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NBA POWER RANKINGS – 11/19 11.19.09 at 9:45 am ET
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Atlanta Hawks1. (5): It was a hell of a week for the young Hawks, who outworked the Celtics at the Garden and then swept through home games against the rudderless Hornets, the Blazers and the Heat. By the way, Josh Smith scares me to death. He was never a bad player, yet he’s twice as good now as he was three years ago.

Phoenix Suns2. (1): The fact that Steve Nash is averaging 12 assists per game is impressive enough, but to be doing it at 35 years old is ridiculous. If Nash can maintain this pace — and he can’t — his numbers will be better than his MVP seasons. Look at the top 15 assist men in league history and none of them has had an assist season close to this at 35.

Orlando Magic3. (9): I wonder which Magic player has the most entertaining, profane material on Stan Van Gundy. I’m telling you, despite the wins, they hate this guy. Van Gundy is right not to obsess over stats, but Rashard Lewis won’t soon forget that his head coach held him out the entire fourth quarter when he was a measly assist shy of a triple double.

Dallas Mavericks4. (12): Oh, I know I can be stubborn, but this ranking is also proof that I can prop up teams that I don’t like. It’s not personal. I would never trust this group in a big game.

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NBA Power Rankings 11/12 11.12.09 at 8:13 am ET
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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.)

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NBA Power Rankings 11/5 11.05.09 at 8:55 am ET
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Boston Celtics1. KG is still his intense and profane self on the court, but I always look forward to his unpredictable compliments to postgame interviewers. My favorite so far is KG hugging Cheryl Miller and saying, “You smell good, girl.”

Denver Nuggets2. Can anyone tell me why Ty Lawson had to sit and watch 10 other guards’ names called before his on draft night? What a steal for the Nuggets.

Los Angeles Lakers3. I like watching young Andrew Bynum play. I really do. What I hate is hearing some Lakers fans talk about him. Listen to them and you’d think the guy is the next Kareem.

Orlando Magic4. We spent the offseason talking about the additions the Cavaliers and Celtics made, but the Magic’s acquisition of Matt Barnes was one of the smartest pickups of the summer.

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NBA Power Rankings — 10/29 10.29.09 at 11:59 am ET
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Kobe Bryant and the Lakers received their championship rings Tuesday night.

Kobe Bryant and the Lakers received their championship rings Tuesday night. (AP)

Los Angeles Lakers1. All right, dammit, I’ll give them their props for last year. But there’s no way in hell they’ll be here next week.

Boston Celtics2. I thought Sheed was crazy with the 72-win talk; why not 75? Seriously, this will be Doc’s best team yet.

San Antonio Spurs3. Tim Duncan is still great, but the Spurs also win because they’ve got the smartest front office in the league.

Orlando Magic4. You’ve hated on Vince. I’ve hated on Vince. But Vince is gonna play out of his mind in this system.

Cleveland Cavaliers5. OK, Mike Brown. I’ll be the first to say it: The Cavs would be a better team if Shaq came off the bench.

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