2010-2011 NBA Powre Rankings (October 25 – November 1, 2010)
It’s about time I do these, right? I usually don’t care much about the NBA until the Christmas game, unless it’s the off chance the Giants are completely unwatchable — and that hasn’t truly been since the mid-1990s. However, David Stern and his minions made sure we paid attention to everything going on in the NBA all offseason, leading to a handsome build-up for this 0’10, 0’11 season. After one full week of NBA play, here are the rankings:
***BE ADVISED: These are based off action PRIOR to any Monday games each week. Week Ending Monday (as I do my NFL Powre Rankings on Tuesdays). Exception will be Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday as the Knicks annually play that game at noon EST.
1. Los Angeles Lakers (3-0).
The champs look great, and don’t even have Bynum. The early secret: Lamar Odom stopped drinking mochaccinos before games. True story. He doesn’t wear himself out before the game now, and actually plays closer to capability. Kobe’s knee is not 100%. Closer to 90%, but he’s not in full game shape yet, that’s really what Phil means in his post-game remarks after Sunday’s win. Gasol has completely wowed me with some of his moves. I saw him look all-world like late 80s Sabas in the opening two games (didn’t see the GSW victory).
2. Portland TrailBlazers (3-0).
Only real threat for the Lakeshow this year in the West. But they MUST remain healthy in order to do so.
3. New Orleans Hornets (3-0).
(Chris Berman Voice of Surprise for Bucs, Rams, Chiefs, etc.) HORNETS?!?! Who knew??? They look disastrous on paper. It’s early, yes, but I had them easily finishing last in the division.
4. Atlanta Hawks (3-0).
Mildly surprising, although I figured if a new system and new coach didn’t ignite a fire under these dudes, NOTHING would.
5. Boston Celtics (3-1).
I feel as though they’ll be here all season. Lingering, having a couple of off nights (like vs. CLE) and hurting on home ‘n’ homes and back-to-back games. But they’ll still manage to have the 2nd best record in the East this year (2nd to ORL, that is).
6. Oklahoma City Thunder (2-1).
I love how these guys play as a cohesive unit. Kevin Durant doesn’t want to be idolized and worshiped, nor does he need the ball 30+ minutes per game to be effective. He scores economically, which is what guys like John Hollinger and Doug Collins seem to think matters most ha.
7. Miami Heat (2-1).
I don’t like extreme opinions on either side here. Some people thought they’d walk onto the court and win 75. They won’t even win 60 with that bunch. But their demise wasn’t exactly imminent because of a loss at Boston where everyone on the court was nervous. Although they blew out the Magic a few nights ago, they about as hit-or-miss as you can be, with so much uncertainty on the wings, inside and who’s going to be “THE MAN” on this team.
8. Denver Nuggets (2-1).
Nuggets bubbling under the surface. Only loss to the 3-0 Hornets.
9. Orlando Magic (1-1).
Hard to gauge them at this point. Embarrassing blowout loss to a short-handed Heat squad and a decent win. Can’t rank them any higher than this.
10. Memphis Grizzlies (2-1).
I love what Lionel Hollins is doing there. They were a .500 team (for all intents and purposes) last year and they’re building upon that. Love seeing a guy make something out of a situation that was impossible and basically set up for him to fail.
11. Dallas Mavericks (2-1).
I have them with the best record in the West at the end of the season. But how that translates into playoff success remains to be seen. Dirk is running out of time; logging all those miles on soon-to-be 33 year old knees come NBA Finals next year.
12. San Antonio Spurs (1-1).
Too small a sample size. This is definitely going to be their last hurrah with Duncan, Parker, Ginobili being serious factors.
13. Indiana Pacers (2-1).
14. Chicago Bulls (1-1).
Eh, this team is in limbo. They have made offers to Denver for Anthony and Boozer is smarting (what else is new with that guy’s injury record?) but they can either be a .500 team again or a 55-win team and I wouldn’t be surprised.
15. Golden State Warriors (2-1).
There isn’t a more fun team to watch in the NBA. Although they don’t play a LICK’A defense…
16. New Jersey Nets (2-1).
Three games means nothing, they could easily lose 50 this year.
17. Sacramento Kings (2-1).
I love young Tyreke Evans’ game. Is he going to have healthy backcourt mates this year, though?
18. Utah Jazz (1-2).
You can’t panic because they’re 1-2. You know a) they’re going to win 50+ and b) they’ll be in the playoffs and, possibly, c) lose to the Lakers as they seemingly do every year.
19. New York Knicks (1-2).
We try hard. We got absolutely ROBBED by the refs on three consecutive trips on both ends of the court in a close game late. DEAR GOD Raymond Felton is lucky to still have both eyes in the socket and he has to be wondering (Bill Walton Voice) “What. IZZZZZZZZZZZ. A. FOUL?!?!?!”
20. Cleveland Cavaliers (1-2).
21. Milwaukee Bucks (1-2).
Hmmmm… I’ll get back to you about them if they’re still .500 going into December. I figured for them to be better than they’ve looked thus far. Here’s to Michael Redd not tearing his knee up again. I don’t think he can afford to do that a 3rd time.
22. Phoenix Suns (1-2).
Eh. They are going to be brutal. But if they play Hakim Warrick more, they won’t miss Stoudemire (who’s slightly overrated, IMO) in my book.
23. Washington Wizards (0-2).
I don’t jump to conclusions after one week of games, but I have faith that John Wall will have this roster of misfits playing better by Christmas.
24. Houston Rockets (0-3).
25. Minnesota Timberwolves (1-2).
At this rate, they’re on pace for 27 wins instead of 19 or whatever they had last year ha.
26. Philadelphia 76ers (0-3).
I’m telling you the Sixers brought the wrong guy in. There isn’t a bigger micromanager in the NBA. And with a young team, that spells DISASTER.
27. Toronto Raptors (1-1).
The Italian National Team/Spanish Nationals.
28. Charlotte Bobcats (0-3).
Mildly surprising, although they always start slowly and don’t really score that well. They trust young DJ though.
29. Detroit Pistons (0-3).
No idea what Dumars is trying to do here. Phoenix Suns East? They have a bunch of 2’s and 3’s and a poor shooting 2 (Stuckey) masquerading as a point guard. No true big men. Doesn’t make sense, SMH. But Gentle Ben & Co. can put up 80 per game between the 4 of them, though, right? Since none of them play defense, that means you’re going to get outscored by 10 per game, which is what has happened.
30. Los Angeles Clippers (0-3).
Puzzling. They have some of the best young talent in the league out there. They’ll figure it out, though.