Jason Jones’ NBA rankings

Published: Saturday, Mar. 29, 2014 - 10:44 pm

Records and stats through Friday’s games

• 1. San Antonio Spurs (56-16, Last week 1): Their 16-game winning streak is the longest of the Gregg Popovich era.

• 2. Oklahoma City Thunder (53-19, LW 2): Rookies Steven Adams and Andre Roberson are gaining valuable experience while Kendrick Perkins and Thabo Sefolosha recover from injuries.

• 3. Los Angeles Clippers (51-22, LW 3): Guard Darren Collison has been a solid offseason pickup, filling in at times for Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford.

• 4. Houston Rockets (49-22, LW 4): Patrick Beverley’s knee injury will mean more time for Jeremy Lin and hurt Houston’s defense.

• 5. Indiana Pacers (52-21, LW 5): Followed a big win over Miami with a loss; continue to be inconsistent.

• 6. Miami Heat (49-22, LW 6): Indiana’s shaky play has kept the Heat in contention to win the East.

• 7. Golden State Warriors (45-27, LW 7): Jermaine O’Neal has been another underrated pickup among playoff contenders.

• 8. Portland Trail Blazers (47-27, LW 8): LaMarcus Aldridge’s return from injury makes the Blazers a dangerous team to face in the playoffs.

• 9. Phoenix Suns (44-29, LW 13): A six-game winning streak has the Suns back among the top eight in the West.

• 10. Memphis Grizzlies (43-29, LW 9): Blowing a late lead Friday at Golden State could be costly.

• 11. Dallas Mavericks (43-30, LW 10): Does Dirk Nowitzki have enough left for another postseason push?

• 12. Toronto Raptors (41-31, LW 11): The Raptors were supposed to be playing for the future but are in the playoffs.

• 13. Brooklyn Nets: (38-33, LW 12): Paul Pierce is shooting 51.7 percent in his last 10 games. Looks as if “The Truth” is ready for the playoffs.

• 14. Chicago Bulls (40-32, LW 14): The Bulls have already clinched a playoff berth, a run that will be made again without Derrick Rose.

• 15. Washington Wizards (37-35, LW 15): Drew Gooden has been a nice pickup, but getting Nene back would help Washington in the long run.

• 16. Minnesota Timberwolves (36-35, LW 16): Kevin Love teased the Lakers with a triple double Friday as their fans hope he’ll become a Laker.

• 17. Charlotte Bobcats: (35-38, LW 17): Center Al Jefferson is having a season worthy of All-NBA consideration.

• 18. New Orleans Pelicans (32-40, LW 21): Tyreke Evans has been running the offense lately, and the Pelicans have won five in a row.

• 19. Denver Nuggets (32-41, LW 18): Timofey Mozgov is the only Nugget to play in all the team’s games this season.

• 20. Atlanta Hawks (31-40, LW 19): The Hawks still hold the East’s eighth playoff spot after losing five straight; shows how bad the bottom of the conference is.

• 21. New York Knicks (30-43, LW 20): The Hawks’ struggles are a tease for the playoff-thirsty Knicks, but can New York capitalize?

• 22. Cleveland Cavaliers (29-45, LW 22): Jarrett Jack’s production has increased with Kyrie Irving out because of an arm injury.

• 23. Detroit Pistons (26-46, LW 23): A lot of decisions loom, including the fate of head executive Joe Dumars.

• 24. Kings (25-47, LW 24): The Kings are getting the most out of Travis Outlaw, using him at both forward spots and shooting guard.

• 25. Los Angeles Lakers (24-48, LW 25): Steve Nash has gone from being out for the season, to playing, to possibly being out for the rest of the season.

• 26. Boston Celtics (23-49, LW 26): The Celtics have dropped three in a row since beating Miami, including a two-point loss at Toronto.

• 27. Utah Jazz (23-50, LW 27): Could the post tandem of Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors work long term? Kanter is back in the starting lineup, so we’ll see.

• 28. Orlando Magic (21-52, LW 28): Emerging big man Nikola Vucevic put up 24 points and 23 rebounds in an overtime win against Charlotte.

• 29. Milwaukee Bucks (14-58, LW 29): After win over the Lakers on Thursday, seven of the next 10 games are against teams with winning records.

• 30. Philadelphia 76ers (15-57, LW 30): When tanking goes wrong – tied an NBA record with 26 straight losses, but the 76ers are still a game ahead of Milwaukee.

Read more articles by Jason Jones

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