Posted on: October 8, 2010 2:08 pm

The ASSASSIN Team is...

I must make it clear as to what I term as an ASSASSIN Team. I am not refering to a crappy team that somehow makes the playoffs or a low to middle seed playoff team that wins the the NBA Finals. What I am looking for is a borderline playoff team that somehow makes the playoffs and grabs the 8th seed and knocks off the top seed in the first round. Think of the Warriors knocking off the Mavericks a few seasons ago. They then went on to lose, but the damage was done. That was a peret expample of an assassin team. Against the odds they killed off a much greater foe.

So which of these four teams do you think could sneak into the playoffs and knock out the top seed in the East or West, likely but not certainly the Heat or Lakers

Wizards. With John Wall looking like a stud early on and with Josh Howard returning at some point and a guard rotation of Wall, Arenas, and Hinrich the Wizards could be a crafty and quick team. Andray Blatche continues to grow this team might have the pieces to pull off an upset. Another key will be the play of Yi Jianlian.

Knicks. Amar'e Stoudimire and Danilo Gallinari make a nice combo and with a solid a cast of roleplayers the Knicks could be in great shape to make an upset. Amar'e and newly added Anthony Randolph as the center and power forward, with Gallinari on the wing and Felton and Walker in the backcourt is a perfect fit in a fast paced Mike D'Antoni system.

Hornets. If Chris Paul can return to old form then the sky is the limit. A West and Okafor frontcourt is a perfect defense/offense combo that should gel sometime this season. The addition of Ariza at the shooting guard is a huge upgrade for this team and his play and CP3's health are the only concerns at all.

Grizzlies. Sure they overpaid for Rudy Gay but this team is young and has a lot of good pieces in place. They have a pretty good foursome in Mayo, Gay, Randolph, and Gasol. This team could give a contender real trouble. They lack a lot of depth but I could still see them pulling off an upset.

So which of these 4 teams has the best chance of knocking off a top seed in the playoffs? Please leave feedback or add teams into the mix for a healthy debate. Thanks.
Posted on: March 28, 2010 10:25 am

Bulls Might Still make the Playoffs.

         At this point there is really no reason for the Bulls to not try and make a push into the 8th and final spot in the east. Losing will not move them into the bottomline 10 in the league and therefore secure there lottery pick from the Bucks who have the rights to swap picks. The Bulls have an uphill battle however but they do have a strong history of finishing out seasons strong and slipping into the playoffs. Let's take a look at what needs to happen.

           First and formost Derrick Rose is going to have to step it up and play like not just and allstar, but a superstar. We need to see a lot more of the 27-7-8 that we saw against the Rockets. Derrick needs to score to make up for Deng sitting on the bench. The Bottomline is that the Bulls fate is rested on this young rising superstar's shoulders. Can he step up to the challenge?
          A close second in order of importance is the Bulls having a healthy Joakim Noah. With a healthy Noah and a determined Rose the Bulls can upset anyteam in the NBA. Without Noah the Bulls simply are below average, but look at what he can do with even 10 or 12 minutes. If he can start playing around 20 minutes strong in the last ten games then the Bulls have a real chance of sneaking into the playoffs. Taj Gibson has had a great year but he cannot be asked to fill in for Noah at this point. Brad Miller is flat out getting old. He looks good in small stretches and that is all the Bulls can ask of the savvy veteran.
          As is stands the Raptors are sitting at 35-36, while the Bulls are 34-38. The Bulls have 10 games left while the Raptors have 11. The Bulls simply need to win two more games then the Raptors to finish out the season. The Raptors hold the tiebreaker so the Bulls need a better ending record. A tie would mean the end of the season for the Bulls. 
         Of the ten games remaining for the Bulls only 3 or 4 look like sure losses. The Suns, Cavaliers, Celtics, and perhaps the Bucks will pose serious challenges. The other 6 games include the Pistons, Wizards, Bobcats twice, Nets, and the Raptors. The Raptors schedule looks about the same. They have the Cavaliers, Hawks, Celtics, and Heat to deal with.
          It is the home stretch and crunch-time. It is time for a team's star or stars to shine and lift their teams up and carry them. The Raptors have Bosh and we have Rose. The Bulls are at a disadvantage but there is still hope and if the Bulls can get it together and turn back into the team they were a month ago then they have a real shot.
Posted on: February 12, 2010 2:12 pm

Trade Rumors. Which ones will happen?

