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Jason Jones, Sacramento Kings beat writer

Jason Jones: Ranking the NBA

03/15/2014 5:29 PM

03/15/2014 5:30 PM

By Jason Jones | jejones@sacbee.com

Records and statistics through Friday


• 1. San Antonio Spurs (49-16 last week 2): Nine-game winning streak has pushed the Spurs to the best record in the NBA.


• 2. Los Angeles Clippers (47-20, LW 4): Rallied at Utah to extend their winning streak to 10 games as Blake Griffin’s game continues to improve.


• 3. Oklahoma City Thunder (48-17, LW 1): Kevin Durant is still an MVP contender, but his aggressiveness is questioned when compared to Russell Westbrook.


• 4. Houston Rockets (44-21, LW 3): Have dropped their past two games. James Harden and Dwight Howard need to respond with inspired efforts.


• 5. Indiana Pacers (48-17, LW 5): They bounced back from four consecutive losses with two wins but aren’t looking in peak form right now.


• 6. Miami Heat (44-19, LW 6): Continue to look out of sync; lost past two games, including at home to Denver.


• 7. Portland Trail Blazers (43-23, LW 7): Still need to show they can beat the best teams in the league.


• 8. Golden State Warriors (41-26, LW 8): Without Klay Thompson, Warriors blew an 18-point lead at home to Cleveland.


• 9. Memphis Grizzlies (38-27, LW 11): Have finally worked their way to the eighth spot in the West and would be a tough first-round foe.


• 10. Toronto Raptors (37-27, LW 12): Playing Kyle Lowry and Greivis Vasquez together gives the Raptors two solid facilitators on offense.


• 11. Chicago Bulls (36-29, LW 13): Joakim Noah’s praise is deserved; he’s worthy of All-NBA honors.


• 12. Dallas Mavericks (39-27, LW 9): Devin Harris left Tuesday’s game with a sore Achilles’ tendon. The Mavs need him healthy for any chance at an upset in the playoffs.


• 13. Brooklyn Nets: (33-30, LW 16): Still looking at catching Toronto in the Atlantic Division standings.


• 14. Phoenix Suns (37-28, LW 10): Eric Bledsoe’s return from injury might be too late.


• 15. Washington Wizards (34-31, LW 14): Bradley Beal’s sprained ankle is a major concern with Nene already out with a knee injury.


• 16. Charlotte Bobcats: (32-34, LW 17): Al Jefferson has played well to make the Bobcats one of this season’s most improved teams.


• 17. Minnesota Timberwolves (32-32, LW 15): The Timberwolves’ improvement isn’t nearly good enough to be a serious contender for the postseason in the West.


• 18. Denver Nuggets (29-36, LW 19): Nuggets are showing the fight coach Brian Shaw wants to see, including a win at Miami.


• 19. Atlanta Hawks (28-35, LW 18): The Hawks have won their past two games to hold onto the East’s final playoff spot.


• 20. New York Knicks (26-40, LW 23): Their six-game winning streak keeps the pressure on Atlanta.


• 21. Cleveland Cavaliers (26-40, LW 21): Spencer Hawes came up big in a comeback at Golden State to keep the Cavs’ playoff hopes intact a little longer.


• 22. New Orleans Pelicans (26-39, LW 20): Anthony Davis’ play is a positive in a disappointing season.


• 23. Detroit Pistons (25-40, LW 22): Andre Drummond’s energy stands out on a disinterested team.


• 24. Kings (23-42, LW 24): Kings are hoping Jason Thompson can be a low-post presence off the bench.


• 25. Utah Jazz (22-44, LW 25): If Jazz could have held on, beating the Clippers on Friday would have been another big home win.


• 26. Los Angeles Lakers (22-44, LW 26): The Lakers have lost four times by at least 31 points, the most in a season in franchise history.


• 27. Boston Celtics (22-44, LW 27): Rumors aside, Rajon Rondo gives the Celtics a player who could be a part of rebuilding next season.


• 28. Orlando Magic (19-48, LW 28): Losing streaks have been common this season – Magic’s is five.


• 29. Milwaukee Bucks (13-52, LW 29): Larry Drew’s first season as coach with Milwaukee has been tough, very tough.


• 30. Philadelphia 76ers (15-50, LW 30): Losers of 19 in a row. Not much else to add to that.

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

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