Kings Blog

Ranking the NBA’s 30 teams

1. Golden State Warriors (51-13, last week 2):

Team talented enough to win even when Stephen Curry has a subpar game.

2. Atlanta Hawks (51-14, LW 1):

The last two losses have been to sub-.500 teams.

3. Portland Trail Blazers (43-20, LW 4):

Robin Lopez could be the X-factor in Portland’s playoff success.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers (42-25, LW 7):

Kyrie Irving’s 57-point outburst at San Antonio was his second 50-point game this season.

5. Memphis Grizzlies (45-20, LW 3):

They need a strong finish to lock up the No. 2 spot in the West.

6. Houston Rockets (43-22, LW 5):

Dwight Howard is making strides toward returning to the lineup.

7. Los Angeles Clippers (42-24, LW 6):

Blake Griffin appears ready to return in time to find his form for the postseason.

8. San Antonio Spurs (40-24, LW 9):

Tony Parker is playing better, so the Spurs are formidable.

9. Dallas Mavericks (42-25, LW 10):

Will Amar’e Stoudemire be the boost to the bench the Mavs need down the stretch?

10. Chicago Bulls (40-27, LW 8):

How many injuries can coach Tom Thibodeau endure and keep the Bulls competitive?

11. New Orleans Pelicans (36-29, LW 13):

Anthony Davis’ return has the Pelicans surging toward a playoff spot.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder (36-29, LW 12):

Russell Westbrook has been great, but the Thunder needs Kevin Durant healthy.

13. Toronto Raptors (39-26, LW 11):

They have looked more like a team that will be fortunate to win a first-round playoff series.

14. Washington Wizards (37-28, LW 15):

Back-to-back blowout wins could get the Wizards back on track.

15. Milwaukee Bucks (34-31, LW 16):

Season has been a success, even though the Bucks have dropped seven of 10.

16. Phoenix Suns (34-33, LW 14):

What will it take for last season’s surprise team to become a playoff team next season?

17. Indiana Pacers (30-34, LW 17):

A seven-game winning streak has put the Pacers in the playoff race in the East.

18. Utah Jazz (28-36, LW 21):

Rudy Gobert has helped the Jazz win eight of 10 and show much improvement over the last month.

19. Charlotte Hornets (29-35, LW 18):

Kemba Walker returned last week from knee surgery, but Al Jefferson has a calf injury.

20. Boston Celtics (28-36, LW 20):

Celtics are still trying to make the postseason and have won three in a row.

21. Miami Heat (29-36, LW 19):

Hassan Whiteside must control his temper, or he’ll hurt his chances for long-term success.

22. Denver Nuggets (25-41, LW 25):

They have played with more fight since Brian Shaw was fired.

23. Brooklyn Nets (25-38, LW 22):

High-priced squad is slumping late in the season.

24. Detroit Pistons (23-42, LW 23):

The plan to maintain without Brandon Jennings isn’t working for losers of nine in a row.

25. Orlando Magic (21-46, LW 25):

Some wonder if the Magic would be better off without Nikola Vucevic.

26. Kings (22-42, LW 26):

Poor defense and turnovers cause more losses.

27. Los Angeles Lakers (17-47, LW 27):

Steve Nash has mentored rookie point guard Jordan Clarkson.

28. Philadelphia 76ers (15-50, LW 30):

Despite their record, the Sixers are playing better.

29. Minnesota Timberwolves (14-50, LW 28):

Can the T-wolves, even if healthy, compete with the best in the West?

30. New York Knicks (13-51, LW 29):

Coach Derek Fisher wants his undermanned team to play with grit every night.