Kings Blog

Jason Jones: Ranking the NBA teams

By Jason Jones | jejones@sacbee.com

(Records through Friday’s games)


▪ 1
. Golden State Warriors (26-5, last week 1):

Draymond Green with a triple double? The depth and versatility of the roster is impressive.


▪ 2
. Portland Trail Blazers (26-7, LW 2):

Some are skeptical of the Blazers’ postseason chances, but who would want to play them this spring?


▪ 3. Memphis Grizzlies (24-8, LW 6):

Zach Randolph has missed the last six games, but Memphis has managed to win the last three.


▪ 4. Atlanta Hawks (24-8, LW 7):

Did anyone predict the Hawks would be leading the Eastern Conference the first weekend of 2015?


▪ 5. Dallas Mavericks (24-10, LW 8):

Since being traded to Dallas, Rajon Rondo has looked like the player who was an All-Star in Boston.


▪ 6. Toronto Raptors (24-9, LW 5):

DeMar DeRozan is close to returning to the lineup, which could make the Raptors the team to beat in the East.


▪ 7. Houston Rockets (22-10, LW 3):

MVP candidate James Harden leads the NBA in scoring.


▪ 8. Chicago Bulls (23-10, LW 9):

By the end of the season, the Bulls might be the best team in the East.


▪ 9. Los Angeles Clippers (22-11 LW 10):

Don’t be surprised if the Clippers make a move to upgrade at small forward before the trading deadline.


▪ 10. Washington Wizards: (22-10, LW 4):

The Hawks will make it tough on the Wizards, who figured to be favorite to win the Southeast Division.


▪ 11. Phoenix Suns (19-16, LW 12):

Won six in a row with Alex Len starting at center before falling to New Orleans.


▪ 12. San Antonio Spurs (20-14, LW 13):

Spurs are 3-7 in their last 10 but still are good enough to be in the top-eight in the West.


▪ 13. Cleveland Cavaliers (19-14, LW 11):

LeBron James sitting out could be what Kevin Love needs to establish himself offensively.


▪ 14. New Orleans Pelicans (17-16, LW 14):

Ryan Anderson is a candidate to win NBA Sixth Man of the Year.


▪ 15 . Oklahoma City Thunder (17-17, LW 15):

Finally at .500, but the Thunder believes now is not the time to worry about playoff seeding.


▪ 16 . Milwaukee Bucks (17-17, LW 16):

Looks like another season of off-court concerns for center Larry Sanders.


▪ 17. Brooklyn Nets (16-16, LW 18):

Mason Plumlee is playing well as the starting center.


▪ 18. Kings (14-19, LW 20):

Sacramento is searching for the defensive identity it had earlier in the season.


▪ 19 . Miami Heat (14-19, LW 17):

Scoring and rebounding continue to be struggles for the Heat.


▪ 20. Denver Nuggets (13-20, LW 19):

Nuggets aren’t enjoying a big homecourt advantage with a 9-8 record.


▪ 21. Indiana Pacers (13-21, LW 26):

The Pacers might have enough to sneak into the playoffs in the East.


▪ 22. Boston Celtics (11-19, LW 21):

Evan Turner has started at point guard to take pressure off rookie Marcus Smart.


▪ 23. Orlando Magic (13-23, LW 22):

Rookie Elfrid Payton leads the team in assists without being a full-time starter.


▪ 24. Utah Jazz (11-22, LW 24):

Alec Burks (shoulder surgery) is out for the season.


▪ 25. Los Angeles Lakers (10-23, LW 25):

Kobe Bryant’s playing time could remain reduced.


▪ 26. Detroit Pistons (9-23, LW 27):

With Josh Smith gone, the Pistons might be able to entice Greg Monroe not to leave as a free agent in the offseason.


▪ 27. Charlotte Hornets (10-24, LW 23):

Losing Al Jefferson for a month to injury will make rebounding from a bad start even tougher.


▪ 28. Minnesota Timberwolves (5-26, LW 28):

On a 10-game losing streak, but could start getting some of their injured players back soon.


▪ 29. New York Knicks (5-30, LW 29):

J.R. Smith returned to the lineup from injury, but Carmelo Anthony is now resting his sore knee.


▪ 30. Philadelphia 76ers (4-27, LW 30):

The plan to finish with the worst record in the league could be ruined by the Knicks.

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