Ball Don't Lie - NBA

The BDL NBA Power Rankings combine two parts Zima with one part flippant observation to create the most unbalanced ranking possible, and to offer the least accurate look at the state of the NBA on a weekly basis. If you disagree with your team's spot, go crazy in the comments or spit venom via email.

1. Orlando Magic — This isn't an, "enjoy it while it lasts" ranking. The Magic are the best team in the NBA right now. And unless the C's commit to taking care of the ball, they'll stay that way. And if Big Z doesn't return to his early season level of play, they'll stay that way. And if Los Angeles' perimeter defense doesn't shore up, they'll stay that way. The Magic are legit. [Kelly Dwyer]

2. Los Angeles LakersKam. Bros., on point: "While it's pretty common for the Lakers to have mismatches on the block, they're not always good at exploiting them through an entire game." I agree. Kobe is Kobe, Fish is a rock and Ariza is D, but the Lake Show will only go as far as they let Gasol and Bynum take 'em. [J.E.]

3. Boston Celtics — Anyone who isn’t scared of this team right now, raise your hand. Put that hand down, Mikey. [KD]

4. Cleveland Cavaliers — I pray this team doesn't turn into the new Rockets. You know, the "if only they were healthy" team. [J.E.]

5. San Antonio Spurs— Did anyone else feel a giant drop in pressure as we moved from four to five? Matt Bonner, can I borrow your Geiger Counter? It doesn’t work for that? Well, who do you work for? Spurs have dropped to 12th in offense. [KD]

6. Denver Nuggets — I love these team report, ahem, Nuggets: "Nene leads the NBA with a 60.5 field-goal percentage. But there’s a far more important percentage the Nuggets center has had this season: 97.6. That’s the percentage of games Nene has played, only missing one because of a stiff neck. In the previous three seasons, Nene made it to the starting line for just 81 of 246 games." [J.E.]

7. Houston Rockets — Only Yao Ming is working at a level above what we could term "mildly above average," and the team is 26-16. Perhaps it’s time to give Rick Adelman and his spit curl a bit more credit? [KD]

8. New Orleans Hornets — Even Clipper fans want to Free Ju-Ju: "Julian Wright, taken one position ahead of Al Thornton in the good and deep 2007 draft, has spent over a month mostly on the inactive list although he is perfectly healthy. We're talking about a 21-year-old freak of an athlete, and he played a total of 32 minutes in December. Compare that to 33-year-old journeyman Sean Marks, who played 133 minutes in December. Unconscionable." [J.E.]

9. Phoenix Suns — Who else but Amare S'toudemire could put together a game like this and a game like this in the same season? [KD]

10. Portland Trail Blazers — Sometimes I lie in bed at night and think about Ike Diogu. What ever happened to him? He used to throw the coolest pool parties in California. I know he's still around because I saw him score two pints in a blowout loss to the Hornets. But what happened? Cold weather? Wonky pH levels? Is that why the ladies stopped swimming? So many questions. I miss that pool. [J.E.]

11. Utah Jazz — The defense has fallen (to 10th), and they’re starting to foul again. Stop fouling. [KD]

12. Dallas Mavericks — Quote of the Week, courtesy of Rick Carlisle, on new Mavericks' guard Matt Carroll: "He knows how to shoot. If you want to bet a few bucks he’s not going to make a certain number, I’ll bet you anything you want. That's not a concern." You want this scarf, Sefko? I'll bet you this scarf! Matt! Get over here! [J.E.]

13. Atlanta Hawks — This team is fourth in the East as of this writing, and ... yeah, I don’t think the East has caught up to the West yet. Just throwing it out there. [KD]

14. Miami Heat — Joel Vincent Anthony is a Canadian professional basketball player for the Miami Heat of the NBA. Fact! Anthony attended Selwyn House School in Montreal from 1994 to 1997. Fact! After Selwyn House, he attended Dawson College, where he was cut from the basketball squad. Fa— Wow. Really? I actually know guys that attended Dawson Collage during that time; Joel must have really sucked in the late 90s. [J.E.]

15. Philadelphia 76ers — If Sam Dalembert averages more than 12 minutes a game once Elton Brand comes back, than I will personally [rude, Philadelphia-related threat]. Sorry about the Eagles, guys. [KD]

16. Detroit Pistons — How indecisive is Michael Curry? He took The Pepsi Challenge in 1983, and still can't decide which cola he enjoys the taste of more. [J.E.]

17. Milwaukee Bucks — Probably should be ranked Skilesier. The defense has fallen. [KD]

18. New Jersey Nets — I was about to suggest that Frank's Nets could be the first team in sporting history to not be playing for home court advantage, but they've dropped their last four games away from the Izod, and they start another four-game Western Conference road trip this Wednesday, so, forget it. [J.E.]

19. Charlotte Bobcats — The defense has risen, but try looking at this page without wanting to [rude, Philadelphia-related threat]. Morrison and May look like a doughy duo for the ages. [KD]

20. Chicago BullsPass Goat the mic, let him get him up in the air: "The Bulls are like the new Animal Collective record. There's no real rhyme or reason to it. You don't really know what they're all about. It's not as good as people think, but it's not as bad as people think either. Wins over the Raptors and Cavs are the equivalent of 'My Girls' and 'Brother Sport,' if you're wondering. (You weren't wondering.)" [J.E.]

21. Indiana Pacers — Someone needs a care package and that someone is Jim O’Brien and he needs that care package because his house is littered with strewn bits of teddy bears from recent care packages because the Pacers dropped another close one. This team is 26 points away from 26 wins. [KD]

22. Minnesota Timberwolves — Kevin McHale for Coach of the Year? I'm Ron Burgundy? [J.E.]

23. New York Knicks — 20th in offense. Tell the people from the cable TV. [KD]

24. Toronto Raptors — What do the Raptors and Denny's have in common? Raptors Republic knows. [J.E.]

25. Golden State Warriors — 30th in defense. They got this one right. [KD]

26. Oklahoma City Thunder — The Thunder are 5-5 in their last ten games, and have pulled even with the Wizards for the fewest wins in the NBA with eight. Yahoo! (Sports readers), this is your celebration. [J.E.]

27. Sacramento Kings — For a middling team that already has 31 losses, they sure are a fun watch. Lots of close games, too. The Kings are 31 points away from 14 wins. [KD]

28. Memphis GrizzliesMatt Moore's Grizz Semi-Chub is fading: "Here's a shocker, a young team is struggling. This season isn't about wins, and every time they lose, they get closer to an impact player that can get them to the next level. But man, they're headed that way fast lately. Who'da thought losing by single digits to the Pistons would be disappointing at this point, though?" [J.E.]

29. Washington Wizards — Going to pass on the inauguration joke to tell you that the Wizards are horrible, and that this team will be over the cap until 2011, with precious little trade bait. The defense and offense have fallen. [KD]

30. Los Angeles Clippers — "With Camby now out of action, the Clippers must confront a whole new nightmare — a world where the Minnesota Timberwolves can outscore the Clippers in the paint by a 24-point margin." Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Kevin. Hang in there, talk about Steve Novak. [J.E.]

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