Ball Don't Lie - NBA

The BDL NBA Power Rankings combine two parts eggnog 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 Christmas crazy in the comments or spit venom via email.

1. Boston Celtics — Your stocking? It's theirs. Your smoked almonds, theirs. Your Jordan vs. Bird (PC, natch)? Theirs. Your NBA Live '97? Theirs. Your $150 bucks toward a Carvin 4X12? Theirs. Your rare pre-Queen bootleg? Theirs. Your 2008 NBA Championship? Theirs. Your 2009? Not sure, but I'm leaning in a certain direction ... [Kelly Dwyer]

2. Cleveland Cavaliers — Knick-knack patty wack 'Bron gives Cleveland a bone. [J.E. Skeets]

3. Orlando Magic —You could argue it away, say that this sort of production is the logical extension of what we saw in 2006-07, and that last year was a fluke. Hardly matters. Jameer Nelson (about 17 points and five assists) is killing it in only 32 minutes a night. Maybe Dick Vitale was right. I'd make a bad follow-up joke ("Nah ..."), but it does burn a bit. [KD]

4. Los Angeles Lakers — Two losses in a row, both in Florida, after a close call over the Knicks at home. If you're stockpiling canned goods and firearms, it might already be too late. Stop ruining my Christmas Day dinner, Lamar! [JE]

5. New Orleans Hornets — I don't really have a formula in which to work with, despite my smoked almond-addled brain (I can't stand eggnog), but if Chris Paul's 34 points, four rebounds, nine assists, eight steals, and one turnover in 32 minutes over an 87-possession game from the other night isn't the best individual performance of the year, than I'm a man without a complicated formula. [KD]

6. Atlanta Hawks — It pains me to type this, seeing as how he drank all of my beer, clogged my toilet and kicked my dog off the balcony, but Mike Bibby deserves to make the All-Star game. There. Ugh. Vomit. [JE]

7. Houston Rockets — Those lame, "if we could give one gift to ______ this holiday season, it would be ..." columns? Ignore them. Wish for health with this lot. Wish it, or I'll send Linus your way. [KD]

8. Portland Trail Blazers — The best Roy since Patrick, "The Natural" is on a roll of Jordan-esque proportions: "Brandon Roy has surpassed 30 points in four of his last five games — failing only with 29 points while sitting out the entire fourth quarter in Tuesday's rout of Sacramento — and has averaged 36.4 points over that span." [JE]

9. San Antonio Spurs — Not the handiest week of their collective lives. Then again, copyright 2005, "they're the Spurs." They'll finish the year on a 55-1 tear, trip Derrick Rose, rat out Bret and Jemaine for not having the proper papers, and set fire to every Audi R8 that there ever was. Ever, ever was. No loss to the Magic is worth that. [KD]

10. Denver NuggetsDenver Stiffs: "The irony of ironies might be upon us. In order for George Karl to save his job, he might have to start his least favorite player." Take a wild guess who they're talking about. [JR] (Woops.)

11. Utah Jazz
— We enjoyed the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons, so there's no point in complaining about Carlos Boozer's nostalgic turn. That’s OK, because Gordon's alive! [KD]

12. Phoenix Suns — The Suns' five-game winning streak at home is a season high and the most since it ended last season with seven in a row. During the streak Nash and Co. have beaten Utah (17-12), Orlando (21-6) and Denver (17-10) — three teams with a combined .663 winning percentage. Should we have 'em ranked higher? Does it really matter? [JE]

13. Dallas Mavericks — You're right in telling us that we were right about not having any significant expectations about you. And I promise to stay 300 yards away from Jason Terry until his contract runs out. Promise. [KD]

14. Miami Heat — With a win over Golden State on Tuesday, the Heat will equal last season's win total of 15 games. Total. Kima, Keisha and Pam. "Wade you know that / you got 'em trippin' ..." [JE]

15. New Jersey Nets —We'd rank them over teams like the Mavs if they'd stop losing to injured squads that can barely score seven points in a quarter, or if they sent us a hand-written apology for the whole Jamie Feick thing. [KD]

16. Detroit Pistons — I don't know. You rank 'em. [JE]

17. Milwaukee Bucks — You beat the Clippers by a ton, at home. I'm ... proud of you? [KD]


19. Philadelphia 76ers —Yo, Sixuhs. You only have Toronto to beat in terms of the "massively disappointing, only have to look slightly better under the interim coach, while working with huge gobs of excuses" strata. Congrats, so far. [KD]

20. Indiana Pacers — For such a good team, they sure do play horrible basketball. Pretty soon, we’re going to have to call the Pacers "the good team that only plays horribly." By March, we’ll just call them "horrible," but create some caveat about pace or some such nonsense. [KD]

21. New York Knicks — See above. [JE]

22. Charlotte Bobcats — Despite the sloppy loss to the Dubs, the 'Cats are a very solid 5-5 versus the Western Conference this season. Charlotte's close enough to New Orleans, right? Make it happen, Stern. [JE]

23. Memphis Grizzlies — Have you ever met anyone who can't stand Hack'em Warrick? Some mug that has anything less than something nice to say about the guy? Comes off the bench or starts for crummy team after crummy team and just brings it, brings it, brings it. [KD]

24. Los Angeles Clippers — Stat-of-the-Weak: The Clips' streak of failing to convert at least 50 percent of their field-goal tries has stretched to 36 straight games, dating back to last season. "Merry Christmas, Big Dun. Hugs and kisses, Gunner." [JE]

25. Golden State Warriors — Congrats to Jamal Crawford, who dropped 50 as a member of the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks years ago whilst I was out at a pub doing what comes naturally, before dropping 50 late the other night while I was alone in a gym working on getting my elbow under the ball. Makes me feel like I'm not some horrible miscreant. For one night. [KD]

26. Sacramento KingsPoor Kings fans, falling down that rabbit hole: "... at this point we are in an Alice in Wonderland world where wins are losses and losses are wins when it comes to improving our draft position. So I don't see any reason for Kevin Martin to hurry back, let him get that sucker healed up good." [JE]

27. Oklahoma City Thunder — A note to any APBR members. Do not click on this link. Do not look toward the middle of the screen. Do not look at Earl Watson, Desmond Mason, or Damien Wilkins' numbers. Go read ESPN Mag's NBA preview. It will make you want to douse your corneas with sea salt (I just read it this week, whoa ...), but it's an improvement. [KD]

28. Washington WizardsYahoo! Image Search. [JE]

29. Minnesota Timberwolves — Things could be worse. Instead of drafting Randy Foye over Brandon Roy, you could have drafted Andrea Bargnani. Actually, you couldn't have drafted Andrea, but tell yourself that things could be better. Even though there is no way things could ever be better, in any possible realm. [KD]

30. Toronto RaptorsRock. Bottom. [JE]

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