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Hit List / Mar 3, 2010 / 10:00 am

NBA Hit List Power Ranking, 3.3

Brandon Roy (photo. Aaron Hewitt)

Ranking the NBA from worst to first…

30. New Jersey Nets (6-53) — Mad Dog Carter and the rest of the ’73 Sixers might have to cancel that champagne-popping party. The Nets are 2-5 since the All-Star break, recording wins over the Celtics and the (maybe) playoff-bound Bobcats.

29. Minnesota Timberwolves (14-47) — A disappointing season gets worse for Al Jefferson, suspended for this week’s games against Dallas and Houston after a DWI arrest. On a less serious note, Al’s team has dropped nine of its last 10 games.

28. Golden State Warriors (17-42) — It seems like every night now, somebody e-mails us with, “Who is [Player X] and why is he getting crunch-time minutes on the Warriors?”

27. New York Knicks (20-39) — The Tracy McGrady honeymoon is over. Not that he’s been bad, averaging 12.7 points and 4.0 dimes in six games, but the Knicks are 1-5 since his arrival.

26. Indiana Pacers (20-40) — After a month on the bench, T.J. Ford has worked his way back into the rotation, putting up 13.6 points and only 2.2 turnovers per game in February. Dude is like Freddy Krueger; he can’t be killed off.

25. Philadelphia 76ers (22-37) — Barring some feel-good moments here and there, the Allen Iverson project has to go down as a failure. And it wasn’t even fun while it lasted.

24. Sacramento Kings (20-40) — Carl Landry hardly missed a beat since coming over from Houston. He’s averaging 16 points and 6.2 boards with the Kings.

23. Detroit Pistons (21-39) — Veteran group still gets up for the big games, beating the Spurs and losing close contests to the Nuggets and Celtics recently. On Friday the Pistons visit the Cavs on national TV.

22. Washington Wizards (21-36) — The Wizards always knew they had a hidden beast in Andray Blatche, it just took this long for everybody else to see it. In the seven games since the Jamison trade, Blatche has been good for 26.5 points and 11.7 rebounds a night.

The Boss

21. Los Angeles Clippers (25-35) — Eric Gordon is getting stronger as the season goes on. Since the All-Star break he’s scoring 19.2 points per game and knocking down 46 percent of his threes.

20. Charlotte Bobcats (28-30) — Rather than having David Stern and Billy Hunter engaged in a months-long stare down, a lockout in 2011 could be avoided if the NBA owners somehow get Michael Jordan to represent them in a room full of influential players. Most guys in the League are in such reverence of MJ, they’d do whatever he said even if it cost them money.

19. Miami Heat (30-31) — Just a half-game up on the Bobcats for the 8th playoff seed, missing the postseason would be murder to Miami’s chances of re-signing Dwyane Wade.

18. Memphis Grizzlies (30-30) — If they can somehow snatch that 8th playoff seed from Portland, a first-round series with the Lakers would be more competitive than you think. Maybe the first time ever when a GM (Chris Wallace) would be the main guy with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove.

17. Toronto Raptors (31-28) — Surprisingly, the Raps kind of stink when they don’t have Chris Bosh.

16. New Orleans Hornets (31-30) — Surprisingly, the Hornets don’t really stink that much when they don’t have Chris Paul.

15. Milwaukee Bucks (30-29) — An overtime loss in Atlanta snapped a six-game win streak. John Salmons scored 32 in the loss, and has provided a spark as the primary perimeter scorer since being traded from Chicago.

14. Houston Rockets (30-29) –Kevin Martin has averaged 31 points over the last three games. Yeah, we’d say he’s fitting in nicely.

13. Chicago Bulls (31-29) — If Derrick Rose can keep his knees out of harm’s way, we like the Bulls as a 6th-seed that can put a scare into Atlanta or Boston (again).

12. Portland Trail Blazers (36-27) –Still not quite at 100 percent from his hamstring injury, Brandon Roy has nonetheless dropped 20-plus points in five of his last six games as Portland clings to the last playoff spot in the West.

Rajon Rondo (photo. Christian Kozowyk)

11. Boston Celtics (37-21) — Can we all stop with the “Rajon Rondo only gets assists because he has three Hall of Fame teammates” thing? While the Big Three are all going through down seasons and injuries, Rondo is still handing out 10 dimes a night. He creates plays.

10. San Antonio Spurs (34-24) — Richard Jefferson has been more productive since moving to the bench, but we’re not sure if that warranted the Spurs waiving Mike Finley.

