Kings Blog

Jason Jones, Sacramento Kings beat writer

Week 7 Power Rankings

12/14/2013 8:06 AM

12/14/2013 8:08 AM

The Western Conference is stocked with several talented point guards which is the only reason Damian Lillard might find himself not playing in this season’s All-Star game.

LaMarcus Aldridge is Portland’s best player, but Lillard is the conductor of the Trail Blazers. After winning Rookie of the Year, Lillard continues to show why he’s one of the best young guards in the NBA.

He’s averaging 20.1 points this season and is a big reason the Blazers have been one of the best teams in the league.

1. Portland Trail Blazers (19-4, Last week 1): LaMarcus Aldridge figures to play his way into league Most Valuable Player conversation.

2. Indiana Pacers (20-4, LW 2): Center Roy Hibbert can be one of the more interesting players to follow on Twitter.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder (18-4, LW 4): Have won by double digits in four of five games during their winning streak.

4. San Antonio Spurs (18-4, LW 3): Tim Duncan is shooting 54.5 percent in his last 10 games.

5. Miami Heat (16-6, LW 6): The Eastern Conference has a lot of bad teams, allowing champs to pace to themselves.

6. Houston Rockets (16-8, LW 6): Terrence Jones appears to be the settling in nicely at power forward playing next to Dwight Howard.

7. Los Angeles Clippers (15-9, LW 7): Signing Stephen Jackson adds much-needed toughness and clutch shooting to the roster.

8. Denver Nuggets (13-9, LW 9): Still managing to stay afloat while not at full strength once this season.

9. Phoenix Suns (13-9, LW 12): Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic have become an entertaining backcourt.

10. Dallas Mavericks (13-10, LW 8): Monta Ellis leads the Mavs in scoring, assists and steals.

11. Golden State Warriors (13-11, LW 10): Injury news hit the team again when Jermaine O’Neal was lost to wrist surgery.

12. Atlanta Hawks (12-11, LW 11): Paul Millsap could prove to be one of the best free agent signings of the offseason.

13. New Orleans Pelicans (11-10, LW 18): Ryan Anderson is playing some of the best basketball of his career since returning from injury.

14. Minnesota Timberwolves (11-12, LW 20): Both Kevins (Love and Martin) are among the top scorers in the NBA.

15. Memphis Grizzlies (10-12, LW 14): The struggles without Marc Gasol continue and won’t get any easier to overcome.

16. Los Angeles Lakers (10-12, LW 13): Dropped three games in a row with Kobe and top-3 point guards are all injured.

17. Detroit Pistons (11-13, LW 17): Brandon Jennings leads the Pistons in shot attempts but is shooting 39.6 percent.

18. Chicago Bulls (9-12, LW 15): Luol Deng will be counted on to carry the offense with the starting backcourt out with injuries.

19. Boston Celtics (11-14, LW 21): Somehow still holding on to the lead in the Atlantic Division.

20. Washington Wizards (9-12, LW 16): Reached the .500 mark, then lost three games in a row.

21. Charlotte Bobcats: (10-13, LW 19): Al Jefferson has provided a reliable scoring threat in the post.

22. Cleveland Cavaliers (9-13, LW 26): Kyrie Irving’s play is picking up as the season progresses, notably his shooting is improved lately.

23. Toronto Raptors (8-13, LW 23): Is Kyle Lowry the next player that will be dealt as the new front office purges the roster?

24. Brooklyn Nets: (8-15, LW 27): Playing better of late, but Brook Lopez has to get healthy again to maintain any momentum.

25. Orlando Magic (7-16, LW 25): Rookie Victor Oladipo is averaging 16 points over his last 10 games.

26. Philadelphia 76ers (7-17, LW 22): Spencer Hawes is playing well, could lead to him being traded this season.

27. New York Knicks (6-16, LW 24): Raymond Felton’s hamstring injury is the latest in a season of disappointments.

28. Sacramento Kings (6-15, LW 28): The defense continues to be a disappointment on most nights.

29. Utah Jazz (6-19, LW 30): Rookie point guard Trey Burke has shown the ability to be a difference maker for the Jazz.

30. Milwaukee Bucks (5-18, LW 29): Too many injuries on a team that would have struggled even with a healthy roster.

About This Blog

Jason Jones, who joined The Sacramento Bee in 2002, has covered the Kings since 2008. Jones, a UC Berkeley graduate, also has covered high school sports, the Oakland Raiders and the Sacramento Monarchs for The Bee. Contact him at Twitter: @mr_jasonjones

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