Hit List / Mar 31, 2010 / 9:30 am

NBA Hit List Power Ranking, 3.31

Amar'e Stoudemire (photo. King Lawrence)

Ranking the League from worst to first…

30. Washington Wizards (21-52) — Because they’ve lost 16 straight, because they’ve gone 0-for-March, and because their best player (Andray Blatche) now believes he can get away with acting like a knucklehead. Team officials insist they’re sticking by Gilbert Arenas, but if the Lottery balls bounce their way and John Wall ends up in D.C. with a chance to give the franchise a completely fresh start, how long before Gil gets the boot?

29. Minnesota Timberwolves (14-60) — They’ve also lost 16 straight, with one more to go before also losing every game in March.

28. New Jersey Nets (10-64)Now they can go back to being uninteresting again.

27. Detroit Pistons (23-50) — The Charlie Villanueva project hit a low point when a healthy CV played just five minutes against Chicago on Sunday. During Detroit’s eight-game losing streak, Villanueva has averaged 16 minutes a night.

26. Golden State Warriors (21-52) — You know how they say players like Shawn Marion and Richard Jefferson owe Steve Nash and Jason Kidd money? Reggie Williams is gonna owe Nellie money for putting him in the perfect system for him. Williams is averaging just under 15 points since coming up from the D-League, shooting 50% FG, 41% 3PA and 83% FT.

25. Sacramento Kings (24-51) — Did you actually see the play where Tyreke Evans hurt his jaw and had to site out a few games? He got stuck between Carl Landry and Ersan Ilyasova while they were fighting for a rebound. That’s like getting between two hyenas while they’re eating a wild boar. Tyreke’s lucky he got out of there with all of his fingers.

24. New York Knicks (26-47) — If Eddy Curry wasn’t cashing in his $11 million player option, the Knicks would only be committed to paying about $6 million in salaries next season. That’s like hot dog money for Curry.

23. Los Angeles Clippers (27-47) — Is the fact that Drew Gooden quickly became one of L.A.’s best players a sign that he’s better than we think, or that the Clippers are truly as bad as we think?

22. Philadelphia 76ers (26-48) — It took Thaddeus Young’s broken thumb and probably a decision to tank the season, but Jason Kapono is finally getting minutes and shots.

Danny Granger (photo. Stephen Hill)

21. Indiana Pacers (28-47) — During a recent five-game win streak, Danny Granger averaged 33.6 points, including a 44-point effort against Utah. After a loss to Atlanta, Danny Buckets came back and hit the Kings for 33.

20. New Orleans Hornets (35-40)People seem to think N.O. has to trade Darren Collison this summer. But is there anything wrong with having two really good PG’s on the roster?

19. Houston Rockets (37-36) — Despite missing their best offensive player (Kevin Martin) and best defensive player (Shane Battier) for the last few games, the Rockets are still keeping their head above water.

18. Toronto Raptors (36-37) — Jose Calderon isn’t quite qualified to crack this list yet, but check back in 2012 when he’s making $10 million and he still can’t guard a tire swing.

17. Memphis Grizzlies (38-35) — Whatever slim chance Memphis has of sneaking into the playoffs gets even slimmer considering the upcoming schedule: Dallas, New Orleans, at Orlando, Houston, at Dallas, at San Antonio.

16. Chicago Bulls (35-39) — Over the past 15 games, eight different guys have led the Bulls in scoring. Glass-half-full, it’s a sign of good balance. You don’t want your point guard (Derrick Rose) being the dominant scorer every night.

15. Charlotte Bobcats (38-35) — Michael Jordan immediately jumped what’s-his-name in Dallas as the NBA owner who gets the most camera cutaways during a game.

14. Milwaukee Bucks (41-32)Brandon Jennings has had some big scoring games recently, and after QB’ing Milwaukee to an 11-3 March, he’s sporting 15.8 ppg and 5.9 apg averages while getting his team into the 5th seed in the playoffs. Don’t count him out for Rookie of the Year.

13. Miami Heat (40-34) — Eight wins in their last 10, with the only losses coming to San Antonio and Orlando. But when the team vowed to plays “balls-out” during this last stretch to ensure a playoff spot, Dorell Wright apparently got the wrong idea.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder (45-28) — If the scoring title comes down to Kevin Durant (29.6 ppg) and LeBron (29.8 ppg) going at it on the last day of the season, KD would be the one we’d predict has a 60 or 70-point explosion in him.

11. San Antonio Spurs (44-29) — Beat the Thunder on the road, lost a competitive game to the Lakers, beat the Cavs, then destroyed the Celtics on the road. Then you lost to the NETS? Granted, Manu Ginobili was out for that one, but still. This team just can’t establish a rhythm.