9. Oklahoma City (36-23) — Apparently Kevin Durant would be able score 30 against the Secret Service if President Obama were standing under the basket.

8. Utah Jazz (38-22) — After bricking two huge free throws in the final seconds of a loss to the Clippers on Monday, we have a feeling Deron Williams will rain terror on L.A. in the rematch this Saturday.

7. Atlanta Hawks (38-21) — Pretty easy stretch of schedule coming up: Philly, Golden State, at Miami, at New York, at Washington, Detroit, at New Jersey. The Hawks could conceivably overtake Orlando for second-place in the East by the middle of this month.

6. Denver Nuggets (39-21) — During a loss to Phoenix on Monday, the Suns announcer said Nene “has the size of a center with the quickness of a small forward.” We wouldn’t say Nene is that quick, but he does have the physical tools to be an All-Star someday.

5. Phoenix Suns (38-24) — If Jason Richardson makes a simple one-hand breakaway dunk in San Antonio, the Suns could be riding a seven-game win streak right now.

4. Orlando Magic (41-20) — Now would be a good time to find an offensive rhythm. After hanging 126 points on the Sixers, the Magic have the Warriors and Nets up on the schedule before a big matchup with the Lakers on Sunday.

Dirk Nowitzki (photo. Monte Isom)

3. Dallas Mavericks (40-21) — During this current eight-game win streak, Dirk Nowitzki is dropping 29.1 points per. Why isn’t he getting more MVP consideration?

2. Los Angeles Lakers (46-15) — After storming back into the lineup with 32 points and a game-winner in Memphis, Kobe has struggled, scoring 19.2 points in the four games since while shooting 34 percent from the floor. His team has only lost one of those games, however.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers (47-14) — It’s never a convenient time for Shaq to go down with an injury, but this gives Leon Powe a chance to work his way back into basketball shape with some real minutes. Against the Knicks on Monday, it took Powe about two minutes to endear himself to the Cleveland crowd in his first home game of the season. His numbers aren’t anything worth noting, but the guy’s like a hungry grizzly bear under the basket.

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  • http://heckler@aol.com Heckler

    “Surprisingly, the Raps kind of stink when they don’t have Chris Bosh.”


    why is that surprising? he’s their best player and they suck with him!

  • Celts Fan

    Way to be Leon. Glad to see he’s back healthy and able to play like he always did. Pretty sure he’d still be a Celtic if we’d know stupid @$$ Baby would miss almost as much time this year as Leon.

  • http://www.onthenet.biz Khalvin

    Umm 17th??? Really???
    Not liking this list at all…. We sit in 5th seed how u gonna put the 6 & 7 ahead of Raps.

    All good though Reggie is back and this is an adjustment period. Playoff Baby PLAYOFFS!! We gonna shock some teams this year………………….*i hope*

    *LOL vid of the day*
    http://www.onthenet.biz/2010/03/donatello-gets-screwed.html

  • RC

    -Raptors need Bosh back badly, they are gonna lose valuable position in the eastern standings if they don’t take care of the ball better

    -Robin Lopez is starting to play like a starting center

    -Those 2 rookie guards in N.O. are fearless

    -Derrick Rose needs to take this team on his back every single night and through the playoffs. This is clearly his team now

    -OKC Thunder is an exciting team to watch, I can’t wait for the playoffs

    -I wanna see Lakers vs Cavs finals. One last time Shaq and Kobe in the same court in the finals. Lets see if LBJ really has what it takes to get this team a ring. He got what he asked for a full supporting cast

  • http://www.onthenet.biz Khalvin

    @heckler

    Raps suck??

    wow hater we are holding 5th and over .500 what does that say about every other team in the east?

  • RC

    I am a Raptor fan but let’s have a reality check. Although they are 5th seed in the east, that might not last long if they keep on turning the ball over and giving teams high field goal percentage. Reggie would help out in the toughness dept. but he is still getting back into shape. They need Bosh back and playing high level ball like he usually does. This team needs to stay 5th seed to have a chance to make it in the second round of the playoffs. Otherwise they will be eaten alive by Cavs, Magic, Celtics. The Hawks are very good too.

    Colangelo should have got a better sf than Turk. The guy was really good when he was in the Magic. Once he got inked on a long term deal he just stopped trying.

