NBA Rankings: This Isn’t Your Father’s NBA Power Rankings
Everybody else calls their rankings “Power Rankings,” which sounds to me like something used to judge the efficiency of electrical plants or some shit. To separate myself from the pack a little, I figured I’d forego using the term “power” in my rankings for any reason, considering that we never actually ever use it in natural conversation about sports.
‘Oh the Bulls are pretty good, but the Heat are a way more powerful team.’ Like… no, shut the fuck up. Unfortunately, it sounds too weird to just call them the “Rankings” with nothing in front of it, so I’m calling them the Blank Rankings. Feel free to fill in the Blank with whatever word you want. Or just leave it Blank, as in “these rankings are completely blank of any bias and/or factual evidence.”
I’ll be putting out Blank Rankings each week for every sport (except hockey – I grew up at a time when hockey was only for Canadians and tools, and I haven’t come around to paying any attention to it yet), so check back often. Now on to the ranks:
#30 – Charlotte Bobcats (7-40)
If these were the Tank Rankings, or the Stank Rankings, or even the Tranq Rankings, the Bobcats would surely be Number 1. But these aren’t those rankings – these are the Blank Rankings. And to put it blankly, the Bobcats fucking suck.
#29 – New Orleans Hornets (12-37)
Washington’s record may be slightly worse than NOLA’s, but at least the Wizards are holding John Wall and Nene in their hand. New Orleans, meanwhile, is looking at a smorgasbord of The Amazing Kaman, a pissed off Eric Gordon, and a burning effigy of Chris Paul. Oh yeah, and they’re still owned by the league since NOBODY EVEN WANTS TO FUCKING BUY THEM. It really says something about how shitty Charlotte is that New Orleans isn’t ranked last.
#28 – Washington Wizards (11-38)
Rookie Jan Vesley tongue-raping his bonerific girlfriend on draft night has been the highlight of their season so far. Granted, it’d be tough for any team to top that, but the Wiz haven’t even come close with any of the bullshit they’ve pulled on the court.
#27 – Toronto Raptors (16-34)
It’s sort of funny how the only NBA team located in Canada plays like all its players are from Canada. I mean, no offense to Steve Nash or anything, but… yeah, you know.
#26 – New Brooklyn Nets (16-35)
Even with Deron Williams on the roster, owner Mikhail Prokhorov is still the most interesting/entertaining figure involved with the Nets. I don’t know if that’s an insult to Deron or a complement to Czar Prokhorov, but it is what it is. If television has taught me anything – and it definitely, probably has – Prokhorov is obviously some sort of supervillain, and it’s only a matter of time before he reveals that he is changing the name of the team to the Red Worker-Comrades and that he’s actually moving them to Moscow, not Brooklyn. You heard it here first.
#25 – Sacramento Kings (17-32)
The Kings may look awful and dysfunctional now, but with the core of young players they’ve got to build around, we could be seeing a Kings team in a few years that’s kind of not-so-bad and only slightly dysfunctional. Shoot for the stars, Sacramento! At least they’re not moving to Russia (or anywhere else, for that matter).
#24 – Detroit Pistons (17-32)
I toyed with putting the Cavaliers in this spot, until I remembered that Kyrie Irving probably has more potential than the entire Detroit Pistons roster combined. Okay, that’s some exaggeration – maybe like half the roster. Regardless, Detroit is somewhat decent, but they look to be stuck in no-man’s-land for the foreseeable future: a couple decent young players but no stars, a smattering of overpriced veterans, a long line of mid-first round draft picks, and not much cap space or room for growth.
#23 – Cleveland Cavaliers (17-30)
The Pistons are a better overall team than the Cavs, in my opinion. That being said, the Cavaliers actually have some hope and direction in building their team around Kyrie “Go Fuck Yourself Coach K” Irving, so they rank a spot higher. Personally, I’m shocked the Cavs have rebounded from the LeBron fallout to the point where there are seven teams in the league worse than them after only one season.
#22 – Milwaukee Bucks (23-27)
Putting Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis on the same team is like buying two of the exact same model sports car. Having Scott Skiles coach them is like buying those cars for somebody with no license.
#21 – Golden State Warriors (20-28)
In the emphatic words of current Warriors coach/sacrificial lamb Marc Jackson, “Hand down, MAN DOWN!” I honestly don’t even know what that fucking means, but I would imagine it has something to do with keeping your hands up on defense, which is generally a cardinal rule in basketball.
Anyway, the Warriors players probably hear Action Jackson scream that about fifty times per night, because they never play any defense whatsoever. The only reason they rank above the Bucks is because I like the Bogut/Ellis swap from their perspective – the Warriors needed to breakup the Ellis-Curry duo (which made about as little sense as the Ellis-Jennings one now playing in Milwaukee), and if Bogut ever actually returns from the dead, he’ll provide some of that defense that Golden State lacks and that Marc Jackson’s little puns so sorely crave.
