Blakely's NBA Six Pack Power Rankings: Jan. 23
Blakely's NBA Six Pack Power Rankings: Jan. 23
WASHINGTON — All eyes lately have been on the Big Apple for all the wrong reasons.
There was the annual train wreck better known as the New York Knicks doing what they tend to do best - make headlines for all the wrong reasons.
This season has been no exception, even as the J.R. Smith drama has died down a bit.
For a while their borough brethren, the Brooklyn Nets, were just as bad.
Assistant coaches getting exiled, then there was Jason Kidd and Spillgate. And that's not even touching on the career-low stats that were being posted by former Celtics Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
But then the calendar flipped and the Nets soon flipped the script and went from being a huge disappointment to dominance on a nightly basis.
And now they are making headlines for being a really good team which is what was expected when this star-studded team was put together this past summer.
With that, here's the latest NBA power rankings:
THE FLAT PACK
Current Ranking (last week)
30. (30) Milwaukee — Slow starts are killing them, averaging a league-low 22.3 points in the first quarter.
29. (28) Orlando — Hard team to read. There's talent, but no real sense of who they are trying to build around.
28. (29) Utah — Jazz defense disappears in the third quarter, giving up 26.5 points in the third which ranks second-to-last in points allowed in that quarter.
27. (23) Sacramento — DeMarcus Cousins on the short list of really good, All-Star worthy players on bad teams.
26. (27) Boston — Kendall Marshall blowing past Rajon Rondo was proof-positive that he's nowhere close to being the player he was prior to the torn right ACL injury.
25. (26) New York — Losers of five in a row, you have to wonder how much longer can Mike Woodson hold on to his job.
BACK OF THE PACK
24. (25) Los Angeles Lakers — Even the return of the Black Mamba next month (at the earliest) won't be enough to keep the Lakers out of the lottery.
23. (24) Philadelphia — Lack talent, but are very entertaining to watch.
22. (20) New Orleans — Should be a good week for the Pelicans with upcoming games against Detroit, Orlando and Cleveland.
21. (22) Cleveland — Kyrie Irving's extremely talented, but does he make those around him better?
20. (19) Detroit — Look for Greg Monroe to get lots of interest from teams the closer we get to the trading deadline.
MIDDLE OF THE PACK
19. (21) Minnesota — Timberwolves hoping back-to-back wins over lowly Jazz can jumpstart them this week with a trio of tough road games that begins in Golden State.
18. (18) Charlotte — Kemba Walker's sprained ankle snaps streak of 190 consecutive games played.
17. (14) Toronto — Have lost three of last five, two of which (one to Boston, another to the Los Angeles Lakers) fall into the "bad loss" category.
16. (17) Chicago — Winners of four of their last five, gritty Bulls doing what they do - finding ways to win.
15. (14) Atlanta — Averaging 16.3 points and 7.6 assists, Jeff Teague is among a crowded corp of guards vying for their first All-Star nod this season.
14. (12) Dallas — A middle-of-the-pack team out West now, do not be surprised if the Mavs try and make a bold move between now and next month's trade deadline.
13. (15) Washington — Wednesday's loss to Boston aside, Wizards are playing some of their best basketball in years.
12. (11) Denver — With only $2 million guaranteed beyond this season, the Nuggets should not have a problem finding a new home for Andre Miller before the Feb. 20 trade deadline.
11. (10) Memphis — Three games out of the final playoff spot, no top seed wants to see the Grizzlies that soon.
RUNNING WITH THE PACK
10. (16) Brooklyn (16) — The best team in the NBA this month with an 8-1 record as the Nets finally start playing up to their tremendous potential.
9. (9) Phoenix — Four of next five on the road against East coast teams, return to the desert should include a nice bump in the standings.
8. (8) Golden State — Important five-game homestand that didn't get off to the best of starts with a loss to the Indiana Pacers.
7. (5) Miami — Dwyane Wade's knees - that's plural, not singular - are becoming a growing concern.
6. (6) L.A. Clippers — Good move in moving Matt Barnes into starting lineup for struggling Jared Dudley who is probably best served as a backup, anyway.
5. (7) Houston - Isn't it time to start giving Kevin McHale some serious coach of the year consideration?
HEAD OF THE PACK
4. (2) San Antonio — Lost two of last three games to Portland and Oklahoma City, respectively.
3. (3) Portland — Hitting a smooth stretch of games with four of next five at home, with the home games all against teams hovering around .500.
2. (4) Oklahoma City — Look for Kevin Durant's string of games with at least 30 points scored (now at nine in a row) to continue against Boston on Thursday - the last team he failed to score 30 or more against.
1. (1) Indiana — Nearing the end of second and final West coast trip, they'll put even more distance between themselves and the rest of the league going forward.