Sacramento Kings

Jason Jones: Ranking the NBA teams

By Jason Jones | jejones@sacbee.com


▪ 1 . Golden State Warriors (17-2, last week 2):

NBA’s hottest team is led by the league’s hottest backcourt.


▪ 2 . Portland Trail Blazers (15-4, LW 4):

Winners of 9 of 10, they might be the talk of the league if not for the Warriors.


▪ 3. San Antonio Spurs (15-5, LW 6):

Tim Duncan joined Kobe Bryant as “old guys” with triple doubles last week.


▪ 4. Houston Rockets (16-4, LW 8):

Still no Dwight Howard, but the Rockets find ways to win.


▪ 5. Memphis Grizzlies (15-4, LW 1):

Like many teams, Grizzlies learned a trip through Texas can be rough.


▪ 6 . Dallas Mavericks (15-6, LW 5):

Sounds as if Monta Ellis will get a lot of All-Star support in Dallas at this rate.


▪ 7 . Los Angeles Clippers (14-5, LW 7):

Six-game winning streak entering Saturday as the Clippers look more like themselves.


▪ 8 . Toronto Raptors (15-5, LW 3):

Greivis Vasquez is a capable facilitator but doesn’t provide the scoring or defense as DeMar DeRozan’s injury fill-in.


▪ 9

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Washington Wizards: (13-5, LW 9):

Veteran forward Rasual Butler has emerged as vital contributor.


▪ 10. Phoenix Suns (12-9, LW 11):

Goran Dragic was averaging 17.2 points on 53.7 percent shooting over his last 10 games entering Saturday.


▪ 11. Atlanta Hawks (12-6, LW 14):

Riding a five-game winning streak with Paul Millsap helping lead the way.


▪ 12. Cleveland Cavaliers (11-7, LW 17):

Might Kyrie Irving emerge as this team’s go-to player in close games?


▪ 13 . Chicago Bulls (12-8, LW 10):

The Bulls are allowing 99.9 points per game, high compared to recent seasons.


▪ 14 . Milwaukee Bucks (11-10, LW 12):

Brandon Knight is off to a good start playing for Jason Kidd.


▪ 15 . Kings (10-10, LW 13):

Life without DeMarcus Cousins isn’t easy, but you already knew that.


▪ 16. Denver Nuggets (9-10 LW 16):

Kenneth Faried’s scoring, rebounding and minutes are all below last season’s pace.


▪ 17 . Miami Heat (9-10, LW 15):

Generating offense has been a struggle this season.


▪ 18. New Orleans Pelicans (8-10, LW 18):

It would help if New Orleans figured out that getting Anthony Davis the ball more is good.


▪ 19 . Oklahoma City Thunder (6-13, LW 21):

With Kevin Durant back in the lineup, the climb picks up big-time.


▪ 20. Brooklyn Nets (8-10, LW 20):

Still feels as if the Nets are underachieving.


▪ 21. Orlando Magic (9-14, LW 23):

Tobias Harris could prove to be valuable part of the Magic’s future.


▪ 22 . Boston Celtics (6-11, LW 24):

Rajon Rondo’s breakfast with Kobe is a bigger story than the game?


▪ 23 . Indiana Pacers (7-13, LW 19):

Team has been competitive lately, but still dropped four straight.


▪ 24 . Los Angeles Lakers (5-15, LW 28):

Nick Young is worth watching, good or bad.


▪ 25 . Utah Jazz (5-15, LW 21):

Losing streak is up to eight games.


▪ 26 . Charlotte Hornets (5-15, LW 26):

Ten-game losing streak ended thanks to a buzzer beater by Kemba Walker on Friday night.


▪ 27 . Minnesota Timberwolves (4-15, LW 25):

The unfortunate team that was the first to lose to the 76ers.


▪ 28. New York Knicks (4-17, LW 27):

Not much has gone right lately – seven losses in a row.


▪ 29 . Detroit Pistons (3-17, LW 29):

Dysfunction reigns as the Pistons have lost 11 straight.


▪ 30. Philadelphia 76ers (2-18, LW 30):

Avoided matching the longest losing streak to start a season with win in 18th game.

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