Weeks 12 & 13 Archive: NBA Power Rankings
Our 2009 NBA power ratings after week eleven of the 2009 NBA Basketball season.
Weeks Twelve & Thirteen NBA Power Ratings
(Dated: January 19 - February 1, 2009)
1. Cleveland Cavaliers (31-7) – The Cavaliers move up from the # 3 position, and have become the third team to take the top of the rankings. Cleveland is 31-7 on the season, and a full nine games up on the Detroit Pistons within the Central Division of the Eastern Conference. Cleveland’s main man King LeBron James is scoring 27.8 of the Cavaliers 100.9 points per game. James is also grabbing 6.7 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game, which all lead the team. The Cavs are coming off a 14 point win over New Orleans, just one night after falling to divisional rival Chicago at the United Center. Cleveland will begin a four game road trip on Monday starting with the # 2 team; the Lakers, and finishing at Portland, Golden State and Utah.
2. Los Angeles Lakers (31-8) – The Lakers fall from the # 1 spot, and drop to # 2 overall, behind only the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Lakers are just ½ game behind the Cavaliers for the top record in the entire National Basketball Association. Los Angeles’ 31-8 record places them at the top of the Western Conference, and also the Pacific Division, in which they lead the Phoenix Suns by eight games. Kobe Bryant is leading the team in scoring with 27.2 points per game, and Pau Gasol leads in rebounding with 9.2 per game. The Lakers will look to snap their two game losing streak on Monday night when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers. Following that game, the Lakers will take on the Clippers, then come back home to host Washington, San Antonio and Charlotte.
3. Boston Celtics (33-9) – The Boston Celtics fall for the second straight rankings, and drop from # 2 to # 3. The Celtics are 33-9 overall, and in first place in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Boston leads Philadelphia by 12 games. The Celtics are coming off back-to-back twenty point drubbings of divisional opponent New Jersey, including a road win on Saturday. Boston is led by Paul Pierce’s 19.6 points per game, and aided by Kevin Garnett’s 9.2 rebounds per game. Boston hosts Phoenix on Monday, before heading on the road for two straight; at Miami and Orlando. The Celtics will then come back home to host Dallas and Sacramento in the ladder part of January.
4. Orlando Magic (33-8) – The Orlando Magic continue to surprise not only the Eastern Conference, but the entire National Basketball Association. Their 33-8 record keeps them ranked at # 4 overall, and the third best Eastern Conference squad. Orlando leads the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference by nine full games ahead of Atlanta. The Magic have won seven straight games and are 9-1 in their last ten games. The Magic last four wins were all on the road; San Antonio, Sacramento, Los Angeles Lakers, and Denver. The Magic have off until Thursday this week when they take on the Boston Celtics, and then they will travel to Miami. Home games with Indiana and Cleveland will finish out January before a road game the first of February at Toronto.
5. Denver Nuggets (27-14) – The Denver Nuggets are 2.5 games ahead of the Portland Trail blazers in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference. Denver’s 27-14 record moves them up three positions from # 8 to # 5. The Nuggets are coming off a 106-88 loss to the Magic on Saturday night. Denver is scoring 103.8 points per game led by Chauncey Billups’ 19.0 ppg. Nene Hilario is the leading rebounder on the Nuggets, picking up 9 per game. The Nuggets will go on the road Monday and play the Houston Rockets, then come back home to host Sacramento on January 20th and Utah January 25th. Road games on January 27th and 28th at Memphis and New Orleans will conclude the month of Denver.
6. San Antonio Spurs (26-13) – The San Antonio Spurs lead the Southwest Division of the Western Conference, but by just a slim margin. The Spurs are ahead of New Orleans by one full game, Houston by two games, and Dallas by 3.5 games. The Spurs move up one spot from # 7 to # 6. San Antonio is coming off a 92-87 win over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night. Tim Duncan, who is scoring 20.3 points per game, and 10.2 rebounds per game, leads the Spurs. San Antonio, as a team is scoring 97.2 points per game, while allowing just 94.2. The Spurs will play the Charlotte Bobcats on the road on Monday night, before coming back home to host both the Pacers and the Nets. On January 25th the Spurs will play at the Lakers, and January 27th at Utah.
7. New Orleans Hornets (24-13) – The Hornets fall two positions from # 5 to # 7, as both Denver and San Antonio make the jump ahead. Chris Paul is scoring 20.8 points per game and dishing out 11.1 assists per game for the second place Hornets. The Hornets hold a one game lead on Houston and 2.5 game lead on Dallas in the Southwest Division. New Orleans is coming off a 91-85 win over the Detroit Pistons, just a night after getting beat on the road in Cleveland. The Hornets will host Indiana on Monday and New Jersey on Wednesday, before a January 23rd road game at Minnesota, then back home the 26th and 28th of January to host Philadelphia and Denver.
