30. Charlotte Bobcats (14-52)
Last week: 30, –
The Bobcats are pretty well locked in the last spot in the league. That’s good! With another high pick to go along with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Kemba Walker, Charlotte might actually be decent next season. Hopefully.
29. New Orleans Hornets (22-45)
Last week: 28, -1
The Hornets signed Lou Amundson for the rest of the season on Tuesday. That’s how their season is going.
28. Orlando Magic (18-49)
Last week: 29, +1
Orlando led throughout Sunday’s game in Milwaukee. But unfortunately they ran into an unreal Monta Ellis, who erupted for 25 points in the fourth, and they lost. The Magic have definitely meshed since the addition of Tobias Harris, but their youth and inexperience is catching up to them late in games.
27. Phoenix Suns (22-45)
Last week: 23, -4
This was a productive, winless week for the Suns. With a little luck, they may be able to catch the Magic for the second-worst record in the league and a greater chance at a top-3 pick.
26. Philadelphia 76ers (25-40)
Last week: 26, –
An under-covered aspect of the botched Andrew Bynum trade is that the Sixers also sent Nikola Vucevic to Orlando in the deal. Vucevic has more double-doubles (36) than LeBron James. I’m sorry, Philadelphia.
25. Detroit Pistons (23-45)
Last week: 22, -3
The Pistons became a whole lot less fun to watch once Andre Drummond injured his back. I can only take so much Charlie Villanueva.
24. Sacramento Kings (23-44)
Last week: 24, –
DeMarcus Cousins was egged on by Mike Dunleavy last Sunday and elbowed him in the head. Every time it seems that Cousins has matured, he does something like this. I’m not sure what team will give him a huge contract in a few years when he’s so unpredictable and seemingly uncontrollable now.
23. Washington Wizards (23-42)
Last week: 27, +4
A 3-1 week for the Wizards bumps them up a few spots. John Wall is playing like a No. 1 pick and it’s fun. But it’s too bad that these wins are only hurting Washington’s lottery chances.
22. Minnesota Timberwolves (23-41)
Last week: 25, +3
I’m still convinced that the Timberwolves would have been a top four seed in the West if they had just stayed healthy. But they didn’t. So now they’re here.
21. Cleveland Cavaliers (22-44)
Last week: 20, -1
The injury to Kyrie Irving makes the Cavaliers extremely difficult to watch. But it’s great news for the organization as Irving will get some rest, stay safe from suffering a more serious injury in meaningless games and the team will only improve their lottery chances.