Hit List, Latest News, NBA / Nov 2, 2009 / 3:16 pm

NBA Hit List power ranking, 11.2

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett

The worst part about preseason polls is that voters adopt a loyalty to those pre-determined spots even after the season shows us some of those picks were just wrong. College football gets it the worst, but the same often applies for the NBA; the only saving grace is that, at the end of the day, voter opinion doesn’t matter because the NBA has a playoff.

That said, we ignored making a preseason NBA Hit List power ranking, so as not to influence this first week’s edition. Counting down from worst to first…

30. Charlotte Bobcats (1-2) — At least the new uniforms aren’t too ugly, right? Right?

29. Sacramento Kings (0-3) — Pound for pound, they’ve got the worst starting frontcourt around: Jason Thompson, Sean May and Desmond Mason. Nobody would be surprised if Shareef Abdur-Rahim decided to come out of retirement right now.

28. New York Knicks (0-3) — It’s kind of funny when Chris Duhon has to be the guy to step up and chastise his teammates for their lack of pre-game preparation and focus. His pep talk was reportedly written on a bar napkin from Gallagher’s 2000.

27. New Jersey Nets (0-3)Yi Jianlian was a popular preseason pick, but Chris Douglas-Roberts is the one making a strong early bid for Most Improved Player, averaging 13 points per and dropping 25 on the Wizards on Halloween.

26. Minnesota Timberwolves (1-2) — Damien Wilkins’ game-winner on Opening Night bailed Kurt Rambis out of having to answer a good question: Why run a clear-out for rookie Jonny Flynn on the last possession when you have Al Jefferson on the block?

25. Indiana Pacers (0-2) — You say the Pacers have depth. We say the starters just aren’t that much better than the backups.

24. Golden State Warriors (0-2) — Stephen Jackson is getting booed at home, so at least we know the GS fans haven’t stopped caring.

23. Memphis Grizzlies (1-2) — In three games they’ve given up 96, 107, and 133 points. If you believe in trends, bet on the Kings dropping 148 in Monday’s tilt. Oh, and that Iverson guy finally makes his debut tonight.

22. Detroit Pistons (1-2) — Rip Hamilton served notice on Opening Night that he isn’t going to quietly fade into the background, dropping 25 points. Then he hurt his ankle and missed the next two games.

Brandon Jennings

Brandon Jennings

21. Milwaukee Bucks (1-1) — Forgive the Bucks fans if they’re not getting too excited about Brandon Jennings (20.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 6.0 apg) just yet; the last time they had a rookie PG this good, it turned out to be T.J. Ford.

20. Los Angeles Clippers (0-4) — Far and away the best winless team in the League. Seriously, the Clips aren’t that bad. They’ve just had a murderous schedule.

19. New Orleans Hornets (1-2) — Last year it was assists and steals. Is Chris Paul gunning for the scoring title this year? Three games in, he’s averaging 26.3 points on 65 percent shooting from the field.

18. Philadelphia 76ers (2-1) — On the second highest-scoring team in the League, Elton Brand is still averaging just 13 points and six boards. Are his 20-10 days done?

17. Oklahoma City Thunder (2-1) — James Harden is off to a real slow start in his Rookie of the Year campaign: 4.3 points on 29 percent shooting in just 15 minutes a night.

16. Toronto Raptors (1-2) — Not like he has anything to prove in his contract year, but Chris Bosh is tearing it up, averaging 31 points and 14.7 rebounds per game.

15. Utah Jazz (1-1) –It’s gonna be real tough to keep Deron Williams off the All-Star team in 2010 if he keeps slapping up 24 points and 11 assists every night.

14. Houston Rockets (2-1) — Wednesday, Nov. 4, Trevor Ariza gets his first chance to show the Lakers what they gave up.

13. Portland Trail Blazers (2-2) — It’s been lost in the neck-and-neck battle between Andre Miller and Steve Blake for minutes at point guard, but Jerryd Bayless has yet to see the court.

12. Cleveland Cavaliers (2-2) — Once again LeBron has to do almost everything here, but at least you don’t have to worry about him getting in foul trouble. In 155 minutes, he’s had just seven whistled on him.

11. Chicago Bulls (1-2) — Yes, they beat the Spurs, but then got smashed by Boston and lost to Miami. Athletic and deep, the Bulls are also turning into one of the League’s most inconsistent and unpredictable teams.

10. Miami Heat (3-0) — Three games, three wins, and Jermaine O’Neal is putting up 17 and 10 a night. How long can Miami stay skeptical?

9. Washington Wizards (2-1) — More pleasantly surprising than Gilbert Arenas’ 28 points per game on 50 percent shooting, Andray Blatche is going for 21 points a night. If he plays even close to his potential, the Wizards are more dangerous than an angry ex-girlfriend.

8. Phoenix Suns (3-0) — Just like the good ol’ days, the Suns lead the NBA with 117 points per game. And that’s with zero overtimes so far. Add Channing Frye to the list of guys who will owe Steve Nash money someday.

7. Atlanta Hawks (2-1) — For all their talent, they still kill themselves with sloppy play and bad decision making. But if Joe Johnson can bottle whatever he had in the first quarter against the Lakers (18 pts), he’ll carry Atlanta beyond expectations.

Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol

6. Los Angeles Lakers (2-1) — Before you judge too strongly one way or the other, remember that Pau Gasol is still out with a bad hamstring.

