Featured Gallery, Hit List, Latest News / Jan 31, 2011 / 3:30 pm

Dime NBA Power Ranking: The Last Team You Want To Play Against

The truth about it? The NBA regular season, at least for the teams that hold visions of championships, is just an 82-session practice for the playoffs. So rather than worry about who is the unofficial “best” or “worst” team in the League right now, let’s look at which team is most equipped for the truly important games.

In other words: Who is the last team you’d want to see in a seven-game series to decide it all? In this case, the last shall be first (in the rankings), while the first (as in the easiest series fodder) shall be last. If that makes sense.

30. Cleveland Cavaliers (8-39) — Twenty losses in a row, 3-24 on the road this season, and whatever talent they do have left is about to become spare-parts material for the real contenders.

29. Toronto Raptors (13-35) — A strong frontcourt in the NBA is like a strong defense in the NFL. You cannot expect to win without it. The Raptors front line consists of Andrea Bargnani (guard trapped in a center’s body), Amir Johnson (poor man’s Andray Blatche), Ed Davis (21-year-old rookie), Alexis Ajinca (gets traded more than Fritos at 4th-grade lunch) and Solomon Alabi (22-year-old rookie). Forget Blake Griffin and Kevin Love: Blake Lively and Kevin James could post a double-double against Toronto.

28. Washington Wizards (13-33) — Still looking for their first road win.

27. Minnesota Timberwolves (11-36) — Were it not for the Nets, Wizards and Raptors (all at home), the Wolves would have gone 0-for-January.

26. New Jersey Nets (14-34) — Brook Lopez had 28 points and ONE rebound in a loss to Indiana last week. Deena from “Jersey Shore” catches more loose balls on accident than Brook catches on purpose.

25. Indiana Pacers (17-27) — Interim coach Frank Vogel promises immediate changes, which surely includes more PT and opportunities for Roy Hibbert.

24. Sacramento Kings (12-33) — Just when they get on a hot streak, having won three of their last four while taking down the Lakers and Hornets in the process, the schedule becomes Murderer’s Row: Celtics, Spurs, Jazz, Mavs, Thunder at home, then on the road for Phoenix, OKC, Dallas, Miami and Orlando.

23. Golden State Warriors (20-27) — For late-night NBA League Pass entertainment, the Warriors are at the top of the list. For actually having the pieces to beat good teams consistently, not so much.

22. Milwaukee Bucks (19-26) — The return of Brandon Jennings gives some bite to their pick-and-roll options, but he’ll need time to work himself back into game shape.

21. Detroit Pistons (17-31) — The offense has moved more smoothly since Tracy McGrady took over at point guard, cracking 100 points seven times in his last 15 starts. But this is still a group that just doesn’t seem to get along or have each other’s backs.
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  • That’s What’s Up

    Spurs are nice.
    I like that squad.

  • http://www.mmajunkie.com rangerjohn

    how can you say the spurs have shown to be vulnerable in the playoffs even when healthy? they have not been healthy. they played one series last year with the big 3 mostly healthy and that series was almost to easy. the second series manu was busted up and parker was still only half way back from his leg issues and still had his plantar fasciatis. all this on top of a shell of RJ playing.

    bottom line, nobody knows what the healthy spurs will look like in the playoffs. i also lean toward “A”

  • http://www.chess.com smoove chips

    accurate an assessment as any. that last laker loss still stinks.need some rocket and spur deoderant !

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    with the lakers constantly getting players back from injury its hard to say where they are at as a team. they still havent gelled yet since bynums return and at times artest seem uninterested in the game.
    for me in a 7 games series it all comes down to coaching and since popavich is a proven winner i wouldnt want to seem him on the opposite sides bench calling out plays.
    2nd has got to be boston just cause their pure talent as a team, i really dont feel that Doc does much more than player management with so many veterens on that team it almost runs itself.
    heat cant seem to win any close games cause they dont know how to finish as a whole unit yet, guess thats what happens when your asking yourself constantly should i take the shot or someone else. both lebron and wade didnt have that problem last year…

  • dagwaller

    I think the Spurs scare me more than any other team right now. But I like your list, Austin – isn’t this what “Power Rankings” should be every week?

  • Mike Mihalow

    “No. 1 playmaking point guard in the League”
    This is a matter of opinion, unfortunately, like the rest of this article. And the rest of this site.

  • That’s What’s Up

    Mike Mishallow

  • http://www.haywoodplanning.com D.H.

    @6

    Can you point me to a site that isn’t based on opinion. The one site that rules them all. The site that knows who’s gonna win the championship & MVP. I would love to meet their robotic writers who show zero bias and can see into the future. What a site it must be…

  • http://www.mmajunkie.com rangerjohn

    all sites are based on opinion, its just that some are not very good at hiding the bias. it is no secret that the people at dime love them some lebron, some kobe some chris paul and some rondo. they are warming up to a couple of others.

  • http://dimemag.com panchitoooo

    its whoever sends them more stuff…lol

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    8. It would have to be a Tim Duncan publication…