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NBA Power Rankings, 3/31

Posted By Ben Rohrbach On March 31, 2011 @ 7:41 pm In General | 2 Comments


Los Angeles Lakers [1]1. LA Lakers (53-20): Kobe Bryant recently said [2] if he weren’t a basketball player, he’d be a bum. The rest of the league wishes he were the latter right about now. The Lakers are 15-1 since the All-Star break.

Chicago Bulls [3]2. Chicago (54-20): The Bulls are one of two teams that haven’t lost three straight games all season. The other? The Celtics. The difference is that the Bulls have been better bottom feeders, recording a 31-6 record against lottery-bound teams.

San Antonio Spurs [4]3. San Antonio (57-17): With Tim Duncan in the lineup, the Spurs are 56-13 (.812 winning percentage). Without him, they’re 1-4 (.200). The guy’s still got it, and he should be in the lineup [5] on Thursday night against the Celtics.

Dallas Mavericks [6]4. Dallas (53-21): While the surging Bulls and Lakers get all the attention, the Mavericks have quietly reeled off another five-game winning streak. Meanwhile, owner Mark Cuban not-so-quietly explained how to beat the Lakers [7]: “Anything that puts the ball in Ron Artest‘s hands is always a good thing.” Except when its Game 7 of the NBA Finals [8].

Boston Celtics5. Boston (51-22): I maintain that the Celtics are better than the Mavericks, Spurs or Bulls – and should still be the favorites to win the East – but I can’t slot them any higher simply because of that atrocious loss to the Bobcats. Until they start trying again, this is where they’ll sit. While they’re at it, they should ponder why their record against playoff teams (25-11) is nearly identical to their record against non-playoff teams (Hint: effort).

Oklahoma City Thunder [9]6. Oklahoma City (50-24): Before anybody gets too excited about the Thunder going 8-1 with Kendrick Perkins in the lineup, consider the fact that they’re 14-2 with Nazr Mohammed in uniform. Look at those two guys’ numbers. They’re not so different.

Miami Heat [10]7. Miami (52-23): LeBron Jamesexcuse for missing his pregame introduction [11] during the Heat’s loss to the Cavaliers in Cleveland? “I was using the restroom.” And then his team proceeded to perform like something that may have been left in the restroom.

Orlando Magic [12]8. Orlando (47-28): ESPN.com’s John Hollinger made a pretty compelling argument [13] for Dwight Howard over Derrick Rose for MVP. Considering his team has the eighth-best record in the NBA, I’m not buying what he’s selling. But compelling nonetheless.

Atlanta Hawks [14]9. Atlanta (43-32): So, apparently a former referee attacked [15] former Hawks great and current TV analyst Dominique Wilkins courstide over a $15,000 dry cleaning bill. Nobody’s been that upset about dry cleaning since they shrunk Jerry Seinfeld‘s shirt [16].

Denver Nuggets10. Denver (45-29): Nuggets fans got pretty upset when I said they’d get crushed in the first round of the playoffs. “Hey, they’re 12-4 since the Carmelo Anthony trade!” Ok, but you do realize they’ll have to face a Thunder team that’s 14-2 in March, right?

New Orleans Hornets [17]11. New Orleans (43-32): The Hornets finished 2-1 in their first week without David West‘s services. That’s a real testament to the ability of Chris Paul, who now plays for a team that features Carl Landry as its next-best scorer. #freechrispaul

Portland Trail Blazers [18]12. Portland (43-32): The Blazers picked up a guy who can score 40 points on a given night — and Gerald Wallace did just that against the Thunder — for a guy who’s out for the season (Joel Przybilla), another guy who once fell on his face during a breakaway attempt (Dante Cunningham) and a pick during a weak draft year.

Memphis Grizzles [19]13. Memphis (42-33): In his podcast with Celtics radio play-by-play announcer Sean Grande, Bill Simmons theorized that the Rudy Gay injury might have ended any discussion between the C’s and Grizzlies about a deal for Tony Allen. Interesting.

Philadelphia 76ers [20]14. Philadelphia (39-36): Does anybody outside of Philadelphia, New York or Indiana actually think the 76ers, Knicks or Pacers could beat the Celtics in a seven-game series? The C’s are 8-2 against those three teams.

Houston Rockets [21]15. Houston (39-36): On Tuesday, Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweeted, “Since 2/24 we have been 11-4 w/the best offense & 11th best defense.” And then Houston gave up 108 points in a loss to the 76ers.

Phoenix Suns [22]16. Phoenix (36-38): With a playoff spot staring them in the face, the Suns have lost four straight and nine of their last 12 games. It’s a truly shocking development for a team with Vince Carter on its roster.

New York Knicks [23]17. New York (37-38): Rapper Fabolous claimed [24] he’s going to recruit Dwight Howard and Chris Paul to play for the Knicks. No word yet on whether he’s also going to purchase a time machine and bring back Michael Jordan and Bill Russell in their primes.

