Jason Jones: Ranking the NBA
04/12/2014 5:15 PM
04/12/2014 11:47 PM
By Jason Jones | email@example.com
Records and statistics through Friday
• 1. San Antonio Spurs (62-18, Last week 1): Depth of Spurs should not be overrated after San Antonio clinched the NBA’s best record while resting its star players.
• 2. Oklahoma City Thunder (58-21, LW 2): Thabo Sefolosha, one of the league’s best perimeter defenders, returned to the lineup from injury.
• 3. Los Angeles Clippers (55-24, LW 3): Blake Griffin playing at an MVP level makes the Clippers legitimate championship contenders.
• 4. Miami Heat (54-25, LW 4): LeBron James has carried the Heat, but winning a title without Dwyane Wade healthy seems unlikely.
• 5. Portland Trail Blazers (52-28, LW 7): Chasing down Houston for a shot at home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
• 6. Houston Rockets (52-27, LW 5): Houston is in danger of not having home-court advantage with Dwight Howard bothered by an ankle injury.
• 7. Golden State Warriors (49-30, LW 6): If Harrison Barnes plays well, the Warriors are tough to beat and there is less pressure on the starting backcourt to score.
• 8. Phoenix Suns (47-32, LW 9): Could wind up as the most improved team to miss the playoffs in the tough Western Conference.
• 9. Indiana Pacers (54-26, LW 8): From trying to win the East to looking primed for an early exit well before that goal.
• 10. Chicago Bulls (47-32, LW 13): Bulls are on a seven-game winning streak and could finish third in the East.
• 11. Memphis Grizzlies (47-32, LW 10): Trying to hang with Dallas, Phoenix to claim one of the two final playoff spots in the West.
• 12. Dallas Mavericks (48-32, LW 11): Rick Carlisle is a Coach of the Year candidate.
• 13. Toronto Raptors (46-33, LW 12): Raptors have clinched the Atlantic Division after entering the season projected to be a lottery team.
• 14. Brooklyn Nets (43-36, LW 14): A team that wouldn’t shy away from a playoff matchup with Miami after sweeping the season series.
• 15. Washington Wizards (41-38, LW 15): John Wall leads the Wizards in scoring, assists and steals.
• 16. Charlotte Bobcats (40-39, LW 16): Winners of eight of their last 11games, they have a 20-win improvement over last season following Saturday’s victory.
• 17. Minnesota Timberwolves (40-39, LW 17): Perhaps no one was as surprised by Corey Brewer’s 51-point game as Brewer.
• 18. Atlanta Hawks (36-43, LW 20): The playoff spot management would prefer the Hawks not have – No. 8 in the East – is there to be had.
• 19. New York Knicks (34-45, LW 18): Bad start to the season might be too much to overcome in pursuit of a playoff berth.
• 20. Denver Nuggets (35-44, LW 19): Kenneth Faried showed off some of his offensive skills with his game winner during Denver’s comeback at Golden State.
• 21. New Orleans Pelicans (32-47, LW 21): Like Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson, Anthony Davis saw his season come to an early end because of injury.
• 22. Cleveland Cavaliers (32-48, LW 22): Speculation over Kyrie Irving’s future bothers him more and more.
• 23. Detroit Pistons (29-51, LW 23): Reports are general manager Joe Dumars will resign after he failed to get the Pistons back to the playoffs.
• 24. Kings (27-52, LW 24): The Kings have taken their lumps at times starting two rookies in the backcourt with Isaiah Thomas out.
• 25. Los Angeles Lakers (25-54, LW 25): The Lakers have the most losses in their Los Angeles history.
• 26. Utah Jazz (24-55, LW 26): Alec Burks has had a solid season as a sixth man.
• 27. Boston Celtics (24-55, LW 27): Injuries to key players have piled up late in the season.
• 28. Orlando Magic (23-56, LW 28): Showed poise late in two wins last week, a positive step for a young team.
• 29. Philadelphia 76ers (17-62, LW 29): Even after their 26-game losing streak, the 76ers do not have the worst record in the NBA.
• 30. Milwaukee Bucks (15-64, LW 30): Brandon Knight is averaging career highs in points (17.7) and assists (4.9).
About This BlogJason 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @mr_jasonjones
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