10. Utah Jazz (49-26) — Carlos Boozer is averaging 19.5 points and 11.2 boards, just shy of being only the fourth player in the League dropping 20 and 10 every night.

LaMarcus Aldridge (photo. Aaron Hewitt)

9. Portland Trail Blazers (45-29) — Eight wins in their last nine. The front line tandem of LaMarcus Aldridge and Marcus Camby makes getting over the first-round hump a lot more likely.

8. Denver Nuggets (48-27) — The only thing between them and a six-game losing streak is Carmelo’s buzzer-beater in Toronto last week.

7. Atlanta Hawks (47-26) — Followed up the biggest win of their season against Orlando by losing to the Sixers. That problem of playing up or down to the competition won’t hurt the Hawks in the playoffs necessarily, but it could cost them a desirable playoff seed.

6. Phoenix Suns (48-26) — You could make a solid case that Amar’e has been one of the five best players in the League in the second half of the season.

5. Boston Celtics (47-26) — So the block by Manu didn’t look good at all, but otherwise Kevin Garnett has been playing well lately. He’s had double-doubles in his last three games, including a vintage 20-point, 10-rebound, 5-assist line against Denver.

4. Dallas Mavericks (49-25) — Shawn Marion put up 21 points in the win over Denver on Monday, plus he helped harass ‘Melo into 3-for-16 shooting. Marion has gotten stronger as the season goes on. If he keeps it up, Dallas are even more championship-ready than they were in 2006.

3. Los Angeles Lakers (54-20) — The OKC game was probably a fluke; sometimes you’re just inexplicably flat and it’s no more complicated than that. The Lakers bounced back strong in Houston, but then lost in New Orleans to a team with nothing to play for and nobody to guard Kobe. The defending champs are tough to figure out right now.

2. Orlando Magic (52-22) — Vince Carter stubs his toe two minutes into the Denver game, and J.J. Redick comes off the bench wearing a J.J. Redick-at-Duke mask and the Magic never miss a beat. Everything is clicking for this team, having gone 12-2 in March.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers (58-16) — They’ve won nine of their last 10, with the only loss coming at San Antonio. And this is all without Shaq. LeBron has at least one or two MVP-clinching games left in him before the regular season is done; expect something big when the Cavs host Atlanta on national TV this Friday.

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  • Heckler

    it doesnt matter how few games NJ Nets win, the Minny Timberwolves are the WORST team in the league!
    …and one of the worst in the leagues history

  • Heckler

    did yall just nickname Danny Granger “Danny Buckets”?!!?

    and Shawn Marion dont owe Steve Nash shit.
    if anything, shawn marion actually made steve nash a better player!

  • John

    Reggie Williams is already signed until the end of next season by the Warriors.

  • http://facebook.com/Mr.Brogden Mr. Brogden

    WOW!!!

    you definitely dropped the ball on CHICAGO BULLS ranked @ #16.

    Are you serious??????

    Houston, Raps, and Grizzlies are better than them.
    STR8 UP N DOWN

    They’ve been calling Granger “Danny Buckets” since last year.

  • G-Spurs

    Hey dime, u got the Nuggets ahead of Portland, Jazz, my Spurs and OKC. wtf?! they have been playing like total trash lately while u punish my Spurs for losing to the Nets not just without Manu but also Tony Parker on a back-to-back after destroying the C’s and getting in at 3 a.m. Nets were focused as hell that day because of wanting to avoid record infamy. BUT DENVER IS BETTER?!

  • Kermit The Washington

    Lakers aren’t that tough to figure out. They just aren’t as good as they seem on paper, and they still have Space Cadets, even though Vlad is long gone. They’re gonna have a tough time in the West Playoffs, and probably will lose to somebody hungry (like the Mavs) ’cause they don’t know how to BRING it. Frustrating to watch!! Grrrrr

  • Kermit The Washington

    I REALLY hope the Magic can knock off the Cavs in the playoffs. I’m rooting for that harder than I’m rooting for the Lakers to get the chip!

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    Denver seems a little high on the current power ranking. They’re really missing George Karl right now.

  • KnowDaGame

    Dime error #1 of the day:
    Reggie Williams has been picked up for next season already………………………….by the Golden State Warriors!
    They liked what they saw and signed him for the rest pf the season AND alllll of 2010-2011 season too.

    I feel like that guy at the end of ESPN’s “Pardon the Interuption” who goes over the errors of the show.

  • knicksfan

    I was thinking about possible scenarios for the knicks this summer…
    what do you think of a wilson chandler for darren collison trade?
    the hornets will most likely be looking to unload him for someone who can play alongside chris paul rather than back him up.
    As a knicks fan, I love wilson chandler but I am not sure how well he will fit in with some of the big name free agents that could potentially come to NY.
    I’d like to see what other people think..

