference squad.

3

Cleveland Cavaliers

Dallas Mavericks

The crowd changed his name, and the Roddy show finally took off on Wednesday night in Dallas. The Mavericks have won 12 of their last 13, and now are as healthy as they could hope to be heading into the back half of the season. There are so many weapons in the Dallas backcourt, they will have the ability to wear down teams in a seven game series.

4

Orlando Magic

Boston Celtics

Facing potential back-to-back losses to two of their biggest rivals in 2011, the Celtics stood strong to knock off the Heat 85-82 and avoid losing their third straight game. The C’s showed they were human in losses to Charlotte and Los Angeles as Ray Allen became the NBA career leader in 3-point field goals. Some much needed rest is well-deserved after their recent run, but all of the Big Four will be very busy in Los Angeles this weekend.

5

Raptors

Chicago Bulls

The Bulls are back to being one of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference. Chicago has won three in a row and 8 of their last 10. If it weren’t for LeBron James, Derrick Rose would be the undisputed midseason MVP at this point according to many (your author included). Few other players have been counted on to pick up extra weight due to injuries and be able to deliver the way Rose has so far this season.

6

Phoenix Suns

Los Angeles Lakers

Karma? Yeah that loss to Cleveland sure looked like Karma. Los Angeles finished their road trip with a questionable 4-3 record. Los Angeles needs to get better/more production out of their bench. Right now their bench play has been a 6 foot 4 stick of dynamite named Shannon Brown.

7

Denver Nuggets

Orlando Magic

We should all take some time to laugh at J.J. Redick. It’s okay, he’s teammates are as well.

8

Oklahoma City Thunder

Portland Trail Blazers

Brandon Roy tried to return, but it just isn’t in the cards yet for Blazers’ All Star. LaMarcus Aldridge, on the other hand, has gone HAM since his All Star snub. Aldridge is averaging 34.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in his last five outings, and the Blazers enter the All Star Break on a 6-game winning streak.

9

Phoenix Suns

Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder will be well represented at All Star Weekend with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka all taking place in Saturday and Sunday’s festivities. If you are not familiar with the uber-likable Thunder, check out this recent column in GQ by @FreeDarko.

10

Boston Celtics

Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks have lost 3 of 4 and are slowly slipping down the Eastern Conference standings. Horford and Johnson will likely be in the shadows for most of All Star weekend, will it light a fire for them to make a statement when they return to action next week? Atlanta needs a spark, the question is where will it come from?

11

Portland Trailblazers

Denver Nuggets

The one really impressive thing about Carmelo Anthony has been his ability to maintain his elite play throughout the months of trade rumors. It shows that behind it all, Anthony is a player who loves to play the game. Losing that will be difficult to swallow, but the Nuggets have to get something in return while they can.

12

Houston Rockets

New York Knicks

For the first time since Allan Houston, the Knicks have an All Star. Additionally, one of the most improved teams in the league will match their victory total from last year with their first win after the break. The Knicks made an emphatic statement by pounding the Hawks before the break. New York is what Atlanta was 2 years ago, and Atlanta is no longer the team they were earlier this season. It would not surprise me to see these teams swap spots by April.

13

Pistons

New Orleans Hornets

The Hornets have been one of the streakiest teams in the league this season. Right now happens to be one of their worst slides, dropping 6 of their last 7 games. There are BAD losses too, like a 102-89 loss to Golden State and losses to the lowly Nets and Timberwolves.

14

Hornets

Memphis Grizzles

The Grizzlies are as hot as they can be. On a 4 game winning streak, winners of 8 of the last 10. So what’s the worst that could happen? Oh yeah, Rudy Gay out for 4 weeks. That, literally, is one of the worst things that could happen to a team that will be fighting for a playoff spot every night for the rest of the season.

15

Sacramento Kings

Philadelphia 76ers

For the last couple of weeks we have been able to proudly proclaim that Doug Collins has things turned around in Philly. Once again it seems like the Sixers are moving forward. They have won 7 of their last 10 and rank in the upper half of the league in most major statistical categories.

16

Heat

Utah Jazz

The curse of Jerry Sloan will continue, at least until February 23. Ty Corbin has yet to get his first win as head coach, and Utah has lost 5 home games in a row for the first time since 1982. Needless to say, things are not looking good for the post-Sloan Jazz.

17

Jazz

Golden State Warriors

Golden State has been surging recently, winning 4 of their last 5 contests. What is particularly impressive is that the Warriors (26-29) have five wins in the month of February over teams above .500. Golden State hopes to reach that plateau themselves after the break, somewhere they haven’t been since November.

