Kings Blog

Ranking the NBA’s 30 teams


1. Golden State Warriors (64-15, last week 1):

As the season winds down, Stephen Curry continues to put on spectacular showings.


2. Atlanta Hawks (60-19, LW 2): Paul Millsap missing time to injury hasn’t sent the Hawks into a slump.


3. San Antonio Spurs (54-26, LW 6): Spurs have won 10 in a row and are suddenly the third seed in the West.


4. Cleveland Cavaliers (51-28, LW 3): LeBron James is arguably the league MVP, even though he probably won’t win his fifth such award.


5. Los Angeles Clippers (53-26, LW 5): Jamal Crawford’s return from injury makes the Clippers a true title contender.


6. Memphis Grizzlies (54-25, LW 7): In a tight race for the second spot in the West, the Grizzlies have the edge entering Saturday.


7. Houston Rockets (53-26, LW 4): Donatas Motiejunas joins Patrick Beverley as a key player out for the rest of the season.


8. Chicago Bulls (47-32, LW 8): Derrick Rose is back from knee surgery in time to try to find his rhythm for the playoffs.


9. Portland Trail Blazers (51-28, LW 9): Arron Afflalo (shoulder) is out 1-2 weeks, so seldom-used Allen Crabbe might be needed.


10. Dallas Mavericks (48-31, LW 10): The Mavs expected a championship run, but it won’t be easy if they draw San Antonio in the first round.


11. New Orleans Pelicans (43-36, LW 12): Can Jrue Holiday’s return be enough to help the Pelicans earn the last playoff spot in the West?


12. Toronto Raptors (47-32, LW 13): Atlantic Division champs are expected to do little in the playoffs.


13. Oklahoma City Thunder (43-36, LW 11): Thunder will need some help from other teams if it is to make the playoffs.


14. Washington Wizards (45-34, LW 14): Not sure what to expect from this group in the postseason.


15. Milwaukee Bucks (39-40, LW 15): A .500 season is a possibility after just 15 wins last season.


16. Phoenix Suns (39-41, LW 16): With their playoff hopes faded, the Suns have dropped three in a row.


17. Brooklyn Nets (37-42, LW 17): Brook Lopez is playing like an All-Star again.


18. Boston Celtics (37-42, LW 20): Isaiah Thomas has been the spark the Celtics needed and he could push them into the postseason.


19. Utah Jazz (36-43, LW 18): Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert help anchor an improving defense.


20. Indiana Pacers (36-43, LW 21): Pacers have won four in a row and could steal one of the last two playoff berths in the East.


21. Miami Heat (35-44, LW 19): Losers of seven of 10, it appears that Heat-Cavs playoff series won’t happen.


22. Charlotte Hornets (33-46, LW 22): One of the feel-good stories of last season, the Hornets now can focus on the draft.


23. Detroit Pistons (30-49, LW 23): Reggie Jackson’s impressive performances fall short of saving the Pistons’ season.


24. Denver Nuggets (29-50, LW 24)

:

Sunday’s game against the Kings could be emotional for George Karl’s former players still on the team.


25. Kings (27-52, LW 25): The absence of DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay makes the Kings even bigger underdogs to close the season.


26. Orlando Magic (25-54, LW 26): The Magic coaching vacancy should draw plenty of interest because of its young, talented nucleus.


27. Los Angeles Lakers (21-58, LW 27): Unless they’re unlucky in the lottery, the Lakers will have a top-five pick.


28. Philadelphia 76ers (18-61, LW 28): The Sixers have lost seven in a row, but they still don’t have the league’s worst record.


29. Minnesota Timberwolves (16-63, LW 29): When injuries force you to rely on rookies, it’s a long season to endure.


30. New York Knicks (15-64, LW 30): Fans in New York are dreaming big for the draft, hoping to get lucky as they did with Patrick Ewing years ago.

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