Tag:power rankings
Posted on: March 11, 2009 3:19 pm




1. Cleveland Cavaliers

Current Record: 50-13     Last 10 games: 8-2     Streak: W2     Home: 28-1     Road: 22-12

They've gone 3-1 in the past week with the lone setback an away game at Boston.  Lebron seems to be strengthening his hold on the MVP award and Mo Williams continues to prove to be the perfect addition to this team.  After visiting Phoenix tomorrow their next 2 are at Sacramento and home against the Knicks (certainly 2-1 if not 3-0 over that stretch) before a big showdown with the Magic.  Upcoming week(w/my predictions): @ PHO(W) @SAC(W) vs. NY(W)   Last week: 3-0 



2. Los Angeles Lakers

Current Record: 50-13     Last 10 games: 7-3     Streak: L1     Home: 29-4     Road: 21-9

After suffering their worst loss of the season at Portland, Kobe and Co. stumble from the top spot.  They've lost 3 of their last 5 games (all on the road) with two homes wins against MIN and MEM) and now face a tough stretch against Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas.Still don't see the Spurs catching them for Western Conference supremacy.  Upcoming week: @HOU(L), @SA(L), vs. DAL(W) Last week: 1-1



3. Boston Celtics

Current Record: 49-15     Last 10 games: 6-4     Streak: L1     Home: 26-6     Road: 23-9

They follow up a big victory against the Cavaliers with a home loss to the Magic.  Despite the addition of Marbury, it seems the absence of Rondo impacts this team significantly. Kevin Garnett's return may prove me wrong, but I'm starting to think Cleveland will win the #1 seed.  Upcoming week: @MIA(W), vs. MEM(W), @MIL(W)  Last week: 2-0



4. Orlando Magic

Current Record: 46-17     Last 10 games: 7-3     Streak: L1     Home: 24-7     Road: 22-10

A big road victory at Boston should boost this teams confidence for the playoffs.  Rafter Alston is averaging 9.3ppg and 6.33apg in his last three and I expect those numbers to improve.  They're going to be dangerous in the playoffs and a good run could possibly get them to the finals. Upcoming week: vs. CHI(W), @WAS(W), vs.UTA(L)  Last week: 2-0




5. San Antonio Spurs

Current Record: 43-20     Last 10 games: 7-3     Streak: W3     Home: 23-8     Road: 20-12

I love the addition of Drew Gooden and think he will fit in well and be a nice addition come playoff time.  Is he enough to close the gap between the Spurs and the Lakers?  Possibly, but I still think the Western Conference is the Lakers to lose. Luckily the Lakers visit San Antonio tomorrow in what should be another preview of the Western finals.  Upcoming week: vs. LAL(W), @HOU(L), @OKC(W)   Last week: 2-0



6. Houston Rockets

Current Record: 42-23     Last 10 games: 8-2     Streak: W3     Home: 27-6     Road: 15-17

They continue to play great basketball in Mcgrady's absence, which begs the question...Are they better off without him?  This team is built for defense and Mcgrady has never been known for that.  I bet Mcgrady shopping continues this off-season.  They need to improve on the road or they can keep dreaming in regards to challenging the Lakers and Spurs.  Upcoming week: vs. LAL(W), @CHA(W), vs. SA(W), @NO(L)  Last week: 1-0



7. Utah Jazz

Current Record: 41-23     Last 10 games: 10-0     Streak: W12     Home: 28-6     Road: 13-17

With a 12 game winning streak the Jazz have catapulted themselves into the Western conference discussion. They've consistently been good at home but weary on the road but they have a chance to turn that around with their next three away from home.  It's starting to look like they're going to pull away from the Blazers and Nuggets to take the Northwest division and at least lock up one round of home court advantage.  Upcoming week: @ATL(L), @MIA(W), @ORL(L)  Last week: 2-0



8. Portland Trailblazers

Current Record: 40-23     Last 10 games: 7-3     Streak: W2     Home: 27-5     Road: 13-18

