January 25, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Reggie Jackson (15) attempts a shot over Sacramento Kings forward Travis Outlaw (25) in the fourth quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Thunder defeated the Kings 105-95. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Week 12: NBA Power Rankings

Welcome to the week 12 Dunking with   Wolves NBA Power Rankings. JJ Glenn breaks down every NBA team this week and throughout the NBA season.

This Week

Last Week

Team

Notes

1

1

Oklahoma City

Without question the Thunder are the best team in the NBA. They  have 1b in the MVP race in Kevin Durant, and the angriest player in the NBA in Russell Westbrook. A solid big men rotation, a deep bench and great coach and front office. Barring any serious injuries and the Thunder would be a safe bet for the 1 in the West.

2

3

San Antonio

A 8 game winning streak has the Spurs with the best overall win percentage in the NBA. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker both deserve to be in the All Star game, and the young talent and bench continue to get better. The Spurs were expected to be in the spot. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times, the real questions for the Spurs will start once the post season does.

3

4

Heat

Maybe the Birdman will help restore some order inside the paint for the Heat. With all of the shooting around LeBron James, he has no help in the inside. Sure Chris Bosh the self-proclaimed HOF’er is in the post, but once they go to the bench, things get very dicey. For now they are #1in fg% as a team, if the shots stop falling at such a high rate, the Heat will need this missing inside game.

4

2

L.A. Clippers

The Clippers have lost 4 in a row and have fallen to 3rd in the West. Teams are figuring out if they force DeAndre and Blake out of the lane for dunks, and alley-oops, the inside game disappears very quickly for the Clippers. DeAndre Jordan has been on the bench in crunch time for Ronny Turiaf. The ability to manage personnel is already starting to be a problem for Vinny and the very deep Clippers. It’s only going to get worse as the rotations will need to tighten up.

5

5

Denver

Denver really seems to be getting things together. Over an 82 game schedule it’s not important how you play coming out of the gate, it will be important how you are playing going into the post season, and the Nuggets continue to get better and better. They don’t seem to have “A Guy”, but do they really need one?

6

6

Memphis

After the much speculation of possible trades, the Grizzlies did make a move; it was minor, making cap room so they could actually keep their stars instead of having to trade either of them. Their Defense has still be outstanding, and their offense has been just enough to get them wins. The defense is most certainly in a post season form, the question is, as other teams defense get better, will the Grizzlies offense improve enough?

7

8

New York Knicks

When you live by the jump shot you die by the jump shot. Right now the Knicks are dying by the jump shot. After such a hot offensive shooting start the Knicks are coming back down to earth. The Knicks are now 18th in fg%, they are still #1 in fewest turnovers, but as long as their game continues to be isolations, it is going to only get tougher as the season plays out.

8

11

Chicago

Who would of thought the Bulls would have been in this position without Derrick Rose? The DRoseless Bulls, have not only played to a current 3rd place standing in the East, they are doing it without Luol Deng over the last almost week. It has really been a team effort, and that will be just what is needed from everyone as both Rose and Deng return. Watch out for the Bulls once the playoffs start.

9

9

Indiana

With one of the top defensive in the league, the Pacers are in a very similar position as the Griz. The Pacers could be Griz East. They are terrific on the defensive end, but they struggle to score points. Maybe Granger will be able to help spark an offensive increase, but that maybe a long shot.

10

10

Brooklyn

The Nets have now lost 2 straight, and are 7-3 in their last 10. PJ hasn’t had much time, but it is still clearly a work in progress trying to get all of these pieces to fit together. The Nets fg%, 3pt% & apg are all at a negative right now. If the Nets are unable to start moving the ball and get out of the same old ISO ball problems, this high priced team will make it to the post season, but not much else beyond that.

11

7

Golden State

The Warriors have now lost 2 straight and are 3-7 over their last 10. Curry has now missed some time, and there is still no time table for his return. With only a few key young players, anytime missed by their “key” pieces are detrimental. If the long season continues to keep taking it tolls on Warrior players, this rough patch may be a sign of things to come.

12

13

Utah

The Jazz are learning how to play without Mo Williams, and it is coming along. The Jazz have still played far more games on the road than at home, and the Jazz are a significantly better team at home. Brace yourself, but the Jazz are poised for a big run. The Jazz have 11 of their next 15 games at home.

