|It’s the week 20 Dunking with Wolves NBA Power Rankings. JJ Glenn continues to break down every NBA team throughout the NBA season.
||The Heats steak continues, and with it, they remain at the top of the power rankings. They could go down as one of the top teams of all time. The only way that can happen is if they win the title this year also.
||The Spurs have Tony Parker back, and they remained the top spot in the West in his absence. The Spurs will get 13 more games to finish out the season and get ready for the post season. They also have a chance to the team to end the Heats streak, should it still be intact, one week from today.
||The Thunder still have the best Ediff in the NBA. They are the 2nd best Oeff team in the league, if there is any weakness it is on the defensive end of the floor.
||Denver’s 14 game win streak has moved them to 3rd in the Western Conference standings. The Nugget’s 31-3 mark at home is tied for the best home record in the NBA. It will be the Nugget’s ability to win on the road that will decide how far this team can go in the post season.
||The Grizzlies offense continues to get better and Oeff gets better each week that Rudy Gay has been off of the team. The defense is 2nd in Deff in the NBA. With the Gasol out indefinitely now, this team will need to just try to maintain in his absence, however long that will be.
||The Pacers have the 1 Deff, and they are 5th in Ediff. Indiana is still 3rd in the East and have only gone 5-5 in their last 10. The Pacers will have to continue to figure out ways to score more efficiently if they are going to challenge the Heat in the East.
||The Clippers are clinging to the 4th seed in the West and with it, home court advantage. They have a .5 game lead over the Grizzlies, but the Grizzlies also have 1 extra game they will need to play. For as great as the depth was at the beginning of the season, it has been the problem down the stretch.
||New York Knicks
||The Knicks have won 4 straight games, yet are only 5-5 over their last 10. Consistency is a problem, but most of that consistency is due to injuries and relying on the jump shot. It’s been a long season, and there are a lot of miles on this team. Will they have enough down the stretch and for the post season?
||The Rockets can score, and score a lot. Defensively they take possessions off, and that is fine in the regular season, but can’t happen in the post season this team is to do anything more than just make it into the playoffs.
||The Nets super star assembled cast have a hold on 4th in the East, and that should remain the case through the rest of the regular season. The Nets are 10th best in Ediff, and continue to get big shots from when they need them. How much can they keep relying on ISO Joe, especially in playoff basketball?
||The Celtics have lost 4 straight. They missed Kevin Garnett when he isn’t in the lineup. The most perplexing part of this team is they seem to play to the level of their completion, great when you’re playing the Heat, not so good when you play Charlotte
||The Warriors have gone 6-4 over their last 10. They have a 1 game lead on Houston for 6th in the West. They are 14th in Ediff. They need to just have everyone play every game, and give all the players a chance to play together.
||The Bulls NEED Derrick Rose back. They only have 13 games left in the regular season to work him in IF he is to play this season. If he doesn’t come back, this team will do nothing more than make the playoffs.
||The Hawks continue to impress and hold onto the 5th spot in the East. Atlanta is getting great team production, and they are 12 in Ediff. If the season was to end right now, do you feel they would have what it takes to get past Brooklyn?
||The Lakers are firmly grabbing a hold on the 8th seed in the West and look like they will make the playoffs. Does this team have what it takes to make any noise in the post season? If you ask Mike D’Antoni, they don’t.
||The Bucks are the only team currently in the play offs that give up more points than they score. They average -1.4. That isn’t a number that will produce a lot of victories.
||The Jazz have gone 2-8 over their last 10, and have all but ensured that the Lakers will make the playoffs. The Jazz are -.9 in Ediff and continue to struggle on both ends of the floor.
||The Mavericks have gone 7-3 over their last 10, and are 2.5 games out of the 8th seed in the West. With only 13 games remaining this season, this team doesn’t seem to have enough time or games to make up the ground.
||The Blazers are playing .500 ball and are 2.5 games out of the West playoff hunt. The starters have shown they can compete with about any team in the NBA, it is the bench that has let the Blazers down time and time again. This offseason will be to fix the depth issue.
||The Raptors moves over this season have clearly shown they were willing to being in a big name and a big contract. They issue is they are still playing at below .500 clip since Gay has been added. The Raptors will need to have an extremely productive off season if things are going to turn around next year.
||The Wizards with John Wall on the floor are a .500 ball club, due injuries early on this team had a huge hole to climb out of. If the Wizards keep this team together and enter next year healthy the Wizards should be challenging for a post season berth.
||This was supposed to be the year the Wolves break the post season drought. Due to one of the worst injury plagued seasons in memory, this team hasn’t ever had a chance to even play together. With some key players going into free agency, will we ever get to see this roster play together?
||The Kings ownership is still in question. It is starting to feel like parents fighting for custody of children in a divorce. While the parents are fighting over who gets to custody, the team is left to suffer.
||The Cavs are positioned for years to come, and from his first few years in office, GM Chris Grant has proven he has a great business model in place to move this team back towards the playoffs.
||The 76ers gave up a lot to get Andrew Bynum, and they never got a minute of production from him. He will get more money than he should in the off season because some team is desperate (Phoenix), and the Sixers will be left figuring out what direction they want to go for the future and start back over this off season.
||The Pistons will have a lot of work to do in the off season if they are to return to the glory days. They currently have good looking pieces in Drummond and Monroe, Knight has looked good at times. But there is so much that is needed, and money is still tied up in some bad contracts, this team has a long way to go.
||The Hornets were active going into this season. Resigning Eric Gordon, getting Davis and Rivers, and bringing in Lopez and Anderson. Due to injuries this team hasn’t lived up to a lot of the preseason hype. There have been flashes, but they have been consistently inconsistent this entire season.
||The Suns have fallen to the basement of the Western Conference. They need so much, and it all starts with a competent front office and owner.
||The Magic are in the rebuilding process and everyone knew it could be rough. There are some bright spot. And with 8 players that have 1 season or less under their belt, there is some talent and it will take a year or two complete the process.
||The Bobcats just finished compiling a statistical database that includes over 50,000 web pages. Let’s hope that will help them move forward in a positive way next season.