December 07, 2009
NBA Power Rankings
21 Detroit <a href=Pistons" title="Detroit Pistons">
Last Week: 24
The Pistons appear to have found a little offense. The 105 points Detroit put up in a win over Milwaukee snapped a nine-game streak of sub-100 games and it nearly crossed that threshold again with 98 against Washington. Rookie Austin Daye is making a case for more playing time. The 6-foot-11 forward scored 11 points on 5-for-5 shooting in the second half against the Wizards, a feat even more impressive considering Daye was filling in at shooting guard at the time.
22 New Orleans Hornets
Last Week: 21
Chris Paul is back and hasn't missed a beat after sitting three weeks with an ankle injury. Paul torched Minnesota for 16 points, 15 assists and eight steals on Friday and reported little soreness afterwards. "He's a remarkable player and superior athlete and his decision making is something we knew would be there for us," Jeff Bower told reporters. "His ability to guard the ball was something that you'd always been concerned about coming back from injury, just from a mobility standpoint."
23 Chicago <a href=Bulls" title="Chicago Bulls">
Last Week: 20
Vinny Del Negro watch, Week 2. December hasn't been kind to Bulls coaches recently. Tim Floyd resigned on Christmas Eve in 2001 and Scott Skiles was canned that same day six years later. A complete lack of competitiveness isn't helping Del Negro's cause: in their last seven losses the Bulls have fallen behind by at least 19 points in all of them.
24 Washington Wizards
Last Week: 26
Will Gilbert Arenas ever get his rhythm back? Two nights after scoring 34 points against Toronto, Arenas looked listless in a nine-point performance against Detroit. "He didn't seem to have energy," Flip Saunders told reporters after the game. "I don't know if he was stiff today, but he didn't seem to have that pop."
25 Indiana <a href=Pacers" title="Indiana Pacers">
Last Week: 19
What's going on with Indy's offense? After ranking among the top-seven teams in scoring during Jim O'Brien's first two seasons, the Pacers have plummeted to 22nd in the league (97.1 points) this season. "That's a problem," O'Brien told the Indianapolis Star. "We have a lack of recognizing that when we move we're hard to guard. The fact that we don't move all the time is not good. We're so successful in a movement. When we stand and run set plays, we struggle."
26 New York <a href=Knicks" title="New York Knicks">
Last Week: 29
A 3-1 week and signs of a little team unity? Mike D'Antoni should have benched Nate Robinson sooner. After playing just 11 minutes in Monday's win over Phoenix, Robinson -- whose immature antics have rankled teammates and coaches alike -- has been rooted to the bench. "We want to win," D'Antoni said. "And if he's conducive to winning then he'll obviously be back in the lineup. If not, he's not."
27 Golden State <a href=Warriors" title="Golden State Warriors">
Last Week: 25
With rumors circulating in some quarters that the Warriors and Don Nelson may be headed for a divorce, let's call this a trial separation. After a winless week, the team learned that Nelson will skip the Dubs five-game road trip while he recovers from pneumonia. "It's about his health and it's about the fact this is a difficult trip," GM Larry Riley told reporters. "I want him back. I want him to take this time while we are on this trip. We come back sometime after the middle of December. By that period of time, I expect him to be fully recovered."
28 76ers/">Philadelphia 76ers
Last Week: 27
The Sixers literally have nothing to lose by bringing in Allen Iverson. Already without Lou Williams, Philly lost rookie Jrue Holiday to a right rotator cuff injury and was forced to go with two-guard Willie Green at the point in a loss to Charlotte, the 76ers' ninth- straight defeat. A.I. will make his debut (yes, in the starting lineup) on Monday and at this point, he's better than nothing.
29 Minnesota <a href=Timberwolves" title="Minnesota Timberwolves">
Last Week: 28
Welcome back, Kevin Love. The Wolves' gritty power forward made his season debut last week and scored 18 points off the bench in a win over Utah. Don't expect him to make a push for the Sixth Man award though. T'wolves coach Kurt Rambis said it was likely Love would reclaim his starting spot soon.
30 New Jersey <a href=Nets" title="New Jersey Nets">
Last Week: 30
After setting the NBA record for season-opening futility, the Nets briefly broke into the win column against Charlotte but went back to padding their losses two days later against the Knicks. Still, if interim coach Kiki Vandeweghe's's crew has any chance of picking up some Ws, it's this week: New Jersey has winnable games against Charlotte, Golden State and Indiana.
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