5. San Antonio Spurs (2-1) — Richard Jefferson looked lost in his first two games before scoring 21 against the Kings on Saturday.

4. Dallas Mavericks (2-1) — Thanks to Jason Kidd for confirming what a lot of people have been saying for a long time: Shawn Marion is only as good as the point guard who’s passing him the ball.

3. Denver Nuggets (3-0) — Carmelo Anthony takes the pole position for MVP, leading the League with 37 points per game.

2. Orlando Magic (3-0) — It’s like the NBA season hasn’t officially started until you see Vince Carter limping off the court on a hurt ankle. Even without VC and the suspended Rashard Lewis, the Magic didn’t miss a beat at Toronto on Sunday, dropping 125 points behind J.J. Redick and Ryan Anderson’s shooting.

1. Boston Celtics (4-0) — Garnett is healthy, Pierce is focused, Rondo is paid, Rasheed is motivated … even Shelden looks like an NBA player for once. The defense is giving up a League-low 81 points a night, and the field-goal percentage D (39.1%) ranks second.

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  • LakeShow84

    No F that!!

    We should be first lol

  • rangerjohn

    cant find an argument in this ranking. although i am sure there are SOME who would disagree with the location of at least one team. LMAO

  • mike

    Shareef might as well come out of retirement since they are still paying him. Look it up.

  • Diggity Dave

    The Heat are for real!

  • John

    The Heat should be number 6 or 7, they 20 pieced everybody, and D-Wade is not even trying

  • Citizen B

    *Chicago lost to Miami in Miami.

  • sh!tfaced

    Shit, Bill Laimbeer could come out of retirement, outplay Mark Blount and become a better compliment center to Big Al.

  • Patrick

    Marion is only as good as the pg passing him the ball, but you can reasonably say he was as good as nash and now as good as kid. For someone who is more of an athlete than a bball player that is pretty impressive. Put him on the hornets or jazz and he would kill people.

  • JBaller

    I think my Knicks are ranked too high! 28th? Who could argue that we’re better than those other two crappy -a$$ teams. At least we’ll have a good shot at a lottery pick -oh wait, Utah has our 2010 pick! My expectaions have been so low for so long, but I’m not sure I can even root for these guys anymore.

    Otherwise, good post. Go Nuggs! (my new favorite team)

  • http://www.in-n-outnba.blogspot.com Lucas

    Celtics are looking nearly flawless lately, I can’t wait til they play the Magic

  • http://bt.davka.info/ SparkyJay23

    You guys are tripping if you think ANYTHING is more dangerous than an ex-girlfriend….

  • LAballer

    whattt lakers are 6? dime wtf?? i hate you!!!

    hahah naww im not even arguing..bench has looked weak sauce..we’re missing our second best player..just got the rings so everyone has a very relaxed attitude on the team..no reason for them to be above any of those teams for sure based on their play this week

    of course..one could say the spurs havent shown much either =] haddddda do it!

  • Force

    haha , like vince is always hurt ?, you sure you did your homework ? he’s more on court than queen james and kobe

  • King

    Take note people. KG is still a little shakey on that knee and … Instead of Sheldon Williams well gave glen Davis for those minutes….. This could get real ugly for the rest of the league.

  • http://www.in-n-outnba.blogspot.com Lucas

    It’s amazing how much better Nash makes players around him. Even if he doesn’t get a ring, he’s gotta get inducted to the hall.

  • dagwaller

    3. Denver Nuggets (3-0) — Carmelo Anthony takes the pole PAUSE position for MVP, leading the League with 37 points per game.

  • arisloco

    Celtics does that opponent points per game with the help of the refs!Fuck that

  • Bob

    How the heck are the Cavs 12 behind the Bulls, Heat, Wizards, and Suns? They obviously don’t need LeBron to put up huge points (Bobcats game), Delonte is back and he hasn’t missed a beat, and the defense is improving with every game.

  • padoods

    @force

    when did you start watching the NBA? last year? lebron and kobe are two of the sturdiest players in the league. VC? not so much..

  • http://yahoo.com john grizz

    Try again , vc missed like 2 games last year, and the year before + he plays throug pain not like little princess who cry over jamed fingers vince carter is a great player with a lot of haters just cause he don’t dunk n e more. He still avr. 20 plus with 5 b 5 as .

  • heartbreaker85

    wtf

    i understand all the VC hate for playing soft at times

    but the last time he sat out so many games was that one season in toronto

    he’s been solid as a support player

  • padoods

    and you need to take off your VC colored glasses LOL. he earned that reputation for playing soft FOR A REASON.

    anyways i understand that he’s been healthy recently. im just saying that the guy who says VC has played more games than KB or lebron better check his facts before spewing nonsense…

  • gilford22

    The Cavs should be ranked maybe around 16-18. This list is biased, they only defeated weak teams and couldn’t even handle the Raptors.

  • Juanito

    Rondo = little bitch

  • RobertGingebreadman

    I Like Da List But Nuggets #3. How About #1. We Have Melo Playin Like He Wants The MVP(Which He Will Get!!!!)And Wait Until We Get J.R. Smith Back. Nobody In The West OR East Can Fuck With Us Rite Now. I Smell An NBA Championship!!!

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    please move utah to 31st for next week. thanks, a long-suffering jazz fan.