Another edition of the No Coast Bias NBA power rankings soars in to recap another week of NBA action. With football season finally over and the NBA All-Star roster officially announced, the main focus of the American sports audience shifts to the hardwood. On the court for the upcoming week, what honestly should no longer come as a surprise is the Hawks finding themselves once again in the top spot.
I’m pretty sure that things are going well in Atlanta.
A clinical week at the office for the Grizz. While the talk of Memphis (note: Memphis, not the entire country. The Grizzlies don’t make national television nearly often enough.) is the work of their two big men Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph and the great acquisition of Jeff Green, Mike Conley continues to fly under-the-radar as one of the best floor generals in the game.
The losses to Chicago and Utah sting a bit, especially considering the fact that the before finally getting on track against Phoenix, the Warriors, tops in the league in terms of defensive efficiency, had allowed at least 110 points in the last three games (the two losses and the win over Boston).
Another week of quality regular season play for the Clips, highlighted by a big win in San Antonio. Chris Paul and Blake are going to All-Star weekend together for the fifth time in a row, and Chris said there was nothing like going to the All-Star Game with a teammate. That’s because he’s never won a title.
The Cavaliers are one of the biggest risers from last week, because it seems like they are finally learning how to compete when LeBron is out and the guys have accepted that Kevin Love isn’t as good as advertised. I’ll just leave this here:
It’s refreshing to see Kyle Lowry and John Wall voted in as All-Star starters by the fans (I had lost faith after Jeremy Lin was almost voted in last year.). The Raps had a tough stretch while easing DeRozan back into the lineup, but have since ripped off six wins in a row.
Losing Dwight Howard for at least a month, bluntly put, just really sucks. The Rockets boast the league’s second best defense with Dwight on the floor (WHAT? James Harden, the guy that does THIS is a part of the league’s second best defense?)
This is Richard Jefferson’s only contribution to the NBA this season. C’mon man!
An abysmal week for the Blazers, they just couldn’t buy a win. Their scrimmage against the Nets was postponed which would have helped them prepare for their grueling week ahead, they had to play against the Cavaliers AND the Hawks, Damian Lillard was snubbed from the All-Star team, Nicolas Batum sucks. At least LaMarcus Aldridge seems healthy enough.
While it’s obviously no indication that the Spurs should be worried about anything, because any Gregg Popovich team should realistically just never be concerned with their performance on any given night, getting blown out at home by the Clippers was not exactly a positive outcome. We did, however, learn that Boris Diaw has a vendetta against coach Pop. He’s probably over his target weight.
While I can’t say I’ve been thrilled with the Suns decision to rotate three starting guards (Dragic, Bledsoe, and Isaiah) in the two guard spots instead of choosing to go after a big man to help them become more well rounded, there’s no doubt the three guard rotation has been electrifying to watch. It’s also a shame that if the Suns do make it into the playoffs, they’ll likely face the Warriors, who are a terrible matchup for their guards (as evidenced by their recent meeting) because of Klay’s size and ability lock down one of their main scoring threats.
Losing an important home game on Saturday to the Raptors was not optimal, especially with the Cavaliers roaring back into the upper echelon of the East. It wouldn’t blow the roof off my doors (Special thanks to Matthew Berry, the Talented Mr. Roto for this phrase. Item 31 on the 06010 general FAQ for all of you kids still lost.) to see the Wizards at fifth in the standings and outside of playoff home-court advantage come the All-Star break.
Any week you beat the Golden State Warriors can’t really be a “bad week”, but when you let a Lakers team giving Robert Sacre 30 minutes hang 123 on you, it gets a little awkward.
The Bucks are EXCITING! Brandon Knight deserves an All-Star nod for willing this team to legitimacy, especially after the loss of my boyfriend Jabari Parker. It’s amazing what he’s done for this team while Giannis goes through growing pains and the corpse of Kenyon Martin actually makes appearances on court.
