Hit List / Dec 1, 2008 / 5:14 pm

NBA Hit List Power Ranking, 12.1

Kobe BryantKobe Bryant (photo. Mannion)

Our weekly NBA power ranking, from worst to first. Who would have imagined Yi Jianlian would be starting on a Top-10 team at any point this year?

30. Washington Wizards (2-12) — You might not have noticed in your Thanksgiving post-turkey and stuffing stupor, but the Wizards are awful.

29. Memphis Grizzlies (4-13) — Ten losses in their last 11 games, including dropping one to the Thunder in front of 93 faithful Memphis fans. Can they hook up some kind of exchange program with Coach Calipari, borrowing Tyreke Evans for a month while the Tigers get Mike Conley?

28. Oklahoma City Thunder (2-16) — Right now we can’t have them behind the Grizzlies, but fully expect OKC to be back at #30 sometime soon. In conjunction with the Lakers, we could be looking at a historic season with one team winning 70 games and another team losing 70 games.

27. Sacramento Kings (5-14) — Six losses in a row. As bad as their defense is, perhaps it’s time to let Shelden Williams out of the box. He’s got six fouls to give away and everything.

26. Golden State Warriors (5-12) — Did we say bad defense? The Warriors are getting reamed to the tune of 116 points a night during this current six-game skid.

25. Los Angeles Clippers (3-13) — It doesn’t bode well for Chris Kaman that the Clips look better without him, i.e. Saturday’s win over the Heat where Z-Bo dropped 27 and 13 and Camby had 12 boards and four blocks. Or maybe it does bode well, ’cause it means he’ll get traded to a better team.

24. Minnesota Timberwolves (4-11) — Things have been kind of looking up for the Wolves lately, which makes Corey Brewer’s season-ending ACL tear that much worse.

23. Charlotte Bobcats (5-11) — MJ made his mandatory once-a-month personal appearance for Saturday’s loss to the Celtics. But for all we know he was there merely to check in with Ray Allen, one of his Jordan Brand endorsers.

Michael ReddRemember this guy?

22. Milwaukee Bucks (7-12) — Not that anyone noticed, but Michael Redd is back. He scored 20 in a loss to the Cavs, the team’s fourth L in a row against four ’08 Eastern Conference playoff teams.

21. Philadelphia 76ers (7-10) — Four losses in a row, each one seemingly uglier than the last. And did you notice how this is the second consecutive week we’ve used “ugly” or one of its forms in the Sixers’ write-up?

20. Indiana Pacers (6-10) — Lost amongst Danny Granger’s All-Star bid and a frustrating string of narrow losses has been the play of Troy Murphy. He’s putting up 10.7 points and 10.9 boards, and notched back-to-back 21-point, 14-board lines against the Mavs and Rockets last week.

19. New York Knicks (8-8) — Jacking up 49 shots in his last two games, Al Harrington is probably loving the trade. Who cares if he’s going to the Lottery again?

18. Atlanta Hawks (10-6) — So much for that Joe Johnson “NBA’s Leading Scorer/MVP Candidate” campaign. Dude fell off the “visible superstar” map faster than MIMS.

17. Chicago Bulls (8-9)There’s literally no reason to watch this team other than Derrick Rose.

16. Miami Heat (8-9) — If they are in fact looking to deal Shawn Marion, he’s got a few favorable showcase games coming up on the schedule. Golden State on Monday (run-and-gun), Utah on Wednesday (versus European doppleganger AK-47), and OKC on Saturday (terrible team itching for a vintage Marion night).

15. Detroit Pistons (10-6) — After what was supposed to be a statement win over the Cavs on Nov. 19, the Pistons have been getting worse. In the five games since, their only wins have come against the Knicks and Bucks.

14. Toronto Raptors (8-8) — They could be just as heavily represented at this year’s All-Star Weekend as they were last year: Bosh starting in the main event, Calderon in the Skills Competition, Kapono in the Three-Point Shootout … maybe we can get Anthony Parker, Tracy Murray and a Canadian-born WNBA player in that Shooting Stars thing.

