Dime NBA Power Rankings, Vol. IV: Denver Jumps A Mile High

By: 01.26.12  •  3 Comments
Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony (photo. Mannion)

Ranking the NBA from worst to first …

30. New Orleans Hornets (3-15)
Last Week: 25, -5
Since they started off the year 2-0, the Hornets have lost more than just their sting. They’re 1-15 since and haven’t sniffed an ounce of winning. One thing you can say about them is they fight. Their last nine losses have all been by 10 or less against teams sporting a .606 winning percentage.

29. Charlotte Bobcats (3-16)
LW: 28, -1
It’s so bad in Charlotte that fans and bloggers have calling for Bismack Biyombo and all of his 3.1 points and 3.6 rebound glory. There were reports the Bobcats weren’t going to extend anyone’s contracts this year, wait it out until the summer and see what they get in the draft. Screw that. They need a whole new team. Someone start a rumor that Mike is back working out at practice.

28. Washington Wizards (3-15)
LW: 30, +2
Did you watch Andray Blatche last night? He actually had a pulse in his first game without Flip Saunders, rumbling his way to 17 points, 10 rebounds and four or five actual hustle plays. Still, I can feel for the Wizards fans out there. In the second quarter after Washington had pushed the lead out to 20 points, all they were saying was “Okay, let’s try not to blow this.”

27. Detroit Pistons (4-15)
LW: 26, -1
What other teams in the league are better off without their best player? Well, I take that back. Stuckey is only their best player in Joe Dumars‘ mind, who’d probably turn down just about anything in trade, short of LeBron or Chris Paul. Greg Monroe (15.4 points, 9.4 rebounds) is the only thing keeping them out of the basement. Luckily for the Pistons, starting Monday in Milwaukee, the following eight games are so soft, Papa Doc might suit up.

26. Sacramento Kings (6-13)
LW: 27, +1
As we wrote in Smack last night, we have to question whether the Kings even like each other. Isaiah Thomas was out there balling last night, and couldn’t get so much as a pat on the backside. If you can’t like Thomas, you can’t be much better off than Ebenezer Scrooge. The Kings, even with all that talent, are second-to-last in John Hollinger’s rankings and are a -12.2 in scoring margin, the worst in the entire league.

25. Phoenix Suns (6-11)
LW: 24, -1
The only relevancy Suns fans are going to take from this season is that Marcin Gortat is one of the most underrated fantasy players in the game. His value (15.4 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks) gets lost in all the ugly losses (like the one against Toronto the other night). For now, just pay homage, respect Nash is the vet. Acknowledge the rep, polish baguettes, and stop dissin’ that.

24. New York Knicks (7-11)
LW: 16, -8
The most disappointing team in the league? Maybe more like the most disappointing team in the last five years. Put a cream puff early schedule aside and the Knicks are even worse than their record indicates. They’ve beaten Philly… and then Boston, Sacramento, Washington, Detroit and Charlotte twice. With Carmelo shooting more blanks (39 percent) than Sherlock Holmes‘ adversaries, they’re lucky the East’s bottom sucks so bad.

23. New Jersey Nets (6-13)
LW: 29, +6
Is the real Deron Williams FINALLY back? It looks like it. In his last five games, he’s averaging 21.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 9.4 assists as the Nets have gone 3-2. D-Will is back playing big minutes, and for the first time in a Jersey uni, he’s actually making more shots. Now, the next step is passing Jordan Farmar for the team lead in PER (Farmar is at 20.1). That’s right… his backup is playing more efficiently than he is.

22. Cleveland Cavaliers (7-10)
LW: 19, -3
Things are finally setting into normalcy up in Cleveland. Cavs fans, prepare for a lot more beatdowns. The early-season schedule was so weak, Urkel could’ve benched it. Just last week, they took three to the chin from Atlanta, Chicago and Miami. It’s not like I’m expecting them to win those; Over the course of the season, their scoring margin is minus-3.5. In the last 10? Minus-8.7.

21. Toronto Raptors (6-13)
LW: 23, +2
Is Andrea Bargnani an All-Star? Probably, at least in my mind. He’s dropping Dirk-lite numbers, 23.5 points and 6.4 rebounds. But before we get to bullish over the Raptors, who’ve actually won two games in a row on the road, remember: Before this lil’ run, they had lost eight games in a row.

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