Hit List, Latest News, NBA / Mar 10, 2010 / 4:18 pm

NBA Hit List Power Ranking, 3.10

Dirk Nowitzki (photo. Monte Isom)

Ranking the NBA from worst to first…

30. New Jersey Nets (7-56) — Garbage in, garbage out, garbage up, garbage down.

29. Minnesota Timberwolves (14-50) — In Monday’s loss to Dallas, Kurt Rambis sat Kevin Love most of the night and played Darko in his place, claiming he wanted to have a more active big man to give Dirk some problems. You’re over-thinking it, homeboy. Play the double-double kid.

28. Golden State Warriors (17-46) — In two of the losses during this five-game skid, GS dropped 120-plus points and still couldn’t get a win. If the Warriors played Providence College in a 40-minute game, what would be the score? We’re seeing 145-120, NBA guys.

27. Philadelphia 76ers (23-40) — They’re bad. Very bad. But hey, at least they’re boring, too, so you don’t ever get sucked into watching them on NBA League Pass.

26. New York Knicks (22-40) — They lose to the Nets, then turn around and beat Atlanta. That doesn’t even make sense.

25. Washington Wizards (21-40) — Though talented and energetic, they’re still young. Exhibit A: Playing three and a half great quarters against Boston before falling apart in crunch time.

24. Sacramento Kings (21-43) — The only intrigue left in their season is how soon Tyreke Evans can unquestionably lock up the R.O.Y. award, and if he and Carl Landry show enough chemistry for the Kings to pick up Landry’s contract option.

23. Indiana Pacers (21-43) — They were competitive for a while in losses to the Lakers and Suns, and beating any team (even Philly) without Danny Granger in the lineup is impressive for this group.

22. Los Angeles Clippers (25-39) — The Mike Dunleavy Sr. era is officially, totally over. Any update on those Isiah Thomas rumors? How about Jim Harrick? He’s local.

O.J. Mayo, Dime #52

21. Detroit Pistons (22-41) — What kind of energy drink did Tayshaun Prince discover? He’s averaging 20.2 points in his last five games, including a 29-point effort against Houston where he was flying all over the place and dunking on cats like Josh Smith.

20. Memphis Grizzlies (33-31) — Monday’s win over the New Jersey Slump-Busters ended an eight-game home losing streak for the Grizzlies.

19. Toronto Raptors (32-30) — Lost six of their last seven, but at least Chris Bosh is back now. CB4 dropped two three-pointers against the Lakers, including a clutch one with under 10 seconds to go. Is this a new facet of his game we’re going to see more often?

18. Chicago Bulls (31-31) — Terrible time to go on a losing streak when you’re teetering on the .500 fence and still fighting for a playoff spot. Chicago has dropped four in a row, and the schedule coming up is rough: Utah, at Orlando, at Miami, at Memphis, at Dallas, Cleveland.

17. Miami Heat (32-32) — Quentin Richardson averaged 20.6 points points in last week’s three-game win streak over the Warriors, Lakers and Hawks. When Miami lost to the Bobcats on Tuesday, Q-Rich was 2-for-8 and finished with seven points.

16. New Orleans Hornets (32-31) — Since David West is putting up the exact same numbers with Darren Collison running the point as he was with Chris Paul running the point, isn’t it obvious that West is better on his own than anybody wants to admit?

15. Houston Rockets (32-31) — Aaron Brooks and Kevin Martin have officially hit their stride as arguably the best scoring backcourt in the League. Some of their toughest competition comes from within their own division, as Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton keep ripping it up in New Orleans.

14. Charlotte Bobcats (31-31) — Do the Bobcats uniforms make players appear fatter than they actually are? The other night Theo Ratliff looked like Hot Plate Williams from certain camera angles. Maybe we’ve been too harsh on guys like Boris Diaw and Sean May in the past.

13. Portland Trail Blazers (38-28) — Joel Przybilla re-injured his knee when he slipped in the shower. Did Darius Miles put a hex on this team or something?

Ray Allen, Dime #11

12. San Antonio Spurs (36-25) — Just when they were starting to put everything together, having won four straight over Western Conference playoff contenders, Tony Parker goes down with a broken hand.

11. Boston Celtics (40-22) — As we learned with the Wizards game, if the Celtics can get in position to win it late, they have enough experienced vets with big-game experience to get it done. Ray Allen hit the big shots against Washington, while Paul Pierce nearly delivered another dagger against Milwaukee.

