I’ve given you my midseason awards, now it’s time for my midseason power rankings. If you want to know where your team ranks in the league, look no further, I have the answer for you below. If you disagree with me, well, you’re wrong. Bam! In your face!
1. Los Angeles Lakers 33-10
Pretty self explanatory. LA boasts the best record in the league. I know they’ve lost twice to Cleveland, but they lost twice to Orlando last year and we all know how that turned out come Playoff time.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers 33-11
Second best record in the NBA. Tied for First in Opposing Team’s Field Goal Percentage, 4th in Scoring Defense. Lebron James. Enough said.
3. Boston Celtics 28-13
You have got to commend this team for continuing to win and play at a high level despite all the injuries. Kevin Garnett has missed time, Rondo and Pierce have both also missed some games. If they are healthy come playoff time I pick them to come out of the East. That’s a big question though, health.
4. Atlanta Hawks 28-14
They are playing really well right now. Joe Johnson has to be one of the most underrated players in the league. Josh Smith is only going to get better. This team can play really good defense at times, that inconsistency on that end could be their downfall.
5. Denver Nuggets 28-14
Carmelo Anthony is playing the best ball of his career. Chauncey Billups brings the kind of toughness and defensive mindset that Kevin Garnett brought to Boston. Denver is the 2nd best team in the West and we could see them in the Western Conference finals again.
6. Phoenix Suns 26-19
With Shaq leaving for Cleveland the Suns have been unleashed to once again play the style of basketball that put them in the Western Conference Elite. Add in Channing Frye and his lights out shooting from 3 point range this team is tough to beat. If Amare can stay healthy and Nash continue to hold off Father Time the Suns are legit.
7. Orlando Magic 29-15
I know I have Orlando farther down my power rankings than most but I don’t like them to come out of the East this season. So far Orlando has taken more of a Vince Carter personality than Dwight Howard. That will only spell trouble for this squad come playoff time. I think Hedo was a better fit for this team and they are worse off with Vince.
8. Portland Trailblazers 27-19
This team has dealt with so many injuries for them to still be among the West’s Elite is nothing short of amazing. Brandon Roy is an All Star and should be a MVP candidate. Coach Nate McMillen is awesome and has done an incredible job at keeping his young squad focused and playing hard when so many other teams would quit. They’ve lost Gred Oden, Joel Przyibilla, Roy’s missed time, Rudy Fernandez, and Martell Webster. This team is going to be dangerous in the Playoffs.
9. Dallas Mavericks 28-15
Dirk Novitski is playing at an extremely high level, and its becoming clear that his window for a championship is starting to close. This could be the last season that we see Dallas compete for a championship. Jason Kidd doesn’t have much time left and Josh Howard can’t stay on the court. This team plays hard but not enough weapons to come out of the West.
10. San Antonio Spurs 25-17
I know most people have the Spurs above Dallas and Phoenix but I don’t like the Richard Jefferson trade. He comes from the Vince Carter mold and needs 20 shots to be effective. Tim Duncan, as great as he is, is starting to show some wear after all his years of banging down low in the paint. The Spurs have the smarts to compete but when all is said and done, their age will show come playoff time.
11. Utah Jazz 25-18
John Hollinger of ESPN, who does their PER(Player Efficiency Ratings) has Utah ranked 3rd in his Power Rankings. I tend to agree that the Jazz are good and could be dangerous in the Playoffs. What has me down on them is their inconsistency. They tend to not show up some nights and lose to bad teams at home. To be elite you have to bring it every night. They don’t.
12. Memphis Grizzlies 23-19
The Zach Randolph signing could end up being the deal of the year. He’s playing great basketball and gives this team a solid front court with Marc Gasol. Rudy Gay and OJ Mayo are playing great, this is a really good young team that is only getting better. 10 straight home wins says it all.
13. Miami Heat 23-20
It was either the Heat here or Oklahoma City. Ultimately I went with Dwayne Wade over Kevin Durant. If Mike Beasley can play to his potential this team could make some noise. That’s a big if however and the rest of the roster leave a lot to be desired. Dwayne Wade is good enough to win a lot of games on his own however.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder 24-20
Kevin Durant and Jeff Green are playing extremely well in year 3 of their careers. Russell Westbrook could be a top 5 PG in the league, he’s not there yet but is close. James Harden is a rookie who’s only improving. This team is going to be good for a long time if they keep this core together. Too soon to really compete for a title however.
15. Houston Rockets 24-19
The Tracy McGrady drama has overshadowed the fact that this team is playing great basketball minus their two best players in McGrady and Yao. Carl Landry is playing hard every night and Aaron Brooks is showing everyone that he deserves to be a starting PG in this league. They lack star power but make up for it with heart and intensity. Fun to watch.
16. Toronto Raptors 22-22
Jose Calderon has been banged up all season but is finally getting healthy. Chris Bosh is playing like a star that knows a big payday is coming. This team could be dangerous in the Eastern playoffs. Bargnani is finally playing like a number 1 pick.
