|It’s the week 21 Dunking with Wolves NBA Power Rankings. JJ Glenn continues to break down every NBA team throughout the NBA season.
||The Heat’s streak is over, but that may be the best thing for this team. They can now concentrate on conserving some of the energy that would have been used to keep the streak alive and get ready to defend their title.
||The Spurs are still holding a nice lead in the Western conference race for the 1 seed. This team’s depth will continue to be is key down the stretch. Its health will be its keep as they enter the playoffs.
||The Thunder have gone 6-4 over their last 10. They are still #1 in Ediff, and have the largest point differential in the league at 9.2 points per game. It is the turnovers that could prove to be their downfall. They have the 2nd highest TOV% in the NBA at 14.6% & they are only forcing 13.7%. That isn’t going to get it done come post season time.
||The Nuggets have cooled down a little since their win streak and have gone 8-2 over their last 10 games. It has become even more noticeable that Ty Lawson is the engine that makes this team go. Since he has been out with his plantar fascia injury it has been even more evident that he is this teams #1 they needed.
||The Pacers are still #1 in Deff, and 5th in Ediff. The Pacers know who they are, and when they get a chance to dictate pace, they will beat anyone. But they aren’t always able to keep the pace slow, and when it isn’t they struggle mightily.
||New York Knicks
||The Knicks are holding 3rd in the East. They also continue to have the lowest TOV% in the NBA. The real issue their 3P% has been continuing to sink. Throw in the oldest roster in the NBA and it is probably going to be a tough run down the stretch for New York.
||The Grizzlies have moved up another spot in Oeff to 17. They continue to get better. At times though, it is obvious how much they miss some of the bench pieces they traded off to make cap room. Once the post season hits and that depth isn’t needed as much, the Grizzlies will be a tough out for any team.
||The Clippers have gone .500 over their last 10 games, and they continue to struggle down the stretch. They only have a .5 game lead over Memphis and control over home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
||The Nets have continued to quietly go about their business and have gone 5-5 over their last 10 and hold the 4th seed in the East. Right now that would give them home court advantage against a Derrick Roseless Chicago Bulls in the first round of the playoffs. Which would lead to a second round match up against the Miami Heat.
||The Rockets are fun to watch and they can score a lot of points. The just lose focus on the defensive end, and they turn the ball over at high rate. They are 30th in TOV% and 13th in Deff, they are 19th in forcing turnovers and that will make this team no more than a 1st round contender.
||The Warriors have gone 7-3 over their last 10 and seem to have stopped the free fall they were in for the past 3 weeks to continue to hold onto the 6th seem in the West. They hold a game and a half lead over the 7th seed, and will need to use the next 9 games to gel together as they get ready for the first round of the playoffs.
||The Bulls were the team that ended the Heat’s streak. It was more impressive that they accomplished this without Noah & Rose. The Bulls are a scrappy bunch and will push any team to its limits, but without Rose they won’t make any noise in the post season.
||The Celtics have had a rough go of it over their last 10 games going 4-6. That has also been without Kevin Garnet. This isn’t the same team when he isn’t on the floor. He is the driving force on the defensive end, until he comes back the Celtics will have to outscore their opponents.
||The Hawks continue to hold on to the 5th seed in the East, which will get them a date with Brooklyn Nets in the first round if the playoffs were to start tomorrow. If I’m a betting man I take the Nets.
||The Bucks have the 8th and final playoff seed wrapped up with a 7 game lead over the Sixers. Just because the East is so bad, the Bucks are the beneficiary of being the best of the worst. Even though this team will make the playoffs they have a rough road ahead with many roster decisions they will have to make.
||The Lakers seem to be doing everything they can to give away their potential trip to the playoffs. With injuries continuing to take their toll on the Lakers, This roster will have to play better than .500 down the stretch to make the post season.
||The Jazz are in the same place of the Lakers, they seem to just want to give away their playoff berth. They have the 8th seed right now, but they only have a game lead over the charging Mavericks for the final spot. They will need to play better than .500 if they want to move on to post season play.
||The Mavericks seem to be hitting their stride. Dirk has been returning to his form. Vince Carter is defiing time. OJ Mayo has turned out to the catalyst for this this band of 1 year contracts. They will need to kick a little harder down the stretch if they are to make the playoffs.
||The Blazers going 4-6 over their last 10 will put them out of the playoffs. They will now move their focus to the off season and try to get some depth that was sorely missed throughout the regular season, and will have to shore up the center spot.
||The Wolves have easily had one of the worst season in terms of injuries. The season is almost over, and the roster that looked great on paper, hasn’t played together enough to know if it will work. No matter how many games Love will have available to him, he needs to play so Kahn will know what he needs to address most (besides a wing) in the off season.
||The Raptors made some interesting moves during the course of the season. Were they the right ones? Gay has proven to be an inefficient scorer, and is pretty must the same play as DeRozan. There is some roster decisions that need to be made this offseason.
||The Wizards have been playing at close to .500 with John Wall back into the lineup. The only thing the Wizards will need is to keep everyone healthy and on the floor at the same time. This roster will just need some minor adjustments going into next season.
||The Sixers season was supposed to be completely different. They were supposed to be in the hunt for a playoff spot. That was supposed to be with Andrew Bynum, without them they are 30-43, 5.5 games out of the playoff race. If any team has questions about what to do in the off season, The Sixers are towards the top of the list.
||The Kings are a team with no ownership. Without an ownership group, this team really has no direction. With no direction, this is the kind of team you would expect to see. There are a lot of needs and in order to know what type of player they need to fill those needs, they need to know the direction of the team.
||The Cavs are 1-9 over their last 10 and have lost 7 straight. This is all without Kyrie Irving. With him they are a different team, they have a lot of draft picks and lots of cap room. They are in the right direction, they just need more time.
||The Pistons are 1-9 in their last 10, they have more holes in the roster than they have quality players. If you’re keeping track at home, that is a deficiency in quality players. This team has a lot of needs and will need to make major changes in the off season.
||The Hornets have youth, talent and some nice players. They need health and time. This season had some potential to make a possible playoff run. What happened is that youth and injuries took them out of early. Adding more depth and just giving the roster another year is exactly what this team needs.
||The Suns are a puzzle, and the problem is they have a 100 piece puzzle without 50 of them even available. The Suns need everything. They should be in the middle of a rebuilding project, and no one has a clue what they are doing, including the Suns.
||The Magic knew this season was going to be rough. 1-9 over their last 10 and the 2nd worst record in the NBA is just that. This is a rebuilding project, and this was only season 1. Season 2 will see if this project is going in the right direction.
||The Bobcats seem like they have been in the middle of a rebuilding project since the moved to Charlotte. Rich Cho has been in the position for a year, and if there isn’t substantial change and growth over the next year there needs to be serious questions about what this franchise really is.