OK, there are a few trade rumors starting to float around on the web. Some seem to make some sense and others seem very odd. Let us take a look.

Celtics and Wizards.
This has to be the biggest rumor of the day. It has the Celtics moving Ray Allen to Washington for Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison. Boston would throw in Scalabrine and Giddens to make the money work. This is a no-brianer for the Celtics. They would agian be a lock for the Finals adding these to players. What a sick lineup this trade would create for the Celtics. If they did not win a Championship after this move it would be a huge upset. The Wizards are clearly looking to start over again and this would give them some big time cap space. Perhaps the Wizards could land the Celtic's 1st rounder out of the deal. Cross your fingers Celtic fans.

Bulls and Trail Blazers.
The Blazers are hurting in the paint and the Bulls really want to move Tyrus Thomas so this seems like a good partnership. The Bulls have had little luck turning Thomas into a star power forward that many thought he could be and perhaps a job in the new city could be just what he needs to turn his raw talent into something. The Bulls would be getting a expiring contract or two in return along with two 2nd rounders from Portland. Bulls get picks for a bad seed. Makes some sense.

McGrady to the Knicks.
Now this makes sense on all levels. The Knicks love to bring in old fading superstars in hopes of the player having a turn around. Could the Knicks consider resigning Tracy in the summer? Maybe, if they cannot land one of the big free agents. This deal would give the Knicks some more cap space, but who do they plan on signing. LeBron looks like he is staying in Cleveland for now. Wade will stay put unless he moves to Chicago. Bosh might go the New York, but the Knicks need to lure two superstars if they plan on making any noise in the east. The Celtics, Magic, Cavaliers, and Hawks are just too good as it stands. Darko, Nate, Larry, or Al look to be part of the Knicks bait.

Cleveland in lots of talks.
It looks like the Cavaliers are looking into many different players from Rip Hamilton to Troy Murphy. Even Antawn Jamison is in the works. It looks like most of these trades would involve a third team, most likely Houston. If the Cavs can land a solid big like Jamison or Murphy then they will be even sicker.

There are a lot of rumors flying and I for one cannot wait for a team to make the first move. So, do you have any thoughts on these trades or have you heard or any other one?
Posted on: January 16, 2010 11:09 am

Noah's Bark

     It has become clear to me that Joakim Noah is now my favorite player in the NBA. If anyone is missing from the Allstar ballot it is him. I cannot believe the league has Brad Miller on it and not Noah. Silly. In this blog I am going to make a case for Noah to be a reserve on the eastern conference Allstar team and I will also give you my top ten centers in the league today. I understand the noah has a couple of weaknesses and I will talk about them as well. I am a bit bias, but I am not a fool. So what has Noah done to make me a huge fan? Let us take a look.

     Rebounds Per Game. 12.2.
First we will look at perhaps Noah's biggest strength and that is his rebounding. He is second in the league behind only Dwight Howard and is half a rebound ahead on Marcus Camby. Noah is not a biggest or the strongest center so how does he grab so many missed shots? With his brain. He is very smart and knows were to go on every play and understands how to box-out. Couple this with his nasty take-no-crap attitude and you get a rebounding machine. If Noah puts on another 10 pounds of muscle this summer like he did last summer then he could lead the league in rebounding next year.

     Field-Goal Percentage. .495. Now we will look at one of Joakim's weaknesses. He has come a long way on the offensive side of the floor and is averaging 11.2 points a game, but to be considered a major threat in the paint you have to shoot a higher percentage from the floor. Somewhere above .550 for a center seems like the qualification to me and Noah still needs to work a bit more on this part of his game, but he has been getting better every game this season. He has a back to the basket game but needs to perfect his 15 footer. If he can hit the jumper with consistency then defenders will be drawn out of the paint and that will open things up for Derrick Rose to drive and create a nightmare for other teams to defend. Then Noah can learn from Brad Miller about the power of the shot fake and drive to the hole maneuver.

     Blocks Per Game. 1.74. Noah is a top 10 shot blocker in the league and to me shot blocking is one of the keys to being a great center along with rebounding and shooting a high percentage shot. In todays game the power forward is typically the scorer and the center tends to play of the scorer and block shots and score on put backs. Dwight Howard is really the last old school type center that does it all on both ends. Cases could be made for Brook Lopez and Chris Kaman in this regard. Not every team is so lucky as to have a scoring center. They are just rare these days. The bottomline is that the role of the center has changed over the last decade or so into more of a support player and less of a focal point.

