Kings Blog

The Bee’s Jason Jones ranks the NBA

Stephen Curry (30) of the Golden Warriors is trailed by Cleveland Cavaliers’ Matthew Dellavedova during an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2015, in Oakland.
Stephen Curry (30) of the Golden Warriors is trailed by Cleveland Cavaliers’ Matthew Dellavedova during an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2015, in Oakland. The Associated Press

With records through Friday and last week’s ranking:

1. Warriors – 28-1 (last week 1)

Draymond Green is proving to be more than just a role player for those who doubted his worth.

2. Spurs – 25-6 (LW 2)

Few teams can withstand the defensive pressure San Antonio applies every night.

3. Cavaliers – 19-8 (LW 3)

When Kyrie Irving is no longer on a minutes restriction, Cleveland truly will be at full strength.

4. Thunder – 20-10 (LW 4)

Russell Westbrook is playing like an MVP even with Kevin Durant in the lineup.

5. Hawks – 19-12 (LW 9)

Atlanta’s five-game winning streak might spark a big run similar to last season’s.

6. Raptors – 18-12 (LW 6)

Maintaining control in the Atlantic Division even though two starters have missed time lately.

7. Bulls – 16-11 (LW 7)

Jimmy Butler’s call for Fred Hoiberg to coach the team harder was followed by a win at OKC.

8. Heat – 17-11 (LW 10)

Chris Bosh must play at an elite level to give Miami

9. Clippers – 17-13 (LW 11)

Blake Griffin injury coupled with struggles against West’s better teams are concerns.

10. Mavericks – 16-13 (LW 12)

Can Dallas improve enough to become a serious postseason threat to Golden State or San Antonio?

11. Magic – 17-12 (LW 14)

Orlando continues to surge and look less like a team that’s a season away from the postseason.

12. Pacers – 16-12 (LW 5)

Paul George made only 14 of 55 shots during Indiana’s three-game losing streak.

13. Pistons – 17-13 (LW 13)

Brandon Jennings is eager to get back on the court, but Detroit is being cautious with his Achilles’ injury.

14. Celtics – 16-13 (LW 15)

Marcus Smart is closer to returning to the lineup and giving Boston another talented guard in the mix.

15. Hornets – 15-13 (LW 8)

Al Jefferson returns as Charlotte has dropped three consecutive games.

16. Grizzlies – 16-15 (LW 16)

Memphis still is seeking better offense but might need to make a trade to make that happen.

17. Rockets – 16-15 (LW 18)

Knocking off Spurs on Christmas is a signature win after losses to several below-.500 teams.

18. Wizards – 13-14 (LW 20)

Injuries have been a major problem, but Washington has won three consecutive games.

19. Knicks – 14-16 (LW 17)

Carmelo Anthony is expected back in the lineup this weekend after sitting out a game because of a knee injury.

20. Jazz – 12-15 (LW 19)

Still barely holding on to the eighth spot in the Western Conference.

21. Nuggets – 12-17 (LW 22)

It still could be said that Denver is playing above its talent level.

22. Kings – 12-17 (LW 25)

DeMarcus Cousins is putting up big numbers but still isn’t playing at his best yet.

23. Suns – 12-19 (LW 21)

Many pundits picked Phoenix to reach the playoffs, but the Suns haven’t found their stride.

24. Timberwolves – 11-18 (LW 24)

Still baffling that Minnesota has a better record on the road than at home.

25. Bucks – 12-18 (LW 26)

Latest adjustment comes with coach Jason Kidd missing after hip surgery.

26. Pelicans – 9-20 (LW 27)

Still stuck near the bottom of the West but not realistically out of playoff contention.

27. Trail Blazers – 11-20 (LW 23)

Portland has dropped five consecutive games, which isn’t too surprising for a rebuilding team.

28. Nets – 8-21 (LW 28)

Thaddeus Young could end up a bright spot in a disappointing season.

29. Lakers – 5-22 (LW 29)

Kobe Bryant leads in All-Star Game votes, one thing the Lakers are tops in this season.

30. 76ers – 1-30 (LW 30)

Latest losing streak is 12 games, which isn’t even Philadelphia’s longest this season.

JASON JONES

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