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D Roses Bulls
04-04-2011, 05:58 PM
1 (1) Lakers 55-21 If there's anything deeply wrong with Pau or Bynum, then the loss to Denver obviously meant more than the committee (of one) has decreed. If not? It's an L the Lakers -- universally re-established as title faves -- can live with.

2 (2) Bulls 56-20 Are the Bulls sitting in the top spot on this Monday morning if they don't lose last Monday night to Philly? Don't want to torture them too much, knowing how hard D-Rose takes this stuff, so we'll leave it at: highly probable.

3 (7) Nuggets 47-29 Maybe there remains a stray question or two about what kind of road team these new Nuggets are ... if you want to nitpick. But they're the NBA's third-best team since the All-Star break (15-4) and an easy choice for No. 3 here.

4 (3) Heat 54-23 You'd think that the Heat's humbling return to Cleveland would lead to a steep drop ... until you remember Miami is one of only two teams to beat the Lakers since the Cavs stunned the champs in Cleveland on Feb. 16.

5 (6) Celtics 53-23 Honestly can't think of a single one-on-one playoff matchup I want to see more than Shaq versus Dwight. Yet it's impossible not to wonder now, after Shaq's latest ache, whether we'll see him at all in the NBA tournament.

6 (5) Spurs 58-19 Don't forget the worst stretch of the Duncan Era began with TD himself missing four of those six straight L's. Do we owe a retroactive apology to the West coaches slammed for making 34-year-old Timmy an All-Star?

7 (10) Grizzlies 44-33 Heisley demanded a playoff berth back in October. Now? Waiting to hear he expects a franchise that's never won a single playoff game to win a round ... which might not be so delusional depending on who it draws.

8 (11) Trail Blazers 45-32 The Blazers wholly deserve their Team No One Wants To See playoff status. Not just because of years of injury hell but because they took on money at the trade deadline. Good to see the rare go-for-it teams rewarded.

9 (8) Thunder 50-26 What a difference a week makes. From a 14-2 record in March, OKC's April has begun with two road Ls ... and with its lead over No. 5 Denver down to three games before the likely first-round foes hook up twice this week.

10 (4) Mavericks 53-24 The past week's shoves and barbs have illustrated precisely why we've been clamoring for a Mavs-Lakers series for months. The problem? Dallas' ongoing 8-8 funk makes it harder and harder to picture it getting there.

11 (9) Magic 48-29 Dwight's ability to keep the Magic in the top five in defensive efficiency while surrounded by bad defenders would move me more if Orlando was heavily favored in Round 1 against underachieving Atlanta. Or favored at all.

12 (13) Hornets 44-33 Like Karl and McMillan, Monty Williams is another guy who can't buy a COY mention. Quite a rookie season when you factor in the sale of the team to the NBA, D-West's season-ending knee injury and the constant CP3 chatter.

13 (12) Rockets 41-36 They're on pace to finish with a better record than three East playoff teams. They're the NBA's No. 4 team since the All-Star break at 15-5. And they're on fumes, playoff-wise, because the West-less Hornets refuse to crumble.

14 (14) Hawks 44-33 No one has frustrated DH12 this season like Jason Collins, as Professor Hollinger expertly explained, which has the Hawks convinced they can beat the team in Round 1 that humiliated them in Round 2 last season.

15 (15) 76ers 40-37 Only the Thibodeau Bulls have improved more since last season than Doug Collins' Sixers. Yet the immediate focus in Philly, I'm afraid, has to be on the recent defensive slippage and iffy health (Iguodala and Lou Williams).

16 (17) Pacers 35-43 It doesn't quite qualify as a late-season surge, but it's also not quite right to say Indy is completely backing into the East's eighth spot. The Pacers have bounced back from a double-digit deficit in four of their last five W's.

17 (21) Knicks 38-38 You know we don't waste chances to reference Bernard King. Kudos, then, go to Melo -- despite all the recent angst and criticism -- for being the first Knick since King in 1984 to ring up three straight 35-point games.

18 (16) Suns 37-39 It's safe to say Nash needed a break, flu or not. He's clearly been operating at less than 100 percent in a vain attempt to drag the Suns into the playoffs, as his decline from 16.8 ppg to 10.9 ppg since the All-Star break suggests.

19 (18) Bobcats 32-44 The "race" for No. 8 in the East is such that the Bobs can't protest too loudly if we focus on our man Matty Carroll's 26 points Sunday night. Not after Carroll's breakout was wasted in a must-win home date with the Wiz.

20 (19) Warriors 33-44 No one's suggesting it's all his fault, but Smart's odds of returning as coach seem slim, because the Dubs have just seven more W's than last season, improved marginally on D and sport the West's third-worst road record.

21 (20) Bucks 31-45 After crushing L's in Charlotte and Indy, Milwaukee has the joy of becoming the 14th and final team to play a road back-to-back against the FLA teams
... needing the same sweep only Utah, Dallas and Portland have managed.

22 (22) Clippers 30-47 There's something about knowing you're just a few days away from seeing Blake throw down live, even in an otherwise meaningless game, that makes you giddy to type the words even on a Monday morning. On no sleep.

23 (24) Kings 22-54 It would actually capture the theme of this doomsday season pretty well, come to think of it, if the Kings head for Anaheim as the NBA's only team with a better record on the road than at home. Which is what they are now.

24 (25) Pistons 26-50 So much for the notion that the postmutiny Pistons could quietly inch to the finish line. Stuckey's benching in Sunday's L to Boston was for -- you guessed it -- ignoring Kuester's call to re-enter the previous L vs. Chicago.