     Double-Doubles. 20. Noah is tied for second amongst centers in total double-doubles and ranks sixth overall in the NBA. He is also one of only 4 total centers to be averaging a double-double.

     The Intangibilities of Noah. There are many like his passing ability that ranks in the top 3 amongst centers or his overall NBA Efficiency score of 20.79 that ranks 7th. If you add up his points, assists, and rebounds he ranks 8th amongst centers. But the real key to Noah is what you will see every time he steps foot on the hardwood. It is his passion and love for the game. He plays hard and focused every second on the floor. He more then makes up for his weaknesses with his heart and desire. He plays nasty defense and will not back down to anyone and is not afraid to speak his mind. Just ask LeBron James. He is not the quite leader, but a vocal leader that also leads by example. Much like Ben Wallace was once the heart and soul of the Detroit Pistons, Noah is now become that kind of player in that he can light a fire under a teammate with a little yell in the ear or by inspiring his whole team by making an incredible offensive rebound and then pushing off a defender and slamming home the ball for an and-one. Noah's overall game has few limits. He is a great athlete and has a great basketball mind. Just watch him take the ball up court by himself and you will see his great ball handling skills or you can always just watch his now epic steal in game 6 of last years playoffs were he runs 80 feet with the ball and beats Paul Pierce to the basket and slams in home. That moment just might have been the turning point in Noah's career. Here take a look.


Just a few stand out games from the last few weeks:

vs Wizards. 17 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks
@ Celtics. 15 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks
vs Pistons. 16 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists
vs Timberwolves. 20 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
@ Bucks. 10 points, 18 rebounds,
@ Pistons. 15 points, 21 rebounds, 4 assists
vs Hornets. 17 points, 18 rebounds, 4 blocks
vs Knicks. 10 points, 21 rebounds
vs Lakers. 11 points, 21 rebounds, 6 blocks
vs Warriors. 18 points, 14 rebounds, 3 blocks

And these are only going back through december. There are many more great games from Noah during this time, but I do not feel like typing them all out.

My Current Top 10 Centers in the NBA.

1. Dwight Howard. The Best and it is not really close.
2. Brook Lopez. A distant second with a big upside.
3. Marc Gasol. Another young guy with a lot of upside.
4. David Lee. A center in a PFs body. Is he just a product of a system?
5. Chris Kaman. A classic 20 and 10 center. Watch out for injuries however.
6. Al Jefferson. Getting better with every game. Was my number two center last season.
7. Joakim Noah. See above.
8. Al Horford. Wonder what his numbers would look like on another team?
9. Andrew Bynum. Shows promise, but needs to become consistant.
10. Nene. Good defender and solid in the paint on both ends.

Honorable Mentions: Andrew Bogut, Brendon Haywood, and Kendrick Perkins.
Posted on: August 16, 2009 8:15 pm

ChiTownCliff's Power Rankings: Top Ten

     I really want to do a Power Rankings this season but it is a lot of work to write about every team so I thought I would try to keep it simple by only including the top 10 teams. This will be my offseason rankings. I will do another one after the preseason ends and then as much as I can after that. I understand that no matter how I rank these teams that I will upset someone and I am fine with that. This is my opinion and nothing else. Many factors will go into these rankings. I will not assume that the team will be 100% healthy either. If there is a history of injuries it will play into things. So let us take a look.

1. Lakers. It is really hard for me to think that any team should be ahead of the Lakers at this point. For one they are the Champions and for two they are the same team plus they added a very solid piece in Ron Artest. Sure Kobe Bryant is starting to age and is not as explosive as he was a few years back but he is still a top 3 talent in the league. This team is stacked from top to bottom with the only real hole being in the point guard position but in the triangle offense an elite point is not needed.



2. Magic. I did not just put them here because they made it to the Finals last season but rather for the solid moves they made this offseason. Sure they lost a few players and a key one in Turk, but they more them made up for it by snagging Vince Carter, Matt Barnes, and Brandon Bass. This team is now very balanced and now that Jameer Nelson is back this team is very scary. They will have a chip on their shoulder and I am sure Vince Carter came with chip already on his shoulder.



