Blog Entry

NBA Power Rankings 3/4/09

Posted on: March 4, 2009 6:03 pm







Los Angeles <a href=page/LAL">Lakers " style="float: left;" />

1. Los Angeles Lakers 

Current Record: 49-12     Last 10 games: 7-3     Streak: W1     Home: 28-4     Road: 21-8

The expectations have been high for the Lakers all year.  As expected, Kobe Bryant has continued his MVP-like play and Andrew Bynum was  progressing until his current injury (is there going to be a significant one every year for this kid??  He's expected back in April).  With the absence of Bynum (and the promotion of Odom to the starting lineup), I'm not completely sold on their bench outside of Farmar, Ariza, and Vujacic.  Still, when you have a player of Kobe's caliber, things usually work out in your favor.  They should still be the #1 seed come playoff time.  Upcoming Week's Games (and my predictions): vs. Min (W) @Port (W)



Cleveland <a href=page/CLE">Cavaliers" style="vertical-align: baseline;" />

2. Cleveland Cavaliers

Current Record: 47-12     Last 10 games: 8-2     Streak: W3     Home: 26-1     Road: 21-11


Could this be the year Lebron gets his first MVP?  He certainly deserves it the way the Cavs are playing.  Rewarded to his first All-Star game (after Jameer Nelson's injury) Mo Williams certainly seems like the missing piece for this team.  Ben Wallace is out 4-6 weeks and will be sorely missed down the stretch as they try to hold onto the #1 seed in the East.   The home record is very impressive and a run to the finals is definitely possible...My only questions are down low (especially with Wallace out).  Are Z and Varejao (and Joe Smith/JJ Hickson) enough??  I'm not ruling them out for the Finals, but I think the Celtics catch em and take the #1 seed.  Upcoming games:  vs. MIL (W) @BOS (L)  vs. MIA (W)



Boston Celtics

3. Boston Celtics

Current Record: 47-14     Last 10 games: 6-4     Streak: L1     Home: 25-5     Road: 22-9

Reigning champs, the Celtics are certainly in line for a repeat.  Although not as solid as last year, this team still has what it takes to get to the Finals.  Garnett should be back within the next 2 weeks and I believe he will get this team geared up for the playoffs.  I like the Mikki Moore and Stephon Marbury additions (though if I were Celtics management, I'd be cautious with Marbury) but I'm not huge on their bench.  They're not as dominant at home as the Cavs but are a better road team and I think that's going to be crucial come playoff time.  They're my pick for the #1 seed in the East.  Upcoming games: @ NJ (W)   vs. CLE (W)


Orlando <a href=page/ORL">Magic" style="vertical-align: baseline;" />


4. Orlando Magic

Current Record: 44-16     Last 10 games: 6-4     Streak: W2     Home: 23-7     Road: 21-9

Before the season started I predicted Dwight Howard would be a viable MVP candidate and he certainly has not let me down.  The loss of Jameer Nelson for the season really hampers this team, though it was an excellent move picking up Rafer Alston.  Still though, perhaps the loss of Nelson has lowered the ceiling for this team, I don't think the Finals are possible but I can see the Magic in the Eastern Conference Championship, (expect Dwight Howard to be even more dominant come playoff time.)  Upcoming games: vs.NJ(W)  @BOS(W)


San Antonio <a href=page/SA">Spurs" style="vertical-align: baseline;" />


5. San Antonio Spurs

Current Record: 40-19     Last 10 games: 6-4     Streak: W1     Home: 20-8     Road: 20-11

Who didn't expect the Spurs to be in it?  Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker are still excellent players and their bench is top notch.  Roger Mason has been an excellent pick-up and will come in handy come playoff time.  It's all about the playoffs with this team, as it seems they always take their games to another level, however I can see their age catching up to them and a 2nd round exit possible.  Either way, I don't think the Spurs are going to the Finals this year and anything less with this team is a disappointment.  Upcoming games: @ DAL (L)  vs.WAS (W)



6. Houston Rockets

Current Record: 39-22     Last 10 games: 8-2     Streak: W2     Home: 25-6     Road: 14-16

Best move this team made was acquiring Ron Artest, who has stepped up admirably after the departure of the oft-injured Tracy McGrady.  I like their bench and their toughness and as long as they stay healthy, I think they have enough to pass the Spurs.  I like the Kyle Lowry addition and think he's only going to get better and better...  And just think?  They won't have to worry about the T-Mac curse regarding the first round of the playoffs!!  If things come together, they have the talent to get to the Western Conference finals, though I think they're road woes will stop them short.  Upcoming Games: @UTAH(L)  vs. PHO