10. Milwaukee Bucks (34-29) — Yeah, really. Ten wins in their last 11, including W’s over the Celtics and Cavs. Since getting snubbed as an All-Star, Andrew Bogut has been an uncaged beast out there, and John Salmons was a great deadline pickup.

9. Oklahoma City Thunder (38-24) — As if they didn’t have enough young guys flashing star potential, Serge Ibaka has recorded double-doubles in two of his last five games and averaged about 10 points, 7 boards and 2 blocks in that span.

8. Atlanta Hawks (40-23) — They’ve got a bad habit of slacking off against teams perceived to be inferior. Golden State has given ATL a pair of battles over the last couple weeks, and most recently the Hawks were caught napping and lost to the Knicks. With Washington, Detroit and Jersey coming up on the schedule, Joe Johnson and Josh Smith need to keep this crew motivated.

7. Phoenix Suns (40-25) — Say what you want about Channing Frye letting midget Earl Watson get in his head and the wisdom of Jason Richardson to swing at Danny Granger, but at least the Suns are standing up for their teammates and (literally) showing some fight. You couldn’t always say that in the past.

6. Utah Jazz (41-22) — How tough is Deron Williams’ job? The last five games have seen him go head-to-head with Aaron Brooks, Steve Nash, Baron Davis (twice) and Derrick Rose. How tough is Deron Williams? He averaged 22.6 points, 12.4 dimes and 1.8 steals during that stretch.

5. Denver Nuggets (42-21) — Birdman is getting some of his swagger back. He’s swatted 3.3 shots per night over the last three games, adding 10 ppg and 7 rpg off the bench for good measure.

Kobe Bryant

4. Los Angeles Lakers (47-18) — Kobe comes to the rescue against Toronto to avoid L.A. having a four-game losing streak. Kobe is masking the realities that the bench needs to step up and the defense from the point guard spot is awful.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers (50-15) — Things you learn when LeBron isn’t playing: Delonte West is a pretty sick athlete, Mo Williams has no problem going back to gunning like he never left the Bucks if he has to, and Jawad Williams was a starter at North Carolina for a reason. The Cavs lost to a hot Milwaukee team (10 wins in their last 11) while LeBron nursed a sore ankle. Next time out, with no LeBron, no Shaq and Antawn Jamison gone for the second half, Cleveland managed to squeak past San Antonio.

2. Orlando Magic (45-20) — Yeah, their six-game win streak hasn’t come against elite competition, but Orlando is taking care of business against the teams they should beat — smashing the Heat, Warriors, Sixers, Nets and Clippers by an average of 20 points a night — and got past the Lakers in a game that had NBA Finals atmosphere.

1. Dallas Mavericks (44-21) — Surviving close calls against Minnesota and Sacramento, the Mavs win streak is at 12. And counting, with the Nets, Knicks, Bulls and struggling Celtics all coming up at home. Whenever someone goes down, someone else steps up: Brendan Haywood did it when Erick Dampier got hurt, now Rodrigue Beaubois (18.5 ppg in his last four) and Shawn Marion (19 ppg in his last four) and doing it since Jason Terry broke his face.

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  • sh!tfaced

    Damn Celtics. Struggling against teams they should be putting away even when sitting on their wheel chairs…

    Maybe that’s why they lost to the Nyets. Young garbage vs old garbage. Experienced as they are, old garbage is still …garbage.

  • K Dizzle

    “Since David West is putting up the exact same numbers with Darren Collison running the point as he was with Chris Paul running the point, isn’t it obvious that West is better on his own than anybody wants to admit”

    truest statement of the day

  • life-p

    I hate to admit it, but today while I was running in the pool, I was playing “Imaginary GM” and if I were the Hornets, I would trade Chris Paul.

  • http://slcdunk.com AllthatJazz / Amar

    been saying this for a while, if Bogut played a bit closer to lake michigan, he’d be a 2 time all-star by now.

  • My Favorite Superhero

    Wait, who else on the Bucks is balling??? Who is even on the bucks now???

  • mavs all the way

    hmmmmm…. some dallas love!

    i hope they don’t slack off and get too high about the win streak.

    bring the rain!

  • mavs all the way

    @5, i know right? more than anything else, i think that only shows that scott skiles is really one of them good coach.

    who thought (aside from Bucks fans) they’d be making the playoffs this year. and i dont think i am getting ahead of myself.

