Kings Blog

Jason Jones: Ranking the NBA’s 32 teams

By Jason Jones | jejones @sacbee.com

(Records through Friday’s games)


1. Golden State Warriors (35-6, last week 1):

Who is the better shooter – Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson?


2. Atlanta Hawks (36-8, LW 2):

The winning streak is up to 15 games, with many of the wins coming against Western Conference teams.


3. Memphis Grizzlies (30-12, LW 4):

Might Mike Conley join Marc Gasol as a Western Conference All-Star?


4. Dallas Mavericks (30-14, LW 5):

If there’s a player who should be an All-Star on this team, it’s Monta Ellis.


5. Houston Rockets (30-14, LW 6):

The Rockets look like championship contenders – except when they play Golden State.


6. Portland Trail Blazers (31-13, LW 3):

LaMarcus Aldridge delayed surgery and will try to play with his injured left hand.


7. Washington Wizards (29-14, LW 7):

Some might argue John Wall is the most complete point guard in the NBA.


8. Los Angeles Clippers (29-14 LW 9):

Winners of three straight, might the Clippers start finding their stride soon?


9. Chicago Bulls (29-16, LW 10):

Derrick Rose calls out the team for lackluster play, and Bulls respond with wins over Spurs and Mavs.


10. San Antonio Spurs (28-17, LW 11):

As their health improves, the Spurs look more formidable for the second half of the season.


11. Toronto Raptors (28-15, LW 8):

Raptors still looking for the consistency from earlier in the season when they led the East.


12. Phoenix Suns (26-19, LW 12):

Showing no signs of fading out of the playoff picture with their three-guard attack.


13. Cleveland Cavaliers (24-20, LW 14):

Funny how things start to turn for the better with LeBron James healthy.


14. Oklahoma City Thunder (22-21, LW 15):

Dion Waiters is averaging 11.5 points in eight games since being traded to OKC from Cleveland.


15. New Orleans Pelicans (22-21, LW 16):

A better road record (9-16) is needed if New Orleans is to become a playoff team.


16. Milwaukee Bucks (21-21, LW 13):

Kenyon Martin joined the Bucks to add a veteran big man amid injuries and Larry Sanders’ suspension.


17. Detroit Pistons (17-26, LW 19):

Brandon Jennings is playing his best of late, becoming the first player with at least 20 points and 20 assists in a game since Steve Nash in 2009.


18. Charlotte Hornets (18-26, LW 20):

Suddenly the Hornets are in contention for a playoff spot after a dreadful start.


19. Miami Heat (19-24, LW 18):

A strong push from Kyle Lowry supporters knocked Dwyane Wade out of the starting lineup for the All-Star Game.


20. Brooklyn Nets (18-25, LW 21):

Losers of eight of their last 10 games and lost Mirza Teletovic for the season because of blood clots in his lungs.


21. Denver Nuggets (18-25, LW 17):

A five-game losing streak and Ty Lawson arrested on suspicion of DUI aren’t the headlines the Nuggets want.


22. Boston Celtics (15-26, LW 26):

Marcus Thornton is a veteran the Celtics are reportedly looking to trade before next month’s deadline.


23. Utah Jazz (15-28, LW 24):

Gordon Hayward leads the Jazz in scoring and steals this season.


24. Kings (16-27 LW 22):

Still searching for consistent defensive play during six-game losing streak.


25. Orlando Magic (15-31, LW 25):

Look for Victor Oladipo to impress in next month’s Slam Dunk Contest.


26. Indiana Pacers (15-30, LW 23):

A seven-game losing streak with some close losses along the way.


27. Los Angeles Lakers (12-32, LW 27):

Kobe Bryant is likely lost for the season and it looks less likely the Lakers will lose their top-five protected draft pick.


28. New York Knicks (8-36, LW 30):

A three-game winning streak!!! Knicks have almost doubled their win total over the past week.


29. Philadelphia 76ers (8-35, LW 28):

Has there ever been as much talk of trading a reigning Rookie of the Year as there has been with Michael Carter-Williams?


30. Minnesota Timberwolves (7-35, LW 29):

If Kevin Martin, Nikola Pekovic and Ricky Rubio could all return to the lineup, the T-wolves would not be this bad.

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