Ball Don't Lie - NBA


The BDL NBA Power Rankings combine two parts tap water 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. Los Angeles Lakers — Perhaps the sickest part about the Lakers is that each of the starters could average three or four more points per game more than they already do within the "confines" of this talented group. That, and all the dysentery. [Kelly Dwyer]

2. Cleveland Cavaliers — For one shining moment over the weekend, the Cavaliers co-held the best record in the NBA at 29-6. The last time the Cavs were perched atop the NBA? March 21, 1989. Mark Price. Brad Daugherty. Ron Harper. Larry Nance. That other guy. [J.E.]

3. Orlando Magic — They do have a better record than the Celtics, so ... [KD]

4. Boston Celtics — If dropping the C's to No. 4 is a crime, lock me up. Throwaway the key. No parole. Don't even think about bailing me out because I'm not coming home. Would I like to make a phone call? Nope. [J.E.]

5. San Antonio Spurs — The weird thing about this giant is that the team is last in three pretty major categories: causing turnovers per possession, pulling in offensive rebounds per how many are available to grab, and getting to the line compared with how many field goals you attempt. The Spurs will also win about 58 games, so there’s that, as well. [KD]

6. Denver Nuggets — Forget trying to get Nick Young or J.R. Smith in the All-Star Dunk Contest. We need to start focusing our efforts on scoring Kenyon Martin a Three-Point Shootout invitation. He's shooting 10-of-18 (55.6 percent) from downtown this season, sans intense music and a rack. [J.E.]

7. New Orleans Hornets — It's gotten to the point where Peja Stojakovic (12.3 PER) might want to take a seat to Rasual Butler (13 PER). And it’s gotten to the point where I might want to take a bow, for that cogent observation. Thank you. Thank you. [KD]

8. Phoenix Suns — All-Star Shaq? Maybe. Dr. Shaq? Apparently. "For those who wanna know, I am getting my doctorate in human resource development. Why? Because I'm a people person." [J.E.]

9. Utah Jazz — His usage rate and shot attempts have gone up only slightly, and that’s only in comparison to last season as opposed to the prime of his career, but Brevin Knight looks a lot more aggressive in searching for his own shot this season. Also, Carlos Boozer is never coming back. And nobody cares. [KD]

10. Portland Trail Blazers — I'm creeping up to 30 40 and I still can't say "Diogu" correctly. So you've got me there, Taylor. Well done. Now do us all a favor, love, and go vomit on your dad's favorite sneakers for making you say "Kobe sucks" on camera. "Bad daddy! Bad daddy!" [J.E.]

11. Houston Rockets — Something tells me Mrs. McGrady had a thing for allowing young Tracy to stay home from school whenever "[he] felt icky." Or for "knee conditioning." I have an idea. Sit McGrady until after the All-Star break, so he’ll have absolutely no excuses about being rushed back or playing through undue stress. You’re not going to get anything out of him for the first two weeks of February anyway, so you might as well call in the last gasp. And send for some animal crackers. [KD]

12. Detroit Pistons — To start Rip or not to start Rip, that is coach Michael Curry's question. Fortunately, Detroit Bad Boys is here to help: "Allen Iverson hasn't had a 50% shooting night in 10 games, shooting 37.5% in that span. Rip, on the other hand, shot 51% for the entire month of December (or, more accurately, in 11 of the 14 games he appeared in)." Oh, to take Amir out against a sea of troubles ... [J.E.]

13. Atlanta Hawks — This might seem like a pre-emptive fall, considering the team's upcoming schedule, but ... naw. 13 is about right. [KD]

14. Miami Heat — This is wild. The Miami Heat is suing fans and advertisers who allegedly haven't paid for seats or sponsorship agreements. Which begs the question, if Wade handles (and wins) the case, does he finally jump ahead of LeBron and Kobe for MVP? [J.E.]