#20 – Portland TrailBlazers (23-27)
Recently they look a lot more like the Portland WeedBlazers – right? Am I right? Sorry, but that joke just made itself. In all seriousness though, Portland seems to have quit on their coach and are now tanking for a better draft pick, in the hopes of landing the next Greg Oden… …oh wait, no, I mean the next Brandon Roy… …wait no, shit, I mean the next Sam Bowie… damn it, no, I mean…
#19 – Phoenix Steve-Nashes (25-25)
#18 – Minnesota TimberLoves (24-27)
Minnesota and Phoenix are two teams heading in opposite directions that currently have about the same level of overall talent, like perpendicular diagonal lines on a graph at the point where they intersect. Also, these are coincidentally the only two teams in the NBA whose best players are white guys (when I say “white” I mean “white American” (and when I say “American” that absolutely includes Canadians – fuck you, Canada)).
#17 – New York Knickerbockers (25-25)
What a rollercoaster year this has been for the Knicks, and what a pathetic cliché right there by me. It couldn’t be avoided though, as this year has truly been wildly up-and-down for the City That Never Sleeps’ most current bandwagon. It seems like their entire season has just been a bunch of five-game streaks alternating back and forth between winning and losing.
The honeymoon with Jeremy “Lincapable” Lin is basically over, as opposing teams have figured out that he can’t dribble with his left hand and can’t play any defense in the post – whenever somebody gets the ball down there on him, it’s like he’s the bad guy from Karate Kid and whoever he’s defending is Daniel-Sahn.
The fact that Linsanity is dead is irrelevant though, as anybody who thought that the hype surrounding Lin was more than just a flash in the pan is Linvariably an idiot. The Amare injury is what will really hurt the Knicks – lucky for them they’ve still got Melo, and ultimately their fortunes will rest with him.
#16 – Utah Jazz (27-23)
#15 – Houston Rockets (27-24)
I don’t really know what to say about either of these teams – both are sort of in no-man’s-land out west, both are stuck without a true franchise player to build around, both are decently good teams at home, both have very similar records… whatever. Neither of them will be winning a title this year — I can say that at least.
Also, random side note about the Jazz: ten or so years ago, I started figuring it was strange that a team located in Utah would retain the name “Jazz” after moving from New Orleans, as there are pretty much no black people in Utah at all, and there’s certainly no jazz of any kind.
I e-mailed this to Bill Simmons so maybe he could feature me in one of his famous mailbags, but my question never came up in any mailbag, and then about a month later he wrote the same thing I’d written in my e-mail into one of his articles, giving me no credit whatsoever! What a bag of dicks, that guy. Sorry, had to vent about that – and yeah, anyway, the Jazz oughtta change their fucking name.
#14 – Denver Nuggets (27-23)
They score the most points in the NBA, and they give up the most points in the NBA – fun to watch but probably not winning any playoff series anytime soon. I’m not sure what direction this team is trying to go in, or if they even have a direction at all. Their recent addition of JaVale McGee to the already zany roster is like firing off a gun on a spacecraft – nobody really knows what’ll happen, but it’ll make a loud noise and it probably won’t be good.
#13 – Philadelphia 76ers (28-22)
Philly’s patchwork, athletic crew of streetballers started out extremely strong, but now they’re sputtering to the season’s finish line, desperately trying to keep the big bully Boston from catching them from behind and buttfucking them into submission for the Atlantic Division title. What else is new?
#12 – Memphis Grizzlies (27-21)
The Grizz look pretty feisty on some nights, I’ll give them that. But when I was a young boy, my Momma gave me some sound advice that ain’t never steered me wrong yet – she told me three things: 1) life isn’t fair so don’t expect it to be, 2) be nice to the people you meet on the way up cause you’ll meet the same people on the way back down, and 3) you’ll never win a title with Tony Allen as one of your team’s key contributors.
#11 – Los Angeles Clippers (28-21)
I thought about ranking the Celtics in this spot, but the Clippers’ turmoil surrounding whether or not they’ve quit on Vinny “The Frightened Recovering Alcoholic” Del Negro earned them the number 11 slot over Boston. Say what you want about the Celtics inconsistency this season, but there’s certainly no hint of mutiny or any kind of power struggle involving Doc Rivers, and the same can’t be said for the Clippers’ coach. Not to mention, the Celtics beat the Clippers in their own house when they played head-to-head.
