Kings Blog

Ranking the NBA’s 30 teams

By Jason Jones | jejones@sacbee.com


1. Golden State Warriors (62-13, last week 1): Draymond Green is sitting out to get healthy, giving David Lee valuable minutes.


2. Atlanta Hawks (56-19, LW 2):

It still seems the Hawks are being disrespected, with many believing Cleveland is the favorite in the East.


3. Cleveland Cavaliers (49-27, LW 3):

LeBron James is arguably the league MVP, even though he probably won’t win his fifth such award.


4. Houston Rockets (52-24, LW 4):

Jason Terry is now a vital part of Houston’s playoff hopes with Patrick Beverley out for the season.


5. Los Angeles Clippers (50-26, LW 5):

If Jamal Crawford is healthy, the Clippers could make a deep postseason run.


6. San Antonio Spurs (50-26, LW 7):

Kawhi Leonard is proving to be the most important player in San Antonio’s success.


7. Memphis Grizzlies (52-24, LW 6):

Dropped three in a row before bouncing back, including a win over Oklahoma City.


8. Chicago Bulls (46-30, LW 9):

Pau Gasol has helped the Bulls remain competitive as the team tries to return to full strength.


9. Portland Trail Blazers (49-26, LW 8):

If C.J. McCollum can provide offense off the bench, it would help compensate for the loss of Wesley Matthews for the season.


10. Dallas Mavericks (46-30, LW 10):

After acquiring Rajon Rondo, the Mavs expected to play better than this.


11. Oklahoma City Thunder (42-34, LW 11):

The Thunder is clinging to the final playoff spot in the West.


12. New Orleans Pelicans (41-34, LW 14):

Anthony Davis and Tyreke Evans could lead the Pelicans past OKC for eighth in the West.


13. Toronto Raptors (45-31, LW 13):

Beating good teams has been hard for the Raptors in the second half of the season.


14. Washington Wizards (43-33, LW 12):

John Wall had a career-high 18 assists Friday, but the Wizards have struggled to find consistency for nearly two months.


15. Milwaukee Bucks (38-38, LW 16):

After looking solid much of the season, the Bucks slid close to the bottom of the top eight in the East before recovering.


16. Phoenix Suns (38-38, LW 15):

The Suns are fading fast in the West as Brandon Knight remains sidelined with a sprained ankle.


17. Brooklyn Nets (35-40, LW 19):

Deron Williams has played more like a star during Brooklyn’s six-game winning streak.


18. Utah Jazz (34-41, LW 20):

Coach Quin Snyder is still getting the most out of a young team as the season winds down.


19. Miami Heat (34-41, LW 18):

Can the Heat lean on Dwyane Wade to reach the playoffs?


20. Boston Celtics (34-42, LW 17):

Improved health could boost Boston into the postseason.


21. Indiana Pacers (33-43, LW 21):

Paul George will return to the court Sunday after breaking his leg last August with Team USA.


22. Charlotte Hornets (32-43, LW 22):

They certainly expected more from their big free-agent pickup, Lance Stephenson.


23. Detroit Pistons (29-47, LW 23):

Slow start and Brandon Jennings’ injury have been too much to overcome this season.


24. Denver Nuggets (28-48, LW 24):

Even after three consecutive losses, the mood in Denver is better under interim coach Melvin Hunt.


25. Kings (26-49, LW 25):

Despite DeMarcus Cousins’ dominance, Sacramento has lost four in a row.


26. Orlando Magic (23-53, LW 26):

The backcourt of Elfrid Payton and Victor Oladipo could be formidable in the near future.


27. Los Angeles Lakers (20-55, LW 27):

Jordan Clarkson winning Western Conference Rookie of the Month honors shows all is not lost this season.


28. Philadelphia 76ers (18-58, LW 28):

Sixers have been competitive but still have dropped four in a row.


29. Minnesota Timberwolves (16-60, LW 29):

Ricky Rubio has been shut down for the rest of the season because of lingering ankle problems.


30. New York Knicks (14-62, LW 30):

Madison Square Garden has been a place for highlights, but primarily for the visiting team this season.

  Comments