15. Dallas Mavericks — After nailing 36.5 percent of his shots in December, Jason Kidd is nailing 32.7 percent of his field-goal attempts in January. I’d make a joke about Mark Cuban nailing 36.5 percent of this, but that would be crude, and I’m better than that. Not by much, but still better. I’m off to go do some sit-ups. [KD]

16. Milwaukee Bucks — Enjoy it, Bucks fans. The team will get better. Bogut is improving and healthy. You have about 21 more months before Scott Skiles goes absolutely chimpdoo-doo crazy. [KD]


17. Philadelphia 76ers — While Donovan McNabb, the Eagles and Daulerio in a skirt dominate the Philadelphia sports scene, the Sixers are quietly courting Angela Bassett in Jamaica. From Yahoo! Sports: "... after being outscored 171-48 on three-pointers during their six-game road trip in which they went 1-5, Philly has narrowed the gap to 75-69 in the four-game win streak." Listen, camp, shoot. This game is so easy. [J.E.]

18. New Jersey Nets Rod Thorn has had an uncanny ability to tell when his players are on the downside of their career (Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin, Kerry Kittles ...), but he shouldn't be allowed to sign players whose last name begins with "M" (Alonzo Mourning, Ron Mercer, Jamaal Magloire ...).

19. Toronto Raptors — It will be kind of hard to warm yourself with thoughts of taking the defending champs to the brink twice in two days when Ben Gordon drops 38 on you this Wednesday. [KD]

20. Charlotte BobcatsNew digs, same great analysis from Rufus On Fire: "Getting Diop would be the other side of failing to understand what true talent is. Diop has been a middling reserve big man for a long time, and he is who he is, but he's paid as if he were a reasonable starter. If Larry Brown imagines he'll make a positive difference, he's horribly mistaken, and acquiring Diop's big money contract with the intention of keeping it will harm the franchise for years." [J.E.]

21. Indiana PacersMike Dunleavy, 21 PER through four games, so that’s like trading for a borderline All-Star. Of course, Jarrett Jack is still running things, and T.J. Ford (pretty average this year) is kind of takeovery when he’s around. Also, BEARS! [KD]


22. Minnesota Timberwolves Damper warning! "From 13 consecutive losses to seven victories in their past nine games and a five-game winning streak, the Timberwolves have come a long way in the past 2 1/2 weeks. But there's one thing they haven't done: defeated a team with a winning record." Still, Rodney Carney! [J.E.]

23. Chicago Bulls — It will be kind of hard to make it back into Cook County through Indiana airspace after you lose by 38 in Toronto this Wednesday. I have a laser pointer. Just saying. [KD]

24. New York Knicks"Look at me, Dave, look." 24th!

25. Golden State Warriors — For all the Marco Belinelli love, he doesn’t rebound, he turns it over too much, he never gets to the line, his defense is horrid, and he scores 9.6 points because he gets to shoot 8.2 times. Not feeling it. I’d make a joke about Hubert Davis, but Davis was better, and Nellie traded for Davis. Twice. [KD]

26. Sacramento Kings — Stat-o-the-Weak: Even with Sunday's win over the Mavs, this Kings team remains the worst at this point in the organization's Sacera at 9-29. Sacera. Yes, that's a typo, but it's a good typo, so I'm not fixing it. Sort of sounds like a ThunderCats heroine. [J.E.]

27. Memphis Grizzlies — Apparently the Grizzlies were only contractually obligated to work hard in December. Much like those Santas you saw asking for change outside department stores last month. Layabouts. [KD]

28. Oklahoma City Thunder — Tough overtime loss to the Nets on Monday, but finishing a stretch of five games in seven nights at 2-3 is solid like a rock. That's what this team is / That’s what they’ve got, oh, mmmmmm ... [J.E.]

29. Washington WizardsAntawn Jamison is moping in the locker room, but Caron Butler is the one moping on the court, and it hasn’t been easy to watch. It can’t be fun to play on a team this lousy, but it’s way too early to give up and work as if it’s the third week in April. Especially if you got to go to the playoffs four times in your first seven seasons. [KD]

30. Los Angeles Clippers — Are we having fun yet? [J.E.]

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