NBA Power Rankings December 22, 2009
Following their 35-point collapse against the Kings last night, the Bulls continued their plunge down into the bottom 20 teams this week.
Lebron James and the Cavs have began to pull it together, and have now been placed into the top-five after their victory in Phoenix Monday night.
The battle rages on between the Lakers and Celtics for the No.1 spot this week.
30. New Jersey Nets (2-26)
The Nets just can't seem to pull it together this season. Bright for them has been the play of Brook Lopez, who is playing All-Star-like right now.
29. Minnesota Timberwolves (5-23)
The return of Kevin Love has been pleasant for the Wolves, but the team is still young and still has to learn how to win games.
28. Golden State Warriors (7-19)
Golden State still does not understand the concept of defense. They win games by outscoring their opponents but that will not win them a lot of games. Look for an Anthony Randolph deal to happen sooner rather than later.
27. Philadelphia 76ers (7-20)
The Allen Iverson experiment has not worked out so far. The talent is there but they need someone to run the show at the point-guard position.
26. Washington Wizards (8-17)
Antawn Jamison has played well since returning from injury, but this team is drastically underachieving. Look for a second-half surge from this team.
25. Indiana Pacers (9-17)
The Pacers are trying to stay alive while they wait for their injured All-Star to return to the lineup. Roy Hibbert and Troy Murphy form a formidable front-court for the future.
24. Chicago Bulls (10-16)
The Bulls gave the game away last night, blowing a 35-point lead in the second half against the Kings. Derrick Rose's improved play has been a good sign.
23. Charlotte Bobcats (10-16)
The Stephen Jackson acquisition has sparked the Bobcats but inconsistent play from the big men have hurt them.
22. New York Knicks (10-17)
The new point guard in the Knicks' doghouse is Nate Robinson. Call it a distraction, but that would be an excuse for a team that is just not that good.
21. New Orleans Hornets (12-14)
Chris Paul is still considered to be one of the best point guards in the league, but he does not have enough around him to be a contender in the West.
20. L.A. Clippers (12-15)
Chris Kaman has been a beast for the Clippers but they still continue to struggle. They need improved play from Baron Davis and Eric Gordon.
19. Detroit Pistons (11-16)
Rodney Stuckey has led the Pistons, averaging 19.7 points-per-game this season. The team has a problem winning on the road, posting only a 3-11 record away from Motown.
18. Milwaukee Bucks (12-14)
Bogut is finally playing like a No. 1 pick to go along with sensational rookie Brandon Jennings. This team is poised for a bright future, but for right now the pieces are not quite in place.
17. Memphis Grizzlies (12-15)
Zach Randolph has meshed well with Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol. This is team that has surprised many people, and will continue to do this all season.
16. Sacramento Kings (13-14)
Tyreke Evans helped cement the big comeback against the Bulls Monday night. He helped the Kings stay afloat while Kevin Martin heals. They host the Cavs Wednesday night in hopes of winning their third straight game.
15. Toronto Raptors (13-17)
Chris Bosh will be an All-Star again, but point-guard Jose Calderon has not played that well this season. Two wins in a row has the team feeling good right now.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder (13-13)
Kevin Durant has the young Thunder playing pretty well this season. With more consistent play from the big men, they could be a playoff team in the West.
13. Miami Heat (13-12)
The Heat have not played well against the elite teams in the NBA except for two victories against the Orlando Magic. Wade needs a sidekick for this team to stay competitive in the East.
12. Houston Rockets (16-11)
With the return of Tracy McGrady, the Rockets are now 7-3 in their last 10 games and look like they will make some noise in the playoffs.
11. San Antonio Spurs (15-10)
The Spurs got younger over the offseason but Richard Jefferson has been extremely inconsistent this season. They've won three in a row, and as long as they have Tim Duncan, the Spurs will be a dangerous team.
10. Utah Jazz (16-12)
Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer have brought the Jazz back to prominence. The team has played very well at home but has struggled on the road.
9. Portland Trailblazers (17-12)
The Blazers have been ravaged by injuries this season but they still continue to win games, and stay competitive in others. Brandon Roy has played well this season and averaged 28.2 points-per-game last week.
8. Phoenix Suns (18-10)
The Suns lost their first game on the home floor last night against the Cavs. Steve Nash continues to lead the league in assists averaging 11.4 per game.
7. Denver Nuggets (19-9)
Carmelo Anthony continues to play MVP-caliber basketball for Denver. The Nuggets have lost two in a row and the their next five games should be a true test for the team.
6. Atlanta Hawks (19-7)
Joe Johnson and the Hawks have probably been the most surprising team in the league those far. They go on a three-game road trip beginning tonight against the Timberwolves.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers (21-8)
Shaq still has not been as big an impact as the Cavs had anticipated thus far, but as long they have King James, the Cavs should be okay.
4. Dallas Mavericks (20-8)
Their five-game winning streak was snapped by Houston Friday night, but the team beat Cleveland on Sunday without Dirk. With the return of Josh Howard, the Mavs now look poised to a force in the second half of the season.
3. Orlando Magic (21-7)
The Magic continue to lean on their "Superman" Dwight Howard to keep the middle occupied while every else strokes it from the outside. The Magic need consistent minutes from their bench from here on out.
2. Boston Celtics (21-5)
Its a toss-up between the Celtics and the Lakers for the No. 1 spot. KG has returned to form and young point-guard Rajon Rondo has posted two straight double-doubles.
1. L.A. Lakers (22-4)
What else can be said about this team. Even with a broken finger, Kobe still torched the Bucks for 39 points, including a fade-away game winner. Also the play of Pau Gasol has made this team almost unstoppable.