3. Cavaliers. Ok, so they were the best team in the regular season last year and were heavily favored to make it to the finals and then they laid an egg. Maybe their egos did get in the way. Maybe their lack of depth revealed itself in the intense playoffs of the NBA. The bottomline to me is that this is a great team with perhaps the best player in the game and they just added a future hall of fame center in Shaq. Shaq is old as we all know but he has looked good lately and I think he is a nice fit on this team. They still need a consistant second option though if you ask me.

4. Celtics. If this team stays healthy they are the deepest team in the NBA if you ask me, but I can not move them up higher on the list because the chance of an injury is so high on this team. What are the chances that this team will enter the playoffs with a full roster? Rasheed Wallace could be a gamble but I think he will mesh well, but if he starts jacking threes then he could hurt the chemistry on this team. Age is the biggest factor and I really wonder how much gas is left in Kevn Garnett and Ray Allen. Rajon Rondo could become the best player on this team this season. Strange.

5. Spurs. It is clear to me that the top five teams are the top five teams and that things drop a bit after the Spurs. You could rearrange the top 5 and get few arguments. The Lakers however have to be number one, but after that the next four are very close. Again, this is a team that could win it all if they stay healthy. With the addition of Richard Jefferson they get a very good wingman. Tim Duncan is fading much in the way that Kevin Garnett is, but in both cases they are still at the top of the class for thier position. Nobody should be shocked if this team wins 60+ games this season. 

6. Nuggets. Part of me was hoping this team would take out the Lakers last season just for a change of pace, but that did not happen. Chauncey Billups is the heart and soul of this team. He really brought a winning attitude to this ballclub. I am not a big fan of Melo and I do not like J.R. Smith at all. I think Melo made a case however that he is a top 10 player in the NBA with his play last season and while I may not like Melo the man I have to admit he is darn good. My big problem with this team is Nene. He was great last season, but I can smell an injury coming. With him out this team will lack the size to compete with the big dogs.

7. Trail Blazers. This team oozes with talent. A young shooting guard that in my mind is the third best at his position in the league is the cornerstone. Roy will only get better as his young team grows around him. already LaMarcus Aldridge is a top power forward and is getting better every year. I wish my Bulls had a chance of snagging him. Oh wait, we did. (single tear runs down my cheek). I digress. If Greg Oden can defend the paint then this team could go places. I also love the addition of Andre Miller as well. I see no major weaknesses on this team.

8. Mavericks. On paper this is one of the best teams in the NBA, but I am not drinking the cool-aid quite yet. This team always seems to have the talent but lacks chemisrty. Dirk, Kidd, and Marion seems like a winning combo but you just never know in Dallas. Marion should give them the defense in the post that they were missing outside of perhaps Dampier. I also like the Drew Gooden pick up. It heals the wound left by Bass leaving. Gooden should fit in nicely. this is just one of those teams that i will have to see play together as a team before I am sold on them.

9. Hornets. This team struggled last season to live up to all the hype but Chris Paul is the best point guard in the NBA and he makes the player around him shine. I really think the story for this team this season is the pickup of Emeka Okafor. I think this is a great move for the Hornets and for Okafor. It will be interesting to see how Emeka does on a good team alongside a scoring post player like West. Was he held back all these years by playing on the Bobcats? Maybe. Can CP3 turn him into an Allstar? Maybe.

10. Wizards. There is a ton of buzz surrounding this team lately and it all has to do with Gilbert Arenas. Remember him? You know, that buzzer beating, highlight making, scoring machine. Talk is he is back and healthy. Butler really looked great down the stretch last season and Jamison is Jamison. However this team only won 19 games last season so I had to swallow really hard before I put them in the top 10 ahead of the Jazz, Hawks, Heat, 76ers, and Suns. Infact, You can replace the Wizards with any of those five teams if you like. If Arenas is his one self then this team can win 50 games, if not maybe only 30.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the read. Like I stated before, I will write up the Top 10 as often as I can. Numbers 11-30 I will leave for others. Getting into the Top 10 is all that really matters. I means your team is a contender and winning a championship is what it is all about. Please leave you replies and your Top ten list as well.

Posted on: August 14, 2009 11:13 pm

Top 5 Most Unpredictable Teams

     While trying to work on another Blog about my thoughts on the top 10 teams going into the season I quickly started thinking about how some teams going into this season are so hard to figure out. On one hand these teams could be quite good if not great but at the same time I would not be shocked if they laid an egg this season. So I thought it would be fun to list my top 5 unpredictable teams going into the new season and get your feedback. Every season seems to have those teams that make you scatch your head and I thought it might be an interesting topic. So let us take a look.