They've won 5 of their last 6  and have a very impressive victory over the Lakers, were it not for Utah's winning streak I'd probably have Portland ahead of them.  I think their youth is going to catch up with them down the stretch and they will falter a little bit.  I'm beginning to wonder if Oden will ever stay healthy enough to be a factor, imagine they could've had Durant! Roy/Aldridge and improving on the road are the keys here. Upcoming week: vs. DAL(W), vs. NJ(W), @ATL(L), @ MEM(W)  Last week: 1-1



9. New Orleans Hornets

Current Record: 39-23     Last 10 games: 7-3     Streak: L1     Home: 23-9     Road: 16-14

Current road trip should be a good test for this team.  Before their loss to Atlanta they had won 7 in a row, they may surprise someone in the playoffs but I don't think they have what it takes to get to the WC finals.  They're road record is encouraging but I think their bench holds them back.   I'm kinda hoping for a Hornets/Jazz series in the playoffs for PG supremacy.  Upcoming week: @WAS(W), @MIL(W), @CHI(L), vs.HOU(W)  Last week: 2-0



10. Dallas Mavericks

Current Record: 39-25     Last 10 games: 7-3     Streak: W2     Home: 24-8     Road: 15-17

A victory over the Spurs had them feeling well though New Orleans handled them handily.  A nice road victory over Phoenix gives them a little cushion for a playoff spot.  I think they can be even better than they are now but I think it falls onto Josh Howard to step up, unfortunately they still haven't showed me anything to lead me to believe they'll get out of the first round of the playoffs. Upcoming week: @POR(L), @GS(W), @LAL(L)   Last week: 3-0



11. Denver Nuggets

Current Record: 40-25     Last 10 games: 3-7     Streak: L3     Home: 23-8     Road: 17-17

They've lost 5 of their last 6 and 3 of their last 11.  They need Kenyon Martin to get healthy for the playoffs but Chris Anderson continues to emerge as a defensive presence.  I think they could've definitely used Marcus Camby but that's what "cost-cutting" gets you.  I don't really see them turning this downward slide around.  Their next 3 are at home which could assist in turning it around but a 3 game road trip looms ahead on the 23rd (Pho,NO,Dal)  Upcoming week: vs. OKC(W), vs. LAC(W), vs. NJ(W)  Last week: 1-1



12. Miami Heat

Current Record: 34-29     Last 10 games: 6-4     Streak: W1     Home: 22-11     Road: 12-18

Dwyane Wade is a beast and continues to make a push for the MVP award.  I'm starting to like the move of Marion and the continuing improvement of Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers.  This team can definitely give somebody a scare come playoff time but I think their bench is still too thin...In another year or 2 they're going to be REALLY good.  Upcoming week: vs. BOS(L), vs. UTA(W), @PHI(W)



13. Atlanta Hawks

Current Record: 34-29     Last 10 games: 6-4     Streak: W1     Home: 22-11     Road: 12-18

They followed lowly losses to the Knicks and Bobcats with impressive victories of Detroit and New Orleans.  Their next 5 and 9 of their next 10 are at home where they have played well.  They'll probably continue to move up the rankings and could shock come playoff time.  Upcoming week: vs. UTA(W), vs. IND(W), vs. PORT(W)



14. Detroit Pistons

Current Record: 32-30     Last 10 games: 5-5     Streak: W1     Home: 17-15     Road: 15-15

Iverson goes down and all of a sudden they start playing better again...As he's suggested he would, I think it may be better to have Iverson come off the bench.  I'm surprised they haven't been that dominant at home but I think that'll improve down the stretch.  A .500 road winning percentage is a good sign.  They'll be in the playoffs of course but I don't see them making much noise just yet.  Upcoming week: vs. NY(W), @TOR(W), vs. MEM(W)



15. Phoenix Suns

Current Record: 34-30     Last 10 games: 3-7     Streak: L5     Home: 19-12     Road: 15-18

I was reluctant to even put them in the top 15 considering their 5 game losing streak but really, I don't think any of the remaining teams are better than them either.  Either way, Steve Nash and Shaq better straighten this thing out or come playoff time they're going to be on the outside looking in.  Also think they need to keep Amare and start shopping J-Rich. Upcoming week: vs. CLE(L), vs. OKC(W), @GS(L)


pt. 2 continued later tonight....






