Kings Blog

Jason Jones, Sacramento Kings beat writer

The Bee’s Jason Jones ranks the NBA

02/22/2014 5:27 PM

02/23/2014 10:33 AM

1. Oklahoma City Thunder (43-13, last week 1): Once Russell Westbrook regains his form, he and Kevin Durant will form the most potent duo in the NBA.

2. Indiana Pacers (42-13, LW 2): Adding Evan Turner at the trade deadline might solidify Indiana as the favorite to win the East.

3. Miami Heat (39-14, LW 3): The Heat will be waiting to see if a veteran who receives a buyout will be available for its postseason run.

4. Houston Rockets (37-18, LW 5): The Rockets are playing their best basketball of late.

5. San Antonio Spurs (40-16, LW 6): Patty Mills has filled in to add scoring in place of injured All-Star guard Tony Parker.

6. Los Angeles Clippers (37-20, LW 4): The Clippers are the only top-eight team in the West below .500 on the road (14-15).

7. Portland Trail Blazers (37-18, LW 7): The league’s top-scoring squad at 107.8 points per game has

multiple options on offense.

8. Phoenix Suns (33-21, LW 8): Gerald Green has gone from simply a dunker to a key player for the Suns.

9. Dallas Mavericks (34-23, LW 9): Playing their best ball of the season, the Mavericks didn’t make any trades to bolster their playoff chances.

10. Golden State Warriors (34-22, LW 10): Acquiring Steve Blake was the kind of move the Warriors needed to help their bench.

11. Memphis Grizzlies (31-24, LW 11): Memphis has been one of the best teams in the NBA over the past couple months.

12. Toronto Raptors (30-25, LW 12): The coaching of Dwane Casey is to be commended, especially since the Rudy Gay trade.

13. Chicago Bulls (29-25, LW 13): Joakim Noah is playing like one of the best centers in basketball, even leading the Bulls in assists.

14. Brooklyn Nets (25-28, LW 15): Former King Marcus Thornton should have plenty of chances

to prove he’s still a capable scorer with the Nets.

15. Washington Wizards (27-28, LW 16): The Wizards made a deal for Andre Miller to fill their void at backup point guard and prep for the postseason.

16. Minnesota Timberwolves (27-28, LW 18): The Kevin Love trade rumors figure to pick up again in the offseason, before he can become a free agent in 2015.

17. Denver Nuggets (25-29, LW 17): The Nuggets acquired Aaron Brooks to help at point guard, where they’ve been hurt by injuries.

18. Charlotte Bobcats (27-30, LW 20): Winners of three in a row, the Bobcats picked up Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour at the trade deadline to bolster their bench.

19. Atlanta Hawks (26-29, LW 14): The Hawks

lost eight in a row after hanging tough without

Al Horford for most of the season.

20. New Orleans Pelicans (23-32, LW 19): Tyreke Evans, the Pelicans’ big offseason pickup, is playing just 24.7 minutes per game.

21. Detroit Pistons (23-33, LW 21): There is still time for the Pistons to salvage the season by making the playoffs.

22. Cleveland Cavaliers (22-34, LW 22): Cleveland picked up Spencer Hawes from Philadelphia, which was dumping talent at the trade deadline.

23. New York Knicks (21-35, LW 24): There were many rumored deals, but nothing happened for the hapless Knicks.

24. Utah Jazz (19-36, LW 23): Guard Alec Burks has emerged as a capable bench scorer.

25. Los Angeles Lakers (19-36, LW 27): Kobe Bryant will sit at least another three weeks, but

Pau Gasol is back from an injury.

26. Boston Celtics (19-38, LW 25): The Celtics continue to carefully monitor Rajon Rondo’s return from last season’s ACL injury.

27. Kings (19-36, LW 26): Ray McCallum will have a chance to show he can compete with increased playing time.

28. Orlando Magic (17-40, LW 28): The buyout of Glen Davis frees more time to develop young players like Tobias Harris.

29. Philadelphia 76ers (15-41, LW 29): Philadelphia has lost 10 straight and has an NBA-worst minus-10.5 point differential.

30. Milwaukee Bucks (10-45, LW 30): O.J. Mayo made highlight shows – for tying his shoe while the Bucks were on defense.

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 jejones@sacbee.com. Twitter: @mr_jasonjones

Key Links

Schedules, scores, stats

NBA team previews

Video

More Kings

Bleed Black and Purple

Sactown Royalty

Kings Fans

Official Kings site

USA Today: Hoops Hype

ESPN Trade Machine

Inside Hoops

 

Join the Discussion

The Sacramento Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service