Kings Blog

Ranking the NBA’s 30 teams

By Jason Jones | jejones@sacbee.com

(Records through Friday)


1. Golden State Warriors (42-9, last week 2):

It’s been decades since Warrior fans could say they had a legitimate NBA title contender.


2. Atlanta Hawks (43-11, LW 1):

There will be skeptics until the Hawks prove them wrong by winning in the playoffs.


3. Memphis Grizzlies (39-14, LW 3):

Might be the biggest threat to the Warriors in the West with their physical style.


4. Houston Rockets (36-17, LW 4):

Don’t be surprised if the Rockets are active before Thursday’s trade deadline.


5. Toronto Raptors (36-17, LW 5):

Second in the East but, like Atlanta, the Raptors have plenty of naysayers.


6. Portland Trail Blazers (36-17, LW 7):

Damian Lillard didn’t need to complete his revenge tour, as he was added to the All-Star team.


7. San Antonio Spurs (34-19, LW 8):

Tim Duncan, the reluctant All-Star, remains a steadying force for the Spurs.


8. Cleveland Cavaliers (33-22, LW 9):

If Kevin Love finds his groove with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, the Cavs might win the East.


9. Los Angeles Clippers (35-19 LW 10):

DeAndre Jordan has been stellar with Blake Griffin out with a staph infection.


10. Dallas Mavericks (36-19, LW 6):

Dirk Nowitzki’s vacation plans had to be canceled when he was a late injury replacement for the All-Star Game.


11. Chicago Bulls (34-20, LW 13):

Pau Gasol is looking like the best free-agent pickup of the offseason besides LeBron James.


12. Washington Wizards (33-21, LW 11):

Wizards haven’t played their best lately and need to find their way down the stretch.


13. Milwaukee Bucks (30-23, LW 15):

Despite injuries, the Bucks have already doubled their win total from last season.


14. Oklahoma City Thunder (28-25, LW 16):

Just a half-game out of the eighth spot in the Western Conference.


15. Phoenix Suns (29-25, LW 12):

Have lost seven of 10, and the Thunder could overtake them in the standings soon.


16. New Orleans Pelicans (27-26, LW 14):

Injuries were piling up before the All-Star break as the Pelicans lost three in a row.


17. Charlotte Hornets (22-30, LW 17):

Added Mo Williams to help at point guard until Kemba Walker recovers from knee surgery.


18. Miami Heat (22-30, LW 20):

Hassan Whiteside’s rise has been one of the best stories of the season.


19. Boston Celtics (20-31, LW 21):

Still not out of playoff contention as team deals to add draft picks.


20. Indiana Pacers (21-33, LW 22):

Paul George says he will try to play in March after breaking his leg last summer.


21. Detroit Pistons (21-33, LW 19):

If Greg Monroe finishes the season well, the Pistons might have more trouble re-signing him after the season.


22. Brooklyn Nets (21-31, LW 18):

Brooklyn is in danger of missing the playoffs with the biggest payroll in the NBA.


23. Denver Nuggets (20-33, LW 23):

Ty Lawson is having a great season, but the Nuggets are struggling.


24. Utah Jazz (19-34, LW 24):

Enes Kanter wants a trade, but how much value does he have to other teams?


25. Kings (18-34, LW 25):

Two months of poor play forced the front office to make a second coaching change this season.


26. Orlando Magic (17-39, LW 26):

The young talent on the roster makes this an attractive coaching job in the offseason.


27. Philadelphia 76ers (12-41, LW 30):

The Sixers are poised to win more games down the stretch as they continue to improve.


28. Minnesota Timberwolves (10-40, LW 29):

Trading Mo Williams means there’s still plenty of playing time for Zach LaVine with Ricky Rubio healthy.


29. New York Knicks (10-43, LW 27):

The All-Star Game could be Carmelo Anthony’s last appearance of the season.


30. Los Angeles Lakers (13-40, LW 28):

Have lost six in a row and are on their way to a top-five pick at this rate.

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