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Weeks 10 & 11 Archive: NBA Power Rankings

Our 2009 NBA power ratings after week nine of the 2009 NBA Basketball season.

2008 Weeks Ten & Eleven NBA Power Ratings
(Dated: January 5-18 2009)

1. Los Angeles Lakers (26-5) – Winners of five straight games, including a Christmas Day win over the Boston Celtics catapult the Lakers to the # 1 spot. The Lakers are coming off a 113-100 win over the Utah Jazz on Friday night. Los Angeles will host the Portland Trailblazers on Sunday January 4th, and the New Orleans Hornets on January 6th. The Lakers will take the road on the 7th at Golden State, and then come back home for two straight against Indiana and Miami. The Lakers Kobe Bryant is scoring 26.7 points per game, and dishing out 4.2 assists per game. The Lakers lead in the Western Conference – Pacific Division has been pushed to seven games.

2. Boston Celtics (29-5) – After losing three of four games during the Christmas portion of the schedule, the Boston Celtics seemingly got back on track with a 108-83 win to begin 2009. The Celtics have the best record in the NBA, sitting just a full game ahead of Cleveland and 1.5 ahead of the Lakers. The Celtics are 13 games ahead of New Jersey in the Eastern Conference – Atlantic Division. Kevin Garnett is putting up MVP type numbers yet again this season, scoring 16.5 points per game and adding 8.8 rebounds per game. Boston is led in scoring by Paul Pierce, who is scoring 18.7 points per game. The Celtics will travel to New Jersey on Sunday January 4th, and then travel to Charlotte on January 6th, and host Houston on January 7th. On Friday January 9th the Celtics and Cavaliers will hook up in an Eastern Conference battle of the top two teams; in Cleveland.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers (27-5) – Two nights after falling 104-95 at Miami, Cleveland was able to come up with a 117-92 win over the Chicago Bulls. With their 27-5 overall record; Cleveland remains # 3, behind just Los Angeles and Boston. The Cavaliers are 6.5 games ahead of Detroit in the Eastern Conference – Central Division. King LeBron James is scoring 27.5 points per game, and ripping down 6.7 rebounds per game, while dishing out 6.6 assists per game. The Cavaliers will travel to the nations capital on Sunday night to take on the struggling Wizards. On January 7th the Cavs will host Charlotte, before their January 9th home game with the defending champion Boston Celtics.

4. Orlando Magic (26-7) – The Orlando Magic have won two straight games, and nine of their last ten. Their lone loss in that span was their first 2009 game in which the Detroit Pistons knocked them off 88-82. Orlando stays at the number 4 position within the power rankings -trailing the Lakers, Celtics and Cavaliers. Orlando leads the Eastern Conference – Southeast Division by four games, ahead of the Atlanta Hawks. Dwight Howard is putting up MVP like numbers scoring 19.6 points per game, while adding 13.8 rebounds per game. The Magic will travel to Toronto on Sunday, and then come home for a Tuesday game with Washington, then back to the road; in Atlanta on Wednesday. Friday January 9th will be the home portion of a home and away series with the Hawks.

5. New Orleans Hornets (20-10) – After winning four straight games, the Hornets were 105-100 victims to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night. The loss dropped the Hornets to 20-10 overall. With that record, New Orleans remains at # 5 within the power rankings, and as the second best team in the Western Conference. The Hornets are in a dogfight with the San Antonio Spurs at the top of the Western Conference – Southwest Division. The Mavericks are in the hunt, as all three teams are separated by less than two full games. New Orleans leading scorer is Chris Paul, at 20.1 points per game, and 11.5 assists per game. Tyson Chandler is the Hornets leading rebounder at 8.0 per game, and also 1.5 blocks per game. The Hornets will play two straight games on January 6th and 7th at the Lakers and Jazz and then come back home to take on the Clippers on January 9th.

6. Atlanta Hawks (21-11) – The Hawks got 29 points from Josh Smith in a 103-100 win over Houston on Saturday night. This win came just one night after a loss at the buzzer to the New Jersey Nets. The win put Atlanta at 21-11 overall this season, good enough for a two position rise from # 8 to # 6. The Hawks are trailing the Orlando Magic by four games in the Eastern Conference – Southeast Division. The Hawks are scoring 98.2 points per game, while allowing 94.9 per game. Joe Johnson leads Atlanta in scoring, putting up 22.8 points per game, and also 6 assists per game. Atlanta will play back-to-back games against the Magic, starting on Wednesday at home, followed by a Friday night road game. On Sunday January 11th, the Hawks will host the Philadelphia 76ers.