  • Drink the Haterade

    Even though I want Kobe and the Lakeshow to get a chip this year, I have a strong feeling it will be the Magic who walk away with a chip. The NBA its amazing, where DH12 wins a chip before LBJ and Melo

  • vignesh

    Dime error #2:

    Memphis is definitely not (38-25) … a lil bit more proof reading required…
    The only player technically sound is Rasheed wallace.. cos the cat keeps getting techs left right and centre!!
    hyuk hyuk…

  • Akaino

    I must be seeing things, thank god.
    I thought the only analysis of the Raptors you wrote was Jose Calderon beng a thief in 2012. Hahahaha oh man.

    Oh shit wait…you did. I guess you are a retard then?
    This is a NBA team ranking, not a player analysis. Jose Calderon being a thief? The guy is almost instant offence, and his defence lacks, so what? Learn to successfully write an article which reflect today’s NBA teams, and players if you must.

    I am still in shock over that lol.

  • http://slcdunk.com AllThatJazz / Amar

    Dime just hating on the Jazz because they are winning games while starters are injuried left and right, and taking the lead in the division. (over this stretch they’ve been playing w/o AK, and before that Memo) #10 is a good place for the Jazz, if this was late January.

  • LakeShow84

    We aint hard to figure out..

    This years team is just different.. We probably one of the only teams to TOTTALY change our court play in a years jump AND do it succesfully.. We are mainly a defensive team this year.. past couple of years its been tipped in the offenses favor (even though last year we were good defensively) but this year its all mainly defensive play thats winning games for us.. and the Assassin but thats only 5-6 games..

    Think football and how ugly those defensive games are.. thats where this years team is.. and since the record is already PLUMP i cant wait to see how we look matched up against someone who motivates us in a 7 game series..

    But i still dont expect any blowouts or total dominance in the playoffs.. It’ll probably be close games all the way to the parade..

  • http://www.theassociationnation.com The Oracle

    Reggie Williams already owes Nellie money – Warriors went ahead and signed him through next season

  • Heckler

    @ knicksfan–

    hahahaha. wilson chandler cant shoot. and niether can darren collison. so maybe it’ll be a wash move for both teams.

  • hustla

    These rankings are pure idiocy.

  • Beach Muscles

    Everybody complaining, nobody making their own ranking…

  • K Dizzle

    Phoeniz ahead of Boston if these rankings are really for what’s up lately.

    Like Lakeshow said, real Laker fans ain’t worried. This is exactly what happens after u win a chip. The regular season means nothing. We win because we’re better. Unfortunately, there’s a target on the backs cuz tha’s how it go when you the champs. You go into New Orleans for a meaningless game in late March and they FINALLY sell out a game and got the place jumpin like it’s a Finals Game 7. I can’t see any team in the west beatin us 4 times and that’s really what matters…

    p.s. I need to say this – Amar’e Stoudamire has been killin like a top 3 player since the trade deadline passed. Dudes used to rip on dude for games where his rebounds were like Scalabrine’s double double counts and his love of too many jumpshots. Well, now respect is due. Whether dude is playin for a new contract(which is ridiculous to say cuz he was gettin paid anyways – Chicago, lookin at you) or not, he’s been on some whole other level of angry. been beastin dudes and slammin on em whether they like it or not. Props

  • johnsacrimoni

    I think the Jazz are a little low..No. 10? Come on. Also, to address the CP3/Collison issue in NO: What’s wrong with having 2 really good pg’s on the roster? Nothing if you don’t have a salary cap and money concerns. Otherwise it’s redundancy and the money (that Collison could potentially command if he keeps playing like this) would be much better spent balancing out the roster and getting CP3 some decent wings to run with.

  • TheWire

    The Jazz are ranked 10th? Seriously? The Jazz have gone 32-12 since the end of December. They are leading the division, half game behind the Mavs for the 2 spot in a highly competitive conference and yet you have Portland, Denver (who has lost 4 of its last 5 games), Phoenix, and Dallas ahead of them. The Jazz have the highest point differential in the west. Come on, Dime.

  • Claw

    I gotta admit I was ready for PHX to let Amare walk, didn’t think he was worth the money as a go to player or play defense but K Dizzle he has proven me wrong.

    Now he still can’t play D but his is dominating on the O end and boarding. Like Amare said he’s getting more expensive every game. He’s at a level that just behind LBJ, Kobe, and Durant.

    Utah at 7 at least, ATL and a falling Nuggets ahead of them, not realistic. Spurs look old.

    Winner: Blouses