7. Denver Nuggets

Current Record: 39-22     Last 10 games: 5-5     Streak: L2     Home: 22-7     Road: 17-15

Chauncey Billups, an all-around improved Carmelo Anthony, and rejuvenated big men Kenyon Martin/Nene, have this team ahead of pre-season predictions.  Trading Iverson landed them the leadership they needed at the point and JR Smith is progressing into a valuable sixth man.  This team could very well upset somebody in the playoffs but I'm thinking a second round exit for them.  Upcoming games: vs. POR (L)  @ UTAH (L)



8. New Orleans Hornets

Current Record: 37-22     Last 10 games: 7-3     Streak: W5     Home: 21-9     Road: 16-13

Chris Paul continues his dominance but what was up with the Hornets trying to trade away Tyson Chandler?  There must be some injury concerns with him, either that or they were willing to give up on this season? Since Chandler's healthy return they've been even tougher down low.  I don't think they're going to the WCF but 2nd round is probable.  Upcoming games: vs. DAL (W)   vs. OKC (W)



9. Portland Trail Blazers

Current Record: 37-22     Last 10 games: 7-3     Streak: W2     Home: 24-5     Road: 13-17

Brandon Roy certainly deserves to be in the MVP discussion but probably won't be.  Sorry Blazers fan, day by day Oden looks more and more like the second coming of Sam Bowie.  Luckily, they have the spectacular LaMarcus Aldridge (and the scrappy Pzybilla) down there as well and a youthful talented bench to keep them alive.  I knew they'd be improved this season, but not this good.  They will be in the playoffs but I think their youth catches up to them and they're out in the first round.  Either way, I think this team is a true contender within the next 2 years.  Upcoming games: vs. IND (W)  @DEN(W) vs. MIN (W)



10. Utah Jazz

Current Record: 37-23     Last 10 games: 9-1     Streak: W8     Home: 26-6     Road: 11-17

An 8 game winning streak has them right in the discussion of things.  Deron Williams is the second best point guard in the league and they have a talented bench.  Boozer is averaging a double-double and Okur is one of the best scoring centers in the league.  I think they'll cool off some down the stretch but they are a very dangerous team in the playoffs, especially if they can wrestle some home court advantage.  Still, their road mark is not impressive and I think a 2nd round exit is quite likely.  Upcoming games: vs.HOU (W) vs. DEN (W)



11. Dallas Mavericks

Current Record: 37-23     Last 10 games: 9-1     Streak: W8     Home: 26-6     Road: 11-17

I think overall Dallas has been a disappointment thus far this season.  I figured with an off-season together with Jason Kidd this team would be much better.  I know some of the players had difficulties with him, but was firing Avery Johnson REALLY the answer for this team?  Their championship window has come and gone and they don't have the bench to make a real dent come playoff time.  They will be in it, but a first round exit is most likely.  Upcoming games: vs. SA (W) @NO (L)  vs. WAS (W)



12. Phoenix Suns

Current Record: 34-26     Last 10 games: 6-4     Streak: L1     Home: 19-11     Road: 15-15

What to make of Terry Porter's team?  It seemed very underachieving early in the season but  lately seems rejuvenated (particularly Shaq).  The loss of Amare for the season SHOULD cripple this team, but with Nash leading the way and the ever-dominant Shaq in the paint, this team can still contend.  Matt Barnes has been an excellent bright spot but the verdict is still out on the J-Rich/Bell,Diaw trade.   They may slip into the playoffs as the 8th seed but the Lakers will take them out early. Upcoming games: @MIA(L)



This is pt. 1, part 2 will continue tomorrow. 3/5/09




Category: NBA

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: March 9, 2009 10:38 am

NBA Power Rankings 3/4/09


I appreciate the comments.  I originally meant to do all 30 teams but this was my side project at work and I had a rough week, this weeks will be complete though....I also agree with the Suns comment and the newest rankings will reflect that.

Since: Dec 22, 2008
Posted on: March 7, 2009 1:14 pm

NBA Power Rankings 3/4/09


Good job, I agree with just about everything except that after seeing the Celtics take down the Cavs they should be moved up to #1. Also, I dnt really think the Suns deserve to be in the top 15 after losing Amare for the season; they're just not that good without him.

Since: Feb 19, 2009
Posted on: March 6, 2009 7:02 pm

NBA Power Rankings 3/4/09

great job.. im loving the lakers in that #1 spot but after tonight im thinking them cavs are gonna move up a notch.. not quite ready for the number 1 spot but getting real close.. that mo williams can ball.

Since: Sep 10, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2009 5:35 pm

NBA Power Rankings 3/4/09

Read, good job.


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