1. Wizards.
To me this is a team that can go so many ways. If healthy this team could not only make the playoffs after having a season in which they won only 19 games, but could potentially knock off a contender in the playoffs like the Celtics, Magic, or Cavaliers. If Gilbert Arenas is back like all reports are saying then the Wizards could pick up right where they left off a few seasons ago. The additions of Mike Miller and Randy Foye give this team depth and if Caron Butler plays anything like he was to close out the season then the Wizards will have a great big 3 with Butler, Arenas, and Jamison. On the other hand Arenas or Butler could reinjure themselves and this team could be a bottom feeder again. Worst-case: 25 wins. Best-case: 55 wins.

2. Raptors. Well they managed to only win 33 games last season but finished pretty strong. Overall they underachieved on a grand scale. I thought with Bosh, Marion, and Calderon that they were going to be a top 5 team in the east last season but I was way wrong and so were many others. Now Marion is gone but they have replaced him with the sharp shooting and versatile Hedo Turkoglu. In many ways Turk is the anti-Marion. Turk is not a good defender and relies strongly on his offensive game. This might be an issue as Chris Bosh is not an outstanding defender and the Raptors really have nobody to defend the post very well. With all of that said however this team have a lot of talent. Andrea Bargnani is starting to come into his own and this team should be able to put up some points. Worst-case: 30 wins. Best-case: 50 wins.

3. Bulls. This is my own team and I am not sure what to expect. I have seen a lot of different opinions on the Bulls on these boards so far this summer and the only thing I can gather is that nobody knows what they will do this season. The Bulls lost Ben Gordon who some think was the Bulls best player and that the Bulls will have trouble to score and will miss the playoffs. Other stand by the notion of addition by subtraction and that BG hurt the Bulls flow on offense and the growth of Derrick Rose. I lean towards the later. Maybe it is because I am a Bulls fan. I think John Salmons at the shooting guard spot with Hinrich as the third guard just makes the Bulls bigger and better on defense. If Luol Deng is healthy and can return to his 18 and 8 ways then things could be good in Chicago. Worst-case: 32 wins. Best-case: 48 wins

4. Grizzlies. This team can only get better right? I do not know. I think O.J. Mayo is a great player in the making and Marc Gasol is a stud. Rudy Gay is a solid go to guy and if Zach Randolph pans out then this team could steal a few games. Will they make it to the playoffs in the west? No chance. Could they be a .500 team? Maybe. The real issue is that this team is so young but they added a 20 and 10 player to score in the paint and draw doubles. They have shooters to create an inside out game.The X-factor has to be Hasheem Thabeet. I do not think much of him but I could be wrong. If he can grab rebounds and block shots then this team might have a bright future. Worst-case: 26 wins. Best-case: 41 wins

5. 76ers.
What a kick to the crotch it was to Philadelphia when Elton Brand went out with an injury. Many had the 76ers as the 3rd best team in the east going into last season. On paper they were great. They were young and up and coming. Elton Brand was that final part that would make the 76ers a contender for the first time since Larry Brown was coach. Well it is time to take 2 on this team except this time they do not have the savvy Andre Miller running the offense so that could be an issue. This team does have some depth and Thaddeus Young is looking like the real deal. Now if only Iggy could reach that next level that we all thought he would. Worst-case: 37 Wins. Best-case: 50 wins

Honorable Mentions: Warriors, Pistons, Mavericks, and Hornets.

Category: NBA
Posted on: February 21, 2009 7:50 pm

Power Rankings Feb. 22nd

Here we go:

  1. Lakers. The team to beat and without doubt the best in the NBA right now. Best record plus being the hottest team in the league is proof enough.
  2. Cavaliers. Just when you think this team is not as good as the Celtics LeBron James does something insane that gives me a Michael Jordan flasback. Lack of depth? Who cares? Who is going to stop LBJ?
  3. Spurs. Overtime loss to the Knicks was a hard one for any fan to watch who does not live in New York. I still think this team has a real shot at an upset when the WCFs roll around.
  4. Celtics. How will this team adjust without Kevin Garnett? I think they just lost themselves the number one seed for sure. Will KG come back in full health? Scary for Celtic fans I bet.
  5. Magic. Rafer Alston was a great move for the Magic with Jameer Nelson out for the season. Magic fans must be breathing a sigh of relief right now. There is yet a flicker of hope off in the distance.
  6. Nuggets. Loss to the Bulls was ugly for sure. But Billups has been great for this team. They need to be a bit more consistant and play with passion every game.
  7. Portland. With Michael Ruffin on board they could make it to the Finals. Sorry, that was a joke. This team is young and balanced. Most of all they keep winning games.
  8. Jazz. Look out here they come. They are just 3 1/2 games out of the 4th seed and playing quite well. Have won 3 in a row. I smell a darkhorse.
  9. Rockets. This team iwins three games without Tracy McGrady. Didn't this happen before? Tracy McGrady is a cursed player. There I said it.
  10. Mavericks. Another darkhorse team. Dirk is playing his best ball this season and this team has nice depth. I hope they can do without Jason Terry.
  11. Hornets. I really liked the double reverse trade for Tyson Chandler. I wonder if they knew how bad his toe was? This will hurt them in future trades. What seed does this team get in the playoffs? 8th vs Lakers? Ouch!
  12. Hawks. Young and balanced. They are the fourth best team in the east but are this low in the rankings. Says a lot about the east.
  13. Suns. This team was reborn the day they fired Terry Porter. How far will they get without Amar'e Stoudemire? That is the real question.
  14. Heat. Not to sure that JO was the right move or not. He is injury prone so you have to wonder if he will be there come playoff time. Good thing they have that other guy Dwyane Wade to carry them.
  15. Bulls. This team is one of the hottest teams in the east right now. Beating the Nuggets with only 7 players says a lot about this teams passion. They are playing gritty, backs against the wall basketball. Hello playoffs.
  16. Pistons. Rasheed Wallace will jack up 5 failed 3 point attempts before I finish writing this sentence. Someone needs to buy Coach Curry a chemistry set. Sad when AI is not the problem.
  17. Bucks. This team has one thing going for it. Scott Skiles. He and he alone will will this team into the playoffs. I am not sure that will be enough at the end of the day.
  18. 76ers. This team will most likely make the playoffs but lets hope Miller gets back soon to run this team before they rack up to many losses.
  19. Knicks. Starting to rack up a lot of points on other teams. Larry Hughes should be a nice addition to Mike D'Antoni's run and gun offense. Knicks could slip into the playoffs yet.
  20. Pacers. This is were the teams really start to slip off for me. Granger can not do it by himself. This team needs to make some smart draft selections this summer and let the rebuilding continue.
  21. Nets. They could not get rid of Vince Carter. Souldn't they have done that like 3 years ago anyways? Brook Lopez is a solid piece to the puzzle for the future.
  22. Warriors. Despite what some Warriors fans think Monta Ellis has not been playing that well and without Andris Biedrins in the paint this team will continue to struggle.
  23. Raptors. Record or no record, a team with Jose Calderon, Chris Bosh, and Shawn Marion can not be this bad, can they?
  24. Bobcats. Is this team ever going to be a .500 team after an Allstar break? They have rebuilding down to a fine art in Charlotte.
  25. Timberwolves. No Al Jefferson equals a lot of tears in pillows. Timberwolves fans need only think about the draft to find comfort.
  26. Grizzlies. At least this team has a bright future to think about. To bad the owners do not like to spend money.
  27. Wizards. Two wins in a row is nice to see. Other then that this team has been shockingly bad this season.
  28. Clippers. Baron Davis needs not to be traded for Tracy McGrady, we need to get these two guys on the same team. That would be interesting.
  29. Thunder. Maybe the best young talent in the NBA reside here in Kevin Durant. What a joy to watch he is. Let's hope they can build something around him.
  30. Kings. What else can be said. Drew Gooden and Andres Nocioni could help things out. I will miss Andres Nocioni though.
Posted on: February 14, 2009 6:36 pm

Power Rankings Allstar Weekend.

