Kings Blog

Ranking the NBA’s 30 teams

1. Atlanta Hawks (49-12, last week 2): Already clinched a playoff spot, and homecourt throughout the playoffs is still a possibility.

2. Golden State Warriors (48-12, LW 1): Draymond Green as Defensive Player of the Year? Could happen.

3. Memphis Grizzlies (44-17, LW 3): Marc Gasol showed up like an MVP candidate for a game winner last week against Houston.

4. Portland Trail Blazers (41-19, LW 6): Having Arron Afflalo takes away some of the sting from losing Wesley Matthews (Achilles’) for the rest of the season.

5. Houston Rockets (42-20, LW 5): If James Harden keeps his feet to himself, he just might win league MVP.

6. Los Angeles Clippers (40-22, LW 7): Adding Nate Robinson could help solidify the Clippers’ second unit.

7. Cleveland Cavaliers (39-25, LW 4): Losing to Hawks was a reminder there’s still work to do to become ready for the playoffs.

8. Chicago Bulls (39-24, LW 10): Injuries have created playing time for rookie Doug McDermott.

9. San Antonio Spurs (38-23, LW 11): If Tony Parker can regain his form from last season, the Spurs will be tough to beat.

10. Dallas Mavericks (40-24, LW 8): Chandler Parsons’ injury might explain the Mavs’ recent struggles.

11. Toronto Raptors (38-24, LW 9): Time for All-Star Kyle Lowry to help the floundering Raptors get on track.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder (34-28, LW 12): Russell Westbrook’s recent play has been compared to Michael Jordan and Oscar Robertson.

13. New Orleans Pelicans (33-29, LW 14): Injury news has been bad, but Pelicans did win four in a row.

14. Phoenix Suns (33-30, LW 15): Looking more like the playoffs will be something to aim for next season.

15. Washington Wizards (35-27, LW 14): Another team in the East playing well below expectations lately.

16. Milwaukee Bucks (33-29, LW 13): Losers of their last four but still one of six teams in the East with a winning record.

17. Indiana Pacers (27-34, LW 17): Used a four-game winning streak to remain in the top eight in the East.

18. Charlotte Hornets (27-33, LW 20): Like Pacers, a four-game winning streak has vaulted Hornets into the top eight in the East.

19. Miami Heat (27-34, LW 18): Injuries are piling up at the wrong time for the Heat.

20. Boston Celtics (25-35, LW 19): Isaiah Thomas is quickly becoming popular in Boston.

21. Utah Jazz (25-36, LW 23): Rudy Gobert’s emergence makes him a contender for Most Improved Player.

22. Brooklyn Nets (25-35, LW 21): The notion the Nets would turn it around in January never materialized.

23. Detroit Pistons (23-38, LW 22): Pistons free-falling out of playoff contention with five straight losses.

24. Orlando Magic (20-43, LW 25): Victor Oladipo has played at a high level lately.

25. Denver Nuggets (22-40, LW 26): Won two straight after Brian Shaw was fired as coach.

26. Kings (21-39, LW 24): Turnovers and inconsistent defense continue to be problems for Sacramento.

27. Los Angeles Lakers (16-45, LW 27): The development of rookie guard Jordan Clarkson is a priority.

28. Minnesota Timberwolves (13-47, LW 28): Kevin Garnett has been well-received by fans in his return.

29. New York Knicks (12-48, LW 30): Alexey Shved has been on television a lot for his follies lately.

30. Philadelphia 76ers (13-49, LW 29): JaVale McGee ends up being bought out after all.