Power Rankings: Dime Edition
Plus, of course, the ten best games of the week
by Doobie Okon / @doobieSLAM
The season just began, yet it’s already mid-January. Every night it seems like there are 10-12 games. For the players, coaches and media, it has to be exhausting. But for us, the fans, it’s been awesome. We deserve to see 66 games cramped in to 124 days. Now, we’ll really get to see who the strongest, toughest, most cohesive and best conditioned are. The lockout, in the end, has truly supplied a massive jolt to this League.
With that, I give you the first of seven editions of the Dime’s inaugural power rankings.
Going Nowhere…And Fast
30) Washington Wizards (1-8) – Dub-Dubs finally get their first Dub. Awful team.
29) New Jersey Nets (2-8) – Deron doing diddly w/o Brook. Banking on Dwight? Don’t.
28) Detroit Pistons (2-8) – Nice wins against Pacers and Magic. Creamed in the rest.
27) Charlotte Bobcats (2-8) – Close losses to Heat, Hawks and Knicks, plus seven players averaging in double digits. Not ready to put them in the above category. Yet.
26) Houston Rockets (3-6) – Tough schedule doesn’t help, but a -12.0 avg. point margin in their six L’s is very ugly.
25) New Orleans Hornets (3-6) – Impressive win in Denver after a six-game skid. JJ2 doing his best CP3 impression and are without Eric Gordon. Could improve later on.
24) Milwaukee Bucks (3-6) – Big win over Spurs momentarily yields an extremely disappointing start.
23) Sacramento Kings (3-7) – Loaded with young talent, but play nothing like a team. (30th in assists, 29th
in points allowed.)
Finally Out The Cellar
22) Minnesota Timberwolves (3-7) – May have a little future here with Ricky, KLove and Derrick. Only two bad losses so far…to the following two teams.
21) Cleveland Cavaliers (4-5) – Kyrie’s been good but wins over DET, NJ, CHA and MIN don’t say much. Also consider this: The Cavs were 4-5 last year before finishing19-63.
20) Toronto Raptors (4-6) – The only reason they’re above Cavs is because they’ve beaten them twice. Double-digit losses to Nets and Wizards are eye-popping.
Very Competitive Losers
19) Memphis Grizzlies (3-6) – No high quality wins yet. A 40-point loss in Chicago. Still, if they can stay somewhat afloat until Z-Bo returns, who knows?
18) Golden State Warriors (3-6) – Can’t ignore three home wins over Heat, Bulls and Knicks. Curry’s missed time, but where’s the high-powered GS offense?
Western Playoff Hopefuls (8th-9th seeds right now)
17) Phoenix Suns (4-5) – Roster’s not scary, but scrappy. Gentry’s gotten Suns to finally play some D. Will give some teams fits. Nash still best player by far (not good).
16) Dallas Mavericks (5-5) – Hitting their stride now with four wins in last five. Still, can’t ignore durability questions, chemistry concerns and four blowout losses.
Playoffs, But Unimpressive (so far)
15) Boston Celtics (4-4) – Even if old and injured, too much talent to miss playoffs. Four wins so far are over the three ‘Going Nowhere…And Fast’ teams (Wizards twice).
14) New York Knicks (5-4) – Have played rather horrible considering expectations. Current three-game winning streak, albeit verses WAS, DET, and CHA, is a start.
Cut Off A Dime
13) Utah Jazz (6-3) – W’s in five straight. Strong frontcourt in Jefferson/Millsap. Should make playoffs, but no chance to win the ridiculous Northwest.
12) Orlando Magic (6-3) – Fourth in points allowed (90.3), Dwight’s assaulting the boards (14.6), but three losses include the only two +.500 teams that they’ve played (CHI/OKC).
11) Indiana Pacers (6-3) – Would’ve made top 10 had they beaten the Sixers. Gross silver lining: leading-scorer Danny Granger sat with food poisoning.