I generally find power rankings trivial and meaningless... what better way to show my disdain for them than to come up with some of my own!
No, actually, I decided to vote in SBN's power rankings for once, so I thought I'd publish my picks on here for fun (SBNBA's rankings come out Mondays). Note that the rankings are sort of arbitrary, so if you think I'm wrong, you're probably right. Most of my picks were based on instinct, grit, and whatever sounded funny at the time.
1. Atlanta Hawks
This team may not be for real as we get to February and March, but they're as legit as it gets right now. Good luck crashing the boards against these guys because they're cleaning the glass with the best of 'em.
2. Boston Celtics
The sign in the visitors' locker room at TD Garden reads "Beware of Pickpockets," but it's easier said than done.
3. Denver Nuggets
The beating they put on Los Angeles was impressive. Sure, the Lakers didn't have Gasol, but they'll need to wrest the West's Best title away from Denver.
4. Los Angeles Lakers
5. Dallas Mavericks
Into the door have come Shawn Marion, Jason Kidd, Drew Gooden, and many more over the years. But the Mavericks know where their bread is buttered... and man, is that some delicious bread right now.
6. Portland Trail Blazers
Can you imagine the 2008-2009 Portland offense with the 2009-2010 Portland defense? I have, often, and mostly in terrible, terrible nightmares.
7. Oklahoma City Thunder
Remember how last year, everybody was all like "hmmm, OKC's gonna be real good in a few years?" Somebody didn't get the memo.
8. Orlando Magic
Dwight Howard sees your Magna Carta and raises you Ye Olde Grievances o' The Orlando Magic.
9. Houston Rockets
Sign #1 the Mayans were right: Tracy McGrady believes he's healthy enough to play basketball.
10. Phoenix Suns
The Suns' 3P%, as anticipated, has fallen from "this is #$%$#& ridiculous" levels. They're good, just not *that* good.
11. Cleveland Cavaliers
At what point can we conclusively say the Shaquillle O'Neal experiment has failed? Also: at what point does O'Neal completely relinquish the rights to any and all nicknames?
12. Miami Heat
I guess Dwyane Wade is fun to watch, but perhaps more than any other, this team just seems a carbon copy of last year's incarnation.
13. Utah Jazz
Not that there's anything wrong with doing so at age 25, but has Deron Williams finally hit an upper barrier to his progression as an NBA player? The numbers sure support that claim.
14. Milwaukee Bucks
I'm hesitant to put Milwaukee this high. But the more I think about it... Jennings/Redd/LRMaM/Warrick/Bogut? How is that not a decently productive lineup at full health? Answer: it is.
15. San Antonio Spurs
They started off all hot, and nobody could shut up about their youth movement. Now, they've hit a bump in the road. More than anything, I'll be impressed if Pops sticks with the young guns, because I still think G. Hill and D. Blair have a lot to provide.
16. Detroit Pistons
The team's leading assist man averages 4.2 a game, and he comes off the bench. I'm not saying you can't win this way, I'm just saying you won't win this way.
17. Indiana Pacers
You know what this NBA season needs more of? Tyler Hansbrough. Whether it's saving puppies or yelling random exclamatory remarks, the man can do it all and is being seriously undervalued by David Stern's marketing crew.
18. Washington Wizards
Gilbert Arenas the player is significantly less interesting than Gilbert Arenas the blogger.
19. Chicago Bulls
I can't remember the last time an NBA player had an afro, but Mr. Rose looks well on his way.
20. Toronto Raptors
Having discarded one awesome three point shooter in Kapono, the Raptors have simply moved on to the next in Belinelli.
21. New Orleans Hornets
Perhaps this is too high, but the Hornets are quietly cultivating two of the more productive rookies in the league in the early season. Add in the recovery of Ike Diogu, and when Chris Paul returns, this team might, gasp, have a bench.
22. Sacramento Kings
The Kenny Thomas sweepstakes are upon us! Who will land this gem among gems? Step up, ye suitors, one and all!
23. Charlotte Bobcats
Felton/SJax/Crash/Diaw/Tyson is intriguing at worst and very good at best. Interesting little mix the Cats have pulled together in starting roles.
24. Golden State Warriors
Was I the only one praying that the Dubs would permit Stephen Curry to engage in a mad one-on-one duel with Brandon Jennings the other night? It seemed every time Jennings would hit a shot, Curry was looking to respond... only Stephen Jackson would intervene with hastily hoisted brick after brick.
25. Philadelphia 75ers
Elton Brand is very, very mediocre. And before wondering why I've got them ranked 25th, keep in mind that the Sixers are a combined 6 points away from TWO losses to the winless Nets and a 3-8 record. They can rebound, but this is not a good team right now.
26. Los Angeles Clippers
Diddy, Kaman, and Craig Smith have all been playing very well. If Gordon and Griffin can be seamlessly integrated, this team still has a shot at, uh, not-last place in the Pacific.
27. Memphis Grizzlies
Allen Iverson to Jamaal Tinsley may be a case of "out of the fire, into the frying pan," but that doesn't excuse its stupidity in the slightest.
28. New York Knicks
Sign #2 the Mayans were right: The Knicks don't want A.I.
29. Minnesota Timberwolves
I feel like this team has been way, way worse than the Nets, but at least they've won.
30. New Jersey Nets
Hey New Jersey. You suck.
So there you have it!
In other news, I'm about halfway through my Marcus Thornton post. At this point, I now have a Thornton video library, including every play he's ever been involved in, sorting by possession result, shot type, and play call. Basically, I am creepily obsessed with how awesome this fellow is, and you should be too.