  • Octopus Jonny

    @4…how much closer to Lake Michigan can he get?

    And @ Dime; RE: Pierce almost delivering a dagger against the Bucks; If his shot had hit, it would have tied the game and gone into OT, where from the looks of things, Boston’s legs would’ve given out.

    Boston is playing as old as they actually are right now. Is this team going to have the gas to push themselves out of the first round this year? Unless something wild happens (losing a bunch of games at home), they’ll pretty much have the 4th seed on lock assuming the Hawks take over the 3rd.

    Will the Celtics be able to rest their old men the last few games of the year in hopes of freshening up their legs? They only have 8 of their final 20 on the road, but they play 5 sets (10 games) of back-to-backs including a 3 game trip out West where they play the Rockets and Mavs B2B and follow that with a day of rest before Utah. Their key players have so many miles on em, it’s going to really interesting seeing what kind of shape they roll into the playoffs in.

    I am pulling for my Bucks to hold onto that 5th seed, and I think we match up well against Boston. Bogut just BEASTED their frontcourt and I don’t see him letting up any time soon. I think the Bucks could at the very least be a tough out, and maybe even break into the 2nd round. I also think the Bucks are the only team out of the top 4 in the East that has a chance to get out of the 1st if they keep this kind of play up.

    FEAR THE DEER

  • datdood

    correct me if i’m wrong, but didn’t one of the dime writers say the bucks were going to be “league pass viewing worthy” this season. pretty on point predection if you ask me.

  • Octopus Jonny

    Sorry to go all novel on yall, but gotta add, to respond to #5…

    Brandon Jennings, while not shooting as well as he did at the start of the season, is the perfect floor general for this team. He sets guys up, calls the shots, makes the pass that sets up the pass when needed. He’s been clutch from the line all season and has hit some big shots when called on. I think Brandon’s performance aside from his shooting has been a cut above other rookies this season. His swagger has rubbed off on the rest of the team and he’s got a team predicted to be last in the East looking at a 5 seed.

    John Salmons has been exactly what the Bucks needed at the 2, a go to scorer to take pressure of Jennings, and a pesky defender with the size and length to cover the top 2 guards.

    Carlos Delfino was plucked off the scrap heap from Europe and has been solid. His shooting is up and down, but he plays stingy defense, hustles hard, is an effective passer, and just a real versatile guy.

    Luc Richard Mbah a Moute/Ersan Ilyasova have been the 2 headed beast at PF. Since moving to PF LRMAM has been solid, he’s one of the best defenders in the league in only his 2nd year. Ilyasova has a high motor and range out beyond the arc. Together they’ve been a great tandem at PF. Both great hustle players, they do all the dirty work around the basket.

    Obviously Bogut.

    Luke Ridnour is having a career year off the bench spelling Jennings and playing some 2 when Skiles rolls out his small lineup.

    The team is filled with guys that hustle hard, play good 1-on-1 defense, and have bonded to play great team defense.

    Scott Skiles definitely deserves consideration for Coach of the Year for this team.

  • rangerjohn

    speaking of “hit list” its the epic beard man!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4OnhnvczTk

  • http://Diiimebitch Chris Ballz

    Ye, Aussie bogut doing us proud. If only patty mills could get some play time. I rekon lakers should go after him!!!

  • http://uoregon.edu sans

    Cavs still got best record, without Shaq, playing well without Lebron, they don’t even have Boobie Gibson…and Delonte has been my favorite Cav since the Boston series when he was the only player other than Lebron that was unshook by the Celtics….sometimes a little crazy is a good thing…

  • Dirtball Rotten

    as long as Kobe is in a laker uniform and Gasol is there.. i cant take them out of the top 2 or 3 teams in the league. F. Dat.

  • http://slcdunk.com AllthatJazz / Amar

    whoops . . . Geography Fail . . .

    I should have said “a little bit more south” on the 94 instead of trying to bring in the great lakes . . .

  • Sporty-j

    Dallas does look like they are going to spoil the lakers chances of repeating and i think the injury bug is going to hurt the Cavs during the playoffs because they will get an out of shape Shaq back probabaly for the second round. But either way, i think Orlando just has to much heart for the CAVS. If Dallas pass the Lakers for the #1 seed the Lakers will have to face Denver in the second and than Dallas in the third. No way they get past both those teams. My call is Orlando vs Dallas. This time Kobe will join Lebron at home during those puppet commercials…