Ball Don't Lie - NBA

The BDL NBA Power Rankings combine two parts Grey Goose 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 — 1st in offense, 5th in defense, and Mssrs. Bryant, Bynum, + Gasol have enjoyed their best stretch of individual ball over the last month. And you can’t tell me that Chris Mihm isn’t glowing right now. [Kelly Dwyer]

2. Boston Celtics — "Dreamt I was hanging out in a doctor's waiting room with KG, who was all about his metaphysical view of possession conservation." Yeah, I guess you could say I'm a little excited the Free Darko gang has finally joined Twitter. (And while you're there ...) [J.E.] 

3. Cleveland Cavaliers — The Cavs still lead the NBA in point differential, a stat that has long been the best indicator of postseason success, beating teams by an average of 10.7 points per game. Of course, previous winners didn’t have a backup forward who drove a truck as ugly as this mess stealing minutes. [KD]

4. Orlando MagicKyle Hightower of the Orlando Sentinel: "There's been a lot of chatter about whether Jameer Nelson will make the all-star roster, but Magic Coach Stan Van Gundy recently made a pitch for another guy in his lineup: Rashard Lewis. 'I don't think there's any question about that,' Van Gundy said." Really? I'd still take Paul Pierce or VC over 'Shard. [J.E.]

5. San Antonio Spurs — Fourth in D, but 14th in offense, and the lamer mark isn’t likely to get any better with guys like Michael Finley, Bruce Bowen, and (sorry) Roger Mason Jr. contributing as little as they do offensively over about 75 combined minutes per game. [KD]

6. Denver Nuggets — Kudos to J.R. Smith this week. The young flyer said he'd likely choose a Hurricane Katrina charity for a $25,000 donation courtesy of feisty Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban. As you probably heard, Cuban matched his recent fine for antics in Denver, which included talking trash to Smith at halftime about an errant elbow J.R. threw that missed. [J.E.]

7. Houston Rockets — Winning more games than they should, hitting more shots than you’d expect, the Rockets are on pace to win 52 games with T-Mac gone from the beginning and Yao Ming’s legs here and there. Bang on. [KD]

8. New Orleans HornetsThanks, Stern! [J.E.]

9. Portland Trail Blazers
— As much as we’re enjoying his online work, Channing Frye is contributing a 9.5 PER this season, barely registering on the NBA radar. Three years ago his per-minute stats were almost twice as good. What happened to this guy? Used to love his game … [KD]

10. Miami HeatDaequan Cook sets up cuts like ancient Mesoamerica priests. [J.E.]

11. Atlanta Hawks — I reckon the Hawks are in for a wee bit of that regression to the mean. As the defense stays mediocre and the offense comes back to earth. Injuries hurt, but it’s also the front office’s fault for conspiring to create such dodgy depth in the first place. [KD]

12. Phoenix Suns — Quote of the Week, Pt. I: "That's my idol. For me as a young, former juvenile delinquent who can't shoot free throws, who can't shoot jumpers, it's a pretty big accomplishment. When it's all said and done for me, I would like to have more than four (rings) and I'd like to be in that top five in scoring, rebounding and blocks. As a dad, right now my kids don't even talk about me. They talk about the Kobe and LeBron, and I could say, 'Look at what your daddy did." — Shaq, who is just five points shy of Hakeem Olajuwon and seventh place on the all-time scoring list. [J.E.]

13. Dallas Mavericks — Tenuous, man. Tenuous. And Josh Howard has looked awfully average this season. [KD]

14. Utah Jazz — Via The Cowhide Globe comes news that hip-hop artist D Bizz Ohno has been declared the winner of a recent fan contest to produce and record a new theme song for the Utah Jazz. Yes, you read that correctly. Hip-hop artist. Utah Jazz. Same sentence. Wow. Click here (.mp3) to listen. [J.E.]

