By Chris Mannix
December 14, 2009
NBA Power Rankings
21 Los Angeles Clippers
Last Week: 16
Paging Blake Griffin. The No. 1 overall draft pick has coasted past his expected six weeks on the sideline with a stress fracture in his left knee, and there doesn't appear to be a definitive timetable for his return. That's not good news for an anemic bench, which has gotten little from offseason acquisitions Sebastian Telfair and Craig Smith, who are averaging about 15 minutes per game this season. "They have a good sense of what we're trying to do, as far as schemes," Mike Dunleavy said. "Knowing the plays, finding their niche and us finding stuff for them is still ongoing."
22 Toronto Raptors
Last Week: 20
Jay Triano's decision to draw up a few more sets to put the ball in the hands of Hedo Turkoglu paid immediate dividends; Turk had 23 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists in last week's win over Houston, and he looked like the facilitator that helped Orlando to last season's Finals. "[The new plays] helped a lot," Turkoglu said. "It's just not scoring for me. Everyone knows my game, I can come off the pick and roll and look for my shot or drive and kick and find the open guy."/td>
23 New York Knicks
Last Week: 26
The signing of ex-lottery pick Jonathan Bender might have been big news a month ago, but it's been trumped by the Knicks recent winning ways. Two wins last week pushed the Knicks' streak to four games, and a soft schedule could see them pad the W column a lot more before Christmas. New York has road games against Charlotte and Chicago before welcoming the Clippers to MSG before the holiday.
24 Indiana Pacers
Last Week: 25
Indy's starting lineup isn't scaring anybody, but its second unit sure is. The Pacers bench mob -- led by Mike Dunleavy, Earl Watson and Jeff Foster -- has accounted for 136 points, 55 rebounds and 34 assists in the last three games, and Indiana has won two of them. "Usually, the bench on some teams just steadies the pace or gives a decline in production," Dahntay Jones told the Indianapolis Star. "Ours takes it to another level."
25 Chicago Bulls
Last Week: 23
Vinny Del Negro Watch, Week 3. A home loss to the Nets, a 35-point pasting by the Hawks and a 26-point thumping at the hands of the Celtics won't pump up Vinny's resume. An OT win over Golden State gave him a reprieve, but it may only be temporary. The Bulls have the Lakers, the surging Knicks and the Hawks coming to town this week.
26 Washington Wizards
Last Week: 24
A four game west coast trip might be what Gilbert Arenas needs to get his timing back. At least, he thinks so. "I think the West Coast is going be good for me, to get away from the pressure of this building, the pressure of fans, just let me breathe a little bit," Arenas said. Don't expect miracles. The Wiz will play four games in six nights out west, wrapping up in Phoenix on Saturday.
27 Golden State Warriors
Last Week: 27
A lack of healthy bodies is really starting to hurt the Warriors, particularly Monta Ellis. The team suited up nine healthy players in a loss to Detroit, with Ellis playing the full 48 for the third time in the last five games. "We just don't have enough bodies out there right now," said acting Warriors coach Keith Smart. "These guys are giving it everything they've got, but when your roster is this small, your margin for error disappears."
28 Philadelphia 76ers
Last Week: 28
Here's an Allen Iverson factoid: A.I. has been a part of the Sixers' last two 12-game slides, the current one and the dismal stretch right before his trade from Philly in 2006. He can double up on another ignominious list on Monday: If Philadelphia loses to Golden State, it will be the first 13-game losing streak since 1996, when Iverson was a rookie.
29 Minnesota Timberwolves
Last Week: 29
Kurt Rambis said what? The T-Wolves first-year coach said he believes that, with a little seasoning, rookie point guard Jonny Flynn will be up there with Chris Paul and Deron Williams as one of top playmakers in the league. Maybe, but to get him there, Rambis might want to ditch the triangle offense. Word out of Minnesota is that Flynn has grown exceedingly frustrated playing Laker-ball and would like to see a more pick-and-roll-friendly offense.
30 New Jersey Nets
Last Week: 30
Devin Harris has had enough. The Nets' lonely All-Star was seen in an animated discussion with team president Rod Thorn at halftime of a loss to Indiana, and he wasn't pleased after New Jersey yielded a season-high 130 points to Atlanta two nights later. "We're a little divided as a team right now," Harris said after the Indy loss. "We got to find a way to pull it together."
1 - 10 11 - 20 21 - 30

You May Like

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)