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The Oklahoma City Thunder have led the way thus far with the voting and the way they are playing it is easy to see why.  The Thunder are definitely rolling, winning five games in a row and 13 of their last 14.  It hasn’t been all Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook for the Thunder either.  Reggie Jackson (12.3) and Jeremy Lamb (9.5) have been pitching in plenty of scoring off the bench to help the Thunder to the second highest scoring average in the league at 108.3.  Kevin Durant is looking for another scoring title and currently leads the NBA at 28.3 points per game while partner in crime Westbrook has been averaging 11.3 assists over the last four games.  The Thunder still feel they have room to improve though: 

 “There are a lot of things we need to work on – transition defense, rebounding, passing,” Durant told reporters Friday. “On offense we’ve got to flow a little better. But our chemistry is growing. That’s the most important thing.”

Vote to the Right

Who would win this matchup if it were game 7 of the Finals?

NBA Power Rankings

Wins are total match ups won

Thunder

Thunder

Number of wins: 14

Heat

Heat

Number of wins: 13

Warriors

Warriors

Number of wins: 11

Clippers

Clippers

Number of wins: 10

Pacers

Pacers

Number of wins: 9

Spurs

Spurs

Number of wins: 9

Lakers

Lakers

Number of wins: 8

Grizzlies

Grizzlies

Number of wins: 8

Nuggets

Nuggets

Number of wins: 8

Trail Blazers

Trail Blazers

Number of wins: 8

Rockets

Rockets

Number of wins: 7

Mavericks

Mavericks

Number of wins: 6

76ers

76ers

Number of wins: 4

Cavaliers

Cavs

Number of wins: 4

Celtics

Celtics

Number of wins: 4

Wizards

Wizards

Number of wins: 4

Kings

Kings

Number of wins: 4

Pelicans

Pelicans

Number of wins: 3

Hawks

Hawks

Number of wins: 3

Timberwolves

Timberwolves

Number of wins: 3

Knicks

Knicks

Number of wins: 3

Pistons

Pistons

Number of wins: 3

Bobcats

Bobcats

Number of wins: 3

Raptors

Raptors

Number of wins: 2

Bulls

Bulls

Number of wins: 2

Nets

Nets

Number of wins: 1

Suns

Suns

Number of wins: 1

334
The Indiana Pacers have now own the best record in the league and they did it by knocking off the champs last night in a hard fought 90-84 win.  The Pacers defense was phenomenal in the second half of last nights game, much like it has been all season, especially when Roy Hibbert was in the game protecting the rim.  But are the Pacers really the team to beat, the game seemed to mean a lot more to them than it did the Heat.  Don’t forget the Trail Blazers who beat the Pacers and own the best record in the West.

Who’s Hot

  1. Pacers
  2. Trail Blazers
  3. Thunder

Who’s Not

  1. Knicks
  2. Warriors
  3. Wolves

Vote to the Right

Who would win this matchup if it were game 7 of the Finals?

NBA Power Rankings

Wins are total match ups won

Thunder

Thunder

Number of wins: 14

Heat

Heat

Number of wins: 13

Warriors

Warriors

Number of wins: 11

Clippers

Clippers

Number of wins: 10

Pacers

Pacers

Number of wins: 9

Spurs

Spurs

Number of wins: 9

Lakers

Lakers

Number of wins: 8

Grizzlies

Grizzlies

Number of wins: 8

Nuggets

Nuggets

Number of wins: 8

Trail Blazers

Trail Blazers

Number of wins: 8

Rockets

Rockets

Number of wins: 7

Mavericks

Mavericks

Number of wins: 6

76ers

76ers

Number of wins: 4

Cavaliers

Cavs

Number of wins: 4

Celtics

Celtics

Number of wins: 4

Wizards

Wizards

Number of wins: 4

Kings

Kings

Number of wins: 4

Pelicans

Pelicans

Number of wins: 3

Hawks

Hawks

Number of wins: 3

Timberwolves

Timberwolves

Number of wins: 3

Knicks

Knicks

Number of wins: 3

Pistons

Pistons

Number of wins: 3

Bobcats

Bobcats

Number of wins: 3

Raptors

Raptors

Number of wins: 2

Bulls

Bulls

Number of wins: 2

Nets

Nets

Number of wins: 1

Suns

Suns

Number of wins: 1

159

Merry Christmas everyone.  The NBA is back and it’s time to throw out the much too early pre- preseason rankings. This will be the only NBA rankings until the preseason wraps up.  A lot of difficult ranking took place with these factors…When is Chris Paul leaving New Orleans and will he end up in Boston or New York?  Where is Monta Ellis going to land?  Will Melo mesh well in New York? We will find out more in the next few weeks.  One thing is for certain, the Miami Heat are the best team in the NBA.  Here are your rankings and their projected records.