  • TO

    Since its a Raptors fest in here today…
    Lets be real –
    Without Bosh Did we really expect to win any of the last 4 games? (Cavs game was close – but LBJ would just turn it on)
    Reggie is that hustle energy guy gets boards but him in the post @ close range (w/no one guarding him) isnt even guaranteed buckets
    Demar is getting murdered out there – time for the bench to learn. Keeping him out there while he gets scored on 28-0??? (against Houston).
    PG play is just sad. Any quick, strong guards kill our backcourt.
    Hedo? 2yrs from now we’ll still owe him what…20million?
    5th-8th is separated by what 2.5 games?
    The majority of our team wouldnt even be starters on *most other teams in the L.
    This being said…Im confident we’ll make the playoffs – realistically I dont know about the 2nd round at all. LOL.

    The East is weak. Look @ the maybe 12th place in the west…they’d be the 5 seed in the East. The East IS WEAK..and the Raps are barely in it.

    Dime usually looks at the past week or so. We are on a 4 game losing streak? Thats why 6 & 7 are ahead of us!

  • sota

    28. Golden State Warriors (17-42) — It seems like every night now, somebody e-mails us with, “Who is [Player X] and why is he getting crunch-time minutes on the Warriors?”

    When do the Warriors actually play crunch-time? Most of their games are over (lost) way before what I consider crunch time.

  • http://heckler@aol.com Heckler

    @ Khalvin–

    refer to posts by TO & RC

  • http://uoregon.edu sans

    “Irk” has no D–got an MVP after losing in the first round with the best record in the L–this after winning 2 stright in the FINALS then being SWEPT in 4 STRAIGHT.

    Now I won’t jump on the “Dirk didn’t deserve his MVP” train–but he can’t get another one after the way he celibrated his first–which only left his perception flawed and his clutchness question…on another note: how many people can go through a scandalous public feud with a crazy X, and improve their image? Seriously, that’s the toughest thing we’ve seen Irk fight through. I think the game might come to easy to him, and we, the public, don’t celebrate quality bank shots as uch as ridiculous displays of athleticism. Peace.

  • http://www.onthenet.biz Khalvin

    *sob*

    You guys really know how to trample on a fans dreams….

    FACT
    A nice injured and old Boston in the first round gets us into second round.
    FACT
    umm.. If we can get Orlando in second we have a slim chance of conference finals… Bosh tends to own Dwight.

    My dreams can’t go past that though, I’m not that much of a dreamer to hope for a NBA finals…

    … Let the crushing of my dreams continue …

  • LakeShow84

    U guys meant to say Powe is like a hungry CAL BEAR under the basket..

    just clearin that up for u guys lol

  • TO

    @ Khalvin – its good to dream! Trust me Im a fan too. Its just about being realistic.

    FACT – Boston beat the hell out of us w/o a couple of starters. Tony EFFIN Allen looked like an all-star against us.
    Our record: 0-3

    FACT – Bosh > Dwight sure, The rest of the Magic > Raps. Vince will magically re-appear and kill us.
    Our record: 1-3

    FACT – We beat them on the 1st game of the season. Thats about it.
    Our record: 1-2

    FACT – ATL will kill us no doubt 145-115? remember that?
    Our record: 0-2

    Toronto(as a team) just doesnt have the mental toughness to just ‘turn it on’ come playoffs. Esp in a 7 game series.

  • http://bt.davka.info/ SparkyJ23

    Interesting point about Jordan – Did he ever get a max contract from the Bulls?

  • RC

    I agree with TO on the Raptors. The backcourt right now is horrible. Demar just can’t play D against good shooting guards, let alone the elite (Kobe,Wade) Jarrett Jack at least tries to give this team some heart but man his passing is horrible. Free throw shooting needs improvement, lets face it they need every point they can get. Reggie is never gonna be a scoring threat but if all the Raptors play with his level of physicality this team would probably be a lot better.

    They gotta stop losing to teams just sitting at .500 and below. Example Memphis. Every game counts whether it’s against a good or bad team. The east is too weak right now from the 5th seed and below. Gotta beat the Knicks on Friday.

  • Kermit The Washington

    Spurs will regret giving up Mike Finley. Where’s he lookin’ to go? Celtics need him badly. Lakers could do with a player like him too.

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla

    So Tyreke and Steph has their teams 20 games under .500. TWENTY GAMES UNDER. While Brandon Jennings has his team ONE GAME OVER .500 and everything I read is about how someone else is Rookie of the Year. GTFOH! The boy at least gets a share of the trophy…give him his respect.

  • http://twitter.com/therealknowbody Gabriel Brogden

    I’m with Heckler on this one.

    Toronto’s AZZ.

    With Bosh.

    Totally not sold on any team in the East.
    (Exempt – Boston, Cleveland, Orlando)

    The 4th and 5th spots are the ONLY spots worth striving for.

