BDL NBA Power Rankings: Lakers, Cavs neck-and-neck

The BDL NBA Power Rankings combine two parts Pepsi Free ("hey, if you want a Pepsi, you have to pay for it!") 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 — It is that time of the year. Time for the "are the Lakers better off without Andrew Bynum?" question. And it's still a dumb one. (But the Lakers are winning more!) No, they're playing Pau Gasol about 147 minutes per game, Kobe is having to work twice as hard, Lamar Odom (who fell back to earth on Sunday) was having to play way over his head, and they're winning close games that they used to win by 12. Stop it. [Kelly Dwyer]

2. Cleveland Cavaliers — The Cavs are 6-1 this season when LeBron James scores 40 or more, 25-6 all-time. Forget what I said about letting him be a scorer first and passer second. I was hopped up on malaria prophylactics. [J.E.]

3. Boston Celtics — Sure, Joe Smith shares an agent with 80 percent of the Cavalier roster, and he played with Cleveland last year, but couldn’t Boston have waited this out a little longer? Something tells me that, even if Smith eventually signed with Cleveland, Mikki Moore would still be available right now. [KD]

4. Orlando Magic — Congratulations to Hedo Turkoglu and his wife on the birth of their new baby girl. Now don't let Turk anywhere near her. "We took a vote and there are a few of us that are concerned with Hedo being responsible for another human being," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "So we'll see what happens." [J.E.]

5. Denver NuggetsDahntay Jones and Anthony Carter are two of the worst rotation players in the NBA, they combine for about 44 minutes per game, and the Nuggets still have a good record. Should we credit, or discredit George Karl for this? I think you have an idea as to which direction I’m leaning in. [KD]

6. Utah Jazz — Motion sickness is a very common disturbance of the inner ear that is caused by repeated motion such as from the swell of the sea, the movement of a car, the motion of a plane in turbulent air or Deron Williams' making a fool of Marco Belinelli. [J.E.]

7. San Antonio Spurs — Seventh. Uh oh. We just made Pop angry. He’s going to give Johnny Ludden a package to hand over to the BDL punks the next time he’s in town. That package will smell like dryer exhaust. Quick save: Jaren Jackson was nothing without Gregg Popovich. Nobody (we’re being serious) dons a semi-seersucker like Gregg Popovich. [KD]

8. Houston Rockets — The Rox play 10 games in 15 days. Keep an eye on Yao's minutes and feet. [J.E.]

9. Portland Trail BlazersI understand the concern, I really do, but when you’re a close second to the Lakers in offensive efficiency, how much better can things get? Keep on walkin’ it up, and if you want to change something, learn to play even an average brand of defense. [KD]

10. New Orleans Hornets — 28.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 blocks on the back of a perfect 4-0 Hornets' week. You know, maybe this David West guy is an All-Star after all ... [J.E.]

11. Phoenix SunsStromile Swift playing with Steve Nash for an eventual lottery team late in the season will make Monta Ellis’ March/April lottery-team turn in 2005-06 seem like a B-movie. It will be entertaining, is what I’m getting at. [KD]

12. Dallas Mavericks — What a pitiful loss to the Thunder on Monday (and I'm not saying that just because I bet a snowball-to-the-face on 'em). Despite OKC having no Kevin Durant, Jeff Green or any real inside presence, the Mavs managed just 22 points in the paint and were outscored by 16. [J.E.]

13. Atlanta Hawks — Throw out 11 below average-to-well above average (sorry, look at Joe Johnson’s per-minute stats) players out there, and what do you get? A barely above-average team. In the East, that’s good for fourth place! [KD]

14. Miami Heat — Stat-of-the-Week: Remember Dwyane Wade’s 46 points, eight rebounds, 10 assists, four steals and three blocks in Saturday's 120-115 victory over New York? That was the first time in NBA history anyone has had those minimums. In history! I'm counting Acie Earl, people! [J.E.]