NBA Alpha Rankings

  1. Miami Heat (56-10) - Hate the Heat all you want, they are still the most talented team in the NBA.  They went to the NBA Finals in their first season together, look for them to finish the job this season. 
  2. Los Angelas Lakers (52-14) – No more Zen Master, but they still have Kobe Bryant along with possibly the best starting five in the NBA.
  3. Chicago Bulls (51-15) – Derek Rose led this team to the best record in the East last season before falling to the Heat.  Look for more of the same in the ’01 Bulls.
  4. Dallas Mavericks (51-15) – Thisstarting lineup isn’t getting any younger.  The defending champs still have Dirk Nowitski and the best bench in the NBA though.
  5. San Antonios Spurs (49-17) – Talk about a team not getting any younger.  I’m pretty sure Tim Duncan has been in the league for 25 years.  None the less, this lineup is stacked.
  6. Boston Celtics (49-17)- OK, maybe old lineups are where it’s at.  The Big 3 in Boston is getting older, but more of a concern is what is the off season trade rumors of Rajon Rondo going to do to his psyche?
  7. Oklahoma City Thunder (48-18) – Now we get to go young again.  The Thunder may very well be the most exciting young team in the league.  They just need to learn to win in the playoffs.
  8. Orlando Magic (47-19)- The Magic’s Dwight Howard spent the off season working on his free throw shooting, possibly the big man’s only weakness.  This team has the capabilities with Howard to make a strong run in the East.
  9. New York Knicks (44-22)- Look for the Knicks to push the Celtics in the Atlantic this year now that Carmelo and gang have had a year to gel.
  10. Atlanta Hawks (42-24)- The Hawks are a high flying, exciting team but they are still a solid point gaurd away from being a serious contender this year.
  11. Portland Trailblazers(39-27) – The Blazers have such an athletic front court with Aldridge, Wallace and Camby.  They will be a tough out for any team in the Western playoffs.
  12. Memphis Grizzlies (36-30) – The Grizzlies shocked the world Dikembe style when they knocked off the Spurs last year in the playoffs.  This team is young enough and energetic enough to do more damage this season. 
  13. Philadelphia 76ers (36-30) – 76ers have become an exciting team to watch with their youth movement.  Holiday and Meeks lead dynamic backcourt.
  14. Milwaukee Bucks (34-32) -The Bucks were right on the cusp of making the playoffs last year, will they be able to get over the hump this season?  Probably not, the East is just too deep.
  15. Los Angelas Clippers (33-33) – Blake Griffin is a human highlight reel and look for him to get better on the court in his second full season with the Clips.  This team has a lot of potential with Griffin, Gordon and Bledsoe.
  16. Indiana Pacers (32-34) – Danny Granger continues to be one of the best players you’ve never heard of.  The Pacers have a lot of potential in their frontcourt, but not enough to make the playoffs in the East.
  17. Utah Jazz (32-34) – The Jazz may just squeeze into the playoffs in the Western Conference with Devin Harris leading the way at the point.
  18. New Jersey Nets (31-35) – The Nets have some nice pieces in place but are not near a deep enough team to make much of a splash in the Eastern Conference.
  19. New Orleans Hornets (30-36) – Too much turmoil going on with all the trade talk surrounding Chris Paul.  He more than likely won’t be a Hornet by the end of the season which pushes them down even further in the rankings.
  20. Denver Nuggets (29-37) – The Nuggets played well without Melo last year but too much turmoil and the loss of too many free agents will bring the Nuggets back down to Earth.
  21. Houston Rockets (28-38) – A decent enough lineup but they lack the real star power to be a real threat this season. 
  22. Phoenix Suns (27-39) – The aging but great Steve Nash doesn’t have much talent around him.   It looks like he will be playing the pick and roll with Markieff Morris.
  23. Charlotte Bobcats (24-42) – Is Kwame Brown seriously still a starting center in the NBA?  That just showcases the lack of talent this Bobcat team has.  Despite all this, I love the Kemba Walker pick.
  24. Minnesota Timberwolves (22-44) – This very young team is getting better and in a couple of years should start making a splash, until then they are still learning on the move.  Michael Beasley seems to have hit his stride in Minnesota.
  25. Golden State Warriors (22-44) – Monta Ellis probably won’t be a Warrior by season’s end, which will put that much more pressure on sharp shooter Stephen Curry.
  26. Sacramento Kings (20-46) – The Kings have very little depth.  They do have the great story line of ‘how will Jimmer do in the NBA?’
  27. Detroit Pistons (18-48) – The continuous downward slide of the Pistons will continue this season.  RIP and Prince aren’t what they use to be.
  28. Washington Wizards (15-51) – John Wall is an exciting point guard to watch.  Unfortunately for wall he has far less talent surrounding him.
  29. Cleveland Cavaliers (14-52) - Kyrie Irving won’t be able to make an instant impact with the lack of talent around him, but will still have a good rookie season.  Basically see above.
  30. Toronto Raptors (12-54) – Last years worst team really didn’t get any better.  Still, I’d take this team in Kansas City any day of the week. 

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