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NBA Power Rankings: Week 12

Chip January 12, 2011 Blogs, Power Rankings 1 Comment

The Hoop Doctors NBA Power Rankings

January 12, 2011 – Chip Patterson
Follow on Twitter – @cnpatterson3

NBA Power Rankings

1

Los Angeles Lakers

Miami Heat

As we approach the season’s midpoint, it is becoming more and more likely that Miami will in fact be a 60-win team.  It is hard to imagine them not slowing down at some point, particularly if there is an injury, but it won’t happen anytime soon.

2

Dallas Mavericks

San Antonio Spurs

The calls have been a little too close for the Spurs to feel comfortable, but they remain the undisputed best team in the Western Conference.  A stiff challenge lies ahead with the Mavericks coming to town on Friday.  A must-watch showdown on national television.

3

Cleveland Cavaliers

Boston Celtics

After losing to Houston, Doc Rivers stressed the importance of establishing home court advantage in the East.  Seeing that the Celtics will not be resting up for the playoffs will make for a thrilling Miami-Boston chase in the second half of the season.

4

Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic

The added firepower has made a difference in Orlando, and it has been working out in the Magic’s favor.  They have been averaging 107.6 points per game on their current win streak, and it has come from several difference contributors.

5

Raptors

Los Angeles Lakers

Nothing quite like a home game against the Cavaliers to shake the cobwebs out.  The Lakers had seven players in double figures as they dismantled the lowly Cavs 112-57 with an all-business efficiency.

6

Phoenix Suns

Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks have gotten used to the idea of Caron Butler being gone for the season, but they have been desperately missing Dirk.  Dallas has lost five of their last seven, with the only positive being Deshawn Stevenson’s rejuvenation as a consistent deep-ball threat.

7

Denver Nuggets

Chicago Bulls

A couple of bad road losses to Philadelphia and New Jersey should be no reason to panic, but the Bulls clearly have not reached that point of Eastern Conference dominance just yet.

8

Oklahoma City Thunder

Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks have won 9 of 12 since Joe Johnson returned from elbow surgery, and if that elbow stays healthy the Hawks should keep their standard pace of hanging around near the top of the Eastern Conference.  They just have so many ways to hurt you, as Indiana found out on Saturday.

9

Phoenix Suns

Oklahoma City Thunder

Not an easy stretch ahead for a Thunder squad that has been struggling a bit on defense.  They will face the Magic at home on Thursday then travel to the coast to face the Lakers in the Staples Center.  It should be a revealing couple of days for an OKC team that is making a case for legitimate threat in the Western Conference.

10

Boston Celtics

Utah Jazz

The Jazz have stumbled and slipped into a point of mediocrity that will not promise any kind of postseason success.  If the Jazz want to become relevant, they need to get back to the aggressiveness that got them the 15-5 start.

11

Portland Trailblazers

New York Knicks

The Knicks seem to have gotten it back on track, handily taking care of Phoenix and Portland, but the biggest news is New York’s renwed involvement in the Carmelo Anthony discussion.  Would adding Melo make this team an immediate title contender? Or would the pieces they would have to give up change the dynamic that has worked to get them to this point?

12

Houston Rockets

New Orleans Hornets

The Hornets supporting cast has not done a very good job keeping up with a Paul’s resurgence, but he has ben able to create enough offense to make them relevant again.  New Orleans won’t stun anyone, but making it back to the playoffs is the first step for Monty Williams.

13

Pistons

Denver Nuggets

All season the Nuggets have been a temporary bunch, constantly awaiting a Melo mega-deal.  With the trade deadline a little over a month away, the blockbuster deal seems inevitable.  Where this team can end up is entirely dependent on how the deal works out for Denver.

14

Hornets

Portland Trailblazers

Portland finally gets a scheduling break, with a pretty easy 10 days coming up.  Nothing will cure offensive ails quite like New Jersey, Minnesota, and a pair of meetings with Sacramento.

15

Sacramento Kings

Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks are finally starting to get it back together, and just in time.  When Brandon Jennings gets back 100%, Milwaukee will still be in a position to make a run for the Eastern Conference playoffs.

16

Heat

Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies are showing their best face to the best opponents in the league, but if they can’t turn these strong performances into wins they will find themselves once again on the short end of the stick in the West.  The performance against OKC was good, but not good enough.

17

Jazz

Houston Rockets

The Rockets can’t seem to stay above .500 so far this season.  Every time they get there they collapse once again.  A team that focuses far too much on the offensive production of one (Martin), they welcome Aaron Brooks back to the court.

18

Grizzlies

Indiana Pacers

Still getting used to running an offense through Darren Collison and Roy Hibbert, the Pacers are doing a good job of beating the beatable opponents, but aren’t pulling off enough upsets to make any waves in the East.

19

Houston Rockets

Golden State Warriors

It was recently pointed out that after playing more road games than any team in the NBA, the Warriors will have 15 of their next 17 games at home.  Time get Oracle Arena rocking and time for the Warriors to make a run in the standings.

20

Los Angeles Clippers

Charlotte Bobcats

The Paul Silas era has led to breakouts for D.J. Augustine and Gerald Henderson.  One would think this could lead to a playoff repeat for Charlotte, but things will get tougher if New Jersey gets significantly stronger after the Denver deal.

21

Wizards

Phoenix Suns

It’s time the Phoenix Suns blow it up.  The trade has left Phoenix barren and playing with very little emotion.  Steve Nash won’t accomplish much playing for a postseason-less team, so you might as well ship him to a contender to prepare for the future.

22

Knicks

Toronto Raptors

Teams that live by the three ball die by the three ball.  As long as perimeter shooting is such an important part of Toronto’s success it will hurt them when teams decide to tighten perimeter defense.  Which is basically when the game matters.

23

Raptors

Philadelphia 76ers

After Friday’s upset of the Bulls, the Sixers were unable to keep the momentum going with close losses to Detroit and Indiana.  They have Iguodala back from nursing an injured achilles, but he hardly looks effective yet.

24

Bucks

Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers have started getting consistent production out of the Davis/Gordon backcourt, perhaps a sign that having Baron in Los Angeles is the right move for the young Clips squad.  I know Griffin’s highlight reel has benefited.

25

Bucks

Detroit Pistons

If Detroit adds Johan Petro, it’s not changing the culture in Detroit.  But I understand their will to free up cap room by getting involved in the Melo deal.  It is time to start over in the Motor City.

26

Philadelphia 76ers

New Jersey Nets

The rest of their season is dependent on what happens in the coming weeks.  Could make or break Avery Johnson’s tenure in New Jersey.

27

Warriors

Washington Wizards

I will not write more than a sentence about the Wizards until they win a road game; because they do not deserve effort from me until I see it from them.

28

Bobcats

Sacramento Kings

Tyreke Evans being relegated back tot he bench usually is good news for the Kings upcoming opponents.  They have dropped two in a row (and their last three) when Tyreke sits out.

29

Pacers

Minnesota Timberwolves

Did you know the Timberwolves lead the NBA in rebounds per game?  How about that!

30

New Jersey Nets

Cleveland Cavaliers

I shall direct you to a simple question from the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, “What happened to the Cavaliers?”

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

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