8. Portland Trailblazers (24-16) – Moving up four spots from # 12 to # 8, the Portland Trailblazers, winners of six of their last ten games. Portland has been solid at home this season winning 14 of 18 games, but struggled on the road, going 10-12 thus far in 2008-2009. The Trailblazers are led in scoring by guard Brandon Roy who is scoring 22.6 of Portland’s 97.9 points per game. The Trailblazers just finished up a four game road trip by falling 102-97 to the Charlotte Bobcats. Portland will host Milwaukee, Cleveland and Washington in three straight games, before a January 26th road game at the Clippers. The Trailblazers will get a January 28th rematch with the Charlotte Bobcats; this time at home.
9. Houston Rockets (25-16) – The Houston Rockets are another team that moves up four spots. The Rockets were # 13 in the last rankings, and now are # 9 this week. The Rockets are 25-16 and in third place in the Southwest Division. Houston is coming off a seven-point win at home over the Miami Heat on Saturday night, after falling to the Lakers. Yao Ming is scoring 19.7 points per game, and also picking up 9.7 rebounds per game. The Rockets will host Denver and Utah this week, before heading out for a road trip starting on Friday at Indiana, then to Detroit and New York.
10. Phoenix Suns (22-15) – At 22-15, the Phoenix Suns are eight games behind the Lakers in the Pacific Division. The Suns have moved up one spot from # 11 to # 10. Amar’e Stoudemire is scoring 21.5 points per game, and also picking up a team leading 8.3 rebounds per game. The Suns are scoring 104.5 points per game, leading the National Basketball Association. The Suns have lost two straight game; at Denver and at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Suns will begin a six game road trip on Sunday at Toronto. After leaving Canada, Phoenix will make stops at Boston, New York, Charlotte, Atlanta and Washington, before coming back home to host the Spurs on January 29th.
11. Utah Jazz (24-17) – Paul Milsap surprisingly leads the team in scoring with 15.0, and rebounds in 9.3. The Jazz are 24-17 on the season, good enough for third place in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference. The Jazz are three games behind Denver for first place, and just ½ game behind Portland for second place. The Jazz moves up four spots from # 15 to # 11. DeRon Williams, the teams point guard is dishing out right at 10 assists per game. Utah is coming off a seven-point loss at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks on the road. Utah will take on Minnesota, at home on Tuesday, and then head on the road Wednesday at Houston. The Jazz will then host Cleveland, travel to Denver and host San Antonio, in what appears to be a tough stretch for the Jazz.
12. Atlanta Hawks (23-16) – The Hawks made a six-position fall from # 6 to # 12. Atlanta is 4-6 in their last ten games, including four of their last five games. Atlanta’s latest loss was a five-point loss on the road at Golden State, which came two nights after their win over the Clippers. Atlanta concluded their three game road trip, and will now host Toronto on Monday, and play at Chicago on Tuesday. The Hawks will then host Milwaukee on January 23rd and Phoenix on January 25th.
13. Detroit Pistons (22-17) – The Pistons have lost five straight games; including a Saturday night six point loss to New Orleans. That loss was a night after a ten-point loss on the road in Oklahoma City. The Pistons are led in scoring by Allen Iverson, with 17.7 points per game, and 5.4 assists per game. The Pistons fell three spots from # 10 to # 13 with their current losing streak. Detroit will play on the road Monday at Memphis, and then come home and play three straight with Toronto, Dallas and Houston. On January 28th the Pistons will hit the road once again, this time at Minnesota to battle the Timber wolves.
14. Miami Heat (21-18) – The Miami Heat remain at # 14 with their 21-18 record. The Heat are in the middle of their longest road trip all season, and have won two of their last three games. Dwyane Wade is scoring 28.8 points per game, and also adding 7.3 assists per game to aid the Heat to third place in the division. Miami will conclude the road trip Sunday night at Oklahoma City, before coming home for four straight games. The Celtics, Magic, Hawks and Wizards will all make visits to Miami before the end of the month.
15. Dallas Mavericks (23-17) – Dropping six spots from # 9 to # 15, the Dallas Mavericks are 5-5 in their last ten games, including four straight losses. The Mavericks snapped their losing streak on Saturday night with a seven point home victory over Utah. The Mavericks are scoring 99.7 points per game, while allowing 98.3. Dirk Nowitzki is scoring 26 points per game, and picking up 8.7 rebounds per game for the Mavericks. Dallas will play four straight road games; at Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Detroit and Boston, before finally coming back home January 28th to take on the Golden State Warriors.
