Some Power Rankings of NBA Jersey

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Some Power Rankings of NBA Jersey

Messaggiodi Helena il 5 aprile 2017, 9:59

If the Cleveland Cavaliers can pull themselves together to repeat as champions after all the March badness they've endured, it'll truly be an NBA first.
No team in league history that has ever lost 10 or more games in March -- none of the previous 347 -- has bounced back to win it all. The record high for March losses for an eventual ‎champion, Elias says, is eight.
While the Golden State Warriors have been cementing their position as title favorites ‎and essentially wrapping up the top spot for the season in's weekly Power Rankings, Cleveland continues to leave your humble Committee (of One) with no choice.
How can we place the Cavs any higher than sixth in our ladder -- even if you still believe they're headed to a third straight NBA Finals -- when they've essentially been a .500 team for the past 40 games?
Meet us back here next Monday for the final edition of these rankings until late September.
1. Golden State Warriors
2016-17 record: 63-14
Previous ranking: 1
Steve Kerr never expected that resting his stars for one night in San Antonio would lead to an 11-game winning streak that all but clinches home-court advantage for the Warriors throughout the playoffs. But Stephen Curry acknowledged last week that he benefited from the one-night break mentally as much as anything; Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green have all played their best ball of the season since the night to spark this run. The Warriors sport the league's best offensive and defensive efficiency ratings over the course of the streak (115.2 points scored per 100 possessions; 97.0 points allowed per 100 possessions). And Golden State's next victory will break a tie with Michael Jordan's Bulls (second three-peat) for the most regular-season W's (204) over any three-season span in league history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, while also matching the club's longest winning streak (12) of the season to date (Nov. 7-28). Curry is up to 302 3-pointers for the season, Green has hiked his career record to 19-0 when recording a triple-double and, as a bonus, Golden State has registered 18 games with 10 or more blocked shots after all the fretting about how little rim protection it has. The Knicks are the next closest with just seven such games.
2. San Antonio Spurs
2016-17 record: 59-17
Previous ranking: 2
How are the Spurs doing in their first season post-Tim Duncan? Stung as they were to suffer last Wednesday's fall-from-ahead loss to Golden State after running up a 22-point lead on their foremost rivals, know this: One more win will enable Gregg Popovich to achieve something he and Duncan amazingly never managed together .consecutive 60-win seasons The Spurs won a franchise-record 67 games in Duncan's farewell season in 2015-16 and ‎will join the Warriors on this season's short list of 60-win teams if they can beat their likely first-round opponent (Memphis) at home Tuesday night. In yet another tribute to Pop's coaching acumen, we came across this doozy last week: San Antonio has only three players on its active roster selected within the top 20 picks in the NBA draft (former No. 2 overall pick LaMarcus Aldridge, former No. 3 pick Pau Gasol and former No. 15 Kawhi Leonard.) That's tied for the fewest on any roster this season with Brooklyn and New Orleans.
3. Boston Celtics
2016-17 record: 50-27
Previous ranking: 4
In securing the club's first 50-win season since 2010-11 and the 32nd in franchise history, tying the Lakers for the all-time league record, Boston did not need to play four of its five starters in the fourth quarter of Sunday's win at Madison Square Garden. The Celts also get the next two days off before playing host to the Cavs in Wednesday night's ESPN showcase game, which also happens to be Cleveland's third game in four nights. The Celts, in other words, might really be in pole position to secure the East's top seed ... as long as they fashion the win over Cleveland that evens the season series at 2-2. This is already as late in a season as the Celts have held the No. 1 seed since 2007-08, when Boston last won it all. Things certainly aren't perfect if Jae Crowder, after a strong finish to his March, needs an MRI on his "tingling" left elbow, but Brad Stevens' late surge into Coach of the Year consideration is only getting more serious.
4. Houston Rockets
2016-17 record: 52-25
Previous ranking: 3
