30. Los Angeles Clippers (2-13)
Last week — Lost at Minnesota, lost at Indiana, lost to New York, beat New Orleans
Congratulations on pulling off the biggest upset of the young season by knocking off the red-hot Hornets, but it’s still not enough to climb out of the basement. They’re inching their way up the stairs, though.
29. Philadelphia 76ers (3-10)
Last week — Lost at Cleveland, lost to Toronto, beat Milwaukee
There’s always one talented young guy who gets made into an example when a new coach is trying to instill a culture change. That guy in Philly is Marreese Speights, who has almost fallen out of the rotation because Doug Collins says he’s not working hard enough in practice.
28. Houston Rockets (3-10)
Last week — Lost to Chicago, lost at Oklahoma City, lost at Toronto, lost to Phoenix
If they fall 10 games below-.500, I hear Clyde Drexler promised to suit up himself. And he’s close to getting Hakeem on board.
27. Minnesota Timberwolves (4-11)
Last week — Beat L.A. Clippers, lost to L.A. Lakers, lost at Oklahoma City
Darko’s 23-point, 16-board, 6-block stat line against the Lakers was the biggest “Where did that come from?” NBA game since Tony Delk dropped 50 points.
26. New Jersey Nets (4-9)
Last week — Lost at Utah, lost at Sacramento, lost at Denver
At least “invisibly mediocre” is better than “historically bad.”
25. Sacramento Kings (4-9)
Last week — Lost to New York, beat New Jersey, lost to New Orleans, lost at Utah
Eight losses in their last nine games, and the only win came against the Nets.
24. Washington Wizards (4-8)
Last week — Beat Toronto, lost at Boston, beat Memphis, lost at Detroit
John Wall (foot) needs to get back on the court and get a few effortless coast-to-coast buckets before the poor fans in D.C. start having Stephen Strasburg flashbacks.
23. Detroit Pistons (5-8)
Last week — Lost to L.A. Lakers, beat Washington
Things that happen when you don’t know if you’re rebuilding or trying to win now: Austin Daye starts two games in a row, then gets a DNP-CD against the Wizards due to matchups.
22. New York Knicks (6-8)
Last week — Lost at Denver, won at Sacramento, won at Golden State, won at L.A. Clippers
During the three-game West Coast win streak, Ray Felton averaged 23.6 points and 7.0 assists.
21. Toronto Raptors (5-9)
Last week — Lost at Washington, won at Philadelphia, beat Houston, beat Boston
All Jerryd Bayless wants is a chance to compete for a starting job, and now he has it in Toronto. If he routinely savages Jose Calderon in practice and convinces Jay Triano he’s the next Monta Ellis, and if Calderon keeps shooting below 40% from the field, Bayless will have his time.