There are two sides to every NBA Power Ranking: the Fanalytical and the Fanatical. As a Miami HEAT blogger living on the east coast, MHI plays the fan for the Western Conference. As a Denver Nuggets fan living west of the Mississippi River, Mrs. NBA plays the fanalyst. The roles are reversed for the Eastern Conference.
1. OKC Thunder (21-5; Previously #1): OKC Thunder ended their double-digit winning steak on the second leg of a back-to-back losing to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Even having tired legs, the Thunder kept it interesting, but the real reason to their loss (besides the schedule) was being without Kevin Martin that game.
MHI: Lob City ranks 6th in the NBA with 57% of the buckets at the rim coming off assists. As a result, they rank 2nd in the NBA at points in the paint per game. Their remaining opponents this week, the Celtics (23rd) and the Jazz (30th), are terrible at protecting the paint. The Clippers should finish the week 3-1.
3. San Antonio Spurs (21-8; Previously #3): San Antonio went 2-2 this week just as Mosi predicted and the “bitchass” Nuggets took care of business on that front.
4. Memphis Grizzlies (18-7; Previously #4): They went 3-1 this week, and perhaps they should be ahead of San Antonio in the rankings given they had a more fruitful week, but I keep on waffling on the Grizzlies.
MHI: The Grizz went 3-1 as predicted. They rank 6th in the NBA with 51% of their jumpers from 10-15 feet coming from assists and most of those jumpers were taken by Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Rudy Gay. Their 2 opponents this week, the Sixers and the Nuggets, rank 30th and 24th in opponent assists on 10-15 feet jumpers. The Grizz should be able to use that ball movement for midrange jumpers to go 2-0 this week.
5. Golden State Warriors (18-10; Previously #5): They went 2-2 this week, but really should have went 3-1. Easily. They gave away a game when they lost to the Lakers as they performed an ultimate choke job. Perhaps, their current record is just mere “fluff” to their actual winning mentality.
6. Utah Jazz (15-14; Previously not ranked): Erroneously, I didn’t put them in the rankings last week, and although they have a weaker winning percentage than the Denver Nuggets and the Houston Rockets, I believe more in their level of production.
MHI: Too busy dickriding the Blazers to put the Jazz in last week’s rankings, Tammeh? The Jazz rank 6th in assisted three-pointers while their opponents this week aren’t very good at defending the 3-point line: the Warriors (24th) and Clippers (15th) give the Jazz a good chance to go 2-1 this week.
7. Denver Nuggets (15-13; Previously #7): Denver was able to go 2-1 this week, but looked historically horrific against the Portland Trail Blazers (0-of-22 from the perimeter). Despite that, they were able to stay in the game, but lost a winnable game.