15. Philadelphia 76ers — All that "live by the three, die by the three!" warnings that have been sent Orlando’s way over the last few weeks? Shouldn’t we ship them up to Philly? Is it a good thing to encourage players who aren’t actually that good at shooting three-pointers to, y’know, shoot three-pointers?!? [KD]

16. Detroit PistonsThe World Of Issac, via Need4Sheed: "What do you do when you want your fans to avoid the disaster going on with your franchise? Well, you put your stupid mascot in a video with a bunch of fat guys — one of whom looks like the wrestler Big Show — and have them strut around like fools." (Note: If Kevin McHale were in this, the Wolves would've jumped the 'Stons and the Internet would've collapsed upon itself.) [J.E.]

17. Minnesota Timberwolves — First time a member of the national media checked to see just how far the Timberwolves were out of the Western playoff picture? Late on January 26th, 2009. Kelly Dwyer. 8.5 games out. [KD]

18. Charlotte Bobcats — Quote of the Week, Pt. II: "Everything's got to be important to us now, because everything is. We can’t just wait around until the second quarter to make something happen." — Raja Bell on his Bobcats' surprising lack of urgency. Deep. [J.E.]

19. New York Knicks — It’s early, I know, but take a look at Danilo’s Advanced Stats. While we’re at it, there has to be a CD-ROM with “Danilo’s Advanced Stats” on the cover, copyright 1995, for sale somewhere. [KD]

20. Indiana Pacers — Like many, Raymond Felton is mesmerized by Lil' Dun's lip fuzz. [J.E.]

21. Milwaukee Bucks — I think the biggest fear, for Bucks fans of a certain age, is not the shudder that comes with losing Michael Redd for the rest of the season. It’s the thought of Scott Skiles — a la Mike Dunleavy in 1989 and 1990 — coaching with basketball shorts on underneath his trousers. Just in case. [KD]

22. New Jersey Nets — The More You Know ..., courtesy of The Oklahoman: "Eduardo Najera's career stats are modest in 515 career games, but he's always played on winning teams. All eight seasons — with Dallas and Denver — he's been on playoff teams, a streak he hopes continues with the New Jersey Nets." [J.E.]

23. Toronto Raptors — Has anyone noticed that Jason Kapono, because of his insistence on passing on semi-contested three-pointers in favor of long-range two-pointers that are almost always taken away from him, has become one of the worst rotation players in the NBA? And almost entirely by Jason’s choice? He’s been doing this for years, but only now has it begun to cost Kapono’s game so damn much. There are reasons that the Raptors are losing all the time. [KD]

24. Golden State Warriors — For those wondering about Monta Ellis' tattoos ... Aunt Debbie ... Geoff Lepper finally got close enough to read what the three tats on his legs say: "He's repping his hometown on his calves, with 'JACKSON' written in an old English font down his left calf and 'MISSISSIPPI' down the right. Also on the outside of the right leg is a scroll with a quote from Psalm 23:4 — the passage which begins, 'Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.'" Ah, man, I would've bought an Ellis jersey had he tweaked that passage to read, 'Though I moped through the valley ...' [J.E.]

25. Chicago Bulls — Seriously, Skeets? You run a great site, but asking me to write about the Bulls at this point is going to encourage me to leave the house and try to find one of those supper clubs that serve beef stroganoff and sad single mothers at 11 am every morning. For research purposes, of course. I still got that book in me, you know. [KD]

26. Oklahoma City ThunderKevin Durant's January per-game averages: 27.1 points (on 48% field goal shooting, 42% from deep), 8.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals. All. Star. [J.E.]

27. Memphis Grizzlies — We’re not too far removed from the 30th anniversaire of Chris Bell ramming his tiny, little Triumph into a tree; and Grizzlies don’t seem too far removed from that sort of destiny, if we’re honest. Commitment to mediocrity, followed by a commitment to parsimony. That town deserves better. [KD]

28. Los Angeles Clippers — I called Eric Gordon as my dark horse R.O.Y. back in October, so I'm enjoying the 30 and 40-points box scores, but the truth is, I'd rather stare at Kitten Cam all day than watch these Clips. [J.E.]

29. Sacramento Kings — Here, play this song. Match it up with this video. Stay out of the supper club. The Shepard’s Pie is ... no. Stay away from it. Beyond that, Jason Thompson looks good. He doesn’t always play so good, but there’s no point in getting too down. [KD]

30. Washington Wizards — Apparently, Washington, D.C./Beaker memes are all the rage right now. "Mee-meep!" [J.E.]

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