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Jason Jones, Sacramento Kings beat writer

Jason Jones: Ranking the NBA

04/05/2014 7:08 PM

04/05/2014 7:09 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.

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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