Kings Blog

Jason Jones: Ranking the NBA

By Jason Jones | jejones@sacbee.com

(Records through Friday)


1. Golden State Warriors (31-6, last week 1):

Draymond Green’s play continues to drive up his asking price in the offseason.


2. Atlanta Hawks (32-8, LW 3):

Thanks to a 12-game winning steak, the Hawks lead Washington by five games in the Eastern Conference.


3. Portland Trail Blazers (30-10, LW 2):

Back-to-back losses to playoff contenders were a reminder the Blazers still have work to do to sustain elite status.


4. Memphis Grizzlies (28-11, LW 7):

Mike Conley missed Friday’s win at Orlando with two sprained ankles, but the Grizzlies have won three in a row.


5. Dallas Mavericks (28-13, LW 4):

One of the league’s more complete offensive teams that can hurt you from all over the floor.


6. Houston Rockets (28-12, LW 5):

James Harden’s defense has been talked about this season – in a positive way – which hasn’t always been the case.


7. Washington Wizards: (27-13, LW 6):

Paul Pierce is the veteran piece that keeps a young nucleus focused.


8. Toronto Raptors (26-13, LW 9):

DeMar DeRozan is finally back from a groin injury to help the Raptors try to regain the top spot in the East.


9. Los Angeles Clippers (26-14 LW 8):

Can Austin Rivers be the answer at backup point guard the Clippers have sought since losing Darren Collison in free agency?


10. Chicago Bulls (27-14, LW 10):

Pau Gasol is showing doubters he can still play at a high level for a contender.


11. San Antonio Spurs (25-16, LW 12):

Kawhi Leonard is back, so the Spurs might be poised for a big run.


12. Phoenix Suns (24-18, LW 11):

Folks who thought the Suns would wilt with New Orleans and Oklahoma City chasing them have been wrong.


13. Milwaukee Bucks (21-19, LW 14):

Larry Sanders is hit with his second drug-related suspension in as many seasons, but the Bucks are used to playing without him.


14. Cleveland Cavaliers (21-20, LW 16):

Added J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Timofey Mozgov in trades but have lost eight of 10.


15. Oklahoma City Thunder (19-20, LW 15):

Thunder needs a nice winning streak to put itself in the top eight in the West.


16. New Orleans Pelicans (19-20, LW 13):

It’s hard to tell if the Pelicans are underachieving or just not good enough.


17. Denver Nuggets (18-21, LW 17):

Having dealt Nate Robinson, are there more trades in the works?


18. Miami Heat (18-22, LW 21):

Chris Bosh looks like he’ll still be an All-Star as the Heat looks to improve and make the playoffs.


19. Detroit Pistons (15-25, LW 23):

Have won eight of their last 10 and will be a threat to make the playoffs.


20. Charlotte Hornets (15-25, LW 22):

If Lance Stephenson can be the player the Hornets hoped he would be, there’s still time to turn around the season.


21. Brooklyn Nets (17-23, LW 18):

Injuries and more trade talk have the Nets struggling of late.


22. Kings (16-23, LW 19):

Rudy Gay and Carl Landry are the latest Kings to miss time with injuries, hurting the team’s offense.


23. Indiana Pacers (15-26, LW 20):

The Pacers have dropped three straight because injuries continue to slow them down.


24. Utah Jazz (14-26, LW 24):

Gordon Hayward is shooting 50.7 percent in his last five games.


25. Orlando Magic (15-28, LW 27):

Rookie Elfrid Payton shows he can make an impact on offense and defense.


26. Boston Celtics (13-25, LW 26):

Danny Ainge continues to use trades to stockpile draft picks.


27. Los Angeles Lakers (12-29, LW 25):

The Lakers are resting Kobe Bryant – a lot – these days but say there are no plans to shut him down for the season.


28. Philadelphia 76ers (8-31, LW 28):

Small forward Robert Covington is another young player the Sixers seem to like.


29. Minnesota Timberwolves (6-32, LW 29):

Mo Williams’ career-high 52 points to end the T-wolves’ 15-game losing streak was the talk of the league.


30. New York Knicks (5-36, LW 30):

The losing streak reached 16 games as fans in London had to watch another dreadful showing.

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