Ode to another week of confusing Pelicans basketball. They lost to Denver on Wednesday night and then beat the Clippers two days later. There are two major keys to succeeding in the Western conference. The first is taking care of business against any team significantly worse than you. The second is not paying Eric Gordon 15 million dollars.
The Thunder can’t seem to break out of their mediocre play and are the only team outside the playoff picture with two (although controversial) All-Stars. I feel as a rule of thumb you shouldn’t be an All-Star if you haven’t played half of the season to date.
Hassan Whiteside has grown from a cute surprise story to a legitimate necessity for the Heat after another week of averaging more than 17 points and 16 rebounds (Excuse me?). Apparently “Hassanity” is the craze of the month. Maybe we should be concerned he only had four blocks this week. Or that the Heat still lost two of their three games. Also, I was wrong. Dwyane Wade is definitely NOT healthy.
Lance might approve of the Hornets improvement over the last few weeks (It’s hard not to improve from 6-20 with the talent they have.), but the real question is does anyone else on the roster approve of 9 million dollars a year for a guy that’s scoring nine points on ten shots a game? The answer has to be no if the Hornets are asking about Joe Johnson.
An impressive win against the Warriors pushes the Jazz up a spot. What makes it even more impressive is that they did that while starting Joe Ingles at small forward, a 27 year old rookie who I honestly just now learned is white.
Every time it seems like the Pistons are about to free fall without Brandon Jennings, they make an appearance against a top 10 team (a 114-101 win over Houston), only a few days removed from being routed by 20 in Philadelphia (TWENTY? PHILADELPHIA?)
It boggles my mind that the Kings chose to give the reins of their team to dangerously incompetent Ty Corbin instead of looking for a real coach (Like George Karl. I will advocate him until a team finally realizes he’s still an unbelievable coach and hires him.). Well, what can you expect from Vivek’s team. He advocated this:
At least Boston fans can be excited about the Seahawks’ inability to hand the ball off to this guy for a Super Bowl clinching score. Rookie Malcolm Butler’s first interception not only stole that game, but now Boston fans can be safely oblivious to anything that happens to the Celtics or the Bruins for the rest of the season.
It’s surprising that you can go 1-2 in a week and still move up three spots. It’s also surprising that you can win anything at all with Rodney Stuckey as your best scorer.
There used to be a time that the “post-Carmelo” Nuggets were one of the most exciting teams to watch because of their team-oriented fast transition offense. Then they fired the coach of the year in one of the most boneheaded moves of the century. I might bring that up every week forever because this is just disappointing to watch. It breaks my heart.
I doubt the Nets are really that upset that the game against Portland was postponed. It’s not like they would win anyway. Much to their delight, I’m sure, Joe Johnson’s contract is finally ending after this season, so they’ll have money to waste on bad free agents signings.
Perhaps the Magic were too highly ranked last week. After another dreadful week where it seems guys just forget to get on the team bus, all we can really look forward to Victor Oladipo bringing dunks that we’ve seen so many times to the dunk contest (It’s not his fault. The dunk contest sucks, there’s nothing more a human being can do… Cue Javale McGee trying to dunk three balls into three hoops. If anyone can, I suppose he can.)
A legitimately decent run for the Knicks recently. Unfortunately, there’s still the elephant in the room that is Amare’s creaky 23 million dollar knees. It’s hard to imagine he used to do this:
This might be a little bit of injustice to the Sixers. They actually weren’t THAT far from ending the Hawks unbelievable win streak. They realistically should be careful. If they get too ahead of themselves and accidentally win a few games they’ll fall too far behind the Lakers, Knicks, and Wolves for the “Kill for Jahlil” sweepstakes.
How do you go from scoring 123 points against the Bulls to 80 against the Knicks…
Ricky Rubio is coming back this week! With him AND Kevin Martin back there’s nowhere to go but up, right? In all seriousness, it’s hard to be good when your organization’s brain trust is busy doing this.
Featured Image: nba.com