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NBA Power Rankings 11/12

11.12.09 at 8:13 am ET


Jason Richardson and the Suns put together an impressive road trip that included a win in Boston on Friday night. (AP)

Jason Richardson and the Suns put together an impressive road trip that included a win in Boston on Friday night. (AP)

Phoenix Suns1. (10 LW): Disclaimer City: The Suns won’t be here at the end of the season, or even the end of the month, and I still don’t think they can D anybody up, and I still think Jason Richardson is a great scorer with the knucklehead gene. But with all that said, they had a five-game trip East and went 4-1, knocking off the Celtics and Heat along the way.

Boston Celtics2. (1) : Yes, I’m liking the Sheed signing. I like that he can spread the floor with the 3 ball. But he relies on the 3 too much and, wow, the one rebound he had in 22 minutes against the Jazz isn’t nearly good enough.

Los Angeles Lakers3. (3): A couple of things I was thinking about the other day: 1. When Lamar Odom is hanging out with his Kardashian in-laws, has he ever been caught, you know, just taking a peek at the well-proportioned Kim while Khloe isn’t looking? 2. If the Lakers can be this good now, what’s gonna happen when Pau Gasol returns?

Miami Heat4. (8): I’m sorry, Donny Marshall, I just can’t let this one go: Hell, yeah, I’d take D-Wade and LeBron on the same team. And if I had them both, I think my team would beat yours. (For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, check out last week’s rankings.)

Atlanta Hawks5. (5): Al Horford says Paul Pierce owes him 10 grand from an in-game bet two years ago. A couple of thoughts: David Stern, don’t you feel dumb for focusing on “menacing gestures” when your players were betting 10 large before your eyes? 2. Let’s make the pot 20 grand, and the “losing” player in Friday’s game actually spends that money on kids/disadvantaged families for the holidays.

Portland Trail Blazers 6. (12): The Blazers are young, so they’re gonna tease you all season. Get used to it.

Denver Nuggets7. (2): Did you catch the brief name game the other day? J.R. Smith said he wanted to be called by his given name, which is Earl (really?). Then he was back to J.R. I don’t know what Linas Kleiza wants to be called in Greece, but the Nuggets will miss him all season.

Cleveland Cavaliers8. (7): I never bought that the addition of Shaq would hurt LeBron. The real guy getting screwed is Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Look at him, his game is a mess.

Orlando Magic9. (4): I love listening to the Van Gundys talk basketball, but Stan is going to find out just how much of a player’s league this is if he continues to suggest that his team plays soft.

Milwaukee Bucks10. (22): Come on. Throw ‘em a bone. They’re not this good, but this may be their one and only shot at the top 10 this season.

San Antonio Spurs11. (6): The Spurs are that smart kid who will bring home a what-the-hell-is-this C or D every now and then and still wind up headlining the honor roll. But still it’s hard to believe they haven’t won a road game yet.

Dallas Mavericks12. (9): Anybody want some Mavericks stock? I’m cashing out.

Houston Rockets13. (11): Coincidence? Yahoo! reported that Tracy McGrady might return earlier than expected from microfracture surgery, and the Rockets promptly went out and got drilled by the Mavericks. The guy’s a bad influence on the team even when his name is mentioned.

Sacramento Kings14. (25): Let’s say the Kings continue to play .500 ball the next eight weeks without Kevin Martin. Well, the Coach of the Year award goes to Paul Westphal. Hands down.

Detroit Pistons15. (20): They jumped five slots from last week, but they’ll probably be heading south again with injuries to Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince.

Indiana Pacers16. (24): I hated all the 3′s the Celtics took when Jim O’Brien coached them, but say this for Jimmy: leave him alone and he’ll get the maximum out of what your team has. In other words, if you have a shred of playoff talent, Jimmy will get you to the playoffs. If you lose 50, it won’t be due to his coaching. It’ll simply mean the roster isn’t any good.

Toronto Raptors17. (15): The ideal middle-of-the-pack team. The Raptors score and allow the same amount of points: 108.

Oklahoma City Thunder18. (19): I love these guys. I look at all those fresh faces (10 players 25 or younger) and constantly have to remind myself that I’m not watching a Midwest regional final.

Chicago Bulls19. (18): More on Joakim Noah: As I watched him the other night against the Nuggets, it hit me that as sports fans we love hustle, but not TOO much hustle. I used to hate when Pete Rose took ball four and sprinted to first. If Noah were a baseball player, he’d absolutely do the same thing.

Philadelphia 76ers20. (16): Next time you watch them play, remind yourself that Eddie Jordan is a fine offensive coach. Now imagine how unwatchable they’d be if they didn’t have Eddie coaching them.

New Orleans Hornets21. (14): They’re in deep, deep trouble. And I’m not exactly sure why. Here’s the difference between Team 21 and Team 22: If 21 continues to struggle, the coach will be out before the All-Star break.

Utah Jazz22. (21): Jerry Sloan isn’t going anywhere that he doesn’t want to go, but this team looks awful, too. The Jazz have top-10 talent and a top-three point guard, but they always look sleepy when it’s time to execute.

Charlotte Bobcats23. (17): All that stuff I said about the Kitty Cats “not being that bad” and Larry Brown the “turnaround specialist?” Sorry about that.

Washington Wizards24. (13): I smell a scandal. Seriously. This team is far too talented to be playing like this. I’ll throw it out there: Either guys are fighting with each other behind the scenes, or they’re all plotting to throw Flip Saunders overboard.

Los Angeles Clippers25. (28): I broke my own rule. I watched them for a few minutes and was mildly impressed by Chris Kaman. But you know what? I’d rather watch that Blake Griffin commercial on ESPN than watch Blake Griffin’s team without him.

Golden State Warriors26. (27): OK, we all know Stephen Jackson is crazy. But his agent does have a point about Don Nelson: How’s it possible to coach so long and win so many games without ever appearing in the Finals? Every other coach on the top 10 wins list has won a title or competed for one. But Nellie started coaching when he was 36, he’s 69 now, and he’s never won squat. Weird.

Memphis Grizzles27. (23): I have no interest in doing a book, or even an article, on the Grizzlies. But I would like to know how the meeting — assuming there was a meeting — on the pros and cons of signing Allen Iverson went. Was anyone opposed to it? Did someone’s kid suggest it? Was it a lost bet? Hello?

Minnesota Timberwolves28. (26): You ever been to Minneapolis in the winter? Awful. You’re just looking for a little glimpse of warmth, literal or figurative, and yet you have a team that actually makes the winter seem longer.

New York Knicks29. (29): Come on, Stephon. Give us something. Go to a game and make a scene. Come up with another all-night chat in which you speak in riddles and anagrams. (“They’re tryin’ to put me in a box!”) Entertain us, dude. The Knicks can’t do it alone.

New Jersey Nets30. (30): I said 19 and 63 last week. I said I was sticking with it. I lied. I’d like something in the 13 to 16 range, if you don’t mind. The lower the better.

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