13

17

Atlanta

The Hawks have shown some serious resiliency over the last week. Come back wins over both the Wolves and Celtics just as a couple examples. The Hawks will be in a tough position; Josh Smith has said he feels like he is a max player. If the Hawks know they are not going to give him a max deal, will they be willing to trade him by the deadline?

14

16

Milwaukee

The Bucks still have Jennings and Ellis taking 40% of the teams shots. For as good as Larry has been playing, the team still lacks a real inside post presence, and without one of those, it forces the backcourt to take more shots.

15

15

Houston

Houston really seems to be hitting a wall. They are 1-9 over their last 10 games. As I said early this season, once other teams got tape on them, it was going to be tough for them to continue their early season success. The Rockets seem to be involved in almost every trade scenario. There is no doubt they have pieces to use, the question is where they will end up making a trade. Atlanta seems to be very serious option.

16

14

Portland

When the Blazers can get anything from their bench they become a very tough opponent. Problem is, they don’t usually get much from their bench. The Blazers are in the fight for the 8th seed, and it is a good bet, they will continue to be in the same spot come the end of the season.

17

12

Boston

The Celtics are in a 6 game skid where they have played down to their opponent, blown big leads and had their character called out by their coach. Say what you will, but this isn’t the same brand of Celtics basketball we are used to seeing under Doc. Ainge has said he isn’t looking for a trade, well he should be.

18

20

Philadelphia

The Sixers need Bynum. He really does seem to be the missing piece. He would be the middle stopper on defense, and take all of the pressure off of the wings. Jrue is an all-star and can play the pick and roll and Bynum is a decent pick and roll center. When he returns the real question is, will there be enough time to get back into the playoff hunt?

19

19

L.A. Lakers

The Lakers are 3-7 over their last 10. They are 13-10 at home, and 5-15 on the road. They have played more home game than road games. Which means at some point things could get even worse. There are still questions about the ability of Howard and Gasol being able to play together. If you keep up on the drama of all things Lakers, then you know there are now many reports of Dwight not being happy about the offense. Stop me if you’ve heard this before. But all signs point to him not wanting to be there, and with his contract done by the end of the season, the Lakers Dwight experiment may be short lived.

20

18

Minnesota

There has been no team experience more injuries that the Wolves. Not only are they experiencing injuries, they are also missing their head coach due to personal reasons. They do greatly miss all of the players, but, they may miss Rick Adelman most of all. This teams losses against the Bobcats and Hawks would be prime examples of bad player rotations and losses that should fall on the coach.

21

22

Detroit

The Pistons are now 4 games out of the 8th and final playoff spot. Ok all being said, the Pistons will have a dominant front court, and still have work to do on the roster. Prince and Charlie Villanueva are not the future. Forgive me if I still don’t think Dumars is the best person to engineer the complete turnover of this roster.

22

21

Toronto

There is a divide in the front office about José Calderón or Kyle Lowry. It would be great to know what the rest of ownership thinks about Bryan Colangelo. This team, during his watch, has steadily gone downhill.

23

23

Dallas

Dallas has been 5-5 over the last 10; they are playing .500 ball lately. The problem is they dug an early hole and .500 level ball won’t get them out of it. The Bank of Cuban is open, so the question will the bank do a huge transaction this season or wait till the off season?

24

25

Sacramento

In limbo of ownership and being restricted to make any real personnel decisions due to a pending sale is leaving this team towards the bottom of the rankings.

25

24

New Orleans

Everyone thought the Hornets of this season would be a little higher up in the standings. I guess they will have to wait till the Pelicans of next year to see if that happens.

26

28

Cleveland

Kyrie Irving is good. With a young roster and some decent talent, this team seems to be going in the right direction. If you could throw in Anderson Varejao into this mix, this team would be tough out every night.

27

26

Orlando

What should have been an easy week for the Magic has turned out to be a rough patch. All sub .500 teams and the Magic are 2-8 in their last 10. The Magic are falling further and further in the East, and should be far enough out to put up the Sale sign.

28

27

Phoenix

A new coach still doesn’t seem to be making much of a difference for this group. The real think this team needs is a turnover in the front office.

29

30

Washington D.C

John Wall is officially back and in the starting lineup, What a difference he has made. The Wiz are now 7-3 in their last 10, have won 2 straight and are no longer in the cellar of the Eastern Conference.

30

29

Charlotte

The Cats are officially in the bottom of the East. It has been a far fall from a team that started out so good. Walker, Gordon, and Gilchrist all look pretty good. There is no question this seasons Cats team is better than last. That is at least some good news, right?

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