30. Washington (0-4)
Andray Blatche masquerading as a leader. John Wall playing so up and down he probably has motion sickness. Nick Young shooting first and doing everything else on the floor last. The NBA’s only winless team probably still thinks the lockout is going on.
29. New Jersey (1-4)
How much longer until Deron Williams flips out, starts calling for heads to roll and then Mikhail Prokhorov locks him up somewhere and holds him hostage until they move to Brooklyn? This team was awful before Brook Lopez went down. Now, they are getting blown out by the Cavs and Avery Johnson seems intent on playing D-Will big minutes at the two. At least they have Kris Humphries to entertain us.
28. Charlotte (1-3)
If it wasn’t for Boris Diaw suddenly turning into a fat Magic Johnson, this team might very well be sitting in the league’s cellar. Even with the Frenchman putting on a 10/9/7 show every night, they lost by 39 to Miami last night, which comes on the heels of a 21-point loss to Orlando.
27. Phoenix (1-3)
Did you know that the team Steve Nash quarterbacks is 24th in the NBA in offense? Even worse than Charlotte? The desert has the potential to really get ugly. Hakim Warrick leads them at 15.7 points a game. That’s all that really needs to be said.
26. Toronto (1-3)
They really haven’t been all THAT bad so far. While ownership sells the future, the current team is getting by with big numbers from Andrea Bargnani (23 a night) and a renaissance year from Jose Calderon (13 and nine dimes a night). And instead of being Soulja Boy-awful, that defense has been upgraded to The Game-average.
25. Utah (1-3)
This can’t last can it? They were blown out in L.A., blown out in Denver and blown out in San Antonio. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for now because 1) they really do have some talent, and 2) they’ve already played four playoff teams and have been home just once (their lone win against Philly).
24. Dallas (1-4)
Your leading rebounder (Dirk) averages 5.4 caroms a night. Your leading shot-blocker (Brendan Haywood) averages 0.8 a night. Your defense is ranked 28th in the NBA. Aaron Rodgers‘ backup could probably throw for 10 touchdowns against you. The Mavs can’t be thinking title right now. They just need to win a couple and get some semblance of passion from the “never care” trio of Vince Carter, Lamar Odom and Delonte West. But seriously, they can’t be this bad can they?
23. Detroit (1-3)
Despite getting blown out by Cleveland early last week, there’s some reason to be hopeful in Detroit. For one, no one has staged a full-on practice boycott yet. Two, Lawrence Frank is still alive. But most importantly on the court, everyone is playing about as well as you could hope for and Brandon Knight (12 points a game) looks like a keeper.
22. Memphis (1-3)
Did they get lucky last year? It’s hard to say when they lost Rudy Gay for the stretch run. But besides his shoulder problem, the rest of the Grizz very rarely missed any time. It’s coming back to haunt them now. Darrell Arthur is out for the year. Mike Conley is already missing time, and now Zach Randolph took a fall last night that reminded us of something Andrew Bynum would do. Injuries, plus the complete no-show last night in Chicago drops them down even further. But a FYI: Memphis was 12-17 at one point last year…
21. Cleveland (2-2)
Wins, even if they come at the expense of other terrible teams, still count. The Cavs already look better than they did last year and for all his haters, Kyrie Irving has to be the early favorite for Rookie of the Year (13.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists a game). Cleveland is actually top 12 in both offense and defense right now, but as the schedule gets more difficult this month, they won’t be this high for long.