17. New Orleans Hornets 23-20
The Tyson Chandler trade has shown to be more damaging than good for Chris Paul. Health issues aside the Hornets have had some major chemistry issues. The loss of Rasual Butler hurts more than people think and Peja is getting alittle long in the tooth. The times when New Orleans were amoung the West’s Elite are over.
18. Charlotte Bobcats 21-21
The addition of Stephan Jackson has paid dividends thus far keeping this team at or near .500 all year. Gerald Wallace continues to dominate the boards and fill up the stat sheet. A good young team that’s a player or two away from competing in a shallow East.
19. Chicago Bulls 21-22
Derrick Rose is obviously a star, Joakim Noah is a stud on my Fantasy Basketball team and they gave us one of the most exciting Playoff rounds ever against Boston last season. But they haven’t improved like most of us expected to see from a young team like this. Rather, they’ve taken a couple steps backwards. Lets see if they can figure it out before the Playoffs.
20. New York Knicks 17-25
At the beginning of the Season the New York Knickerbockers appeared to be lottery bound. However New York is 5-5 in their last 10 games and could flirt with a .500 record with the way they’ve been playing of late. They have talent in Al Harrington and David Lee. Utah hopes they stop winning since they own their First Round pick next year.
21. Los Angeles Clippers 19-23
The Clippers lost First Round Pick Blake Griffin for the season. That’s not stopping them from playing hard every night. With wins big wins over the likes of the Lakers and Celtics this team is showing that they are moving in the right direction. They won’t compete for a playoff spot this season, but they could play spoiler.
22. Milwaukee Bucks 18-24
Rookie Brandon Jennings is long removed from his 55 point game but is still playing above expectations and should continue to challenge fellow rookie Tyreke Evans for Rookie of the Year honors. The Bucks lost Michael Redd for the year…again. Early on they looked like they could be a player for a playoff spot in the East but without Redd and a legit second option after Jennings there’s not much to like.
23. Sacramento Kings 15-28
Tyreke Evans is the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year and is playing like a seasoned vet. Kevin Martin is finally healthy again but for how long. The Kings were much higher up this list a month ago before their current 1-9 stretch that has them 13 games under .500.
24. Indiana Pacers 16-29
The Pacers look to be lottery bound once again. Missing their best player Danny Granger for a big chunk of the season hasn’t helped much. They put up numbers and have a good offense, but the problem with the Pacers is they play zero defense and mediocre teams look like Giants against them.
25. Detroit Pistons 15-28
How crazy is it to see the Pistons outside of the top 8 in the East, heck its crazy to see them out of the top 5. But after a 13 game losing streak this team is all but a memory in the East. Charlie Villinueva has done nothing since joining the team, Ben Gordon is great, but he’s been hurt and hasn’t shown much. Trading Chauncey Billups was one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever seen in my 20 years of watching the NBA.
26. Washington Wizards 14-29
Gilbert Arenas is gone, his gun trouble causing a suspension and the Wizards all but erased him from memory. He missed all of last year and they sucked, he played most of this year and they still suck. This team has talent but their excuse was always that Arenas was hurt and when he returned they were supposed to put it together. Not so. This team has chemistry issues and needs to blow it up.
27. Philadelphia 76ers 15-29
Allen Iverson is back to the team and city that he called home for most of his career and that has brought some excitement back to a franchise that hasn’t had much to be excited about lately. Samuel Delembert is playing with a heavy heart because of the Earthquake in his native Haiti and Elton Brand is invisible. Andre Iguadala is not playing at the level we have become accustomed to when AI left for Denver.
28. Golden State Warriors 13-29
Wow, I don’t even know what to say about this team. It’s like they aren’t even trying. Coach Don Nelson just puts lineups together for fun. Aside from Monta Ellis theres not much to like on this squad. Corey Magette is playing well on Offense but he’s a streaky player and if he’s your number 2 or 3 player you’re not in good shape. Stephan Curry shows promise but won’t fully develop in a situation like this. Horrible.
29. Minnesota Timberwolves 9-36
The Timberwolves are playing for this summer’s Free Agent sweepstakes. Nobody is safe on this squad and anybody could be gone by this trade deadline. Jonny Flynn has shown flashes and I actually like him better than Ricky Rubio so it worked out that Ricky stayed in Europe. Al Jefferson is one of the best big men in the league. This team has pieces, but they are 2 good players short of contending.
30. New Jersey Nets 3-40
This team is poised to break the record for fewest wins in a season which is 9. Past the halfway point in the year they are projected to finish with 6 wins. That is just inconceivable to me, 6 wins in an entire season. Top teams like the Cavs or Lakers have 6 game winning streaks with regularity. Brook Lopez is going to be great and is playing extremely well, Devin Harris is an all star, they just don’t have much after those two guys.
About the Author
Written by Danny Shapiro
Danny Shapiro is 26 years old, married and a father to 2 boys, who he hopes one day to play MLB and support him and his wife in their old age. Danny's second love, mistress even, is sports and Danny is living his dream of being a sports writer right now, thanks to Prosportsblogging.com.