NBA: Week Four Power Rankings
1. Los Angeles Lakers (13-1) (1) This should tell you how stacked LA has gotten in the last two years: They're 13-1 and Kobe still has yet to drop a 40-point game.
2. Boston Celtics (15-2) (2) A seven-game winning streak which includes convincing wins over Toronto, Detroit and Philly proves this team is hungry to get back to the Finals.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers (13-3) (4) What everyone caught up in the LeBron-to-Knicks hype seems to forget is that the Cavs are about to clear cap space too. No reason to think that they can't get him that second fiddle he needs to carry Cleveland over the top.
4. Orlando Magic (12-4) (6) Redick has played better, which is good, because with Pietrus going down, they'll need a lot more out of him.
5. Portland Trail Blazers (11-6) (9) The more this team meshes together, the scarier they're getting. As a team with size now looks a lot bigger and scarier with Oden developing.
6. Detroit Pistons (10-5) (3) AI missing practice? Sounds like a familiar plot, but what is concerning (and not surprising at the end of the day) is how Iverson's teammates have shot progressively worse since he got there.
7. San Antonio Spurs (9-6) (14) The league had its chance to put this dying dog to rest, now with Ginobili back, the Spurs are already in February/March mode.
8. Houston Rockets (10-6) (11) It's already beginning. McGrady's annual injury problems are already catching up with this team.
9. Utah Jazz (11-6) (8) Jazz losing to Bulls at the buzzer? Funny, the last time they lost to Chicago at home in 1998, the same thing happened (Jordan pushed off and everyone knows it).
10. New Orleans Hornets (9-6) (12) If Nash can get an MVP as a pure PG, there is no reason Paul, who's putting up even better numbers, shouldn't be denied. Except for the fact that he's facing tougher MVP competition.
11. Phoenix Suns (11-6) (7) Amare can complain all he wants, but until his defense improves, the Suns will not be taken seriously as contenders.
12. Denver Nuggets (10-6) (5) Suddenly, with Billups breaking away from the stale Pistons' offense, we're beginning to see just how good he is. Anthony is sure noticing the difference of playing alongside a real, legitimate PG.
13. Atlanta Hawks (9-6) (10) They're still over .500, but you know Johnson has to be relieved his buddy Smith is finally back to take defensive pressure off him.
14. Dallas Mavericks (7-8) (15) Terry's strong bench play has been a staple in Dallas's five-game winning streak to creep back to .500
15. Toronto Raptors (8-7) (13) Where would they be without Bosh? Back-to-back 30-point games from the big man have kept the team afloat.
16. Miami Heat (8-8) (16) It's safe to say that DWade is officially back, and it took a Shaq rematch to illustrate that point.
17. New Jersey Nets (7-7) (21) Vince Carter continues to make the Raptors pay, as he may now be the most hated man in Canada.
18. Philadelphia 76ers (7-9) (19) The problem with this team is simple. Brand can't shake double teams as long as the Sixers remain a mediocre perimeter-shooting team.
19. Chicago Bulls (7-9) (22) Rose's peers are already calling him the best finishing PG in the league. Wait till he gets a jumper!
20. New York Knicks (7-8) (18) Somewhere, in the VIP of the 40-40 club, Steph and Isiah are blowing all the money they embezzled from the Knicks on champagne and strippers.
21. Indiana Pacers (6-9) (17) Blowing big leads has been the biggest source of the Pacers' latest slump.
22. Milwaukee Bucks (7-11) (25) If they lose Bogut for any extended period, they'll be well on their way back to lotto-land.
23. Golden State Warriors (5-11) (20) Crawford is making Azubuike and Morrow useless fantasy options.
24. Charlotte Bobcats (5-10) (26) When you sink your entire budget into role players like Okafor and Wallace, this is the product you get.
25. Minnesota Timberwolves (4-10) (27) Remember a couple years ago when a lot of draft "experts" thought Foye would be another Dwayne Wade? Well that's not happening and McHale's looking like more of a fool for giving up Brandon Roy to get him.
26. Sacramento Kings (5-13) (24) The Maloofs would have sold the team five years ago if you told them now that John Salmons would be their second best player.
27. Memphis Grizzlies (4-12) (23) OJ Mayo is a scoring machine, as his six 25+ point games in the month of November (that's two off from MJ's record of eight) suggest.
28. Washington Wizards (2-11) (28) Eddie should not have to take the blame. Grunfeld should be held accountable for blowing half the budget on Arenas, a pseudo-PG with a bad knee.
29. Los Angeles Clippers (2-13) (29) How in the world does Randolph make sense on a team that has the Kaman-Camby logjam to deal with already? Is Dunlevy sending Sterling dirty pictures? I have no idea how he became the NBA's only coach/GM.
30. Oklahoma City Thunder (1-16) (30) At least firing PJ was the right move. It was only a matter of time before Durant went Sprewell on him.
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