NBA RANKINGS – Week of January 29, 2012

I’ve received several emails with the same question being asked in various forms: “Hey Chuck, where the ‘F’ are your ever popular and always spot-on NBA rankings?”

My answer is that I was waiting for the season to get to about ¼ of the way through before opining on the lockout mandated truncated season. The truth is different; I’ve been too busy doing other things during my break between semesters to focus on a bunch of overactive pituitary gland victims. I was also holding an unpublicized yet totally committed boycott of the LA Times’ rankings because they got rid of veteran NBA columnist Mark Heisler in yet another “downsizing” and by God, somebody had to stand up with him!

BUT, because you asked, here’s goes something (my comments, as always, in italics): 

The Times’ NBA rankings

Bulls, Thunder and Heat remain the league’s elite teams

Chicago Bulls Pre-Game Circle – United Center 

By Ben Bolch Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

January 28, 2012, 9:23 p.m.

BEN BOLCH’S RANKINGS, COMMENTS THROUGH SATURDAY

THE HAPPIEST DAYS OF OUR LIVES

1. CHICAGO (17-4) Bulls circle birthdays, anniversaries and rematch with Indiana on calendar. (1)  Funny coincidence here and in Boston; the Hall of Famers – Jordan and Bird – are owning/running teams in their home states with varying degrees of success while former key contributors John Paxson and Danny Ainge respectively, are head of contending franchises.

2. OKLAHOMA CITY (16-3) Seattle called; it wants its franchise back. (2) There ain’t enough Starbucks in all the world to make that happen.

3. MIAMI (14-5) Dwyane Wade thanks James Jones for filling in, asks who he is. (3) You’re D-Wade one of the top 5 players in the NBA, you won full custody of your sons, you’ve won one title and are contending for another, your woman is Gabrielle Union and you live/work in Miami. Could it get any better?

WISH YOU WERE HERE

4. DENVER (14-5) If signing results in that kind of output, put Danilo Gallinari on 10-day deals. (4) Riddle me this Batman; how does a team get BETTER by trading its best player?

5. INDIANA (12-6) Pacers no longer granted entry to Sears Tower, Navy Pier after Bulls flap. (6) This is getting interesting.

6. PHILADELPHIA (14-6) Exciting team gives fans something to ponder besides Geno’s vs. Pat’s debate. (7) He may be intensely crazy, but damnnit, Doug Collins can coach! Sudden thought: is Allen Iverson still alive?

7. ATLANTA (14-6) Spurned owner Alex Meruelo keeping tabs on Mater Dei instead of Hawks. (8) His pizza is terrible too.

8. ORLANDO (12-7) Hornets, Celtics losses show Dwight Howard needs help or needs out. (5) Paging Deron Williams! Please answer the white courtesy phone.

9. SAN ANTONIO (12-8) You’re still here? Spurs somehow impervious to age, injuries. (9) It’s the magical healing power of Lone Star Beer. Or voodoo. Take your pick.

10. CLIPPERS (10-6) Rubber match with Lakers to be held in a cage, sanctioned by WWE. (10) At any moment, I expect Hulk Hogan, Sgt Slaughter, Ric Flair and the Rock to suit up for one of these games.

11. LAKERS (11-9) It’s status woe as team goes from title contenders to playoff contenders. (11) Struggling to win games on the road and trying to decide who’s actually coaching the team, Kobe or Mike Brown.

12. DALLAS (12-8) Ring and banner ceremonies over, Mavs can focus on being average. (14) When your starting point guard played against people already in the Hall of Fame, you’re an old team.

13. UTAH (11-7) Goldman Sachs awards Jazz “buy” rating, except when playing Lakers (0-2). (12) Ever wonder how many black people that don’t play for the Jazz show up for the MLK Day parade in Salt Lake City?

14. PORTLAND (12-8) Erratic Blazers make as much sense as ordering diet cola with Big Mac. (13) Or 2% milk at Krispy Kreme.

15. MEMPHIS (10-9) Green-and-yellow ABA jerseys are a sight that leads to sore eyes. (15) I thought it was a rec-league team sponsored by a bail  bondsman.

16. HOUSTON (12-8) Pretty decent liftoff for a team that was nearly blown up. (16) Sometimes, the best trades are the ones that never go through.

17. BOSTON (9-9) Celtics still kicking amid “Bring out your dead” chant. (21) Based on his post-game interview with TNT’s Craig Sager last week, Kevin Garnett is certifiably insane.

COMFORTABLY NUMB

18. MINNESOTA (9-10) Extension is great, but T-Wolves can’t take “All you need is Love” approach. (22) K-Love’s signing an extension just another example of the new CBA working to keep stars with original teams as long as possible.

19. MILWAUKEE (8-11) Forbes: Bucks worth NBA-low 268 million. Is that in dollars or Pick Up Stix? (18) Why Brandon Jennings is never mentioned as a point guard the Lakers should be pursuing is beyond me.

20. CLEVELAND (7-11) Surprise, surprise: Cavaliers playoff contenders in weak East. (17) Calling the East “weak” is like calling Chris Christie “fat” – too easy.

21. PHOENIX (7-12) Double trouble: Nash, Gortat only players averaging at least 10 points. (19) I have no idea who “Gorat” is and I’ll bet you don’t either.

22. NEW YORK (7-13) Just when it seems Carmelo Anthony gets the point, Knicks regress again. (20) See #4 (Denver) above.

23. GOLDEN STATE (6-12) Warriors would be OK if they could play every game at home versus Portland. (24) Reverend/Coach Mark Jackson praying more like a Muslim every day – fives times daily.

24. NEW JERSEY (7-13) Looks like there are two reality TV disasters unfolding along Jersey shore. (27) Does the world’s tallest rich Russian still own this team?

25. SACRAMENTO (6-14) Might have trouble beating Sacramento State. (23) “Might?”

26. TORONTO (6-14) NBA accreditation in jeopardy when team plays without Andrea Bargnani. (25) Isiah Thomas cursed this team years ago and it’s still in full effect.

DARK SIDE OF THE MOON

27. NEW ORLEANS (4-15) The Clippers Curse, now playing nightly on Bourbon Street. (26) Is it Mardi Gras yet?

28. DETROIT (4-17) Rooting for a recount of player, owner votes so lockout can resume. (28) And yet, Joe Dumars still has a job.

29. WASHINGTON (4-16) Wizards need to flip more than their coach to get this mess turned around. (30) If Wes Unseld was dead, he’d roll over in his grave at what’s happened to this once-proud franchise.

30. CHARLOTTE (3-18) Autopsy reveals deficiencies in heart, talent, ownership. (29) All of which His Airness had in spades when he was winning championships with ‘Da Bulls’.

NBA NEWS

Clippers may be interested in free-agent Kenyon Martin

Marc: The “Other Gasol”

NBA Coast-to-Coast

Quotes of the Week

DUNK OF THE WEEK

D-Wade over Knicks’ Landry Fields

 

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