By Chris Mannix
November 23, 2009
NBA Power Rankings
21 Detroit Pistons
Last Week: 17
Road trips don't get much worse than Detroit's last week. The shorthanded Pistons went 0-4 on the West Coast with losses to the Lakers, Portland, Utah and Phoenix. Point guard Rodney Stuckey shot 20-for-66 (30.3 percent) in the four games. He's shooting only 38 percent for the season.
22 Sacramento Kings
Last Week: 21
Remember when Donte Greene was a key part in the deal that sent Ron Artest to Houston? After struggling through an up-and-down rookie season, Greene has emerged as a valuable role player in Paul Westphal's offense. He had 24- and 13-point performances in two recent starts and has shown the versatility to defend three positions. "Very professional," Westphal told reporters. "He's solid out there."
23 Golden State Warriors
Last Week: 24
Thirty-four points from Monta Ellis in a win over Portland. Eleven rebounds from Anthony Randolph. Eight assists from Stephen Curry. Why can't the Warriors play like this all the time? That's right, because they are the Warriors. And with swings through Dallas and San Antonio and a home date with the Lakers, it could be another ugly week in the Bay Area.
24 Los Angeles Clippers
Last Week: 26
A win over Denver won't stop speculation that coach/GM Mike Dunleavy could be out of a job soon. Despite the sluggish start, Dunleavy says he has no plans on vacating his coaching position. "When's the last time you ever saw an interim coach come in and the team be successful and make a playoff run?" Dunleavy told the Los Angeles Times. "It's not happening. Nobody knows these guys better than I know them."
25 Charlotte Bobcats
Last Week: 23
Larry Brown has apparently been giving Allen Iverson glowing recommendations to anyone who asks him. But can it really be long until Brown's offensively inept Bobcats sign him? The Bobcats put up a season-high 104 points against Indiana on Sunday in snapping a seven-game losing streak, but they are still second to last in the league in scoring (85.3 points).
26 Memphis Grizzlies
Last Week: 27
After putting some distance between themselves and Iverson, the Grizz have started putting up some wins, including three of their last four games. "When we're moving the ball and focusing, we're good," Zach Randolph told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. "But the big difference now is we're getting stops and just believing we can win." We'll see if that confidence carries over into this week's road trip, which begins with stops in Phoenix and Portland.
27 Washington Wizards
Last Week: 22
Maybe Gilbert Arenas should go back to, you know, not talking to the media. After road losses to Oklahoma City and San Antonio, Arenas accused some of his teammates of having "hidden agendas." Arenas might want to look at his own play as a reason for the Wizards' struggles. He's shooting a career-low 39 percent and averaging 4.0 turnovers to go with 6.3 assists.
28 New York Knicks
Last Week: 30
Who knew Eddy Curry could provide such a spark? The slimmed-down center made his season debut against Indiana and keyed a comeback victory with 10 points. He played 13 minutes in a win over New Jersey and a season-high 16 in an OT loss to Boston. While Curry has done little in the box score since his debut, Mike D'Antoni still credited Curry's presence for "giving us something that we need and lifting up our spirits."
29 Minnesota Timberwolves
Last Week: 28
It's getting ugly in the Twin Cities. The Wolves have lost by double digits in each of their last eight games, including a 28-point rout against the Trail Blazers on Saturday. Monday's game against the Clippers might be the only thing standing in the way of an 0-for-November. "We're not secure as a team, we're not together as a team, we don't have enough experience as a team that whenever we get into those tight situations, we know what to do," coach Kurt Rambis said.
30 New Jersey Nets
Last Week: 30
When will the Nets find that elusive first victory? It probably won't come this week. New Jersey opens a four-game road trip on Tuesday that takes it through Denver, Portland, Sacramento and Los Angeles (Lakers). An anemic offense continues to do them in. The Nets rank at the bottom of the league in points (84.9) and field-goal percentage (40.2).
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