James Harden probably can't win no matter what he does with that banged-up left wrist. ‎If he keeps playing hurt, there's a good chance he dings his MVP résumé. If he sits, critics will inevitably surface with claims that he's looking to protect his stats more than anything. The view here, then, is that how the wrist impacts Houston's playoff hopes should be the only consideration. If playing on doesn't put Harden at risk for hurting it worse, then let him go. But the flu-like symptoms that knocked him out of Sunday's visit to Phoenix might not have been the worst thing; perhaps the enforced rest will recharge Harden after a rough shooting week lowlighted by Houston's first three-game losing streak of the season. Friday night's loss at Golden State brought a halt to Houston's record run of 61 consecutive games with at least 100 points, but that's not the real team stat of note with these guys. Can the Rockets splash with something approaching that sort of regularity when it matters most and things tighten up in the playoffs?
5. Toronto Raptors
2016-17 record: 47-30
Previous ranking: 5
Turns out Toronto did not forfeit its shot at a second successive 50-win season when it lost Kyle Lowry to a wrist injury. The details surrounding Lowry's return remain unknown -- specifically whether it can happen before the end of the regular season and with precisely how much practice time attached -- but the Raps have zoomed to a surprising mark of 15-6 without their All-Star point guard. A 3-2 finish, then, would cement another 50-win campaign for a group that has won eight of its past nine by stepping up its ball movement in Lowry's absence to support its eighth-ranked team defense. We're down to three teams that rank in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency for the season: Golden State, San Antonio... and these Raps.
6. Cleveland Cavaliers
2016-17 record: 49-27
Previous ranking: 7
At the end of February, ESPN's Basketball Power Index rated the Cavs' chances of clinching the No. 1 seed in the East at 89 percent. Coming out of March, that figure was down to (yikes) 53 percent. The Cavs' 7-10 record in March saddled LeBron James with his first month to feature a double-digit loss total since his first full month in the NBA, when Cleveland went 4-11 in 2003. The malaise runs even if deeper if you rewind to the morning of Jan. 10, when Cleveland led Boston by a whopping 5½ games. Since then? LeBron & Co. are 21-19. And going to double overtime Sunday night to turn back Indiana was obviously the last thing the Cavs needed, right at the start of a three-games-in-four-nights stretch that will end with a visit to Boston. The playoffs can't get here soon enough for the champs, who will need to reset even if they find a way to dig out the East's top seed. A ray of hope: Since 2011, when he made his first of six successive trips to the NBA Finals, James' teams have lost only two first-round games in 18 outings. So there's that.
7. Utah Jazz
2016-17 record: 47-30
Previous ranking: 8
Quin Snyder's Coach of the Year odds probably aren't great, thanks to a typically stacked race that also features the likes of Mike D'Antoni, Scotty Brooks and Erik Spoelstra, but he probably should be getting more COY pub than he actually has given all the lineup juggling that injuries have forced him to oversee. Utah doesn't have a single fivesome that has played more than 22 games (Boris Diaw, Rudy Gobert, Gordon Hayward, George Hill and Joe Ingles) or more than 151 minutes together (Derrick Favors, Gobert, Hayward, Hill and Rodney Hood) this season. And Utah, amid a rough closing schedule, has lost Hill (groin) to injury yet again. The Jazz are 31-16 with Hill in the lineup, but only 16-14 without him as they battle to hold off the Clippers for the West's No. 4 seed. Also troubling: Hayward has been held below 20 points in six of his past eight games. Thanks to the recent surges by Golden State and Portland at the top and bottom of the West, all of this is happening in what has emerged as the fiercest playoff battle in the conference.
8. Washington Wizards
2016-17 record: 46-31
Previous ranking: 6
In our formative years as an NBA fan, when we were falling in love with this game and this league in the 1970s, Washington actually went to the Finals three times in a five-season span. That's the hoop standard you associated with the nation's capital, which must be hard to believe for younger fans who've only lived through the Wizards era. The Southeast Division title that the Wiz just snared is the first for the franchise since Jimmy Carter was president; Washington's Atlantic Division crown in 1978-79 was secured five months and change before ESPN made its debut as a network. The Wiz will have to manufacture a 4-1 finish to clinch their first 50-win season since the '78-79 campaign, but kudos to John Wall no matter what. Thanks to Wall's best-ever season individually, this is the first season in NBA history in which three players (Russell Westbrook and James Harden are the others) are averaging 20-plus points and 10-plus assists.
Messaggi: 80
Iscritto il: 24 marzo 2017, 16:08

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