25 (27) Raptors 21-55 Make that two wins over Orlando to go with an improbable season sweep of the Thunder as well as wins over Dallas (road) and Chicago (home). So give the Raptors this much: When they do win, it's almost always an event.

26 (30) Wizards 20-56 We've been seduced by big April numbers from Blatche before. So let's keep the focus on the damage Jordan Crawford is doing and the trio of Wizards (Wall, McGee and Crawford) that have delivered triple-doubles.

27 (23) Jazz 36-41 Chances are these are numbers Jazz fans are all too aware of by now, but for those of you not as up to speed since Sloan and D-Will left the scene: Elias says Utah is the first team ever to start 27-13 and miss the playoffs.

28 (29) Cavaliers 15-61 A season sweep of NY would have been sweet, but you won't hear any complaining out of Cleveland. Not after the Cavs followed up the emotional return of Joe Tait by giving the team's radio voice a win over LeBron to call.

29 (26) Nets 23-53 Can't resist a fourth successive Kardashian-related comment. And not just because we like writing about her. Even Hump himself is publicly crediting the Kim K. Factor as at least partial justification for the best ball of his life.

30 (28) Timberwolves 17-60 Have we seen the last of Love in 2010-11? No sense asking him to play hurt with nothing at stake and when he clearly hasn't been the same Love in the last six games he did play, managing just 12.8 ppg and 9.2 rpg in that span.

http://espn.go.com/nba/powerrankings/_/season/2011/week/23

justinnum1
04-04-2011, 05:58 PM
looks good

allSUAVE
04-04-2011, 06:25 PM
Marc Stein f*t as*

ellesmeire
04-04-2011, 06:38 PM
question is...do knicks want to play boston or miami? miami is the better matchup easily...so maybe losing on purpose? haha jk

haggis
04-04-2011, 06:40 PM
looks good

Evolution23
04-04-2011, 06:44 PM
who ever wants to get upset in the 1st round can play the knicks

ManRam
04-04-2011, 06:51 PM
Sucks to see us at 11, but it's fair. We've really been playing poorly lately. We gotta get healthy. Our bench has been such a liability. We've been playing a few games with two healthy guards...that's just not gonna cut it.

Looks pretty good.

Portland over Memphis. Nuggs, as much as I like them, might be a bit high...

allSUAVE
04-04-2011, 06:58 PM
Marc Stein fat as* have us last who's in position to make the playoffs

handle
04-04-2011, 06:59 PM
who ever wants to get upset in the 1st round can play the knicks

Knicks will probably get swept in the first round this year.

chitown815
04-04-2011, 07:09 PM
Knicks will probably get swept in the first round this year.

They will win a game in the Garden, Amare and Carmelo will get their quit together for the big show

MrfadeawayJB
04-04-2011, 08:06 PM
Grizz at #7....nice

DenButsu
04-04-2011, 08:10 PM
Sucks to see us at 11, but it's fair. We've really been playing poorly lately. We gotta get healthy. Our bench has been such a liability. We've been playing a few games with two healthy guards...that's just not gonna cut it.

Looks pretty good.

Portland over Memphis. Nuggs, as much as I like them, might be a bit high...

It's probably good to keep in mind (and I know you know this, but I think others might sometimes misinterpret the meaning of these lists) that the Nuggets being ranked number 3 in a power rankings doesn't mean, "The Nuggets are the 3rd best team in the league", it means, "The Nuggets are playing at the level of 3rd best team in the league right now. So Stein isn't saying that the Nuggs are definitively "a better team" than teams below them in the rankings, just that they're currently playing basketball at a higher level.

Which of course is also debatable, but they do also appear 3rd in Hollinger's purely stats based power rankings, so getting that from both the "just watch the games" and the "just crunch the numbers" sides, and the fact that Denver hasn't just been winning but has been dominating its competition by a very large margin (http://www.prosportsdaily.com/forums/showthread.php?t=607813) (sorry, had to throw that in there :p ), makes me feel pretty comfortable that, at least for now, 3rd is about right.

Next up for the Nuggs: OKC, @Dallas, @OKC, so we'll learn a lot this week about whether they should hold that spot or slip down a notch or two.

Chi StateOfMind
04-04-2011, 08:23 PM
looks good i want that #1 spot baby

JRisdabest
04-04-2011, 08:32 PM
bulls #1

ManRam
04-04-2011, 08:40 PM
It's probably good to keep in mind (and I know you know this, but I think others might sometimes misinterpret the meaning of these lists) that the Nuggets being ranked number 3 in a power rankings doesn't mean, "The Nuggets are the 3rd best team in the league", it means, "The Nuggets are playing at the level of 3rd best team in the league right now. So Stein isn't saying that the Nuggs are definitively "a better team" than teams below them in the rankings, just that they're currently playing basketball at a higher level.

Which of course is also debatable, but they do also appear 3rd in Hollinger's purely stats based power rankings, so getting that from both the "just watch the games" and the "just crunch the numbers" sides, and the fact that Denver hasn't just been winning but has been dominating its competition by a very large margin (http://www.prosportsdaily.com/forums/showthread.php?t=607813) (sorry, had to throw that in there :p ), makes me feel pretty comfortable that, at least for now, 3rd is about right.

Next up for the Nuggs: OKC, @Dallas, @OKC, so we'll learn a lot this week about whether they should hold that spot or slip down a notch or two.

If they didn't lose to Miami and Orlando, I'd be okay with it. But Miami should be above them. Nit-picky, I know...but I just think Miami is better, and is playing just as well (despite the Cleveland loss).

But either way, you can't help but be impressed with Denver. I am without a doubt rooting for them to come out of the West.

D_Rose1118
04-04-2011, 08:44 PM
i think the nuggets might be a tad high, but im not going to lie i love watching that team.