7. San Antonio Spurs (22-11) – At 22-11, the Spurs sit just ½ game ahead of the New Orleans Hornets atop the Western Conference – Southwest Division. With their recent spell of hot play, the Spurs move from # 10 to # 7. After the December 30th loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, San Antonio has won both their 2009 games, by knocking off Memphis and Philadelphia in back to back nights. The Spurs Tony Parker is scoring 21.5 points per game, which leads the team, and also 6.8 assists per game. The Spurs travel to Miami on Monday night, and then will host the Clippers on January 8th. The Spurs and Magic will hook up in San Antonio on January 11th.

8. Denver Nuggets (22-12) – The Nuggets have won three straight games, since their New Years Eve defeat at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks. The Nuggets with their 22-12 record move from # 7, down to # 8. Carmelo Anthony is scoring 21.1 points per game, and dishing out 3.4 assists per game. The Nuggets are scoring 103.3 points per game, and allowing 100.1 per game. Denver is 12-4 when playing at home this season. Denver will play three more home games in a row this next week, starting Monday with Indiana, then Wednesday with Miami, and Friday with Detroit.

9. Dallas Mavericks (20-12) – Winners of three straight games; the Dallas Mavericks have made a move into the top ten, at # 9 from # 14. Wins over the Clippers, Timber Wolves and 76ers have moved Dallas to within 1.5 games of the division leading Spurs. Dirk Nowitzki is leading Dallas in scoring with 25.9 points per game, and 8.9 rebounds per game. Jason Kidd leads the team in assists with 8.6 per game. The Mavericks are scoring 99.9 points per game, and allowing 96.7 defensively. Dallas will play at Memphis on Sunday, and then host the Clippers on Tuesday and the Knicks on Thursday. The Mavericks will then play three straight road games, at Phoenix, Sacramento and Denver.

10. Detroit Pistons (20-11) – Coming in as one of the hottest teams in the NBA; the Detroit Pistons have moved up from # 13, into the top ten, at # 10. Detroit has won six straight games, and eight of their last ten. The Pistons last loss was on December 21st, a 85-78 defeat to Utah. The Pistons were led by Rodney Stuckey’s career high 38 points in a Friday win over the Sacramento Kings. The Pistons will play four straight road games starting on Sunday at the Clippers. Trips to Portland, Denver and Utah will lead up to a January 13th game with the Charlotte Bobcats.

11. Phoenix Suns (19-12) – Phoenix is coming off three straight wins over the Thunder, Timber Wolves, and Clippers. Their 19-12 overall record keep them at # 11 in the power rankings. The Suns are seven games back of the Lakers in the Western Conference – Pacific Division. Amare Stoudemire is scoring 21.8 points per game, while also grabbing 8.5 rebounds per game. The Suns are 10-6 at home, and 9-6 when playing on the road this season. Phoenix will take until Wednesday off, and host the Pacers, then a January 9th home game with the Mavericks. The Suns will take the road again on January 11th at the Clippers.

12. Portland Trailblazers (20-13) – The Portland Trailblazers continue to stay in the hunt among the top of the Western Conference teams, and also in their division – the Northwest. Portland trails Denver by two games in the division. The Trailblazers fall out of the Top Ten from # 12 to # 9, Portland is scoring 98.3 points per game, and allowing 94.9. The Trailblazers are 12-4 at home on the season, while 8-9 on the road. The Trailblazers are 5-5 in their last ten games. Portland is led in scoring by guard Brandon Roy, who is scoring 23.0 points per game, and 5.3 assists per game. The Trailblazers will play at the Lakers on Sunday night, before hosting the Pistons on Wednesday and Warriors on Saturday.

13. Houston Rockets (21-14) – The Rockets have lost two straight games, and in the past two weeks fallen from # 6 to # 14 in the power rankings. The Rockets fell at Toronto on Friday and at Atlanta on Saturday to drop to 21-14 overall. The Rockets are in fourth place in the Southwest Division, but trail by just two games. Yao Ming leads the team in scoring with 19.8 points per game, and also in rebounds with 9.8 per game. The Rockets are 11-4 when playing at home this season. Houston will play three straight road games this week, starting on Tuesday at Philadelphia, before heading to Boston and Oklahoma City, before coming home to host the Knicks on January 10th.

14. Miami Heat (18-14) – At 18-14, the Miami Heat continue to be a thorn in the side of many NBA teams. Led by Dwyane Wade’s 28.8 points, and 7.0 assists per game, the Heat are in third place in the Eastern Conference – Southeast Division. Miami won won 12 of 17 home games, while losing 9 of 15 on the road. The Heat move up one position from # 15 to # 14. The Heat will host the Spurs on Tuesday, before taking to the road for seven straight games; at Denver, Sacramento, Los Angeles(Lakers), Minnesota, Milwaukee, Houston and Oklahoma City.