Posted on: March 4, 2009 6:03 pm

NBA Power Rankings 3/4/09







Los Angeles <a href=page/LAL">Lakers " style="float: left;" />

1. Los Angeles Lakers 

Current Record: 49-12     Last 10 games: 7-3     Streak: W1     Home: 28-4     Road: 21-8

The expectations have been high for the Lakers all year.  As expected, Kobe Bryant has continued his MVP-like play and Andrew Bynum was  progressing until his current injury (is there going to be a significant one every year for this kid??  He's expected back in April).  With the absence of Bynum (and the promotion of Odom to the starting lineup), I'm not completely sold on their bench outside of Farmar, Ariza, and Vujacic.  Still, when you have a player of Kobe's caliber, things usually work out in your favor.  They should still be the #1 seed come playoff time.  Upcoming Week's Games (and my predictions): vs. Min (W) @Port (W)



Cleveland <a href=page/CLE">Cavaliers" style="vertical-align: baseline;" />

2. Cleveland Cavaliers

Current Record: 47-12     Last 10 games: 8-2     Streak: W3     Home: 26-1     Road: 21-11


Could this be the year Lebron gets his first MVP?  He certainly deserves it the way the Cavs are playing.  Rewarded to his first All-Star game (after Jameer Nelson's injury) Mo Williams certainly seems like the missing piece for this team.  Ben Wallace is out 4-6 weeks and will be sorely missed down the stretch as they try to hold onto the #1 seed in the East.   The home record is very impressive and a run to the finals is definitely possible...My only questions are down low (especially with Wallace out).  Are Z and Varejao (and Joe Smith/JJ Hickson) enough??  I'm not ruling them out for the Finals, but I think the Celtics catch em and take the #1 seed.  Upcoming games:  vs. MIL (W) @BOS (L)  vs. MIA (W)



Boston Celtics

3. Boston Celtics

Current Record: 47-14     Last 10 games: 6-4     Streak: L1     Home: 25-5     Road: 22-9

Reigning champs, the Celtics are certainly in line for a repeat.  Although not as solid as last year, this team still has what it takes to get to the Finals.  Garnett should be back within the next 2 weeks and I believe he will get this team geared up for the playoffs.  I like the Mikki Moore and Stephon Marbury additions (though if I were Celtics management, I'd be cautious with Marbury) but I'm not huge on their bench.  They're not as dominant at home as the Cavs but are a better road team and I think that's going to be crucial come playoff time.  They're my pick for the #1 seed in the East.  Upcoming games: @ NJ (W)   vs. CLE (W)


Orlando <a href=page/ORL">Magic" style="vertical-align: baseline;" />


4. Orlando Magic

Current Record: 44-16     Last 10 games: 6-4     Streak: W2     Home: 23-7     Road: 21-9

Before the season started I predicted Dwight Howard would be a viable MVP candidate and he certainly has not let me down.  The loss of Jameer Nelson for the season really hampers this team, though it was an excellent move picking up Rafer Alston.  Still though, perhaps the loss of Nelson has lowered the ceiling for this team, I don't think the Finals are possible but I can see the Magic in the Eastern Conference Championship, (expect Dwight Howard to be even more dominant come playoff time.)  Upcoming games: vs.NJ(W)  @BOS(W)


San Antonio <a href=page/SA">Spurs" style="vertical-align: baseline;" />


5. San Antonio Spurs

Current Record: 40-19     Last 10 games: 6-4     Streak: W1     Home: 20-8     Road: 20-11

Who didn't expect the Spurs to be in it?  Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker are still excellent players and their bench is top notch.  Roger Mason has been an excellent pick-up and will come in handy come playoff time.  It's all about the playoffs with this team, as it seems they always take their games to another level, however I can see their age catching up to them and a 2nd round exit possible.  Either way, I don't think the Spurs are going to the Finals this year and anything less with this team is a disappointment.  Upcoming games: @ DAL (L)  vs.WAS (W)



6. Houston Rockets

Current Record: 39-22     Last 10 games: 8-2     Streak: W2     Home: 25-6     Road: 14-16

