Kings Blog

Jason Jones: Ranking the NBA’s 30 teams

By Jason Jones | jejones@sacbee.com

(Records through Friday)


1. Atlanta Hawks (39-8, last week 2):

Not relying on just one player during their 18-game winning streak.


2. Golden State Warriors (36-8, LW 1):

Had their home winning streak snapped; followed that by losing at Utah.


3. Memphis Grizzlies (34-12, LW 3):

The Grizzlies have won five in a row and will keep pressure on the Warriors for the top seed in the West.


4. Houston Rockets (33-14, LW 5):

Dwight Howard’s health remains a concern, but James Harden has played like an MVP.


5. Toronto Raptors (32-15, LW 11):

Five-game winning streak is a sign the Raptors might be regaining their stride.


6. Los Angeles Clippers (32-15 LW 8):

Improving, but the consistency needs to be better after losing to the Pelicans without Anthony Davis.


7. Washington Wizards (31-16, LW 7):

Kris Humphries has at least 10 rebounds in his last three games.


8. Dallas Mavericks (31-17, LW 4):

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


9. Portland Trail Blazers (32-15, LW 6):

Damian Lillard has two reasons to be upset – he didn’t make the All-Star team and Blazers have dropped seven of their last 10.


10. San Antonio Spurs (30-17, LW 10):

Coaches voting Tim Duncan into the All-Star Game was a surprise to many.


11. Cleveland Cavaliers (28-20, LW 13):

Kevin Love ended up being the member of the Cavs’ “Big 3” to not make the All-Star team.


12. Phoenix Suns (28-20, LW 12):

Isaiah Thomas has to be a contender for Sixth Man of the Year.


13. Chicago Bulls (30-19, LW 9):

Unpredictable Bulls won at Golden State, only to lose at the Lakers the next night.


14. New Orleans Pelicans (25-22, LW 15):

Anthony Davis is their best player and Tyreke Evans their second best.


15. Milwaukee Bucks (24-22, LW 16):

Jason Kidd might not win Coach of the Year, but he deserves consideration.


16. Oklahoma City Thunder (23-23, LW 14):

Will this team ever be healthy long enough to make a run to get into the playoffs?


17. Charlotte Hornets (19-27, LW 18):

Kemba Walker’s knee surgery has team searching for help at point guard.


18. Miami Heat (20-26, LW 19):

Center Hassan Whiteside remains a feel-good story, but Dwyane Wade’s hamstring injury has him out indefinitely.


19. Detroit Pistons (17-30, LW 17):

Season-ending Achilles’ surgery for Brandon Jennings might have ended the Pistons’ playoff hopes.


20. Brooklyn Nets (18-28, LW 20):

Losers of four in a row but might be able to move up in the East with injuries in Charlotte, Detroit.


21. Denver Nuggets (19-28, LW 21):

Thursday’s 69-point effort against Memphis was one of the worst by any team this season.


22. Utah Jazz (17-30, LW 23):

A young team that is showing signs of improvement with a win over Golden State.


23. Boston Celtics (16-29, LW 22):

Who is Boston’s best player these days? Avery Bradley? Evan Turner? Marcus Smart?


24. Indiana Pacers (17-31, LW 26):

The Pacers continue to try to lean on their defense, but injuries have made scoring difficult.


25. Kings (16-29, LW 24):

On a season-worst eight-game losing streak as a season that once had promise continues to crumble.


26. Orlando Magic (15-34, LW 25):

Recent struggles, including seven straight losses, have reportedly put coach Jacque Vaughn’s job in jeopardy.


27. Los Angeles Lakers (13-34, LW 27):

Rookie Jordan Clarkson will get plenty of chances to play point guard with the Lakers looking toward next season.


28. Philadelphia 76ers (10-37, LW 29):

Double-digit wins? Some thought that would be a struggle to reach this soon.


29. New York Knicks (9-38, LW 28):

Langston Galloway’s play earned the former D-League player a contract for next season.


30. Minnesota Timberwolves (8-38, LW 30):

Ricky Rubio reportedly will return to the lineup Monday from an ankle injury that has kept him out since Nov. 7.

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