By Chris Mannix
April 05, 2010
NBA Power Rankings
21 Indiana Pacers
Last Week: 21
'Tis the season to think of, well, next season. And the Pacers should want Josh McRoberts to be a part of it. He recorded 18 points and 12 rebounds in a victory over Houston and has settled into a nice role in Jim O'Brien's rotation. "[Josh has] great vision," Mike Dunleavy told the Indianapolis Star. "He can really pass the ball. He's got great skills for his size, and I just hope he keeps getting better and improving on what he's been doing the last couple of weeks."
22 Golden State Warriors
Last Week: 24
Two wins last week moved Don Nelson into a tie with Lenny Wilkens with a record 1,332 coaching wins, but Nellie says that shouldn't earn him a spot in the Hall of Fame (he wasn't selected this year). "I've said it a million times, I don't think I'm worthy of the Hall of Fame, and I wouldn't vote for me," Nelson said. "The Hall of Fame is a special place for special people, and I'm not that special, as far as I'm concerned. I'm a good coach, and that's about the end of it."
23 New York Knicks
Last Week: 22
Didn't take long for Tracy McGrady to change his outlook, did it? Six weeks after insinuating he would take a pay cut to play alongside a superstar -- like, say LeBron James -- in New York, McGrady told reporters he doesn't think James is destined for the Big Apple. "To me, in my honest opinion, I don't see it happening," McGrady said. "I really don't. It's set for him [in Cleveland] right now."
24 Washington Wizards
Last Week: 28
The Wizards' forgettable season will be a memorable one for Shaun Livingston, who has resurrected his injury-ravaged career this season. Livingston scored 16 points (the third straight game he has scored double figures) and dished out eight assists in a win over New Jersey, and he held his own against Chris Paul, Derrick Rose and Devin Harris last week.
25 Philadelphia 76ers
Last Week: 23
The Sixers and Elton Brand need a divorce. Brand has struggled in Eddie Jordan's complicated offense all season and last week had a 712-game streak of having at least one rebound snapped when he went board-less against Toronto. "I don't know [why]," Jordan told reporters. "I can't put my finger on anything. I don't want to be negative or assume anything."
26 Los Angeles Clippers
Last Week: 25
Steve Blake would seem to be a more consistent alternative to Baron Davis. But is he? According to, Blake's on/off the court plus/minus is a minus-11.7, the lowest of any of the Clippers' rotation players.
27 Sacramento Kings
Last Week: 26
The Kings have two power forwards who can play and only one place to play them. Carl Landry (17.9 points with Sacramento) and Jason Thompson (12.5 points, 8.3 rebounds) both deserve playing time but don't seem to mix well together. Look for Thompson, who was bumped from the starting spot after Landry's arrival, to possibly be bumped out of Sacramento this offseason.
28 New Jersey Nets
Last Week: 29
Terrence Williams, another late-developing rookie having a big impact, had 14 points and 14 assists in a victory against New Orleans. He has been drawing rave reviews. "He's like a combo guard with the strength of a three, and the quickness to guard ones," David West told the Newark Star-Ledger. "That's a great combination. He's a heck of a player."
29 Detroit Pistons
Last Week: 27
Charlie Villanueva may be running away with the Jim McIlvaine Award for worst free-agent signing, but coach John Kuester isn't ready to give up on him just yet. Despite benching him in a loss to Miami, Kuester said Villanueva is still a part of the team's future. "This is just one of many things you can easily ask about, but Charlie's a part of the big picture in this thing," Kuester told the Detroit Free Press. "But we just got to make sure that all of our players are just ready to perform."
30 Minnesota Timberwolves
Last Week: 30
Corey Brewer may not get many votes for Most Improved, but he should. He's rebounded from a torn ACL last season to average career highs in scoring, assists and field-goal percentage, and he's become a legitimate threat from beyond the three-point line. The Wolves have started a Web site to tout his candidacy.
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