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NBA Power Rankings, 11/11

Posted By Ben Rohrbach On November 11, 2010 @ 5:54 pm In General | No Comments

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Los Angeles Lakers [3]1. LA Lakers (8-0): Phil Jackson said this Lakers team is not as good as the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls team that won an NBA record 72 games because of defense. Still, they’re pretty darn good, or so says their league-leading unbeaten record and 12.5 point differential.

New Orleans Hornets [4]2. New Orleans (7-0): The Hornets have played the toughest schedule in the NBA and remain undefeated. I don’t think there’s anybody outside the New Orleans area that would’ve predicted that. But since Chris Paul is back to his MVP form from three years ago, anything can happen.

Boston Celtics3. Boston (6-2): The Hornets played their way into the No. 2 spot, rather than the Celtics playing their way out of it. I came hardly blame the Celtics for a two-point loss to the Mavericks on the road. The health of the O’Neal Bros. could catch up to the C’s, but it hasn’t quite yet.

San Antonio Spurs [5]4. San Antonio (6-1): The Spurs just keep on winning. They’re reliable like that. They still have just one loss, and it’s to the Hornets. Believe it or not, Tim Duncan is the fourth leading scorer in San Antonio, where their average of 106.7 points per game ranks fourth in the league.

Dallas Mavericks [6]5. Dallas (5-2): The Mavericks rank third in the Southwest Division but fifth overall. Talk about tough. Dirk Nowitzki is still a top-1o player (top five?), and he said the Tyson Chandler/Brendan Haywood center tandem is the best he’s seen in Dallas. Oh, and they’re actually playing defense.

Golden State Warriors [7]6. Golden State (6-2): The Warriors are 4-0 at home, and one of their losses was to the Lakers on the road. OK, so they lost to Detroit. Games like that are bound to happen. You know you’ve got a good team when David Lee is your fourth option offensively.

Utah Jazz [8]7. Utah (5-3): The Jazz are coming off a pair of 20-point comeback wins against the Heat and Magic on the road. Not easy. In fact, the Florida sweep is probably the most impressive performance by any team all season. And can we just give Paul Millsap the comeback player of the year award now?

Orlando Magic [9]8. Orlando (5-2): I know the Magic lost to the Heat by 26 in Game 3, but that was Miami’s home opener, so you knew they’d be fired up. Since then, Orlando was 4-0 until losing to the Jazz. Still, after three more easy games this week, they’ll be 8-2 next time we come out with the power rankings.

Portland Trail Blazers [10]9. Portland (6-3): The Trail Blazers’ three losses: in Chicago, vs. Oklahoma City in overtime and at the Lakers. And all three of those came during a brutal stretch of five games in seven days. Look for them to get revenge in Oklahoma City on Friday night.

Miami Heat [11]10. Miami (5-3): The Heat are 1-3 against teams above .500. Joel Anthony has scored 15 points in 145 minutes. Carlos Arroyo has 16 assists in eight games. How far can Miami go playing 3-on-5 all season? Maybe we’ll find out Thursday night against the Celtics.

Atlanta Hawks [12]11. Atlanta (6-3): The Hawks have lost three straight, but they’ve only been out of one game. The biggest question entering the season was their competitiveness, but new coach Larry Drew appears to have them motivated.

Oklahoma City Thunder [13]12. Oklahoma City (4-3): How can a team with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook rank 16th in scoring? The Thunder can’t find their groove. Beat the Bulls, lose to the Jazz. Beat the Blazers, lose to the Celtics. It doesn’t get any easier, either, with Portland, San Antonio and Utah coming up.

Chicago Bulls [14]13. Chicago (3-3): Joakim Noah said anybody who talks trash to the Bulls will pay. So far, people must be keeping quiet, because Chicago hasn’t made too many teams pay. Are they just waiting for Carlos Boozer to return?

