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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

NBA Power Rankings March 23, 2011

Post All-Star break is usually when the real cream on the crop rises in the league. This year is no different as the Lakers, Bulls and Thunder are all making their second half runs. The Lakers have clearly flipped the proverbial switch and have won 13 of their 14 games since the break. Chicago seems to find a way to gut out a victory every night and have taken control of the Eastern conference. The Thunder finally have big man Kendrick Perkins manning the post and are jelling together as a unit. There is no denying that these three teams are poised for deep runs in the playoffs.




On the other hand, you have teams that are nose-diving at this junction of the season. New York seems to have settled into a non-defensive approach to defense. The hype and hoopla of Carmelo’s entrance on the big stage are gone and now he must commit to being a better all-around player rather than just scoring. Carmelo skipping the press conference and leaving A'mare to hang and dry was just wrong. The Spurs may have the number one seed locked down in the west, but just as I predicted they are wearing down after their torrid pace. Tim Duncan’s injury is an indication of trop vieux (old age) as Gregg Poppovich so eloquently put it when he didn’t start Duncan last week.



Now for the rankings:



1. Los Angeles Lakers (50-20) – The Lakers thrilling three overtime victory over the Suns proved that the Lake show have found their groove. The stats from that game as you would imagine are unbelievable. Kobe with 42 points 12 rebounds and 9 assists, Lamar Odom with 24 points and 16 rebounds and Pau Gasol “chipping” in with 24 points and 13 boards of his own. When you add Ron Artest’s 18 points to that it total out to 113 points of the 139 scored for the Lakers. That’s getting it done for the starters. LA keeps rolling along as they prepare for the Zen master’s final playoff run.

2. Chicago Bulls (50-19) The Bulls clinched their first 50 win season since some bald guy named Jordan was playing for them. This team is just so relentless on defense that they just wear down most opponents. Coming into this season I thought they would be a good team but not this good. The emergence of Derrick Rose has catapulted them into elite status this year and for the foreseeable future.

3. Boston Celtics (50-19) – So Doc Rivers pulls out the “S” word on his team to describe how they were playing against New York and the veteran laden team was having none of that. They went on to outscore the Knicks by 24 in the second half and took it to New York physically. The Celtics are like the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NBA. You know they will hit you and they will continue all game long.

4. San Antonio Spurs (57-13) – When you look at their record, it automatically jumps out. To have won 57 of 70 games constitutes that you have a great team, but I just think their record is inflated. When push comes to shove in the western conference playoffs, I would take the Thunder or the Lakers over the Spurs. Tim Duncan age along with injury prone Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli just doesn’t bode well in my eyes for a long playoff run.

5. Oklahoma City Thunder (45-24) – OKC may have the best front office in all of the NBA. Sam Presti came over from San Antonio with the good tutelage from R.C. Buford and has been one of the craftiest GMs in the league every since. His trade for Perkins was brilliant and he reinforced that by adding Nazr Mohammed. Kevin Durant is one of those special players that if he gets hot, its nothing as a defense you can do about it. Durant and Russell Westbrook are a deadly one two punch. This team will do nothing but grow and just like the Chicago Bulls will be an elite team for the foreseeable future.

2 comments:

  1. The Lakers are the defending champs, but I don't think they are hungry this year.
    Spurs and Bulls in Finals.

    I think! LOL

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  2. Lakers have the switch since the all-star break and are 14-1. I think they are coming out of the west and east is a toss-up at this point. The playoffs will defintely be interesting this year.

    ReplyDelete