#10 – Boston Celtics (27-22)
They’ve looked old at times, and they’ve looked… well, even older at others. Every now and then, though, one of Boston’s ancient stars show they can still shimmer a little, and thanks to those brief blasts from the past coupled with the trade-rumor-fueled spike in Rondo’s play, the Celtics are closing in on Philly in the race for the Atlantic Division.
They’re only a few strides back now, popping a Viagra and preparing to board… (I don’t know how to spell a Samuel L. Jackson battle-cry, but if I did it would go right here)
#9 – Atlanta Hawks (30-21)
#8 – Indiana Pacers (29-19)
Almost everything I had to say about the Jazz/Rocket combo applies to the Hawks and Pacers as well: both stuck without a true franchise player to build around, both decently feisty at home, both with very similar records, both definitely not winning a title this year. I guess the only thing that’s different is Bill Simmons never stole any of my material regarding either of these two teams.
#7 – Dallas Mavericks (29-22)
The Mavericks have been complaining all year that they’re not getting the respect or attention they deserve from the media as reigning champs. They’re dead right, and I’m not about to break the trend and risk being labeled unpopular by writing anything about them.
#6 – Orlando Magic (32-18)
I’m still in shock that MightyDwight chose to stay, and I think most of the Orlando players feel the same way. Regardless of how surprising it is though, it cements their spot as the best bad team in the league, as Dwight is literally their only player who’d be a starter on most contenders. His choice to waive his option to enter free agency this summer keeps Orlando relevant, giving the faithful Magic fans – yup, all twelve of them – at least two more seasons of high expectations followed by crushing playoff defeats at the hands of more balanced teams, MightyDwight walking around with a big goofy smile on his giant face while his opponents howl in triumph. Congrats, Orlando!
#5 – Kobe ft. the Kobettes (31-19)
Like the Celtics, the Lakers have looked real old and shitty at times – and unlike the Celtics they’ve had to deal with the chemistry issues and unrest that comes with having a new/bad coach – but on the whole, they still manage to get it done. Early on in the season, everybody wanted to talk about the Clippers and their dumbly unimaginative “Lob City” moniker taking over L.A., maybe even winning the division, but lo and behold what winds up happening? The Lakers catch up to them, seize control of the Pacific Division lead, and now the baby-bro Clippers are left waddling along in their wake. I swear I’ve seen this movie before – I know how it ends.
#4 – San Antonio Spurs (34-14)
You gotta give them their due: the Spurs as always have done a great job at tweaking their roster around Timmy D with underrated moves to stay relevant, but I’ve seen this movie before too – it was last year, and it ended with the Spurs getting upset in the first round by an overhyped Grizzlies squad. Not a great flick. So, forgive me if I’m a little skeptical of the Spurs heading into the playoffs. That being said, they’re still the fourth best team in the league right now record-wise (and in my own opinion as well), and that’s pretty fucking good. Kudos to the Spurs – they’re the Patriots of the NBA, only without the cheating and constant secrecy.
#3 – Miami Heat (35-13)
So much has been written about these dudes already that it’s gone past the stage where it’s “not even funny” and now it’s become funny again, or something. Either way, there’s no point in me feeding into the vortex of coverage swirling around the Heat – if you wanna read something about them, go to literally any NBA related website in existence and I’m sure you’ll find a whole assload of shit concerning LeBron and Friends.
#2 – Chicago Roses (40-11)
The Bulls are a great team, but they just seem a bit overrated to me. “Frontrunners” is probably a good term to describe them, in the sense that when they’re up by eight or ten they play smooth and with confidence, but when they get down at all they mainly just stand around and watch the MVP try to play one-on-five. They definitely play some spectacular defense, but on offense they’re still way too dependent on Rose, and Rose is still way too dependent on driving to the hoop – it’s too similar to last season, and I envision it ending in a similar fashion. Maybe the Bulls get to the Finals, who knows? It seems just as likely to me that they could lose in the second round given the wrong matchup. I mean, Carlos Boozer is their second best player, and I have no problem calling him a bitch.
#1 – Oklahoma City Thunder (38-12)
Even if you wanna argue that Rose is better than Durant – which is a belief that I do not subscribe to – it’s pretty much impossible to argue that Rose and Boozer are better than Durant and Westbrook. Or that Rose, Boozer, and Deng are better than Durant, Westbrook, and Harden. Or that any further combination of the best Bulls players is better than the corresponding group of the best Thunder players. In other words, I rest my case bitches. Oh, and the Thunder definitely should’ve been called the Bombers – like, you know, they bomb up a bunch of threes or whatever – the Oklahoma City Bombers… anyone? Come on!
Andy J. Krom is the newest writer for @Drunknsportsmen . He’s Canadian. Jk, but he is from NH or one of those northern states.
Photo by Digital Dustin
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