13. San Antonio Spurs (9-7) — Parker’s back, Manu’s back, Duncan’s still Duncan. For Spurs fan, the season just started for real.

Chris PaulChris Paul (photo. Chad Grifftith)

12. New Orleans Hornets (9-6) — Surprisingly inconsistent. As good as they looked against the Nuggets on Thanksgiving, they looked decidedly average/bad against the Blazers the next night.

11. Dallas Mavericks (8-8) — Let’s throw the L.A. game out the window, because seriously, who’s beating the Lakers at home these days? In that case the Mavs have won four straight and Jason Terry is starting to run away with Sixth Man of the Year, averaging 20.1 points a night and leading Dallas in scoring four of their last five games.

10. Utah Jazz (11-7) — Jerry Sloan is the Mike Shanahan of NBA coaches. He’s been with the same team forever, he always looks like he’s having a miserable day, and he is to power forwards what Shanahan is to running backs. To wit: In Carlos Boozer’s absence, Paul Millsap has posted 20-10 numbers in three of Utah’s last four games.

9. Portland Trail Blazers (12-6)Unstoppable at home, sitting at 7-0 with respective 40-piecings of the Heat and Bulls under their belt. Greg Oden is settling into a nice 10-point, 12-board, 3-block rich man’s Tyson Chandler-type groove.

8. Phoenix Suns (11-7) — Dwyane Wade dropped 43 points on them Friday. Then Devin Harris went for 47 on Sunday. Looking at the schedule this week, Chris Paul, Jason Kidd/Jason Terry, and Deron Williams have to be licking their chops.

7. New Jersey Nets (9-7) — There’s no end in sight for the Devin Harris Buckets Brigade: Wizards, Wolves and Sixers on the slate this week, Knicks and Raptors next week. Who would argue with Devin being an All-Star right now? And by the way, Vince Carter is dropping just under 24 points a game, too.

6. Houston Rockets (11-7) — Between Yao’s endless list of critics, the people who watch T-Mac waiting for him to get hurt, the players who would secretly like to punch Ron Artest in the face, the rest of them who would secretly like to punch Shane Battier in the face, the bitter playground vets jealous of Skip, and the pencil-necked geeks at Joey Dorsey’s gym who hate him for hogging the mirror, does any team have more haters than the Rockets?

5. Denver Nuggets (12-6) — Notice how no one’s talking about Marcus Camby anymore. Nene (14.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and Kenyon Martin (13 ppg, 6.8 rpg) have done their share to compensate.

Dwight HowardDwight Howard (photo. Mannion)

4. Orlando Magic (13-4) — Why is nobody talking about them? Orlando has won nine of its last 10 games, the last three without their starting point guard. Without looking it up, we’d confidently say no team in the NBA has a frontcourt trio as productive as Dwight Howard (21.8 ppg), Hedo Turkoglu (17.3 ppg) and Rashard Lewis (18.2 ppg).

3. Cleveland Cavaliers (14-3) — There won’t be as big of a media circus when the Knicks come to Cleveland on Wednesday, just a good ol’ beatdown. Subplot: Ben Wallace can watch David Lee grab 15 rebounds and wonder where the years went.

2. Boston Celtics (16-2) — Eight wins in a row, but they lose points for a close call against the Bobcats. And remind us, how exactly have the ‘Cats managed to get Boston’s number?

1. Los Angeles Lakers (14-1) — Still winning (seven in a row) and still making it look like practice. Kobe is sitting out fourth quarters left and right, Gasol and Bynum seem to have figured each other out, and Lamar’s not rocking the boat despite his contract year/sixth man situation. If only Trevor Ariza could shoot, Sasha Vujacic could defend, Vlad Radmanovic wasn’t insane and NBA TV would stop showing that Jordan Farmar tropical island yoga special, things would be perfect.

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  • http://BigTmusic.com Balla

    First

  • vinny

    Chicago better than Atlanta??? San Antonio rated lower than Dallas-who makes these rankings? based on what?

  • Duke

    The Spurs definitely have more haters than the Rockets.

  • JCARR

    OKC is the 30th team!!! They dont win or get publicity. Therefore no one cares about them.
    Pistons at 15. OOUUUCCCHHH.