16. Philadelphia 76ers (20-20) – The Philadelphia 76ers are the hottest team in the National Basketball Association. Despite winning seven straight games, Philadelphia is at .500 with a 20-20 record. With their recent hot play, the 76ers were able to move up two spots from # 18 to # 16. Andre Iguodala is scoring 17.5 points per game for Philadelphia, while big man Samuel Dalembert is grabbing 8.1 rebounds, and Andre Miller is dishing out 6.3 assists. The 76ers are scoring 96.4 points per game, and allowing 95.8 on the defensive end. The 76ers will host the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, then take all the way until Saturday off, when they host the New York Knicks. Road games January 26th and 28th at New Orleans and Houston lead up to a home game on January 30th with Washington to conclude the month of June.
17. New Jersey Nets (19-22) – The New Jersey Nets are tied for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with their 19-22 record. The Nets drop one spot from # 16 to # 17, with just Philadelphia by passing them. New Jersey has lost three straight games; at Boston, with Portland and with Boston. Devin Harris leads the team in scoring with 22.3 points per game, and assists at 6.4 per game. The Nets will play four straight road games, starting on Wednesday at New Orleans, with trips to San Antonio, Memphis and Oklahoma City, before a home game on January 28th with Toronto.
18. Milwaukee Bucks (20-23) – The Bucks drop one spot, with Philadelphia passing them up. The Bucks are at # 18, one spot below their ranking last week at # 17. Milwaukee is 20-23 overall, and in third place in the Central Division. The Bucks trail Detroit by just four games for second place, while sit just one game ahead of Chicago for third. Richard Jefferson and his 17.4 points per game lead the Bucks. The Bucks play at Portland on Monday, before hosting Dallas on Wednesday. Milwaukee and the Hawks square off in Atlanta on January 23rd, before the Bucks come home to host Sacramento and Minnesota.
19. Chicago Bulls (18-23) – If the Bulls could ever find any consistency, this team could find themselves in the postseason. Until then, Chicago is stuck at # 19 in the power rankings, a position they are becoming very accustomed to. Chicago is 18-23 on the season, and have basked in mediocrity all season. Chicago picked up back to back wins over Toronto and Cleveland, but in their last five games have been knocked off by Oklahoma City, and Portland. The Bulls are scoring 99.2 points per game, and allowing 102.3 per game. Ben Gordon is scoring 20.2 points per game, while former Florida state Joakim Noah is leading in rebounding with 5.8 per game. The Bulls will play at Madison Square Garden on Monday against the Knicks, then come home at host Atlanta and Toronto. Chicago will then take the road at the end of the week at Minnesota and Los Angeles (Clippers).
20. New York Knicks (15-24) – The Knicks seemed to be picking up speed with consecutive wins over the Hornets and Wizards, but all that momentum was lost with two straight losses at Washington and with Philadelphia. The Knicks did win enough to move up one spot from # 21 to # 20, passing Toronto. The Knicks’s David Lee is averaging a double double with 15.3 points per game and 11.4 rebounds per game. The Knicks as a team are scoring 103 points per game, but allowing 106.5 per game. New York will host Chicago, Phoenix and Memphis in three straight games this week, before a road game January 24th at Philadelphia, and a home game on January 26th with Houston.
21. Toronto Raptors (16-25) – At fourth place in the Atlantic Division, the Raptors are just 4.5 games behind second place Philadelphia. The Raptors, with their 16-25 record drop one spot from # 20 to # 21. Toronto has lost four straight games, back to back against the Celtics, and a home game with Chicago and a road game at Indiana. The Raptors’ Chris Bosh is scoring 23.5 points per game, and also 9.9 rebounds per game; both team leading. The Raptors host the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, and then will take to the road for three straight; at Atlanta, Detroit and Chicago. On January 25th the Raptors and Kings will tangle in Toronto.
22. Indiana Pacers (15-25) – The Pacers remain # 22 with their 15-25 overall record. Indiana sits in last place in the Central Division; 17 games out of first place, trailing Cleveland. The Pacers are 2.5 games behind Chicago and 3.5 games behind Milwaukee in the division. Indiana is allowing a divisional worst 107 points per game, while scoring just over 104. The Pacers have won two straight games, both at home over the Pistons and Raptors. Indiana will play at New Orleans on Monday and at San Antonio on Tuesday, before coming back home for games with the Rockets and Bobcats.