15. Utah Jazz (19-15) – Riddled by injuries all season, the Utah Jazz continue to stay afloat in the Western Conference. The Jazz are 19-15 overall, and in third place in the Western Conference – Northwest Division. Utah trails Denver by three games, and Portland by 1.5 games. The Jazz fall from their previous position at # 12 to their current position at # 15. The Jazz are scoring 100.5 points per game, and allowing just 97.7. Carlos Boozer leads the team in scoring with 20.5 points per game, while DeRon Williams is adding close to 10 assists per game. The Jazz will host Golden State on Monday, New Orleans on Wednesday, Detroit on Saturday, and Indiana on January 12th, before starting a long road trip.

16. New Jersey Nets (16-18) – At 16-18, if the playoffs started today, the New Jersey Nets would be the # 7 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Nets are in second place in the Atlantic Division, trailing Boston by 13 games. The Nets remain at # 16 in the power rankings. The Nets are coming off a 101-96 loss, a night after knocking off Atlanta in overtime, on a Vince Carter buzzer beater. The Nets are led in scoring by former Wisconsin Badger Devon Harris. Harris is scoring 23.7 points per game, while dishing out 6.6 assists per game. The Nets host Sacramento and Memphis this week, before going on the road Friday to Milwaukee.

17. Milwaukee Bucks (16-19) – At 16-19 the Milwaukee Bucks move up from # 19 to # 17. The Bucks are coming off a back-to-back home and away with the Charlotte Bobcats in which they won one of two. The Bucks are led in scoring by guard Michael Redd, who is scoring 19.4 points per game. Milwaukee’s top rebounder is Andrew Bogut, who is grabbing 10.5 per game. The Bucks are in third place in the Central Division, trailing Cleveland and Detroit, just 1.5 games ahead of Chicago. The Bucks will play Monday, Wednesday and Friday at home with Toronto, Philadelphia and New Jersey, and then will take the road on January 10th at Minnesota.

18. Philadelphia 76ers (13-20) – The 76ers, at 13-20 are struggling to stay afloat inside the Eastern Conference, and within the Atlantic Division. Philadelphia, coming in predictable to finish near the top of the Division, and the conference has struggled all season. The 76ers remain at # 18, despite losing three of their last four games. Philadelphia is led in scoring by Andre Iguodala who is scoring 16.2 points per game. Newcomer to the team Elton Brand is averaging 9.8 rebounds per game. The 76ers will host the Houston Rockets on Tuesday, and then travel to Milwaukee on Wednesday. A home game with Charlotte on January 9th will be played before the January 11th road game at Atlanta.

19. Chicago Bulls (14-20) – 2009 has not been kind for the Chicago Bulls. After falling on New Years Eve to Orlando, the Bulls have lost two more at Cleveland and with Minnesota. Rookie guard Derek Rose is leading the team in assists with 5.9 per game. The Bulls have fallen from # 17 to # 19. Chicago is 10-5 when playing at home, but have struggled on the road winning just four of nineteen games. The Bulls are in fourth place in the Central Division, trailing Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee, barely sitting 1.5 games ahead of Indiana. The Bulls will play four straight home games, starting on Tuesday with Sacramento. A Friday/Saturday combination of Washington and Oklahoma City, followed by a January 12th home game with Portland.

20. Toronto Raptors (13-20) – The Toronto Raptors have been one of the bigger disappointments during the 2008 portion of the season. Toronto falls one spot from # 21 to # 20, despite coming off a Friday night win over Houston. The Raptors are tied with Philadelphia in third place in the Eastern Conference – Atlantic Division, trailing Boston and New Jersey. The Raptors are led in scoring by Chris Bosh, who is scoring 23.5 points per game and 9.8 rebounds per game. Toronto will host Orlando on Sunday, and then travel to Milwaukee on Monday. A road game on Wednesday at Washington will be played before a Friday home game with Memphis. On Sunday and Monday, Toronto will play a home and away games with the Boston Celtics.

21. New York Knicks (12-19) – The Knicks have fallen to the bottom of the Atlantic Division, with their 12-19 record. The Knicks have fallen just one position from # 20 to # 21. New York is led in scoring by big man Al Harrington, who is scoring 22.3 points per game, and 6.3 rebounds per game. David Lee is New York’s top rebounder, ripping down 10.9 boards per game. Chris Duhon, the former Duke star is the Knicks leading assist man; picking up 8.5 per game. New York will play four straight road games, starting on Tuesday in Oklahoma City, followed by trips to Dallas, Houston and New Orleans.

22. Indiana Pacers (11-21) – Another team that has enjoyed the start of 2009 is the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers have won both of their games in the calendar year, over New York and Sacramento. The Pacers will look to continue the hot streak on Monday at Denver, and then Wednesday at Phoenix and Friday at the Lakers. Trips to Golden State and Utah will conclude their five game road trip. The Pacers remain at # 22 in the power rankings. Indiana is led in scoring by Danny Granger, who is scoring 25.1 points per game.

