Blakely's NBA Six Pack Power Rankings: Feb. 13
Blakely's NBA Six Pack Power Rankings: Feb. 13
BOSTON — Earlier this week we saw our first head coaching casualty of the NBA season when the Detroit Pistons fired Mo Cheeks after just 50 games.
While that may seem like a short period of time, the Pistons were only going to get worse under Cheeks' lead.
He became the latest member of Pistons pension fund for fired head coaches, a group formed that came into existence in 2009 that now includes Michael Curry, John Kuester and Lawrence Frank who were all fired within two seasons of taking the job.
Cheeks' firing speaks to how unpredictable things can get when expectations by ownership aren't met, regardless of how much time you are on the job.
For example, Toronto head coach Dwyane Casey came into the season knowing he was on thin ice with the new regime in Toronto. He has handled it the way you're supposed to — just win some games, baby!
Others who began the season on shaky ground, Terry Stotts in Portland and Randy Wittman in Washington, have taken a similar route.
Because of their success, they remain among the 30 privileged to be an NBA head coach as their teams continue to play at or above the expectations of many - namely ownership.
And with that, here's the latest NBA power rankings:
THE FLAT PACK
30. (30) Milwaukee — Unlike Philadelphia who is taking this tanking thing to another level, the Bucks are bad because of Injuries and limited overall talent.
29. (27) Philadelphia — They have 39 losses, 29 of which have been by 10 points or more. #tankapalooza
28. (29) Orlando — Had a good week with wins in three of last four games, including victory over Oklahoma City.
27. (25) Los Angeles Lakers — On a homestand now but that's not necessarily a good thing considering they are 8-15 at the Staples Center and have lost six straight at home for the first time since the 1992-1993 season.
26. (23) Sacramento — Biggest All-Star snub out West is easily DeMarcus Cousins.
25. (26) Boston — Kelly Olynyk got back-to-back double-doubles this week which was huge for both his confidence and the Celtics.
BACK TO THE PACK
24. (22) New York Knicks — Good (Miami, Oklahoma City) and bad (Milwaukee, Sacramento) teams are beating them, losers in five of their last six games.
23. (20) Denver — Their last four games, all losses, have been by a staggering 27.5 points per game.
22. (24) Utah — Three straight wins has the Jazz feeling good, even if two of the wins were over bad teams like Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Lakers.
21. (28) Cleveland — Mike Brown's defensive principles starting to pay off during teams' four-game winning streak.
20. (19) New Orleans — Anthony Davis selection as replacement All-Star good for the Pelicans, the NBA and Davis, obviously.
MIDDLE OF THE PACK
19. (18) Minnesota — Kevin Love gets some serious global love in being named an All-Star starter.
18. (21) Detroit — Mo Cheeks was shown the door? Is Joe Dumars next?
17. (14) Brooklyn — The New Year has been good to them (14-5 in 2014), but they now embark on a grueling seven-game road trip.
16. (17) Charlotte — Little attention has been paid to the season Al Jefferson is having. He's averaging 20 points, 10.5 rebounds and has the Bobkitties thinking playoffs.
15. (12) Washington — Finally got over the .500 hump, but have since dropped four of their last five.
14. (15) Atlanta — Leads NBA in assists this season, Hawks need to help themselves to a few more wins.
13. (8) Golden State — Up-and-down February should turn around with three of next four games against teams with a losing record.
12. (11) Memphis — Since Marc Gasol's return on Jan. 14, only one team has held opponents to a lower field goal percentage (Indiana) than the Grizzlies (42.3 percent).
11. (16) Chicago — Gritty as ever, limiting opponents to just 10.5 points off second-chance opportunities in the month of February.
RUNNING WITH THE PACK
10. (10) Phoenix — Starting to come down to earth a bit, losing three of its last four games.
9. (9) Toronto — Kyle Lowry should be an All-Star this weekend, easily the biggest snub
8. (7) Portland — Road warriors have been road woe-rriors of late with losses in six of their last eight games away from the Rose Garden.
7. (13) Dallas — Kudos to Rick Carlisle who continues to find ways to win despite a team that is extremely challenged defensively most nights.
LEADERS OF THE PACK
6. (3) San Antonio — Spurs continue finding ways to win even as the injuries pile on.
5. (5) Miami — LeBron James is having another monster season, but you have to wonder what will he have left come playoff time after carrying this team all season.
4. (6) Los Angeles Clippers — If they keep rolling like this, we'll have to start talking about Blake Griffin as an MVP candidate soon.
3. (4) Houston — Playing their best basketball of the season now, may look to stand pat at the trade deadline and keep this group together.
2. (2) Indiana — Pacers have lost two of their last three games, which is about as close as they've come to experiencing a slump this season.
1. (1) Oklahoma City — Miami Heat travel to O-K-C for a Feb. 20 tilt. #cantwait