NBA WEEK 9 POWER RANKINGS 2016
By Mr Danny Podolsky
- The Golden State Warriors:24-4
So taking number one this week is the Golden State Warriors. After getting embarrassed by Memphis last week they came back wins this week four straight including a blowout win against Portland. They have so many options and it feels like each night at least one of them has a 30+ point game, leading them to victory. With Curry,Durant, and Thompson this team is capable of scoring 110 points each night. Overall deserving of the top spot.
- The Cleveland Cavaliers:19-6
At number two, the Cleveland. They went 2-1 this week, only losing to Memphis in a close one without their big 3. This team relies on the playmaking of Irving,Love,and James; each of them is averaging over 22 points per game this year. However after their big three there’s a big drop off. J.R. Smith, for the most part of the season has played awful, most of having too many complete mental lapses. (I’m sure Jason Terry appreciates it.) Also with Chris Andersen being lost for the season this team loses some more depth they had off the bench. All in all as long as they have the big three, this team will do fine.
- The Houston Rockets:21-7 Starters:Harden,Gordon,Ariza,Anderson,Capela
Jumping up to number three, the Houston Rockets. On a huge 10 game win streak, this team is on fire, lead by their exuberant rebounding and deadly three point game. Their three point game is arguably better than Golden State as they set a record, 24 three pointers in a game. They have won a lot of close games, lead by Harden including a 3 point victory over Oklahoma City and last night when they beat Minnesota in overtime, after being down 12 with two minutes left. If I had a say, Mike D’Antoni would be Coach of the Year.
- The San Antonio Spurs:21-5 Starters:Parker,Green,Leonard,Aldridge,Gasol
Number four this week is the San Antonio Spurs. I put them just below Houston, because it’s hard to go against a big winning streak like that. They only had two games this week, winning them both. They have an incredible apt for playing on the road, having won 14 out of 15 this season. Everyone on this team does their job and they should be in for a nice season.
- The Los Angeles Clippers:20-7
Starters: Paul, Redick, Mbah a Moute,Griffin,Jordan
After a couple of rough weeks, the Clippers have won four straight, earning them the fifth spot. They won three very close game this week, all within 5 points. Paul,Griffin, and Jordan have been good as always, Griffin had at least 20 in each game this week,Jordan has had a consistent 65% percentage from the field this season, and Chris Paul has been racking up the assists averaging 10 per game this week. This team should look to continue the good vibe they’ve got.
- The Toronto Raptors:18-8 Starters:Lowry,Derozan,Carroll,Siakam,Valanciunas
In at number six, The Toronto Raptors. They have stayed consistent and have been the two seed in the east, much of this season. They went 2-1 this week beating Milwaukee and Philadelphia before losing a close one to Atlanta. Demar Derozan has been a beast, anyway you look at it for them, averaging nearly 30 points per game. Their offense is ranked third as they’ve been pretty explosive this year. They should continue to do well as they’re in an easy division, leading the next the team, The Celtics, by four games.
7.Memphis Grizzlies:18-10 Starters:Conley,Allen,Parsons,Green,Gasol
After they had a great week last week, highlighted by a Golden State blowout, they’re down to number seven. They had a rough week going 1-2, losing to Sacramento and Cleveland, and barely scraping out a win against a Cavs team that was playing without their big three. They have one of if not the best defense in the league, but they’ve had issues putting the ball in the basket, ranking 29th in scoring. With Mike Conley just coming back, and Chandler Parsons having missed much of this year, injuries have hurt them dearly. They have four games that should be close and competitive next week.
Utah’s quietly having a great year, just a half game behind Memphis, putting them at the eight spot. They had two games winning them against Oklahoma City and Dallas. While they don’t make many headlines this team have great consistency and very good depth at all positions. They’ll have a tough week though having to play Golden State,Toronto,Memphis, and Sacramento.
9.Oklahoma City Thunder:16-11
The Oklahoma City Thunder had a solid week, going 2-2, getting themselves the ninth spot. Russell Westbrook, who averages a triple double, single handedly leads this team. If he got hurt, this team wouldn’t win any games. They have very little depth and I can’t see them doing too much come playoff time. That being said, Westbrook is a very fun player to watch, with highlights such as 22 assists against Phoenix and 37 points against Boston. In conclusion, it’s a solid team that relies too much on one player.
This is a team that has underperformed this year and that’s partially due to injuries. Al Horford missed 2 weeks in November and Isaiah Thomas missed about a week before making his return Friday. Going into the year I thought Boston would be a top 5 team. They went 1-2 this week, losing two without Isaiah before having a convincing win against Charlotte on Friday. If this team can stay healthy, they’ll do very well this year.
This team went 2-1 this week with two blowout wins against Chicago. Antetokounmpo and Parker have each emerged as reliable options. Although this team has somewhat of a lack of big men, Henson and Parker aren’t playing to their strengths as big men. This challenged next week with back to back games against Cleveland.
This team went 1-2 this week, losing a few close games and earning the twelfth spot. They are very quietly a four seed in the Eastern Conference. Kemba Walker leads with 22 points per game. While they don’t make many headlines they are a very solid team that teams should keep on their radar.
- Indiana Pacers:14-14
They went 2-2 this week and have consistently been around 500%, giving them the seven seed in the East and the thirteenth spot on my list. The emergence of Myles Turner have greatly helped this team, he has 15 points, 7 boards, and over 2 blocks per game. Their defense has hurt them this year; they are ranked 21st. Next week, they’ll look to do well against New York,Washington, and Boston.
