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Friday, December 24, 2010

First Trimester NBA Power Rankings (Part 1)

Roughly one-third through the NBA season, a worst-to-first ranking of the NBA using Charles Barkley-isms.

"That's TURR-ible"

30. Sacramento Kings (5-22)

29. Charlotte Bobcats (9-19)

The Bobcats just had their coach quit on them, and the Kings just gave their coach the dreaded vote of confidence.

"I am not a role model."

28. Minnesota Timberwolves (6-24)

27. Washington Wizards (7-20)

The Timberwolves give up the most points per game (110) in the league, putting those lofty Kevin Love numbers (21ppg, 15 rpg) in some perspective. The Wizards just traded for the only player in the league with a more ridiculous contract than Gilbert Arenas (Rashard Lewis).

"This place? Nothing positive. OK, I want to say something positive. It's positively a dump."

26. Cleveland Cavaliers (8-21)

25. Detroit Pistons (10-19)

24. New Jersey Nets (9-21)

23. Philadelphia 76ers (11-18)

Just look at the names of the cities three of these four teams play in. Would you like to live there? No? That about sums up their NBA teams. The Cavs fall from dominance has been widely documented. The Pistons have managed to kill Rip Hamilton's competitive spirit. The Nets made an in-season trade for Sasha "The Machine" Vujacic.

The 76ers play good defense, but seem to have regressed offensively under Doug Collins, Elton Brand leading the team with 15 ppg. Andre Iguodola is averaging 14 ppg, three full points lower than last season, and getting paid $12 million. Can you say "trade me"?

"He's got to bring something stronger than that. That's like bringing milk to a bar, it's not strong enough."

22. Toronto Raptors (10-19)

21. Los Angeles Clippers (8-22)

The Raptors can score, but cannot play defense, rebound, or keep a franchise player happy (see; McGrady, Tracy; Carter, Vince; and Bosh, Chris). The Clippers finally drafted a player (Blake Griffin, 21 ppg, 12 rpg) that has made them highlight worthy (check these out), but even that isn't enough to wash away the stench that comes from thirty years of losing.

"Yeah Ernie, its called defense, I mean I wouldn't know anything about it personally but I've heard about it through the grapevine"

20. Golden State Warriors (10-18)

19. Phoenix Suns (13-15)

Neither teams play any defense. The Warriors have a potent, yet undersized, backcourt with Monta Ellis (25.6 ppg) and Steph Curry (20 ppg, 5 apg). But after the unexpectedly hot 7-4 start, the Warriors have crashed back to earth, going 3-14 since Nov. 15, giving up 107 ppg in the process.

The Suns look to have written off this season after last week's trade to acquire Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus, and Marcin Gortat. Depending on how you look at it, they either believe the additions will strengthen their anemic defense (109 ppg, 29th in the NBA), or they are continuing their most recent trend of dumping salary and talent, which could mean we'll see Steve Nash changing addresses soon.

"It ain't against the rules to make a layup..."

18. Memphis Grizzlies (12-17)

17. Milwaukee Bucks (12-16)

Both teams have below .500 records, but aren't as bad as their records may lead one to believe. The Grizzlies notched impressive early season wins against the Dallas Mavs, the Miami Heat, and the Los Angeles Lakers. They give up one point per game more than they score (99.7 to 100.7) which means they're losing a ton of close games. Hard to believe a team with such potent offensive players like Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, and O.J. Mayo would have difficulty averaging 100 ppg.

The Bucks average a league worst 91 points per game, but are fourth in the league defensively. In their second year under head coach Scott Skiles, the Bucks are showing all the trademarks of a Skiles-led team: tough defense, patient offense, and being the lone team in the NBA that looks like a Division-1 Mid Major powerhouse. These talents were on display most recently when the Bucks defeated the Lakers at Staples Center, holding the world champs to a season low 79 points. They followed that by holding the Kings to the same point total in their very next game.

(Check tomorrow for teams 16-1. If you've been a good little girl or boy, it will be posted. Merry Xmas.)

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