    Powe’s “like a hungry grizzly bear under the basket.”
    An unexpected jolt of laughter escaped from my belly on that one.

    “The Hawks could conceivably overtake Orlando for second-place in the East by the middle of this month.”

    Yeah, but knowing THESE Hawks, they can conceivably have a 7-game losing streak by the middle of this month.

    Rondo’s shot is worst than a one-minute man but he passes balls like Pinky.
    And he can take it to the cup like drug test. Now factor in all that energy he brings…
    Dude’s a certified load.

    New Orleans?? OH TRUST – They STILL stink.
    The young bols just hittin’ their contract incentives.
    Wait ’til they get game-planned and taken out of the picture.

    Then we’ll see how Posey and Emeka and the “Chris Paul Invented” All Star and the shooter formerly known as Peja and all the others play. This team gets blown up this summer.

    There was a time when TMAC didn’t get posterized by tuff mariachi shrimps.
    Au revoir New York and your plans for Bron Bron.

  • TIP

    My fellow Raps fans (those saying the Raps should be higher), y’all need to chill, ok? A 4-game losing streak will put you in that position in any rankings. Not exactly rocker science.

    And yes, the Raps do suck without Bosh. He’s a big part of their plans and everything revolves around him. And those saying they suck with him, y’all need to actually follow the games. That 5th seed wasn’t by magic.

  • TIP

    Oh and ummm…y’all need to cut the crap on Boston having 3 HOFers…Paul Pierce ain’t one.

    Just stop it, aight?

  • Brown

    @TIP

    Paul Pierce is a HOFer. Look at his numbers and tell us why he isn’t.

    Rondo is a good PG. I’d take him on my team in a heartbeat. He’s not a superstar, but he plays the PG position the way it should be played. To me, he’s at the top of the second tier of PGs in the league, behind the likes of Nash, CP3, Deron, Chauncey and Kidd.

    When I look at the Raps roster, Bosh is the only player I would keep, and it’s been that way since VC was traded. The Raps still don’t have much of a supporting cast for him. As Bosh goes, the Raps go, which is why they lose more often than not when he’s out of the lineup. I don’t realistically expect anything other than a first round exit for them.

  • Showtime

    Given Michael Jordan’s front office track record guys like Derek Fisher, Adonal Foyle and these other reps might get a 130 million dollar contract

  • Jeff

    Another Celtics fan,

    What the hell was Danny Ainge thinking not signing Powe? They feeling it now tho!

  • http://www.sactownroyalty.com Willis

    @Chicagorilla

    Any rookie who plays enough minutes to win ROY is gonna be on a bad team 96 times out of 100. Couple other things to consider. Eastern conference sucks. Western conference is just disgusting. We’ll probably have two or three teams out West that would have playoff records in the East. The Kings would win 10 more games in the East. Hell, they are like 6-12 in games decided by less then 3 points in the West, so they could easily get those 10 wins. The Warriors are really bad, so I don’t know how they would do in the east.

    REKE for ROY

    Also, nobody gives a shit about Toronto

  • 12thMan

    Apparently Kevin Durant would be able score 30 against the Secret Service if President Obama were standing under the basket.

    Wittiest piece of writing ive seen in weeks

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Pahahaha what a joke…power rankings? Please explain how Dallas, owners of the longest current win streak in the L by FAR, after picking up a couple players that legitimize their shot at a title, and after beating during this win streak Phoenix, Orlando, Miami, Lakers, Atlanta AND Charlotte, ALL playoff teams, and NO, who might catch the Blazers for the 8 spot, aren’t number one right now.

  • Freezy

    the 2010 free agency bonanza cant come any faster for the knicks! i’m gonna campaign for a bosh n wade duo in nyc next year! yeaaaaaaaa

    @ #24
    i agree, REKE for ROY
    he’s pretty much the next player to avg 20-5-5 in his rookie season n we all know who else has done that…

  • K Dizzle

    @ Brown

    maybe keep Bargnani too. Bust tag is in the trash.

    @ Chicagorilla – BJ got his love early on when he was puttin up stupid numbers, but then he hit the wall (compared to his first part of the season) while Tyreke took off (20, 5, 5) and Curry been playin like a vet since before the all star break. The fact that Milwaukee plays in the weaker eastern conference and that he plays with studs like Bogut and the rejuvenated Salmons hurts his case. They both better than any of Curry and Reke’s teammates.

    All in all, pretty solid power ranking…Lakers #1