February 8, 2013; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Danny Green (4) takes a three point shot in the fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace. Detroit won 119-109. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
|Welcome to the week 14 Dunking with Wolves NBA Power Rankings. JJ Glenn breaks down every NBA team this week and throughout the NBA season.
|After the Spurs beat the Timberwolves at the Target Center, Nikola Pekovic put it best when he said, “You have to play perfect for 48 minutes if you’re going to beat that team”. With no Manu or Duncan, this team is deep and fundamentally sound. It’s a great formula, and it is again being successful as the Spurs are again the #1 team in the power rankings.
|Young, an enormous amount of talent and deep is the recipe the Thunder has going for it. With the possible league MVP, the Thunder only have 1 thing in mind, returning to the NBA Finals. Going 6-4 over their last 10 will have to get better if the Thunder would like to have home court advantage throughout the entire Western Conference playoffs.
|When the best basketball player on the planet in LeBron James on the roster, things are always going to be OK. The reigning champs are 8-2 over their last 10 and are fresh off of dominating the Clippers. The only issue the Heat will have will continue to be their size up front.
|The Nuggets started off the season with one of the toughest SOS, and played an abnormal amount of games on the road,. Now that they’ve been back at home and the schedule has started to even out, the Nuggets are quickly climbing the Western Conference standings. Going 8-2 over their last 10 the Nuggets are 4th in the West and could take over 3rd before the All-Star break.
|New York Knicks
|The Knicks continue to rely heavily on Melo, and his track record of single handily taking a team to the next level isn’t the best. The Knicks still like to play a lot of Iso ball and take a lot of jump shots. Neither of those have proven to be a successful offense ingredient.
|The Clippers just got Chris Paul back, and they still got blown out by the Heat. Not only did the Clips get beat, they are currently 3-7 over their last 10. More troubling is the Clippers have had the 4th easiest SOS. This team will only go as far as Chris Paul will take them.
|After all of the moves and now that the current roster has had a little chance to show what they can accomplish the Grizzlies are now 5-5 over their last 10, on a 2 game losing streak and are now the 27th scoring offense in the NBA. As was expected the Grizzlies offense is struggling and if they are unable to score things are only going to get worse.
|Derrick Rose has been reported as being ready to start playing after the All Star break. The Bulls are currently the 4th seed in the East without their All Star. Things are sitting pretty for the Bulls. According to numerous league executives, they believe the Bulls are the team most likely to give the Heat a challenge in the East.
|The Indiana Pacers continue to surge in the East, they are now 3rd in the overall standings. With the emergence of Paul George as an All Star, David West having a great season, and Roy Hibbert playing at his career numbers the Pacers look to be heading to home court advantage in the first round.
|The Warriors have no lost 3 straight games, and they have gone 5-5 over their last 10. Curry’s health is an issue, and if he is unable to be 100% the rest of this season may be an issue for this up and coming team.
|The Nets have gone .500 over their last 10, it seems like the P.J. honeymoon period has ended. The Nets are still proving to be an ISO heavy offense, 27th worst team in assists per game in the league. The Nets are also last in the league in PACE as 90.7.
|The Jazz deep front court continues to be its strength. Mo Williams at the point does stunt this team’s growth, which is why the Jazz are looking to acquire one before the trade deadline. What will they have to give up to get one is the question?
|The Celtics continue to keep winning without Rondo. It is tough to believe a team can be better without a player like Rondo. The offense’s points per game have gone up and the back court of Lee and Bradley has been impressive. It might be time to add Rondo to the Ewing Theory’s case study.
|A team record 23 3’s in a game continues to highlight this team’s ability to score, and score a lot. The main question for the Rockets is if the defense can get stops when it matters most.
|The Hawks have continued to win the close ones and perform when it matters. The Hawks The Hawks are currently 6th in the East, but only 1.5 games separates them from 8th.
|The Bucks are a negative in point diff, and assist diff and rebounds per game. The Bucks lack of front court talent continues to be a problem. Larry Sanders is only one man.
|The starters of the Blazers have been huge. The problem continues to be their bench production. If the Blazers want to do more than just get into the playoffs, this issue will have to be addressed.
|You can continue to count me in as someone who believes that the Lakers will miss the playoffs. The Dwightmare Effect is now spreading throughout the Laker organization. Kobe is playing out of his mind, no one is really coming with. It was great on paper, isn’t looking good on the court.
|The Mavs are now 5 game out of the 8th seed. The playoff picture for the current roster is starting to look slim to maybe next year. Which raises the question will they try and make any major moves before the trade deadline or wait for the offseason?
|The 76ers are playing .500 ball over their last 10. They will need to do better than that if they’re going to make up the 4 game deficit from the 8th seed. If Bynum isn’t ready to come back soon, this team won’t have enough time to make up the difference.
|The Wolves must of all collectively as a team walked under every ladder, broke every mirror, spilled salt and lived with black cats. Andrei Kirilenko is out with a thigh bruise. The “Real Starting Unit” had little to no time together. Luke is being mentioned as being gone before the trade dead line, and in return the Wolves have been looking for a wing in return.
|The Raptors have an incredibly athletic roster after the acquisition of Rudy Gay. They have already gotten great production from Gay, and the team is fun to watch. Their defense will have to perform significantly better if anything else is to be of this team.
|The Pistons have clawed their way up to 10 in the East. The loss of Andre Drummond is going to really impact this team, and hinder any further development this season.
|The Cavs have 4 players in the Rising Star Challenge, and one of them is an All Star, this is a young solid core of talent. This year isn’t their year, but as this project continues to get better and great salary flexibility this team is being built for the future, not, the now.
|Since the return of John Wall the Wizards have gone .500 over their last 10, and have shown their might be some life in this roster. Beal and Wall make a nice back court, decent young talent in the post & Nene to anchor it gives this roster some hope of possible things to come in future seasons.
|The Hornets have a decent offensive efficiency, it is the defensive end of the floor where they struggle. The Hornets won’t be making any noise, the Pelicans however have a solid looking future.
|The Kings Have lost 4 straight games and are now tied for the worst record in the West and 2 – 8 over their last 10. The Kings also have the 2nd worst point Diff in the NBA. They are also 25th in offensive efficiency.
|The Suns have the 3rd worst offensive efficiency, problem is they have the 4th worst defensive deficiency. That is why their record is tied for 16th in the West.
|The Magic have now gone 0’fer in their last 12 games. No “Big Baby” is making the difference. Wait! That can’t be, a team actually is impacted by “Big Baby”. Writing that and then rereading that seems like an error.
|The Cats are 1-9 over the last 10, and have now sunk to the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. The Cats have also lost their last 6. The roster has some nice pieces, the problem is, there isn’t nearly enough young pieces to feel the future will be bright and shiny. After so many bad years, of performance, the team will take more than 1 or 2 seasons to turn around.