|It’s the week 19 Dunking with Wolves NBA Power Rankings. JJ Glenn continues to break down every NBA team throughout the NBA season.
||The Heat have won 21 straight. There really is nothing else to say. There is no team playing at this level on such a consistent basis. The only concerns this team could face preventing them from repeating would be expending to much in the regular season to keep the streak going, and injury.
||The Spurs have gone 6-4 over their last 10. They miss Tony Parker, but they can continue to win enough without him to ensure they hold onto a top 2 seed in the West.
||The Thunder are a game out of the top spot in the West. They are 8-2 in their last 10 & They still have the best Ediff in the NBA at 10.1.
||Denver has shaken off a road heavy and tough schedule to climb back up to a threat in the West. They are athletic, long and have won 11 straight games. The biggest issue for the Nuggets will be their 15-19 road record. They have the biggest home court advantage of any team in the NBA, but in a playoff series they will need to win on the road.
||Memphis is 8th in Oeff. Since the Gay trade, this team continues to get it done on the offensive end. Their strength still lis with their inside game. They have a good point guard, and the rest of the team is fitting in place. This team will be a tough foe come playoff time.
||The Pacers are solidifying themselves as #2 in the East. They are #1 in DRtg and struggle with offensive consistency. As the stretch run of the season on, the Pacers will need to show more consistency on the offensive end if they are going to de-thrown the Heat.
||The Clippers only have a .5 game lead for the 4th seed and home court advantage in the 1st round of the playoffs. I’ve been saying it all year, the deep bench doesn’t impress me come playoff time. The starting 5 hasn’t been proving they can get it done come crunch time, and the 6-4 record over their last 10 would prove that.
||The Nets have been consistently playing .500 basketball, which for now is allowing them to keep control of the 4th spot in the East. But the 3 teams are within 2.5 games. If the Nets don’t improve on the 5-5 record they could see themselves traveling in the first round of the playoffs.
||The Celtics have proven to be a solid team without Rondo (Ewing Theory), but lack of size up front, mainly a shot blocking presence inside, continues to be an issue. They are 10-0 at home over their last 10 & host Charlotte and Miami in their next 2. The C’s have some ground to make up if they want to take advantage of their home court in the 1st round.
||New York Knicks
||The Knicks age is catching up with them. The legs that were there to start the season seem to be fading fast. Melo is banged up now, and STAT is back on the shelf. As they continue to live off the jump shot, they have gone .500 over their last 10.
||The Rockets can score in a hurry. The problem with the Rockets isn’t their offensive production. It is the turnovers and defense. While they have proven in games they can take care of the ball and lock down at defense, they don’t show it for 48 minutes. The inconsistency in both those areas will be their downfall in the playoffs.
||The Bulls are still waiting to see if they will be able to get Derrick Rose back for a playoff push. If they do, this team will be a dangerous come playoff time. If they don’t have him back, they will be a 1st round out. The Bulls future success is with Derrick Rose.
||The Warriors schedule was suppose to be getting easier in the 2nd half of the season. That hasn’t proven to be the case as they continue to lose ground in the play-off race. They are now a .5 game ahead of Houston for the 6th seed in the West and are playing at a 4-6 rate over their last 10 isn’t helping.
||The Lakers are officially in the playoffs as of right now. The health of Kobe is a huge question mark for the future. This team needs him for their success, but if he isn’t 100% they can’t risk putting him out on the floor. They are walking a fine line, which for this season Lakers team sounds about right.
||The Hawks continue to win games. They are 6th in the East. They are getting it done through their offense, which is 9th in DRtg. The Offense continues to be the sticking point and with Josh Smith on the floor, that would sound about right.
||The Bucks have lost 3 straight and gone 6-4 over their last 10. They still have the highest – point diff of any team in the playoffs. They are 26th in Deff and 11th in Oeff and 20th in Ediff. The Defense will need to get better if the Bucks want to do more than just make the playoffs.
||The Jazz continue to drop games, and it is dropping them out of the playoffs. 2-8 over their last 10 have them 1 game behind the Lakers for the 8th seed in the West. This team is going the wrong way at the wrong time. Couple their recent struggles on the court with the tough player choices they have this offseason and things aren’t the brightest for the Jazz right now.
||The Mavs are 3 games out of the West playoff race, and have been playing above .500 basketball. The Mavs will need to step up their defense if they are going to make a push for the playoffs. They are currently 16th in DRtg.
||The Blazers are 4 games under .500 on the season and have gone .500 over their last 10 games. The Blazers are 3.5 games out of the 8th spot in the West. The playoffs seem like a long shot for this season.
||The Wolves season hasn’t been anywhere close to what they were hoping for when this team was assembled. Even though there should be some healthy bodies back soon, the lack of playing time together still leaves a lot of question marks about what the team should do this off season.
||The Raptors are improved over what they were before Rudy Gay got traded. On the offensive end, they are fun and entertaining. On the defensive end, they give up to many points. The Raptors seem to be on the right track but there is still some work to do.
||The Wizards are continuing to play .500 ball since the return of John Wall. That is a good sign going into next season. This team should have some confidence going into next year, and they still have an off season to put even more together.
||The Sixers have too many questions about their future. Bynum could walk and they get nothing in return. That’s a tough loss considering what they gave up to get him. Now they need to establish what they want this team to be and start building.
||The Cavs have a bright future, Irving health issues could be a concern, but with nothing to play for this season, there is no reason to try and bring him back yet this year. This team is built for the future not the now.
||The Kings are still in limbo, and will be until April 19th. They need a lot, starting at the top. They need new ownership, front office, new personnel and a better roster. Wherever this team is going to end up there is a lot of work to be done.
||The Suns are a team that has many people questioning what they’re doing. What is the direction of this team? They have the 20th oldest roster in the NBA. This team needs an overhaul and that overhaul needs to start in the front office.
||The Pistons are 1-9 over their last 10. Detroit misses Andre Drummond, and their record reflects that. There are some nice pieces in place, but there are a lot of holes that need to be filled.
||The Hornets are young, they have been injured. Starting with Eric Gordon and Anthony Davis, then Austin Rivers. They have some talent, they just need to it be healthy at the same time, and then they just need time together.
||The Magic have lost 2 straight and are 3-7 over their last 10. They are just not that good; there really is no other way to put it. They knew after the Dwightmare that they would be in a rebuilding project, and they are indeed in a rebuilding project.
||Have you really ever stopped and looked at the ‘Cats roster? If you do you will understand why they are in the spot they are. They will need more from GM Rich Cho is they are to turn this ship around.