23. Charlotte Bobcats (16-24) – The Charlotte Bobcats have won three straight games; at Washington, with Detroit and with Portland. With those wins, the Bobcats remain # 23 in the power rankings. Charlotte is 16.5 games out of first place in their division (Southeast), trailing the Orlando Magic. Within the Eastern Conference, Charlotte is in 11th place, 2.5 games behind Milwaukee for the eighth and final playoff position. The Bobcats are led in scoring by Gerald Wallace and his 16.6 points per game. Charlotte will host San Antonio, Minnesota and Phoenix all at home, before heading to the road at Indiana and the Los Angeles Lakers.
24. Minnesota Timber wolves (12-26) – The Timber wolves continue to make a move towards the middle of the Western Conference standings, winners of seven of their last ten games. The Timber wolves made a four team jump from # 28 to # 24. Minnesota fell on Tuesday night 99-96 at home to Miami, and then, went on the road and won at Phoenix Friday night 105-103. Al Jefferson is leading the Timber wolves in scoring and rebounds with 22.2 and 10.5 per game. Minnesota will stay on the road Monday and Tuesday at the Clippers and Jazz. On Friday January 23rd Minnesota will host New Orleans, and then also the Chicago Bulls. January 26th Minnesota will play at Milwaukee.
25. Golden State Warriors (12-29) – The Warriors remain at # 25 with their 12-29 overall record. The Warriors are in third place in the Pacific Division, but sit 20 games back of the Lakers, and 12 games behind the 8th place team in the Western Conference – Utah. The Warriors are coming off a five-point win at home over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night. That win came two nights after a two-point loss at home, at the hands of the Sacramento Kings. The Warriors will host four straight home games starting Monday when Atlanta, Oklahoma City, Cleveland, and Los Angles (Clippers), all come to town in the next week. The Warriors will then travel to Dallas on January 28th.
26. Memphis Grizzles (11-28) – The Grizzles have lost five straight games, and have dropped from # 24 to # 26. The Timber wolves and Warriors both passed up Memphis in the power rankings, and in the standings. Memphis is scoring 93.5 points per game; led by O.J. Mayo at 19.4, and are giving up 99.4 points per game. In the last five games; all losses the Grizzles have given up 100 points or more in four of the five games, and offensively, have not scored over 91 yet. The Grizzles are in last place in the toughest division in basketball; the Southwest Division of the Western Conference. The Grizzles trail fourth place Dallas by 11.5 games, and first place San Antonio by 15 games. The Grizzles will host the Detroit Pistons on Monday, and then play on the road Wednesday and Friday at Charlotte and New York. They will then come back home to host New Jersey and Denver on January 24th and 27th.
27. Sacramento Kings (10-31) – The Sacramento Kings remain # 27 in the power rankings with their 10-31 record. The Kings are in a tie for last place with the Los Angeles Clippers, and two games behind Golden State for third place in the division. The Kings are led in scoring by John Salmons, who is scoring 18.9 points per game, and Brad Miller, who is grabbing 8.5 rebounds per game. The Kings will play on Tuesday at Denver, before coming back home to take on the Wizards on January 21st. After those two games, the Kings will take to the road January 24th, 25th, and 27th at Milwaukee, Toronto and Cleveland.
28. Los Angeles Clippers (9-30) – The Clippers finally found a way to win on Saturday night; in a 101-92 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. The win for Los Angeles snapped a 12 game losing streak, dating back to Mid December 2007. The Clippers fall two spots from # 26 to # 28 in the power rankings. The Clippers are led in scoring by Al Thornton, who is scoring 16.9 points per game. Marcus Camby is grabbing 13.8 rebounds per game for the Clippers, while shooting 50.9% from the field. The Clippers will play three straight home games; starting Monday with Minnesota, followed by trips from the Lakers and Thunder. On January 25th the Clippers will travel to Golden State, followed by a home game on January 26th.
29. Washington Wizards (8-31) – The Washington Wizards are barely holding onto the # 29 spot, just a bit ahead of Oklahoma City. The Wizards snapped their six game losing streak with a 96-89 win over the New York Knicks. The Wizards are in fifth place in the Atlantic Division, and 7.5 games behind fourth place Charlotte. Antwan Jamison leads the team in scoring and rebounds with 20.6 and 9.1 per game. The Wizards are gearing up to begin a four game road trip that will take six days. Washington starts the trip on Monday at Golden State, with trips to Sacramento, Los Angeles (Lakers), and Portland to follow.
30. Oklahoma City Thunder (8-33) – At 8-33 overall the Oklahoma City Thunder continue to remain the # 30 team in the National Basketball Association rankings. The Thunder are coming off two straight wins; both at home over the Utah Jazz and the Detroit Pistons. The Thunder are led by second year star Kevin Durant, and his 23.9 points per game. The Thunder will take on the Miami Heat at home on Sunday, before hitting the road at Golden State and Los Angeles Clippers, before coming bachk home to host New Jersey and Memphis.