By Paul M. Banks
The Milwaukee Bucks and their hot start led by uber-rookie Brandon Jennings are the talk of the NBA. So how far did they move up in this week’s power rankings?
1. Boston Celtics (9-3)
Kevin Garnett is their centerpiece, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce the main sidekicks. But if you really want to see the barometer of the Celtics, look at Rajon Rondo. His statistical measures of productivity correlate best with their record.
2. Atlanta Hawks (10-2)
They are for real, even though they don’t get the national publicity the deserve. Hawks basketball would be a bigger brand if they didn’t seemingly change their logo and team colors every three seasons. In Joe Johnson they have a closer, and in Josh Smith they have a go-to defender.
3. Orlando Magic (9-3)
I guess we’ll really see what they’re made off now that Jameer Nelson is out 4-6 weeks with a knee injury.
4. Miami Heat (7-4)
I couldn’t agree more with this insight from a Heat blog entitled “Hot Hot Hoops” “Unfortunately, the guy who gets lost in the Wade fray is Udonis Haslem, who has absolutely taken to his sixth-man role.” Haslem is an underrated gem.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers (8-4)
The Suns’ Jason Richardson has taken up Lebron’s cause to retire #23 for every NBA team. I don’t think it will ever happen, but I do agree with the idea. Shaq will miss a few games with a shoulder injury…well, you knew when they made this deal he was inevitably going to miss some time.
6. Milwaukee Bucks (6-3)
Despite the hot start, they are still the Bucks right? Maybe not now that they have that Brandon Jennings guy. You might have heard a thing or two, or twelve about his 55 point game last Saturday. And don’t look now, but Andrew Bogut has 5 double doubles already.
7. Chicago Bulls (6-4)
Derrick Rose is clearly not 100%. His injury is worse than the league is leading on. Joakim Noah is indeed making “the leap” this year he’s been a double-double machine so far. And it’s believably hilarious that he didn’t know why the current Bulls road trip is called “the circus trip”
8. Philadelphia 76ers (5-6)
How awesome is it that they went back to their retro 80s logo? How mediocre and inconsistent will they be this season due to their up-and-down guard play? Answer to both: VERY
9. Detroit Pistons (5-7)
I’ll admit it: the signings of Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva are working well for the Pistons…so far.
10. Indiana Pacers (5-4)
A summation of Indiana’s season can be found at the Pacers blog 8 points, 9 seconds. “In a larger sense, Tyler is already the teams fourth-best non-injured player after Danny, Roy and Dahntay. Luther Head is ineffective, and I’m being polite here.”
11. Toronto Raptors (5-7)
Chris Bosh might have to have 20-15 every night if they’re going to reach the postseason
12. Charlotte Bobcats (3-8)
Under Larry Brown, they’ll figure some type of rotation that works out. Or maybe he’s finally nearing the end of his storied career?
13. Washington Wizards (3-7)
Things should get a lot better now that they have Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, and Gilbert Arenas all on the floor at the same time now. Jamison is especially crucial because he can play both the three and the four so well.
14. New York Knicks (2-9)
They have a grasp on the concept of defense…it’s right up there with Sarah Palin’s stranglehold on reality; and knowledge of basic science. How much longer can they blame Isaish for this mess? A while actually.
15. New Jersey Nets (0-12)
Closing in on one of the most embarrassing records a NBA team can have. But they will get healthy, and be better, eventually. Someday soon they won’t have to take the floor with Brook Lopez and CDR as their “go-to-guys.”