Ball Don't Lie - NBA


The BDL NBA Power Rankings combine two parts Gordon's 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. Boston Celtics — Slowly, surely, this team is creeping up the offensive charts. The turnovers haven’t gotten much better, but this squad is getting to the line, making its shots from the field, and generally playing the part of a defending champion due for a return to the toppermost of the poppermost. [Kelly Dwyer]

2. Los Angeles Lakers — We'll drop 'em lower if they start losing. How's that work for you, Andrew? [J.E.]

3. Orlando Magic — It's no slam on the rest of the Magic if we don't expect much from this lot with Jameer Nelson out. Nobody should try to tell you that Jameer is this team's best player, he's not; but he's also an All-Star point guard who can defend, rebound, start a break, push the ball, make good decisions, and destroy teams from all over the perimeter. 50 percent shooting, 89 from the stripe, and 45 from behind the arc? And he can create his own shot? Instead of ruing this team's cloudy future, let's appreciate the sort of year Nelson has had to this point. Next week? RUE! [KD]

4. Cleveland Cavaliers — Good news all around. Big Z is back and Delonte is nearing return from his broken right wrist. "They said [the cast is] coming off Thursday, so that's exciting news," Brother Red Bush told the Akron. "Plus I'm running out of suits, so I have to hurry up and get back up." [J.E.]

5. San Antonio Spurs — The Spurs are 9-2 in games decided by three points or less, and have dominated the overtime period like no other this season. This can all turn on a dime, however, so don’t start shoveling dirt on these guys if they drop a few 92-89 contests. [KD]

6. Denver Nuggets — Stat-of-the-Week goes to Mr. Nene. Friday against Charlotte, the Nuggets' center made his first eight shots to extend his streak of consecutive field goals made at the Pepsi Center to an astounding 21. Nene made his final field goal Jan. 20 against Sacramento, hit all 12 against Utah, and then made his first eight Friday. [J.E.]

7. Portland Trail Blazers — Up to 20th in defense, slowly getting better, slowly working in an underrated pivotman by the name of Greg Oden. [KD]


8. New Orleans Hornets — Everyone just sit down. Relax. Let's not jump to conclusions jus— THE HORNETS ARE DOOMED!!! BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! (Update: Get down off the garage roof, Hornets fans — CP3 has just a mild groin strain.) [J.E.]

9. Dallas Mavericks — Don't take off your shades, dude, but the Mavericks are slowly creeping back up the Western Conference standings. Didn't they start the season 2-7 or something very Wizards-like? [J.E.]

10. Houston Rockets — If Daryl Morey's clone was the GM of another team, the clone would covet Carl Landry, who seems a bit superfluous on a team that boasts Luis Scola while having to feed Ron Artest's need for minutes by handing him long turns at the power forward spot. And if Morey could trade with Morey, Morey could get some backcourt help, Morey could pick up a real winner in Landry, and the league would be better off. Damn you, science. [KD]

11. Miami Heat — Just a game behind the reeling Hawks for fourth place in the Conference. When the hell did that happen? It's as almost they have a guard having an MVP-caliber year playing big minutes alongside a talented cast of well-meaning contributors, or something. [KD]

12. Phoenix Suns — Grant? Is that you? [J.E.]

13. Utah Jazz — The offense has perked up a bit, but the bad news is that Deron Williams' injury (a thigh bruise) tends to heal slower than Mehmet Okur's defensive rotations. Zing. I won't be here all week, because I just got fired for that. [KD]

14. Philadelphia 76ers — Do any ladies actually go to this? I need to know. [J.E.]


15. Atlanta HawksMike Bibby shot 40 percent in January, Joe Johnson shot 37.2 percent. Zaza Pachulia had to play 24 minutes a game. The sun'll come out, tomorrow. Maybe. [KD]

16. Detroit Pistons — The backcourt can't guard anyone. The overrated offense is 23rd in the league, and Kwame Brown is on the payroll. Otherwise, this team's cap situation is shaping up nicely. Provided they trade Rip Hamilton, who signed a ridiculous contract extension with the Pistons 10 weeks ago. [KD]

17. New York Knicks — This little tidbit from KnickerBlogger.net caught me by surprise: "The team might not be doing all that well (although they're certainly on the upswing), but the Knicks have two of the top fifteen most popular jerseys." Try and guess who sports 'em. [J.E.]

18. Charlotte Bobcats — Should this 'Cats team be ranked higher or lower? I honestly can't decide. [J.E.]

19. Milwaukee BucksAndrew Bogut returns, the boards shape up, the ball moves, the possessions mean more. Unless Richard Jefferson shoots this team into oblivion, the Bucks will be fine. [KD]

20. Chicago BullsK.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune: "The chances of Vinny Del Negro getting fired this season are about as great as Jerry Reinsdorf singing karaoke at halftime of the next Bulls home game." You know, for a small fee, I'm sure I could get Jerry out there on the mic, Bulls fans. He loves ABBA. [J.E.]

21. Indiana PacersTroy Murphy ("Benedict") and Jeff Foster ("Arnold") shaved, leaving Mike Dunleavy Jr. alone with his mustache. Time to get Josh McRoberts and Roy Hibbert more minutes, if you ask me. [KD]


22. Minnesota Timberwolves — What a rough seven days for Wolves fans. Kevin Love doesn't make the Rookie-Sophomore game. Al Jefferson gets snubbed for the All-Star Game. Khloe Kardashian splits from boyfriend Rashad McCants. And I post pictures of her sister Kim. (Oh, yeah, that 0-3 week stinks, too.) [J.E.]

23. New Jersey Nets — The Nets have slid to 15 in offense, they never fixed that defense, and the team is on pace for a rather inglorious end to the season. [KD]

24. Golden State WarriorsMonta Ellis, so far, has been pretty horrible in his first six games. 8.2 PER, too many turnovers, and a shooting percentage (37 from the floor) that shouldn't be to his liking. 13.2 points per game might seem passable considering his time off and the short sample size, but when you throw in his minutes (over 30 a game), his shot attempts, and his team's pace? Not so hot. [KD]

25. Oklahoma City Thunder — If Sam Presti deals Earl Watson and Damien Wilkins to teams that think they need that sort of veteran "help," even for draft choices, I promise you this team (11-37 currently) will win 20 games. [KD]

26. Toronto Raptors — My mother always said, "If you don't have anything nice to say, sell your season tickets for face value on Craigslist." [J.E.]

27. Memphis Grizzlies — How to stop a bleeding nose. Step 1. Apply pressure by placing your thumb and index finger on the lower half of the nose, squeezing the nostrils together. Step 2. Keep your head level or slightly bent forward. Hold this position for ten minutes. Step 3. If your nose is still bleeding continue to hold for another ten minutes. Step 4. If bleeding persists, play the Wizards. [J.E.]

28. Washington WizardsDeShawn Stevenson takes over four three-pointers a game. And, once a game, he makes a three-pointer. Do the math. DO IT! [KD]

29. Sacramento Kings — Actual comment from Sactown Royalty's Kings/Suns open game thread: "I refuse to watch this [expletive]. I'm doing my online math homework instead." [J.E.]

30. Los Angeles Clippers — "The pre-retirement season is suddenly disrupted for Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy Sr. when Eric Gordon, a young high-scoring rookie from Indiana, moves into the starting line-up. Laughter — and life lessons — in every game." The Clips are the new "Webster," Ma'am. [J.E.]

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