- New York Knicks:14-13
This team made a lot of headlines this offseason, signing Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. Most New York fans would probably consider this team under performing. After winning 6 out of 7, they went 1-3 this week, losing 3 straight games. This team is yet to come together as a team. They have two games next week against Indiana and Orlando where they’ll look to get back in the win column.
- Washington Wizards:11-14
After a horrendous start to the season, Washington continued its hot streak, going 2-1 this week. John Wall has single handedly lead them too much this season. They have a lot of big men depth but a lack of a second point guard. They have 4 games next week and will look to keep up the good vibes.
- Detroit Pistons:14-15
Detroit went 1-3 this week and had a few underwhelming performances, especially getting blown out by Philly last Sunday. They a great defense with Andre Drummond racking up the blocks, but their offense is ranked 25th in scoring and are yet to have someone really step it up for them.
- Atlanta Hawks:13-14
After a loss streak, Atlanta got back in the win column and went 1-2 this week. They have a terrific bench, but their starters have let them down with both Kyle Korver and Kent Bazemore losing their starting spots. They have an easier schedule upcoming with two games against Minnesota and a game against Denver.
- Chicago Bulls:13-13
Chicago is another team made headlines this offseason but has had a rough stretch of games. They went 0-3 this week with back to back embarrassing losses against a decent Milwaukee Bucks team. Their offense has let them down so far especially since on paper they should be a top offensive team with Butler, Wade, and Rondo. Next week they’ll have games against Detroit,Washington, and Charlotte.
Orlando ends the stretch of East Conference teams who are around 500 and looking to get a back end spot in the playoffs. They had a good week going 2-1, beating Atlanta and Brooklyn. They’ve been exactly what people expected them to be this year, a defensive minded team that can hopefully get to 500. Evan Fournier has been a pleasant surprise for them as he is arguably their best offensive player. This seems like a team that can only go up from here.
- Denver Nuggets:11-16
After Oklahoma City, there’s a huge dropoff in the Western Conference. Denver went 2-1 and are finally starting to play as a team. Their biggest strength is the play of their big men; they lead the league in rebounds per game. Currently in a tight race for the eight seed in the West, they’ll look keep it up against Dallas on Monday.
- Portland Trail Blazers:13-16
Portland has had a very disappointing season, and therefore all the way down at 21. They have lost 6 of their last 7 including a 45 point loss to Golden State on Saturday. Damian Lillard C.J. McCollum have both played great for them this season. Portland has been hurt by a major lack of big men, that will only get worse with Al-Farouq Aminu getting hurt. They currently have the eighth spot in the west but with the way they’ve been playing that might not stay there for long.
- Sacramento Kings:10-16
Sacramento went 2-1 this week, breaking them out of a slump they’ve been in. Cousins has lead this team to many of their victories but they might lose him and Matt Barnes after they were sued over an assault case in New York City. There have been many trade rumors swarming over Demarcus Cousins as well. Overall it seems as though this team can only go down from here.
- Miami Heat
The Heat finally got back on track this week winning 2 out of 3 games. They’ve been a big disappointment this year and they’re 28th in points per game. Their defense has helped them win some game but they’re going to need some offensive production if they want a playoff spot, especially since it’s unlikely Chris Bosh will ever play again.
- Los Angeles Lakers:11-19
After a decent start to the season, The Lakers lost 9 straight games before finally getting back in the win column on Friday against the Sixers. D’Angelo Russell has shown many flashes of potential but after Clarkson, they’re bench has been lacking, especially with rookie,Brandon Ingram, struggling. Their defense is awful as they’ve allowed 110 points per game. They have 3 games next week and will look to make a needed recovery.
25.New Orleans Pelicans:9-19
This is a Pelicans who have absolutely been killed by injuries. Dante Cunningham,Solomon Hill, Jrue Holiday, even Anthony Davis, and now Tim Frazier have all been affected by injuries this year. Even when full healthy they really only have one threat, that being Davis. If they can all get at some point they might be able to compete. They have four games next week.
- Phoenix Suns:8-19
Phoenix has been mediocre all season and continued that last week going 1-3. They are next to last in defense, allowing 113 points per game. They’ll look to get on the right track next week with games against Philadelphia,Minnesota, and Houston
- Brooklyn Nets:7-18
Even at 27, Brooklyn hasn’t been too big of a disappointment. They went 1-2 last week but have a tough schedule upcoming playing Toronto,Golden State, and Cleveland next week. They are dead last allowing 115 points per game. Brook Lopez has been a bright spot, averaging 20 points per game. Also rookie, Caris Levert, is finally getting some playing time and has looked pretty good. As long as this team wins 25 games, their season will be considered a success.
The Timberwolves disappointing season continued last week losing 2 out 3 games. This team is filled with many promising young players but they lack a true leader. Kevin Garnett retiring before the season has hurt this team. Towns and Gorgui Dieng have each been great for them on offense, but they don’t know how to play as a team. Tom Thibodeau could be on the hot seat. They have Phoenix,Atlanta, and Sacramento next week.
They went 1-2 this week. Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor are finally starting games together. Nerlens Noel has returned and complained about his minutes. They also Dario Saric and Ersan Ilyasova as big men. Additionally they’ll get Ben Simmons in about a couple of months. Overall there is too many big men, not enough minutes to go around, and they’ll probably have to trade someone. Embiid has shown many flashes of potential even in a minutes restriction. They’ll play Brooklyn,New Orleans, and Phoenix next week
Pretty much any way you look at this, it’s been an awful season for Dallas that continued Friday when they lost on a buzzer beater. It’s been that kind of season for them. Also Nowitzki and Andrew Bogut injuries have hurt. All in all it’s just a complete bust of a season for them.