Editor’s Note: These rankings are decided on this week’s win/loss record and overall season play. Feel free to voice your comment below or Tweet Chris @cwmwrites.
It would take away all of the fun and entertaining basketball we’ll get to watch between now and April, but I already find myself wondering how the Western Conference is ultimately going to shake out. With new contenders like the Minnesota Timberwolves and Portland Trail Blazers making a case that they are indeed for real, I can’t help but with I knew how this was all going to end. Are Portland and Minnesota for real? Can Golden State deal with injuries that are already mounting up? Will Gregg Popovich get asked any more questions about the John F. Kennedy assassination? These are all vital questions I want to know, but like I said, that takes away all of the fun.
So, without further adieu, here are the latest Right Down Euclid Western Conference power rankings.
1. San Antonio Spurs – Current Record: 12-1. (2)
When you beat the Cavs by 30 and also take care of Memphis on the road, you stay at the top. And with Golden State losing this week, the Spurs now take over the top spot.
2. Portland Trail Blazers – Current Record: 12-2 (7)
Portland may or not really be this good – no one can say for sure. But they are healthy and also beat the Warriors in the past week. Let’s see where they go from here.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder – Current Record: 8-3 (4)
The Thunder are still near the top, despite some concerns about scoring. But if Serge Ibaka can keep with his improvements on offense, they should be okay.
4. Los Angeles Clippers – Current Record: 9-5 (5)
The Clippers – aka the team always playing on national television on Thursday night’s – are starting to get into their groove under Doc Rivers. And with Blake Griffin on the verge of breaking down that wall between “really good” and “great”, things are only looking up for this LA team.
5. Houston Rockets – Current Record: 9-5 (6)
Houston’s biggest concern right now is the health of James Harden, who is dealing with a foot injury. And they are starting to play defense and that’s the area that will enable them to truly contend. Side note: what does everyone think of this trade created by our very own Trevor Magnotti: Omer Asik for Tyreke Evans, after December 15th when players signed this past offseason can be traded?
6. Golden State Warriors – Current Record: 8-6 (1)
If Andre Igoudala can come back sooner rather than later, the Dubs will be fine. Staying healthy, however, is a story line to follow the entire season, as cornerstones Steph Curry (who just missed two games with concussion) and Andrew Bogut have a long history of injuries.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves – Current Record: 8-7 (3)
The T-Wolves are still my favorite team to watch, but they may be coming back to Earth a bit. Still, they have the potential to be what the Warriors were last season come playoff time.
8. Dallas Mavericks – Current Record: 9-5 (8)
I’m still amazed at how well Monta Ellis has played this year. Let’s see if he can do it for 82 games alongside a semi-rejuvinated Dirk Nowitzki.
9. Memphis Grizzlies – Current Record: 7-6 (11)
Tony Allen kicked Chris Paul in the face this week. And the Grizzlies are playing better basketball, reminding people why they were so dangerous in the playoffs last year.
10. New Orleans Pelicans – Current Record: 6-6 (10)
The Pellies come back after being down to Cleveland by 12 in game where Anthony Davis was largely held in check. That’s a good sign moving forward for team that struggled heavily early.
11. Phoenix Suns – Current Record: 6-6 (9)
The Suns are better than anyone thought they would be and I they have two nice building blocks in Markieff Morris and Eric Bledsoe. That’s more than anyone thought they had coming into the season.
12. Denver Nuggets – Current Record: 6-6 (13)
Denver is better than I expected and should only get better when Danilo Gallinari comes back at some point. And their odd hybrid of the triangle and up-tempo offensive is actually entertaining to watch.
13. Los Angeles Lakers – Current Record: 5-7 (12)
Nick Young aka Swaggy P aka Yeezus lite. And Kobe isn’t back yet. That is all that is relevant in Laker land.
14. Sacramento Kings – Current Record: 4-8 (14)
15. Utah Jazz – Current Record: 1-13 (15)
As bad as it is now, the Jazz will be able to nab a player in next years draft to join their young core of Trey Burke, Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors. The more their fans think about that and not the horrible product that takes the floor each night, the better.