18

Grizzlies

Phoenix Suns

Phoenix has won four of their last five, but don’t be misguided by that statistic. They beat up on Golden State and wandering Utah squad, so they don’t necessarily mean that the Suns are back. Phoenix will be tested with a road trip after the break, we’ll see how they are doing after that.

19

Houston Rockets

Indiana Pacers

Despite their hot start under interim coach Frank Vogel, the Pacers dropped back-to-back games heading into the All Star break. The winning did move them back into the playoff picture, currently sitting a game ahead of Charlotte for the eighth position in the East. Washington and a rematch with Detroit should give the Pacers an opportunity to build on that lead, and the Pacers roster will have plenty of rest over the weekend (that’s not a compliment).

20

Los Angeles Clippers

Charlotte Bobcats

Charlotte’s giant-killing ways came to a halt against the Bulls, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t hope moving forward under Paul Silas. The improvement has been so impressive that Silas got his contract extended through the end of the 2011-2012 season. Hopefully the winning will continue, even after the staff secured their positions full-time.

21

Wizards

Houston Rockets

A homestead heading into All Star Break usually sets up perfectly for a talented team looking to climb back to the .500 mark. Instead, the Rockets lost 3 of 4 and enter the All Star game looking for nothing but answers.

22

Knicks

Milwaukee Bucks

One of the biggest problems for the Bucks has been getting things going offensively. Brandon Jennings being back has helped in recent weeks, but it’s the return of Carlos Delfino and John Salmons that should really get things going for Milwaukee.

23

Raptors

Los Angeles Clippers

Contrary to speculation, Blake Griffin still plans to take part in all of his All Star festivities this weekend. Rookie Challenge, Slam Dunk, and then the All Star Game on Sunday. When the Clippers take the floor again will he have anything left?

24

Bucks

Detroit Pistons

Tayshaun Prince, has been playing some of his best ball of the season recently, but he is not trying to improve his trade stock. “I think I’ll be here for the rest of the year,” Prince recently said. Detroit has failed to pull off those upsets that make their games at least interesting, and will likely find themselves praying for grace from the Ping Pong Ball Gods come May.

25

Bucks

New Jersey Nets

Three game losing streak going into the break is tough to swallow for any fan base. But it can be even harder as the trade deadline approaches and Nets fans will likely see Carmelo Anthony head somewhere OTHER than the Izod Center. The Melo-drama likely did cost New Jersey some wins, but getting Anthony would have at least invigorated a restless group of Nets fans.

26

Philadelphia 76ers

Washington Wizards

Aaaaand [deep breath] it’s done. After 25 straight road losses, Washington knocked off the Cavs in Quicken Loans arena to break a winless road streak that dated back to the 2009-2010 season. The Wizards have also continued to get quality production out of Nick Young, who along with Wall is making the foundations for a talented backcourt in the Capitol City.

27

Warriors

Sacramento Kings

The schedule has not been friendly to the Kings in February. All eight of their opponents have been a plus-.500 team, and thus seven of those games have resulted in losses for Sacramento.

28

Bobcats

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors occasionally hang in the game in some of these losses, but the L’s are stacking up pretty quickly. Toronto has lost 17 of their last 19, and are 4-26 against teams with a better than .500 record. Close losses are still losses, and the post-Decision era is becoming almost as pitiful as Cleveland’s. Almost.

29

Pacers

Minnesota Timberwolves

In just his third season, the ball-hawking Kevin Love will give the Timberwolves their first All Star game representation since Kevin Garnett. That’s about where the excitement ends in Minnesota these days.

30

New Jersey Nets

Cleveland Cavaliers

The only disappointing thing about ending the league’s longest losing streak was the short celebration. Instead of turning the victory in a two-game win streak, Cleveland rolled over at home to let Washington get their first road victory of the season.

Chip Patterson writes for CBSSports.com’s College Football Blog and contributes at TheHoopDoctors.com.

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  • Paul

    Your list is not bad, but I don’t know why you have the NO so low. Everybody gets upset sometimes. With CP they’re still one of the premier teams in the league.
    Instead of commenting on the order you put the teams in, I would like to comment on some of what you said, as I have actually read some of it this time.
    You asked if griffin will have anything left after the all star game? What?!?
    The “curse of Jerry Sloan” as you say is not a curse at all. It is just common sense that losses will follow after the departure of a legendary coach such as Sloan.
    About that HAM business, stop it, it’s done, ok. If jay z and kanye couldn’t make it happen, then you certainly can’t.
    And lastly, you think that if not for LeBron, rose would be the undisputed leading MVP candidate, like Howard ain’t shit!