Hit List / Nov 16, 2009 / 4:31 pm

NBA Hit List power ranking, 11.16

Amar'e Stoudemire

Amar'e Stoudemire

Ranking the NBA from worst to first…

30. New Jersey Nets (0-10) — During the lopsided part of the Pacquiao/Cotto fight, Jim Lampley enthusiastically said Cotto “almost landed a big left.” And he meant it in a good way. That’s how it’s been for the Nets; last week they almost beat Philly and Miami, so far the highlights of their season.

29. Minnesota Timberwolves (1-10) — The rest of November has them facing Houston, Denver and Phoenix at home, and the Blazers, Nuggets and Clippers on the road. It could be a long couple of weeks.

28. New York Knicks (1-9) — Don’t worry, Eddy Curry is reportedly going to be back from injury this week.

27. Memphis Grizzlies (2-8) — After a tiny dose of dealing with Allen Iverson drama, who thought it was a good idea to bring in Jamaal Tinsley? If he doesn’t work out, who’s next: Pierre Pierce?

26. Golden State Warriors (3-6) — After what Brandon Jennings did to them over the weekend, GS finally decided to get somebody who can play defense; hence the Raja Bell-for-Captain Jack deal.

25. New Orleans Hornets (3-8) — Byron Scott falls on the sword, then Chris Paul falls on Joel Przybilla’s foot.

24. Charlotte Bobcats (3-6) — Stephen Jackson provides scoring punch and the crunch time go-to guy Charlotte hasn’t had. Is he enough to get them past their slow start and in position to challenge for the playoffs?

23. Washington Wizards (2-7) — Before the season, there was a battle for the starting two-guard spot. After giving up 41 points to Dwyane Wade and 29 to Ben Gordon last week, maybe the Wiz should reevaluate that competition. What’s Michael Cooper up to these days?

22. L.A Clippers (4-7) — All that talk about Baron Davis due to explode this season after a down year, and he’s shooting 39 percent from the field and 30 percent from three. Maybe Sunday’s big-time clutch performance in OKC will help turn things around for him.

21. Philadelphia 76ers (4-6) — Halfway through November, and Philly’s only wins this month have been against the Nets.

Kevin Durant (photo. Jared McMillen)

Kevin Durant (photo. Jared McMillen)

20. Oklahoma City Thunder (5-5) — A road win against fully-healthy San Antonio was supposed to be a big statement, but then OKC turned around and dropped one to the Clippers at home.

19. Sacramento Kings (5-4) — Kevin Martin gets hurt, Sacto runs off four wins in a row. How soon before we start getting those, “Are they better without him?” stories you used to get with Vince Carter in Toronto or still get with T-Mac in Houston?

18. Utah Jazz (4-6) — Random stat that we didn’t have time to fully research: Utah has more younger siblings playing major college ball than any team in the League. Elijah Millsap starts for Alabama-Birmingham, Charles Boozer comes off the bench at Iowa State, and Kaleb Korver plays for Creighton.

17. Detroit Pistons (5-5) — It’s not exactly Dwight Howard numbers, but not many people would’ve expected Ben Wallace to be good for 9.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks this season. It’s like he’s found the fountain of middle age.

16. Indiana Pacers (4-3) — Four wins in a row, including an upset of the Celtics over the weekend. They got Dahntay Jones for his defense, but his offense (16.4 ppg) has been a pleasant surprise. He dropped 25 points on Boston.

15. Chicago Bulls (5-4) — Is there more to Derrick Rose’s slow start than just a bad ankle? His numbers aren’t too far from his R.O.Y. digits, 13.8 points and 5.3 assists, but he just hasn’t had the same impact.

14. Toronto Raptors (5-5) — Chris Bosh has led the Raps in scoring in nine of their 10 games, and in rebounding in right games. As if you didn’t need a reminder that T-Dot really needs to re-sign him.

13. San Antonio Spurs (4-4) — Duncan and Parker are back, which somehow translated into a home loss to the Thunder. This team is notorious for its slow starts, so nobody should be too worried.

Brandon Jennings

Brandon Jennings

12. Milwaukee Bucks (5-2) — Yes, the Bucks are ranked ahead of the Spurs. No, this isn’t 1972. But if it were, the role of Tiny Archibald is being played by Brandon Jennings.

11. Houston Rockets (6-4) — We know this much; the Lakers don’t want to see them in the playoffs.

10. Orlando Magic (7-3) — Teams have definitely figured out the formula to beat the Magic: Get Dwight Howard in foul trouble, and pray the three-point shooters are having an off night.

9. Portland Trail Blazers (8-3) — Currently on a six-game win streak. Who cares if five of those W’s came against the Wolves (twice), Grizzlies, Bobcats and the sinking Hornets?

8. Denver Nuggets (7-3) — For a minute there, it was looking like Carmelo’s scoring average (29.7 ppg) would never dip below 30 this year.

7. Miami Heat (7-2) — Quentin Richardson and Marc Gasol are in a dead heat for the “Who is that guy?” award. Q looks like a completely different person after dropping some weight and losing the headband.

6. Dallas Mavericks (7-3) — Dirk Nowitzki deserves just as much early MVP talk as ‘Melo, Wade, Nash, Kobe, LeBron of whoever else is on your list. He’s putting up 25.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.

5. Atlanta Hawks (8-2) — Friday’s road win at Boston was a huge statement. Ever since Joe Johnson publicly called the team out following a blowout loss to the Bobcats, they’ve won four straight against three ’09 playoff teams.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers (7-3) –Having won four straight and with no predictably tough tests ahead until Nov. 28 against Dallas, the pieces are in place for another big run by the Cavs.