Indiana Pacers [25]18. Indiana (34-42): The Pacers’ top seven rotation players have a combined 14 years of experience in the NBA. Four Celtics can make that claim by themselves.

Utah Jazz [26]19. Utah (36-39): “As soon as Gordon Hayward declared for the NBA and got drafted by the Jazz, I knew Butler was going back to the Final Four,” said no one.

Charlotte Bobcats [27]20. Charlotte (32-42): After a knee injury, the Przybilla era might be over for the Bobcats. Great, now who’s going to draw fans in Charlotte? Bring back Primoz Brezec!

Golden State Warriors [28]21. Golden State (32-44): After losing to the Grizzlies by 19 points, Monta Ellis told reporters, “We made some crazy judgments out there.” That should be the new 2010-11 Warriors slogan: “We make crazy judgments!”

Milwaukee Bucks [29]22. Milwaukee (30-44): If the Bucks beat the Raptors, and nobody was around to watch it, did it really ever happen?

Los Angeles Clippers [30]23. LA Clippers (29-46): This Clippers ship has sunk.

Detroit Pistons [31]24. Detroit (26-48): The Pistons are firing on no cylinders.

New Jersey Nets25. New Jersey (23-51): Nets part-owner Jay-Z is reportedly being investigated for hanging out with potential lottery picks Brandon Knight and Terrance Jones in the Kentucky locker room after their NCAA win over North Carolina. Is that the least exciting investigation involving a rapper?

Sacramento Kings [32]26. Sacramento (21-53): If the Kings move to Anaheim as expected, I have a suggestion for the name change: Anaheim Mightily Sucks. Too soon?

Toronto Raptors [33]27. Toronto (20-54): A raptor is defined as “a carnivorous bipedal dinosaur of the late Cretaceous period. The Raptors are defined as “an extraneous 15-man roster of the post-Chris Bosh era.” Velociraptors generally killed prey as a team. The Toronto Raptors generally get killed as a team. I could go on, but I’ll spare you.

Washington Wizards [34]28. Washington (18-56): Remember the “Nobody beats the Wiz” bit [35] from “Seinfeld”? That would totally be true for the Wizards … if 28 of the 29 other NBA teams didn’t exist. The Jazz are the only team not to defeat John Wall & Co. this season. 

Minnesota Timberwolves [36]29. Minnesota (17-58): In the past six seasons, the NBA’s best rebounding team has made the playoffs each time and won the championship twice, so things are looking good for the Timberwolves. Oh, they’ve only won 17 games, you say? Nevermind.

Cleveland Cavaliers [37]30. Cleveland (15-59): After defeating the Heat, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert tweeted, “Not in our garage!” He must have forgot to include the follow-up tweet, “Except for the 28 times we lost at the Q this season!” Great win. Not-so-great season.

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URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=13&type=teamhome

[2] recently said: http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2011/03/video-kobe-bryant-and-lamar-odom-show-their-silly-sides.html?cid=6a00d8341c506253ef014e604ad782970c

[3] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=04&type=teamhome

[4] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=24&type=teamhome

[5] he should be in the lineup: http://www.ksat.com/sports/27390947/detail.html

[6] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=06&type=teamhome

[7] how to beat the Lakers: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4675828/mark-cuban-you-want-ron-artest-making-decisions

[8] Except when its Game 7 of the NBA Finals: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfaxusuEIcI

[9] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=25&type=teamhome

[10] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=14&type=teamhome

[11] excuse for missing his pregame introduction: http://twitter.com/#!/IraHeatBeat/status/52914955023953920

[12] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=19&type=teamhome

[13] a pretty compelling argument: http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=hollinger_john&page=PERDiem-110331

[14] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=01&type=teamhome

[15] a former referee attacked: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Evta4GTmjsw&feature=player_embedded#at=15

[16] they shrunk Jerry Seinfeld‘s shirt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyCMWgYxCOg

[17] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=03&type=teamhome

[18] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=22&type=teamhome

[19] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=29&type=teamhome

[20] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=20&type=teamhome

[21] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=10&type=teamhome

[22] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=21&type=teamhome

[23] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=18&type=teamhome

[24] claimed: http://espn.go.com/espn/page2/index?id=6249773

[25] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=11&type=teamhome

[26] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=26&type=teamhome

[27] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=30&type=teamhome

[28] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=09&type=teamhome

[29] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=15&type=teamhome

[30] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=12&type=teamhome

[31] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=08&type=teamhome

[32] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=23&type=teamhome

[33] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=28&type=teamhome

[34] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=27&type=teamhome

[35] the “Nobody beats the Wiz” bit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjQKFoUdk4g

[36] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=16&type=teamhome

[37] Image: http://weei.stats.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=05&type=teamhome

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