Kings Blog

Ranking the NBA’s 30 teams

1. Golden State Warriors (59-13, last week 1): Solidified their status as the team to beat with a convincing win at Memphis.

2. Atlanta Hawks (55-17, LW 2): Hawks have clinched the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers (47-27, LW 3): Kevin Love will be needed if the Cavs want to be a championship team.

4. Houston Rockets (49-23, LW 5): Is there enough time for Dwight Howard to be close to 100 percent for the playoffs?

5. Los Angeles Clippers (48-25, LW 6): Their six-game winning streak has the Clippers poised to make waves in the postseason.

6. Memphis Grizzlies (50-23, LW 4): Home losses to Cleveland and Golden State were humbling last week.

7. San Antonio Spurs (46-26, LW 8): The Spurs will be a dangerous team in the playoffs, even without homecourt advantage.

8. Portland Trail Blazers (46-25, LW 7): The Blazers have played better lately but are still in danger of dropping to seventh in the West.

9. Chicago Bulls (44-29, LW 10): Derrick Rose looks on course to return to the lineup before the playoffs.

10. Dallas Mavericks (45-28, LW 9): After acquiring Rajon Rondo, the Mavs expected to be playing better than this.

11. Oklahoma City Thunder (41-31, LW 11): Kevin Durant’s impending surgery leaves this season to Russell Westbrook to salvage.

12. Washington Wizards (41-32, LW 12): John Wall has delivered clutch, late-game baskets in Wizards’ last two games.

13. Toronto Raptors (43-30, LW 13): Clinched the Atlantic Division but Kyle Lowry’s back injury is an issue.

14. New Orleans Pelicans (38-34, LW 14): Holding on to the hope of catching Oklahoma City and making the playoffs.

15. Phoenix Suns (38-35, LW 15): Losers of their last two, that might be too much to overcome to catch OKC.

16. Milwaukee Bucks (36-36, LW 17): Maybe the last two wins will get the Bucks back on track.

17. Boston Celtics (32-40, LW 19): The current leader in the dash for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

18. Miami Heat (33-39, LW 18): Hassan Whiteside’s hand injury significantly weakens the Heat in the paint.

19. Brooklyn Nets (31-40, LW 23): The season hasn’t gone well, but the Nets could sneak into the playoffs.

20. Utah Jazz (31-41, LW 16): Team is improved, but they’ve lost four in a row.

21. Indiana Pacers (31-41, LW 20): As Paul George recovers from his leg injury, the Pacers are still in contention for a playoff spot.

22. Charlotte Hornets (30-41, LW 21): They can’t seem to play well consistently long enough to repeat last season’s success.

23. Detroit Pistons (28-44, LW 24): Reggie Jackson has helped Detroit win four in a row, but it might be too late to save this season.

24. Denver Nuggets (28-45, LW 22):

Six wins in their last 10 games shows they’re still playing better for interim coach Melvin Hunt than they did for Brian Shaw.

25. Kings (26-46, LW 26): Three more wins will satisfy George Karl’s goal of winning more games than last season.

26. Orlando Magic (22-52, LW 25): Elfrid Payton continues to impress and make a case he’s the best rookie this season.

27. Los Angeles Lakers (19-52, LW 28): Jeremy Lin has had some good games for the Lakers lately.

28. Philadelphia 76ers (18-55, LW 27): Nerlens Noel is coming off a 30-point game in a loss to the Clippers.

29. Minnesota Timberwolves (16-56, LW 29): Injuries have slowed progress for this team that was expected to be better.

30. New York Knicks (14-59, LW 30): The joke is whether the Knicks could beat the Kentucky Wildcats and some doubt they could.