3. Boston Celtics (8-3) — Nothing like having the Warriors on the schedule when you’re looking to avoid a three-game losing streak and have a big game against Orlando coming up. Ray Allen is still looking to get going; he’s hitting 32 percent from beyond the arc. Rasheed Wallace is also looking to regain his stroke, shooting at a 31 percent clip from downtown.

2. Los Angeles Lakers (7-3) — Against the Nuggets the Lakers looked road-weary and sluggish. Against Houston they just got outhustled. We didn’t think it was possible with Kobe and Phil involved, but is this a post-championship hangover we’re seeing?

1. Phoenix Suns (9-2) — The Lakers fans won’t like it, but after what happened to the defending champs over the weekend, it’s hard to give L.A. the top spot. Yes, Steve Nash and crew lost decisively to the Lake Show, but they’ve been more consistent overall so far this season; still undefeated at home, having won five of their last six overall, getting vintage performances out of Nash, and career performances out of Channing Frye.

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  • Diego

    Hawks No. 5–are you kidding me? They’ve beat Boston, Portland and Sacramento on the road; Denver and Indiana in Atlanta. One loss in L.A.; the other a fluke in Charlotte.

    What the hell? Put them at 1 or 2 where they belong!! Dime, don’t sell out to Celtics, Cleveland and L.A., regardless of record, like the rest of the world! (Is David Stern reaching his tentacles into Dime now?)

  • Ducky The Truth

    Lets Go Rockets!!!!!!

    - That Artest shoe throw was pretty funny but cheap.
    - Eddy Curry will be on the side lines with a 2 BK Triple Stackers and a Lrg Fries and a Lrg Strawberry Shake.

  • Ducky The Truth

    @1

    “Is David Stern reaching his tentacles into Dime now?”

    its a conspiracy.

  • Jazz

    Atlanta…come on…theyre right now the team to beat…its crazy…No1 easy…Josh Smith is doing whatever he wants on the court…17reb/points, 6 assists, 4 steals 4 blocks and stuff like that

  • Dagomar

    I know the Lakers are the league’s best team when healthy, but the team isn’t healthy and it is losing bad games by big margins. Why are the Lakers ranked second?

  • http://bt.davka.info/ SparkyJay23

    Another for how the hell are the Hawks not top 3?

    Its not a conspiracy its just LAZY….

  • bigdoggchad

    Wow Denver at 8?! Are you kidding me?!

  • rangerjohn

    dime lost their mind, i mean damn how do they not have the spurs in top 3? LMAO ok ok, lakers should at best be 5, atl, den, phx, mia, lal/bos.

  • Melvin

    How are the Hawks not top 2. They have a better record than 2,3 and 4. They also beat Boston AT Boston… They’re the team to beat.

  • LakeShow84

    “Ray Allen is still looking to get going; he’s hitting 32 percent from beyond the arc. Rasheed Wallace is also looking to regain his stroke, shooting at a 31 percent clip from downtown”

    Look for that to be ur downfall C’s..

    Oh and u guys have no real defensive stopper..

    And can someone send the refs the tape of Pierces GAY, WEAK & SUPERFLOPPISH head jerk thing he does to get fouls?? that shit cost us a finals game..

  • LakeShow84

    SIGH

    Cavs is WACK.. and where are all the Cleveland fans at?? i aint heard shit from a Cleveland fan for a coo minutes..

    Since last years ECF to be exact..

  • Kermit The Washington

    Dang. I hate to say it, but the LakeShow is pushin’ summer repeats right now. This is wack. I don’t think Gasol coming back is the only thing we need right now. We need a freakin’ VACATION. Cats are looking mad stupid. Oh, and we DEFINITELY need a point guard. Cup-check better have something in the works, ’cause this DFish/Farmar/Vujacic thing has escaped disaster once already, and it won’t happen again.

  • http://astrokidz.blogspot.com T.J.

    How are the Hawks not top 2? Their on fire right now. Josh Smith is actually proving that he has a chance at making the ASG. Jamal is killing it as a 6th man. Idk how they ended up below Boston and Cleveland. They currently have a top 2 record in the league…. This makes no sense.

  • BiG ShoT BoB

    @LakeShow84…The Celts are taking ya’ll down this year if you even make it out the western conference.

  • Sacto_J

    Sacto @ #19! This list being dynamic, I don’t expect they’ll stay there for long, but that’s up 13 spots from the end of last season, and not quite what anyone expected…Evans for ROY and GO KINGS…!!!

  • CavsFan

    @ LakeShow84

    We’re letting FakerNation do all the talking for now. This year we staying focused. The King’s getting his ring, we’re done respecting those old guys in LA and Boston

  • B_Eaze

    Hawks at 5?…who da hell wrote this?..u gotta be f’ing kidding me.

  • LAballer

    LOL @ 14

    roooiiiiiite

  • Brian

    The most you can say about the Jazz is about the team’s brothers playing in college? Its been that kind of season so far…

  • mavs all the way

    Nets at number 30?!!!

  • mavs all the way

    Wolves at 29?!!!!

  • elipse

    lakers at n 2 is a joke. these rankings literally rewarded the teams that are losing and punished the ones that are winning

  • Sweet English

    Would everyone just CHILL with the Hawks should be top 2 comments and all this?

    This is the POWER RANKINGS. Ranking the likelyhood of being NBA Champs at the end of the year.

    Who reading this article right hear right now really thinks the Hawks are gonna be lifting that trophy at the end of the season?

    Anyone? I’ll wait….

    So as much as a good record shows that the Hawks are on fire right now, we all know they arent a chip team.

  • Diego

    @ Sweet English: So, by your analysis, you must be telling us then that Phoenix (ranked 1 in the Power Ranking) is the no. 1 favorite as of this week to win the NBA title at the end of the season?

    (I’d say the Hawks have as good a chance as Phoenix.)