Kings Blog

Jason Jones: Ranking the NBA teams

After Friday’s win against Dallas, the Golden State Warriors became the 12th NBA team to open a season 20-2. Steve Kerr, in his first season, is the first coach to start that fast.
After Friday’s win against Dallas, the Golden State Warriors became the 12th NBA team to open a season 20-2. Steve Kerr, in his first season, is the first coach to start that fast. The Associated Press

1. Warriors (20-2, last week 1): Could life get any better for Steve Kerr in his first coaching job?

2. Memphis Grizzlies (19-4, LW 5): The bench unit that includes Vince Carter and Beno Udrih is solid.

3. Houston Rockets (18-5, LW 4): The Rockets are happy to have Patrick Beverley back; most opponents aren’t happy to see him.

4. Portland Trail Blazers (18-6, LW 2): Could claim the Northwest Division this season behind LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard.

5. Dallas Mavericks (17-8, LW 6): Tyson Chandler has reinvigorated the defense.

6. Washington Wizards: (16-6, LW 9): Marcin Gortat provides comic relief on Twitter, physical presence at center.

7. Los Angeles Clippers (16-7, LW 7): Nine-game winning streakended Friday at Washington.

8. Toronto Raptors (17-6, LW 8): Kyle Lowry was an All-Star snub last season; that shouldn’t be the case this season.

9. San Antonio Spurs (16-7, LW 3): Spurs have stumbled lately against losing teams.

10. Atlanta Hawks (16-7, LW 11): Winning streak ended at nine games on buzzer beater by Orlando on Saturday.

11. Chicago Bulls (14-8, LW 13): Could Jimmy Butler, not Derrick Rose, be the Bulls’ star guard this season?

12. Cleveland Cavaliers (13-9, LW 12): Possibly tired, Cavs have dropped their last two games.

13. Phoenix Suns (12-12, LW 10): Have lost four straight, but guard Isaiah Thomas is back from an ankle injury after missing eight games.

14. New Orleans Pelicans (11-11, LW 18): Tyreke Evans was in attack mode to lead the Pelicans past the Cavs on Friday.

15. Oklahoma City Thunder (10-13, LW 19): Quickly rising in the standings with improved health.

16. Milwaukee Bucks (12-12, LW 14): Four wins from matching last season’s total.

17. Kings (11-13, LW 15): It was a week of blown leads, leading to losses to the Lakers and Rockets.

18. Denver Nuggets (10-13 LW 16): Injuries are piling up with JaVale McGee out, but Nate Robinson returned Saturday.

19. Miami Heat (11-12, LW 17): LeBron James’ playmaking ability is a void none of Miami’s point guards can fill.

20. Brooklyn Nets (10-12, LW 20): Veterans hope to find their stride by January, but will that be too late?

21. Orlando Magic (10-16, LW 21): Nikola Vucevic is due back in the lineup soon to give the Magic the post presence they’ve lacked.

22. Boston Celtics (7-14, LW 22): Jared Sullinger is shooting just 4 of 21 in his last three games, all losses.

23. Los Angeles Lakers (7-16, LW 24): Two more wins since benching Carlos Boozer and Jeremy Lin.

24. Charlotte Hornets (6-17, LW 26): Still one of the more disappointing teams this season after last season’s playoff berth.

25. Utah Jazz (6-17, LW 25): Alec Burks returned to the lineup, providing experience to a youthful backcourt.

26. Indiana Pacers (7-17, LW 23): It’s a struggle most nights for the short-handed Pacers, who had a hard time scoring when healthy last season.

27. Minnesota Timberwolves (5-17 LW 27): Shabazz Muhammad is averaging 11.3 points in his second season after 3.9 points as a rookie.

28. New York Knicks (5-20, LW 28): Is learning the triangle offense holding the Knicks back, or are they just a bad team?

29. Detroit Pistons (5-19, LW 29): Ended their losing streak at 13 games by knocking off reeling Phoenix on Friday.

30. Philadelphia 76ers (2-21, LW 30): Trade for Andrei Kirilenko wasn’t about improving this season, rather collecting another draft pick.

Follow The Bee’s Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and