15. Detroit Pistons — In the Flip Saunders era, Detroit’s season ended around the last week of February. This year, it appears to have started in the last week of February. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. I do know that it’s a lazy thing, either way. [KD]

16. Milwaukee BucksAndrew Bogut's white suit > Rick Pitino's white suit. Discuss. [J.E.]

17. Indiana Pacers — When "Jarrett Jack could finish the year with some middle of the road per-minute, pace-adjusted stats, as opposed to far below average guard statistics!" is your year-end rallying cry, your rally hurts. And I’m not sure why you juggled "stats" and "statistics" in one rally cry. [KD]

18. Philadelphia 76ers — Color me surprised: Philly is an ugly 7-21 against teams above .500. "As for the top four teams in the Eastern Conference, one of whom the Sixers are likely to face in the first round of the playoffs, the Sixers are 1-8. They went 0-3 against the Magic, 0-3 against the Celtics, 0-2 against the Cavaliers and 1-1 against the Hawks." [J.E.]

19. Chicago Bulls — Hard to feel good over home comeback wins over the Pistons and Rockets, alongside a home blowouts of the Magic and Nuggets, when you’ve lost to the Wizards, Nets, and Pacers over the course of the same stretch. [KD]

20. Charlotte Bobcats"Everything stops when the Bobcats play." [J.E.]

21. New Jersey Nets — I think it’s pretty safe to say that Brook Lopez has vaulted to the front of the Rookie of the Year race. It’s not a huge lead, but it is a lead. [KD]

22. New York Knicks — In order to get 40 wins, and have a realistic shot at the playoffs, the Knicks need to finish the season on a 16-7 tear. Unfortunately, they don't play the Kings 23 times. [J.E.]

23. Golden State Warriors — Pretty sad that Anthony Randolph and Brendan Wright combine to play about 10 minutes per game less than Stephen Jackson. Jackson wows everyone because he seems to finish each game with 20 points, seven assists, and eight rebounds; but he also has more possessions to work with than anyone else in basketball, the ball is always in his hands, and he averages over 40 minutes a game. Whatever keeps Nellie a martyr ... [KD]

24. Toronto RaptorsI've had as much fun with Shaq's Bosh/RuPaul comments as anyone, but Doug Smith of the Toronto Star is right: it was a throwaway line from a guy who makes 'em all the time. "Mildly entertaining but, really, nothing more than that." [J.E.]

25. Oklahoma City Thunder — Safe to say that Malik Rose has now played 31 more minutes with the Thunder than I ever thought he would. Not surprised, Rose is an absolute pro’s pro that has deserved far better than having to be a Knick from 2005-2009, and he’s played well in that short stint with Oklahoma City. [KD]

26. Minnesota Timberwolves — Stretch it out, Mark. Lots of season to play still ... [J.E.]

27. Washington Wizards
— When the President wants a beer ... YOU BRING HIM A GLASS! Also, the Wizards are awful, and the team’s GM still thinks its trillion dollar nucleus can do something when everyone gets healthy. It didn’t make sense last summer, it doesn’t make sense now. [KD]

28. Los Angeles Clippers — Forget drag queens and stinky pre-game rituals, this is by far the quote of the year: "I would consider myself a very decent bowler for not bowling a lot." — Clippers forward Steve Novak, looking forward to the team's annual charity bowling tournament. [J.E.]

29. Sacramento Kings — Not surprisingly, Rashad McCants is putting up good numbers for the Kings. Keep playing like that, Rashad, and you’ll earn yourself a contract with a team like the Timberwolves. They love McCants-types. [KD]

30. Memphis GrizzliesMatt Moore's Semi-Grizz-Chub: "Things to hope for: Heisley's wallet to expand. Gasol's health to stay up. Mayo's explosion to develop. Gay to not have to be collateral damage. Greg Buckner to go away. The Draft to finally, finally, finally swing their way. Hey, gotta hold on to what you got, man." [J.E.]

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