  • jeremy

    wiz behind okc? straight up disrespectful.

  • isotope

    After how they let the pacers steal that W and then losing a game to the Nuggets last night. Add that to all the roster/injury woes. Even die-hard Rockets fans have days they hate their team.

  • doug

    Finally, Lakers #1 it took you cats a while to catch up I don’t see how these cats have had the best record for a minute now. Stop watching those highlights and get NBA League Pass, you guys are going at Kobe because of his fall off in PPG this cat DNP’s 4th quarters like nobody’s business. Jeremy, news flash the wiz suck.

  • matthew

    you guys have the Blazers pretty low. Undefeated at home, brutal schedule (7 at home, 11 on the road with 4 more road games incoming), yet still with the 2nd best record in the West.

  • Big Sia

    NETS IN THE BUILDING

    We’re coming for the East

  • Luigi

    2 n 12 and still gonna make the playoffs.

    just watch. ill laugh at all yall haters who benn sleepin on the wiz.

    just bkuz we have no finishers besides caron

    justifying that we have Ed “Barack Obama” Tapscott as our Interim

    i hope that……im tellin the truth on the first 2 statements..

    this was pointless…

  • rlf

    trevor can’t shoot? what are you talking about, the guy is great, he worked on his game during the summer, and he has an outside shot now, check it out once in a while. and about sasha, sasha’s great at defense, he annoys the heck out of the opponents just ask, AI, melo and so on

  • MoxWestCoastRep

    yeah J-kidd is licking his chops….He might score 15 points against the suns! LOL.

  • Jeremy

    No way did you just say the Hornets looked good on Thanksgiving. They played so bad I kept checking to see if I was watching New Orleans or Charlotte. They fed Melvin Ely 4 possesions in a row at one point without a bucket. Chris Paul was just in another world, thats why they won that game. They are not looking like a top 5 team in the west right now if you’re really watching the games.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    I like how rlf (#11) had no argument against the statement that Vlad is insane.

  • mo

    uh… Nets in front of Blazers??

  • jeremy

    damn someone’s impersonating me

  • Chris

    Hawks at 10-6 behind Heat (8-9), Bulls (8-9) and Raptors (8-8)? Seriously? Why the hate? Never a single mention in Smack and now this? I mean, they haven’t been mentioned once in around two weeks in Smack.

    They’re playin .500 ball without J. Smith, who besides being their second best scorer, is THE defensive cog that is vital to thier defense. His presence changes everything about how opponents attack the Hawks. And he is supposed to come back wednesday so they get that back.

    The Heat and Raptors are only play close to .500 ball b/c Bosh and Wade are just insane. The Heat will fall off unless Beasly picks it up or they make a trade b/c no way D-Wade carries them and ENTIRE season. A few months? yeah. Until April? Don’t see it.

    The Hawks split with the Raptors, won with Smith, lost without him.

    Like ya’ll said, Derrick Rose is the only decent thing about the Bulls. And how many times have the Bulls been blown out? Plus, they lost to Atlanta, when Smith was out. So how are they above them?

    I’m not saying Atlanta should be top ten but 18? Really? Crazy

  • mavid

    Yeah, ATL gets no respect. Team was 6-0 and then Josh Smith went down. Now they´re 10-6, which is respectable when you consider the schedule and that they´re second best player was out (and the key to their defense).

    DIME, you prolly dont know this, but Joe Johnson has been playing with a sprained toe the last 5 games or so. It has been night and day, and you can tell he isnt moving right… but yeah, you´d have to actually WATCH the games to know that. Dude can´t really cut right now.

  • mavid

    Aww DIME, you let Marc Stein from ESPN school you… On the Hawks:

    “The Hawks just played 12 straight games without Josh Smith — eight of them on the road — and wound up going 6-6.”

  • Prof. TX

    The Spurs definitely have more haters than the Rockets, unless you’re talking about the Dime office. Calling Yao soft, constantly talking about McGrady’s injuries, hating Battier for no reason; these have all been Dime articles just in the last month or so.

  • GayforRudy

    Hey doug do you know any words besides “cat”. And yes I’m calling you a p*ss y