NBA RANKINGS – Week of February 5, 2012

A ROSE BLOOMS IN CHICAGO

Derrick Rose and the Bulls are still on top of The Times’ NBA rankings. (Jeffrey Phelps) 

The Times’ NBA rankings

The Bulls, Thunder and Heat remain in the top three spots.

By Ben Bolch

February 4, 2012, 10:03 p.m.

BEN BOLCH’S RANKINGS, COMMENTS THROUGH SATURDAY My comments in Italics

THE UNTOUCHABLES
1. CHICAGO (20-6) Derrick Rose prefers Chicago in June to Orlando in February, London in August. (1) Rose is one of the rare people that can go back home and be a success on and off the court.

2. OKLAHOMA CITY (18-5) Kevin Durant no longer invited to judge All-Star dunk contest. (2) A tad bitter, are we Mr. Durant?

3. MIAMI (17-6) Fortune 500 companies line up for LeBron James after way he ran offense. (3) Not to worry, this time next week, pundits will be calling “King” James a pretender to the NBA crown.

ALL THE RIGHT MOVES
4. INDIANA (16-7) More success in back-to-backs than “Star Wars” & “Empire Strikes Back.” (5) Name two starters. I dare you.

5. PHILADELPHIA (17-7) Surprising 76ers turn city of Type A personalities into a bunch of softies. (6) See above. I double dare you.

6. DENVER (15-9) Nuggets become Wal-Mart shoppers after Kenyon Martin joins Clippers. (4) Clippers’ ratio of tattoos per player just jumped 25%.

7. ATLANTA (16-8) Lucky stat: Hawks won first 13 games against teams .500 or better. (7) Which makes them the “Ron Pauls” of the NBA East; enticing on surface but still unlikely to go far in playoffs.

8. SAN ANT. (16-9) Spurs roster sponsored by Shady Pines retirement homes. (9) Turns out Eva Longoria was holding Tony Parker down the last few years.

9. CLIPPERS (14-7) Long after “All My Children,” GM Neil Olshey assembles bold, beautiful roster. (10) Let me put this in political context: if the Clippers make it to the Western Conference Finals this season, President Obama should immediately appoint Olshey to bring back the housing industry.

10. ORLANDO (15-9) At this rate, Dwight Howard will go anywhere except Washington, Charlotte. (8) Read my lips: the Magic are not going to trade Howard this season and will triple-dog dare him to sign elsewhere this summer unless it’s a “sign and trade” for maximum dollars.

11. LAKERS (14-10) A fan of the road, Willie Nelson won’t provide soundtrack for Grammy trip. (11) Team must have contracted “Saturday Night Fever” in SLC last night because they played like sick men in losing to the Jazz.

12. DALLAS (14-11) Fining Mark Cuban $75,000 is only likely to pump up the volume. (12) Yeah, like Bud Selig is going to ever allow Cuban to own a MLB team.

13. UTAH (13-9) Jazz sounding a more melancholy note after hot start. (13) Hey, they beat the Lakers Saturday night.

14. PORTLAND (14-10) Marcus Camby regretting Clippers trade more than ever. (14) Maybe so, but CLIPPER NATION isn’t!

15. HOUSTON (13-11) Reserves step into the limelight with 50-point effort against Phoenix. (16) Those lockout-inspired new workout and practice rules are working in H-Town.

16. BOSTON (12-10) Doc Rivers‘ next book entitled “.500 Basketball for Dummies.” (17) NBA Rule #1: Never, ever let your top 3 players, no matter if they’re all future Hall of Famers, get old at the same time.

17. MEMPHIS (12-11) Grizzlies‘ motto: No. 8 seeding or bust. (15) It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it?

BETTER OFF DEAD
18. MINNESOTA (12-12) Timberwolves more than halfway to securing NCAA tournament berth. (18) This would be funny if not 100% true.

19. MILWAUKEE (10-13) Even before he broke his ankle, Andrew Bogut was questionable. (19) “Bogut” is one letter from “Bogus.” I’m just saying.

20. CLEVELAND (9-13) Leaving Duke early for this mess makes Kyrie Irving “Cameron Crazy.” (20) And “Cleveland Cashed-In” on the 1st and 15th of each month.

21. GOLDEN STATE (8-13) Warriors don’t need a trip to Napa Valley to get sideways. (23) Even the “Logo” can’t turn this sorry-ass mess around in a shortened season.

22. PHOENIX (9-14) At least Grant Hill, Steve Nash enjoying AARP discounts. (21) Oh please, if either of them really wanted to win, they would be on other teams now.

23. NEW YORK (9-15) Even Billy Joel‘s no longer in a N.Y. state of mind after watching Knicks. (22) One question here is when A’mare gets traded. Oh that’s right, he has a contract that, because of his knee ISN’T insured! This just keeps getting better and better for non-Knicks fans.

24. NEW JERSEY (8-17) How do you say “natural disaster” in Russian? (24) Ooooh, ooooh, I know the answer to this one! Choosing Jason Kidd over Byron Scott years ago!

25. SACRAMENTO (8-15) Fans who waved “Stay” signs at end of last season are now saying “Go.” (25) Welcome your Anaheim Amigos!

26. TORONTO (8-16) When Bargnani doesn’t play, DeRozan feels like Frog without Toad. (26) Anybody know the Canadian version of “Eminent Domain?”

THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY

27. WASHINGTON (4-20) Throwback jerseys a fitting touch for a throwaway team. (29) Maybe they should ask President Obama for a bailout.

28. NEW ORL. (4-20) Wanting out is so easy, even a Kaman can do it. (27) And yet, they couldn’t trade him either.

29. DETROIT (6-20) Getting beaten like a drum may have upside: Andre Drummond. (28) Who?

30. CHARLOTTE (3-21) RPI falls below Binghamton’s. (30) How can the game’s greatest player ever (arguably) be the game’s worst owner in the same lifetime?

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