  1. Lakers. Great road trip only solidifies their dominance. Sole loss to the Jazz should not faze them what so ever. They are the team to beat.
  2. Spurs. Win over the Celtics move them up in my book. This is a scary team that is now playing their best ball of the season. It seems this way every year. Spurs always make a push come midseason.
  3. Celtics. Losses to the Lakers and Spurs hurts their chances to be called the top dog. Even with that being said they are still playing fairly good and should rebound. They are the best in the east for now.
  4. Nuggets. Call me crazy but this team is quitely pushing itself up the standings and beating solid teams on the way. Chauncy Billups is proving to be a top point guard. Piston fans must be missing him.
  5. Cavaliers. A loss to the Lakers is understandable but a loss to the Pacers is just sad. The question of depth once again the topic of conversation amongst Cavalier fans.
  6. Magic. Still sitting pretty in the east. A loss to the Nuggets is bound to happen. Will the loss of Jameer Nelson keep the Magic from going deep in the playoffs?
  7. Trail Blazers. This young team may be to young to win rings this year, but Laker fans have to be a bit afraid of the future. The Blazers are looking more and more like the team of the future.
  8. Hawks. The Hawks are for the east what the Blazers are for the west. A young team that could be in the finals for years to come. Young and athletic, this team has a bit off everything needed to win.
  9. Hornets. Something tells me this team will finish the season strong. A healthy Chris Paul is a must or this team is not going anywhere and they will continue to slip in the standings.
  10. Jazz. Creeping back to life this is not a team anyone wants to face in the first round. When Boozer returns this team will make a push. I could see them landing the 6th seed.
  11. Rockets. With Tracy McGrady out again with knee problems the Rockets can say goodbye to the season. What looked like a promissing season has turned into what most expected. Injury plagued.
  12. Mavericks. A Darkhorse? I was starting to think so but they play so hot and cold it is hard to figure them out. On a bright note Dirk is having his best season ever.
  13. Heat. Is Jermaine O'Neal the answer? Maybe not but they finally got rid of Shawn Marion and I like the pickup of the young and athletic Moon.
  14. 76ers. Elton Brand who? To bad they owe Brand so much money because it looks like they do not need him at all. In the end though how far will this team get in the playoffs?
  15. Suns. What is going on in sun city? This is a team that is about to dismantle and start over. Not even Steve Nash can make this team look good. Say goodbye to Shaq or Amar'e or both.
  16. Bucks. Even with all the injuries this team still keeps winning. I do think that this team will still slow down and slip in the standings and maybe out of the playoff picture.
  17. Pistons. Slip sliding away. 3 losses in a row only magnifies their issues. Rasheed Wallace needs to be traded. I would trade Iverson if I were them and build around Rip, Stuckey, and Prince.
  18. Bulls. This team is either winning or losing close games. There is a lot of turmoil behind the scenes with talk of Paxson stepping down after the Allstar game and trade talks with the Suns could hurt this team.
  19. Nets. Brook Lopez has been outstanding thus far this season. He looks like he may be what most thought Grag Oden was. A future Allstar Center. He will be key for this team down the stretch.
  20. Pacers. Big win over the Cavaliers was a great game for Pacer fans and Danny Granger is becoming a top 10 player overnight. No only if they can build a team around him.
  21. Bobcats. This team has 6 players averaging more then 10 points a game. You would think that is a good thing but they have no go to guy down the stretch.
  22. Warriors. They have won 3 in a row. To bad there is no hope of making the playoffs in the stacked western conference.
  23. Knicks. Another Hot and Cold team that has little chance of making the playoffs. They have to hope for other teams ahead of them to really fall apart. 2010 can not come soon enough.
  24. Raptors. With Shawn Marion teamed up with Jose Calderon and Chris Bosh you would think this would be a great team. we will just have to see.
  25. Grizzlies. They move up just because others have moved down and not because they have gotten any better. O.J. Mayo and Marc Gasol are a solid young pair and can be built around.
  26. Thunder. Kevin Durant is the next big thing but I am sure you already know that. By next season he will be a top 10 player. To bad he is on the Thunder. When is his contract up?
  27. Clippers. This team has a lot of solid players. They have to start winning some games right? No, they most likely be looking for yet another high draft pick.
  28. Timberwolves. Can this team even land one more win without Al Jefferson? I would be shocked if they win more then 3 games by seasons end.
  29. Wizards. Two players averaging more then 20 points is nice but when your top assist maker is your small forward and he only averages 4.4 assists then you are in trouble.
  30. Kings. Kings of crap that is. Kevin Martin needs to demand a trade if this team is in the same boat next season. On another note I think they should trade Brad Miller to my Bulls for Larry Hughes.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com