Kings Blog

Ranking the NBA by Jason Jones

By Jason Jones | jejones@sacbee.com

Records and statistics through Friday’s games


• 1. Indiana Pacers (44-13, last week 2): Maintaining the top spot in the Eastern Conference will not be easy.




• 2. Miami Heat (41-14, LW 3): Six wins in a row has the Heat keeping the pressure on the Pacers in the East.




• 3. Oklahoma City Thunder (44-15, LW 1): The struggles integrating Russell Westbrook were to be expected, but a home loss to Cleveland?




• 4. San Antonio Spurs (42-16, LW 5): Spurs haven’t yet added another veteran off the waiver wire to close the season.




• 5. Los Angeles Clippers (40-20, LW 6): Danny Granger and Glen Davis should help two of their weaknesses: depth on the perimeter and in the post.




• 6. Houston Rockets (39-19, LW 4): Jeremy Lin has become a solid scorer off the bench.




• 7. Portland Trail Blazers (40-18, LW 7): On a four-game winning streak to stay in contention for home-court advantage in the playoffs.




• 8. Dallas Mavericks (36-24, LW 9): Age is supposed to slow Dirk Nowitzki at some point, right?




• 9. Golden State Warriors (36-23, LW 10): Stephen Curry’s encore to his 54-point effort last season at New York was a triple double Friday night.




• 10. Phoenix Suns (34-24, LW 8): Still holding onto a playoff spot in the West, but Memphis is on their heels.




• 11. Memphis Grizzlies (32-25, LW 11): Beno Udrih was claimed off waivers to help at point guard behind Mike Conley.




• 12. Chicago Bulls (32-26, LW 13): Bulls need offense, so deal with Jimmer Fredette makes sense.




• 13. Toronto Raptors (32-26, LW 12): Still the only team in the Atlantic Division above .500.




• 14. Washington Wizards (30-28, LW 15): They entered Saturday on a five-game winning streak, even with a knee injury to Nene that will keep him out a few weeks.




• 15. Brooklyn Nets: (27-29, LW 14): After losing out on Davis to the Clippers, Nets added Jason Collins for frontcourt help.




• 16. Minnesota Timberwolves (28-29, LW 16): Lost one of the best centers in the league, Nikola Pekovic, to injury.




• 17. Charlotte Bobcats: (27-31, LW 18): Kemba Walker has elevated his play to put the Bobcats into seventh place in the East.




• 18. Atlanta Hawks (26-31, LW 19): Tough times in Atlanta – Hawks have dropped nine of 10.




• 19. Cleveland Cavaliers (24-36, LW 22): Can they salvage this season and get into the playoffs?




• 20. Denver Nuggets (25-32, LW 17): Making a habit of being blown out during their latest swoon.




• 21. New Orleans Pelicans (23-35, LW 20): Jrue Holiday is the latest player to be lost for the season.




• 22. Detroit Pistons (23-35, LW 21): Trying to sneak into the playoffs.




• 23. Utah Jazz (21-37, LW 24): Offense has been a struggle this season.




• 24. Los Angeles Lakers (20-39, LW 25): Kent Bazemore will have a chance to show he’s more than a hype man from the bench.




• 25. Kings (20-38, LW 27): They were progressing on defense before giving up 120-plus in back-to-back games.




• 26. New York Knicks (21-38, LW 23): Carmelo Anthony cannot do enough to end the Knicks’ woes.




• 27. Boston Celtics (20-39, LW 26): In a bad season, a Rajon Rondo birthday party excursion becomes a big deal.




• 28. Orlando Magic (18-42, LW 28): In position to land another solid piece in the draft to join a good, young nucleus.




• 29. Milwaukee Bucks (11-46, LW 30): Worst record in the league; not playing the worst basketball.




• 30. Philadelphia 76ers (15-43, LW 29): Losing streak is up to 12; finishing the season with a thud.



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