|NBA Power Rankings, 12/23||12.23.10 at 3:00 pm ET|
Obviously, we’re going to release a Christmas version of the NBA Power Rankings, taking a look at what teams should hope for from Santa Claus this holiday season. So, without further ado, here they are:
1. Boston (23-4): The Celtics need a medicine man to hasten the rehabilitations of Rajon Rondo (ankle), Kendrick Perkins (knee) and Delonte West (wrist). He could stick around and hang out with Lucky the Leprachaun, too, to help out if and when something happens to the O’Neal “brothers.”
2. Dallas (23-5): The Mavericks need Bill Russell‘s guide to playoff basketball success. They’re on pace for an 11th straight 50-win season, yet they’ve only reached the NBA Finals once and got pounced in the first round last year.
3. San Antonio (25-3): The Spurs need a Portuguese-to-English translator to remind Tiago Splitter that he averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds during an MVP season in the Spanish League last season. Imagine how good San Antonio would be if Splitter lived up to his Rookie of the Year candidate projection.
5. LA Lakers (21-8): The Lakers needed help backing up Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol, so they signed Steve Blake and traded for Joe Smith — neither of whom are very good. So, yeah, they still need a backup point guard and big man.
6. Utah (21-9): The Jazz should buy a copy of the movie “Hoosiers” and show it over and over to rookie Gordon Hayward — inspiring him to play like he did for Butler in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. If he ever starts contributing for Utah, they’ll be even scarier come playoff time.
7. Oklahoma City (20-10): The Thunder could use some veteran help off the bench. You can’t really call Nick Collison, Eric Maynor or D.J. White “The Microwave.” A guy like Marcus Camby would’ve been perfect.
8. Chicago (18-9): The Bulls could use that robotic hand that Luke Skywalker got during “The Empire Strikes Back,” because Joakim Noah‘s injury that should keep him out at least two months isn’t going to help Chicago.
9. New York (17-12): The Knicks could use Tom Thibodeau‘s clone. The Knicks might be the second-highest scoring team in the NBA, but they also allow 107.3 points per game — third-worst in the league. A little defense might help.
10. Atlanta (19-12): The Hawks need one of those British women like the one who taught Rosie O’Donnell to act more sophisticated in “A League of Their Own,” because a bit of maturity would serve them well.
11. Denver (16-11): The Nuggets should hire some mafia goons to put a little scare into whoever the rats are that keep leaking Carmelo Anthony trade rumors. All the speculation is only serving as a distraction in Denver.
12. Orlando (16-12): After trading Marcin Gortat as part of the Jason Richardson deal, the Magic definitely need “length” as they say. There’s a rumor that they inquired about Ronny Turiaf, but why would the Knicks give him up?
14. New Orleans (17-12): The Hornets could use whatever Chris Paul wants — a helicopter, a Bentley, anything. They need to keep him happy somehow, and they’re not doing it by surrounding him with great talent.
15. Phoenix (13-14): The Suns should bring in Tony Robbins, Bill Clinton, Deepak Chopra and any other motivational speakers to inspire Vince Carter, because they desperately need another guy who can create his own shot.
16. Houston (14-15): The Rockets need a time machine to go back and get the Yao Ming from his first three seasons, when he missed a total of two games while averaging 16.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.
17. Indiana (13-14): The Pacers need somebody not named Josh McRoberts or Tyler Hansbrough at the power forward position. Imagine Larry Bird got his hands on Kevin Love or Al Jefferson over the summer.
19. Milwaukee (11-16): The Bucks should hire Dave Hopla — the great shooting instructor — to teach them how to shoot. Their .415 shooting percentage ranks last in the league.
20. Philadelphia (11-18): The 76ers need that remote from the terrible Adam Sandler movie “Click,” so they can fast forward a few years when Jrue Holiday, Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner have gotten a few more years under their belts, Andre Iguadola is in his prime and Elton Brand‘s contract is off the books.
21. Golden State (10-18): The Warriors might want to have backup point guard and former Harvard star Jeremy Lin tutor their team on how to play smart basketball. Ironically, their coach’s name is Keith Smart, but the criticism in Oakland is that the offense is one-dimensional and the defense is non-dimensional, if that’s a word.
22. New Jersey (9-21): The Nets need Don Vito Corleone to make Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri and Anthony ”an offer they couldn’t refuse.” Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense to trade for a few months of Anthony if he only wants to sign in New York this coming offseason.
24. Toronto (10-19): The Raptors should hire the advertising team that put together those “You Gotta Be Here” commercials for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, because Toronto seems to be the lost city in the NBA.
25. LA Clippers (8-22): The Clippers need a new owner. By all accounts, Donald Sterling just isn’t a good guy. Not to mention the fact he puts a terrible product on the floor year after year.
26. Charlotte (9-19): The Bobcats might think about hiring a team of lawyers, as their name was thrown around when the “contraction” word popped up during collective bargaining agreement talks earlier this season.
27. Washington (7-20): The Wizards need to find an actual wizard who can wave his magic wand and make all the bad injuries, bad contracts, bad trades, bad draft picks and — well — bad players go away.
29. Minnesota (6-24): The Timberwolves need to hire a few Spanish bombshells to whisper in Ricky Rubio‘s ear that Minnesota isn’t so bad in the wintertime. With him, Love and Michael Beasley, they wouldn’t be so bad. Of course, it would’ve been nice if they drafted Stephen Curry and still had Al Jefferson on the roster.