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Indiana Pacers [15]14. Indiana (3-3): That 20-for-20 stretch against the Nuggets was amazing. Any team that pulls that off has to have some talent. With Mike Dunleavy back in the fold, this team is frisky.

Denver Nuggets15. Denver (4-4): The Carmelo trade talks have slowed, and he’s quietly having another tremendous season. Denver has four other guys averaging double-digit scoring — plus three others scoring eight or more per game. If anybody can keep this team from imploding, it’s George Karl.

Memphis Grizzles [16]16. Memphis (4-5): The Grizzlies’ worst loss came in Phoenix, in overtime, which isn’t bad. Playing in the NBA’s toughest division isn’t good for anyone’s record, but having six double-digit scorers can only help Memphis.

Phoenix Suns [17]17. Phoenix (3-4): Hakim Warrick’s 12.3 points and 6.9 rebounds off the bench have been a nice surprise for the Suns. If only Robin Lopez could become 70 percent of his twin, then Phoenix would have something.

Milwaukee Bucks [18]18. Milwaukee (4-5): A pair of 17-point victories against the Knicks and Hawks seems to have the Bucks back on track. Their defense is there (4th in the NBA), but they don’t have anybody who can score on a consistent basis.

New York Knicks [19]19. New York (3-5): If the Knicks played any defense at all, they’d be a top-10 team, but I guess you can’t expect that from a Mike D’Antoni team. Still, they only have one bad loss (76ers) and should beat up most weak teams.

Sacramento Kings20. Sacramento (3-4): Losing to the Timberwolves by nine at home on three days rest is awful. It’s even worse when it comes at the end of a three-game losing streak. This all means one thing: The Kings lack motivation.

Cleveland Cavaliers [20]21. Cleveland (4-4): How does this team have four wins? Are there really nine teams worse than the Cavs? How does Antawn Jamison only average 9.6 points and 4.8 rebounds for this team? I have so many questions.

Washington Wizards [21]22. Washington (2-4): Only Magic Johnson has come closer to a quadruple-double in his first six games than John Wall did on Wednesday night. It’s too bad Wall doesn’t have the Showtime crew surrounding him.

Houston Rockets [22]23. Houston (1-6): The Rockets can’t be this bad, can they? They’re scoring 109 points a game — second-most in the league. What’s that you say? they give up 110.6 a game? Yup, that’ll do it. Still, they’ve played a brutal schedule. Things will get better. Trust me, Houston fans.

Minnesota Timberwolves [23]24. Minnesota (2-7): The T-Wolves played the Lakers tough in the Forum. That’s not easy to do. They’ve beaten the Kings and Bucks. I’m telling you: They’re not THAT bad, especially when Jonny Flynn returns next week.

New Jersey Nets25. New Jersey (3-5): Bo Outlaw is only 26 years old? Doesn’t it seem like that guy has been around forever? These are the things you think about when you look at the Nets roster.

Philadelphia 76ers [24]26. Philadelphia (2-6): I thought the 76ers would be pretty good if they got any contribution from Elton Brand. Well, now Andre Iguadola isn’t playing so good. Did they switch bodies?

Charlotte Bobcats [25]27. Charlotte (2-6): The Bobcats are terrible, so we might as well just make this the Stephen Jackson Update: This week, he was fined $50,000 for verbally abusing the refs. Good times!

Los Angeles Clippers [26]28. LA Clippers (1-8): Early injuries to Baron Davis and Chris Kaman have already tempered expectations. I think it would be far better for Clippers fans if there weren’t such high hopes entering each season.

Detroit Pistons [27]29. Detroit (2-6): Is the Pistons’ two-game winning streak –against Charlotte and Golden State — going to be their longest of the season? Methinks so. This team gets an F-minus in chemistry class.

Toronto Raptors [28]30. Toronto (1-7): Wasn’t Jose Calderon pretty good two years ago? He used to shoot 50 percent from the field. He can’t score more than six points a game on this team? What happened to him?


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