Best move this team made was acquiring Ron Artest, who has stepped up admirably after the departure of the oft-injured Tracy McGrady.  I like their bench and their toughness and as long as they stay healthy, I think they have enough to pass the Spurs.  I like the Kyle Lowry addition and think he's only going to get better and better...  And just think?  They won't have to worry about the T-Mac curse regarding the first round of the playoffs!!  If things come together, they have the talent to get to the Western Conference finals, though I think they're road woes will stop them short.  Upcoming Games: @UTAH(L)  vs. PHO



7. Denver Nuggets

Current Record: 39-22     Last 10 games: 5-5     Streak: L2     Home: 22-7     Road: 17-15

Chauncey Billups, an all-around improved Carmelo Anthony, and rejuvenated big men Kenyon Martin/Nene, have this team ahead of pre-season predictions.  Trading Iverson landed them the leadership they needed at the point and JR Smith is progressing into a valuable sixth man.  This team could very well upset somebody in the playoffs but I'm thinking a second round exit for them.  Upcoming games: vs. POR (L)  @ UTAH (L)



8. New Orleans Hornets

Current Record: 37-22     Last 10 games: 7-3     Streak: W5     Home: 21-9     Road: 16-13

Chris Paul continues his dominance but what was up with the Hornets trying to trade away Tyson Chandler?  There must be some injury concerns with him, either that or they were willing to give up on this season? Since Chandler's healthy return they've been even tougher down low.  I don't think they're going to the WCF but 2nd round is probable.  Upcoming games: vs. DAL (W)   vs. OKC (W)



9. Portland Trail Blazers

Current Record: 37-22     Last 10 games: 7-3     Streak: W2     Home: 24-5     Road: 13-17

Brandon Roy certainly deserves to be in the MVP discussion but probably won't be.  Sorry Blazers fan, day by day Oden looks more and more like the second coming of Sam Bowie.  Luckily, they have the spectacular LaMarcus Aldridge (and the scrappy Pzybilla) down there as well and a youthful talented bench to keep them alive.  I knew they'd be improved this season, but not this good.  They will be in the playoffs but I think their youth catches up to them and they're out in the first round.  Either way, I think this team is a true contender within the next 2 years.  Upcoming games: vs. IND (W)  @DEN(W) vs. MIN (W)



10. Utah Jazz

Current Record: 37-23     Last 10 games: 9-1     Streak: W8     Home: 26-6     Road: 11-17

An 8 game winning streak has them right in the discussion of things.  Deron Williams is the second best point guard in the league and they have a talented bench.  Boozer is averaging a double-double and Okur is one of the best scoring centers in the league.  I think they'll cool off some down the stretch but they are a very dangerous team in the playoffs, especially if they can wrestle some home court advantage.  Still, their road mark is not impressive and I think a 2nd round exit is quite likely.  Upcoming games: vs.HOU (W) vs. DEN (W)



11. Dallas Mavericks

Current Record: 37-23     Last 10 games: 9-1     Streak: W8     Home: 26-6     Road: 11-17

I think overall Dallas has been a disappointment thus far this season.  I figured with an off-season together with Jason Kidd this team would be much better.  I know some of the players had difficulties with him, but was firing Avery Johnson REALLY the answer for this team?  Their championship window has come and gone and they don't have the bench to make a real dent come playoff time.  They will be in it, but a first round exit is most likely.  Upcoming games: vs. SA (W) @NO (L)  vs. WAS (W)



12. Phoenix Suns

Current Record: 34-26     Last 10 games: 6-4     Streak: L1     Home: 19-11     Road: 15-15

What to make of Terry Porter's team?  It seemed very underachieving early in the season but  lately seems rejuvenated (particularly Shaq).  The loss of Amare for the season SHOULD cripple this team, but with Nash leading the way and the ever-dominant Shaq in the paint, this team can still contend.  Matt Barnes has been an excellent bright spot but the verdict is still out on the J-Rich/Bell,Diaw trade.   They may slip into the playoffs as the 8th seed but the Lakers will take them out early. Upcoming games: @MIA(L)



This is pt. 1, part 2 will continue tomorrow. 3/5/09




Category: NBA
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com