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Jason Jones: Ranking the NBA

Published: Saturday, Apr. 5, 2014 - 7:56 pm

Records and stats through Friday’s games

1. San Antonio Spurs (59-17, last week 1): No team could care less about a 19-game winning streak or that streak ending than the Spurs.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder (55-20, LW 2): It won the season series 4-0 against San Antonio, but a meeting in the playoffs should be competitive.

3. Los Angeles Clippers (54-23, LW 3): Big Baby vs. Doc Rivers? What good would an L.A. team be without a little drama?

4. Miami Heat (52-23, LW 6): Indiana’s shaky play has kept the Heat in contention to win the East.

5. Houston Rockets (50-25, LW 4): Might Dwight Howard’s ankle injury become a big problem in the postseason?

6. Golden State Warriors (47-29, LW 7): They are relying on Stephen Curry a lot with David Lee and Andrew Bogut out with injuries.

7. Portland Trail Blazers (49-28, LW 8): Robin Lopez has quietly been a big reason for Portland’s improvement from last season.

8. Indiana Pacers (53-24, LW 5): Playing like a team that can’t handle the pressure of being a title contender; losers of seven of their last 10.

9. Phoenix Suns (45-31, LW 9): They might need to win the rest of their games to make the playoffs.

10. Memphis Grizzlies (45-31, LW 10): Much like the Suns, every game is a must-win for the Grizzlies.

11. Dallas Mavericks (46-31, LW 11): The Mavs were 4-4 on their recent homestand, then won back-to-back road games in Los Angeles.

12. Toronto Raptors (44-32, LW 12): This is a team that isn’t using injuries as a reason to fall apart late in the season.

13. Chicago Bulls (44-32, LW 14): Four-game winning streak has Bulls in position to host a first-round playoff series.

14. Brooklyn Nets: (41-34, LW 13): They have won 15 in a row at home but will have to win on the road to have success in the playoffs.

15. Washington Wizards (40-36, LW 15): Washington is a playoff team for the first time since Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler were the Wizards’ “Big 3.”

16. Charlotte Bobcats: (38-38, LW 17): From the second-worst record in the league last season to being on the verge of making the playoffs.

17. Minnesota Timberwolves (38-37, LW 16): Even with seven more wins than last season, this has been a disappointing season for a team that had playoff hopes.

18. New York Knicks (33-44, LW 21): Carmelo Anthony has never missed the playoffs in his career and will play through a shoulder injury to try to maintain that streak.

19. Denver Nuggets (33-43, LW 19): Nuggets own the Knicks’ first-round pick from the Anthony trade – guess they’ll be rooting against New York making the playoffs.

20. Atlanta Hawks (33-42, LW 20): Have lost seven of 10 but somehow are still holding on to the eighth spot in the East.

21. New Orleans Pelicans (32-44, LW 18): Anthony Davis’ superb play is constantly interrupted by nagging injuries.

22. Cleveland Cavaliers (31-46, LW 22): Injuries will likely doom their slim chance of making the playoffs and lead to an offseason of major changes.

23. Detroit Pistons (27-49, LW 23): One of the biggest starting lineups in the NBA has not found a winning formula.

24. Kings (27-49, LW 24): One more win would match last season’s win total.

25. Los Angeles Lakers (25-51, LW 25): The last time the Lakers lost this many games they responded by trading for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975.

26. Utah Jazz (24-52, LW 27): Trey Burke is already talking about ways to come back better next season.

27. Boston Celtics (23-49, LW 26): Danny Ainge said he doesn’t see any players in this year’s draft who could instantly turn a franchise into a playoff team.

28. Orlando Magic (21-55, LW 28): Victor Oladipo probably won’t win Rookie of the Year, but he’s been solid in his first season.

29. Philadelphia 76ers (17-59, LW 30): Managed to not break the record for most consecutive losses and have won two of their last four games.

30. Milwaukee Bucks (14-62, LW 29): Larry Sanders is in the headlines for the wrong reasons again this season.

Read more articles by Jason Jones



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