Ball Don't Lie - NBA

The BDL NBA Power Rankings combine two parts sweetened lemon natural flavor iced tea 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 — Despite last night’s blowout loss that made the Lakers look chippy, impatient, lazy, slow afoot, and possibly dirty ... [Kelly Dwyer]

2. Boston Celtics — This was a tough bridesmaid call, but hey, at least one "Celtics fan blog" is happy. [J.E.]

3. Cleveland Cavaliers Joe Smith says the biggest change between last year’s Cavalier offense and this year’s mode is an appreciation for early transition scores. You hear that, NBA? Run with the ball! Dribble, please, while running it. Preferably pass it if you can. But ... RUN! [KD]

4. Orlando MagicNBAMate: "Stan Van Gundy wakes up every morning and tries his best ... and then loses to the Pistons." [J.E.]

5. Utah Jazz — The league’s hottest team wants you to know that it is going to the line 35 times tonight, if you don’t mind. [KD]

6. San Antonio Spurs — "The Spurs aren't about to rush Manu Ginobili back, even with the competition for the Western Conference’s second seed growing more crowded by the day. Playoff seeding doesn’t really matter to San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich." He only cares about wine. [J.E.]

7. Houston Rockets — Not as hot as the Jazz, but that’s like saying an afternoon out in the Equatorial sun isn’t as hot as taking a nap inside a pizza oven. More Carl Landry, please. [KD]

8. New Orleans Hornets — Make no mistake about it, the Hornets desperately need to improve their bench play to have any chance at a solid May run. One suggestion being punted around: turn Peja Stojakovic into a sixth man. [J.E.]

9. Portland Trail Blazers — When did Nick Batum become a point forward? This week, apparently. Look out. [KD]

10. Denver Nuggets — Raise your hand if you saw this coming down the Denver Stiffs' pipe ... "If ever one needed evidence of how far removed Karl should be from any Coach of the Year conversation, one only needs to look at the last two minutes of the first half of that Friday night Jazz game. With a 19-point lead in his possession, Karl sat quietly as his team allowed the Jazz to steamroll them down to a 10-point lead to close the half. Good coaches know how to close quarters to stave off cheap baskets and steal a big road win. Karl — who coached quite well earlier this season — has been anything but a good coach lately." [J.E.]

11. Dallas Mavericks — Having a hard time understanding how Mark Cuban is still defending the Harris-for-Kidd deal, considering the fact that the Mavs are way worse than they were last year, while Harris is having a much, much better year than Kidd in any metric save for Cuban’s own wonky one. Could it possibly be the start of a rebuilding process, one that Cuban didn’t want to embark on with Harris’ contract already on board? [KD]

12. Miami Heat — D-Wade had his Doug Flutie game last night. Click, click, click. [J.E.]

13. Atlanta Hawks — This team pins its hopes on Flip Murray for bench scoring most nights. And yet, they’re way up here. Impressive or weird or both? [KD]

14. Detroit Pistons — D-Wade and Ariza owe Rip Hamilton some water cooler time. The Pistons sharp-shooting two-guard set a career high with 14 assists in Monday night's win over the Magic. His previous best was 12 assists against Washington back in '04. [J.E.]

15. Phoenix Suns — Shaq is carrying this lot, and that’s just not a recipe for making the postseason. [KD]

16. Chicago Bulls — Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, V, D, N. [J.E.]

17. Charlotte Bobcats — Making a stab for that eighth seed, while Boris Diaw is making a stab for your home fries, if you’re not going to finish them. Yes, a fat joke. [KD]

18. Indiana Pacers — Stat of the Week: Averaging 10 points per game for his career, Jarrett Jack  has scored 20 points or more five of the past seven games. He's averaging 21.9 points since Granger, a 25-point-per-game scorer, went down. That's 21.9 points more than B.J. Elder. [J.E.]

19. New Jersey Nets — Knocked down a peg for releasing Stromile Swift. Nobody releases Stromile Swift and lives to tell about it. Wait, what? Charles Bronson is dead? Never mind. The Nets will live to tell about it. [KD]

20. Milwaukee Bucks — Don't look now (cough, Shaq, cough), but Charlie Villanueva is quickly becoming the new "it" NBA'er to follow on Twitter. [J.E.]

21. Philadelphia 76ers — Backsliding fearlessly. [KD]

22. New York KnicksQuote to note: "You don’t win by your talent. Everyone has talent." — A fired-up Mike D’Antoni, who wore a microphone for MSG Network on Sunday at New Jersey and lectured his team about the dangers of complacency in the fourth Q. Someone really needs to work D'Ant into this motivational speeches mash-up. [J.E.]

23. Oklahoma City Thunder — Nice to see Thabo Sefolosha (10 points, six rebounds, two steals, a block, two assists and one turnover in 33 minutes with this team) find a home, just as it was nice to not hear "are the Thunder better off without Kevin Durant?" [KD]

24. Toronto RaptorsFree Roko! [J.E.]

25. Golden State Warriors — If you don’t want to pay Jamal Crawford’s player option, then don’t trade for Jamal Crawford. [KD]

26. Sacramento Kings — Shot the lights out against the Nuggets the other night, which is good, because I can only watch this team with the lights out on most nights. [KD]

27. Washington Wizards — We spelled it wrong. "Generals" has a "G" in it, for starters. [KD] 

28. Memphis GrizzliesMatt Moore's Semi-Grizz-Chub: "The cycle repeats itself. Loss begets loss, which begets Mayo playing point, which begets good numbers but bad losses, which begets his stock rising and the Grizzlies' stock falling and Mayo taking off after his rookie contract. Rebuilding plans aren't rebuilding plans if they don't go anywhere. If there is no positive movement over the summer, it's possible this team could dissolve into nothingness. Sweet, awesome, cheap fireworks nothingness. Marc Gasol's Beard FTW." [J.E.]

29. Minnesota Timberwolves — Against Washington on Monday, the Wolves lost their 10th consecutive game and 11th straight at home. Yes, the Clippers are that bad. [J.E.] 

30. Los Angeles Clippers — 15-48. That's Bad News Bears, sure. But the worse news is that the Clippers appear to be stuck with this team. ClipperSteve, fork 'em: "Their four highest-paid players are, in order, 29, 27, 26 and 34. Their three highest-paid players are all signed through 2011. So while the rookies look good and should continue to develop, there's little hope of adding anything around them for several years. And although a coaching change likely wouldn't help much, there's not even much hope of that since evil owner Donald Sterling is not going to leave the $11M he owes the coach for the next two seasons on the table. Nope, this is the hand the Clippers have, and they're pretty much going to play it for another season at least. Goody gumdrops." [J.E.]

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