23. Charlotte Bobcats (12-22) – The Charlotte Bobcats, coming off a home and away battle with the Milwaukee Bucks are 12-22 overall, and in fourth place in the Southeast Division. The Bobcats remain at # 23 overall in the power rankings. Charlotte is 9-12 at home, and 3-10 when playing on the road this season. The Bobcats leading scorer at 18.7 points per game is Jason Richardson. Charlotte will look to extend their modest winning streak Tuesday when they take on the Boston Celtics, followed by a trip to Cleveland the next night. At Philadelphia and Washington on Friday and Saturday will make for quite the week.

24. Memphis Grizzles (10-23) – The Grizzles have lost four straight games, and remain at the bottom of the Western Conference – Southwest Division. The Grizzles also remain # 24 within the power rankings. Memphis will play four games next week starting Sunday with Dallas, and then Tuesday with Minnesota, before a road game at New Jersey and Toronto. That stretch will be followed up by two home games in the following week with Cleveland and Utah. The Grizzles are being out scored on the year 99.9 – 94.2. Rookie O.J. Mayo is leading Memphis in scoring with 19.7 points per game.

25. Golden State Warriors (10-25) – The Warriors are giving up a league must 111.3 points per game, and have scored 105.3 points per game during 2008-2009. The Warriors move up one position from # 26 to # 25, by passing the Los Angeles Clippers. The Warriors are coming off two straight losses at Oklahoma City and at Minnesota; following the 117-111 win over Toronto. The Warriors are led in scoring by Stephen Jackson, who is scoring 19.2 points and picking up another 6.0 assists. The Warriors will play at Utah on Tuesday, before hosting the Lakers on Wednesday, and then at Portland on Saturday.

26. Los Angeles Clippers (8-24) – After winning five of seven games, the Los Angeles Clippers have now lost six straight games. The most recent loss was a January 2nd 106-98 defeat at the hands of the Phoenix Suns. Within this stretch, the Clippers have not scored 100 points in a game yet. With the recent poor play, Los Angeles slips down one position from # 25 to # 26. The Clippers are in the middle of three teams at the bottom of the Western Conference – Pacific Division; with Golden State and Sacramento. Zach Randolph, coming over from New York is leading the Clippers in scoring with 23.1 points per game. The Clippers will host Detroit on Sunday, and then play three straight road games; at Dallas, San Antonio and New Orleans.

27. Sacramento Kings (8-26) – Remaining at # 27, the Sacramento Kings. The Kings are 8-26 on the season, a game behind the Clippers and 1.5 behind the Warriors in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference. The Kings have lost two straight games, both once 2009 started. The Kings fell Friday night 98-92 at Detroit, and then the next night 122-117 at Indiana. The Kings are led in scoring by guard Kevin Martin, who is scoring 22.7 points per game. Sacramento will play two straight road games on Monday and Tuesday at New Jersey and Chicago, and then come back home on January 9th to take on the Miami Heat.

28. Minnesota Timber Wolves (8-25) – The Timber Wolves are beginning to play a little better basketball as 2009 begins. Minnesota has now won two straight games; wins over Golden State and Chicago. The Timber Wolves are in fourth place in the Western Conference – Northwest Division, trailing third place Utah by 10.5 games. Minnesota will look to keep their winning streak going on Tuesday at Memphis. The next night the Timber Wolves will host Oklahoma City, and then January 10th with Milwaukee.

29. Washington Wizards (6-25) – The Wizards continue to struggle during the 2008-2009 season. Washington hopes the 2009 portion of the slate is much kinder than the 200 was. Winners of just six of 31 games this season, the Wizards remain at # 29 in the power rankings. Washington is in last place in the entire Eastern Conference, and also 4.5 games out of fourth place in the Southeast Division. The Wizards are losing by a combined 7.1 points per game on the season. The Wizards host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night, then travel to Orlando, host Toronto, travel to Chicago and host Charlotte all within next weeks action.

30. Oklahoma City Thunder (4-30) – The Thunder picked up a 107-100 win over Golden State, and then two nights later threatened to knock off Denver, but fell short due to a Carmelo Anthony buzzer beater. The Thunder remain at # 30, with their 4-30 overall record. Kevin Durant is scoring 23.8 points per game for Oklahoma City, while Earl Watson is the leading assist man at 6.0 per game. The Thunder are 18.5 games out of first place in the Western Conference – Northwest Division. Oklahoma City will host the New York Knicks on Tuesday January 6th, and travel to Minnesota on the 7th. Back to back games January 9th and 10th will be with Houston, and then at Chicago.

 


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