Mark Heisler's NBA rankings

December 27, 2009

Last week's rank in parentheses

Records through Friday

1. Celtics 23-5 (2): How tough are these guys? With Paul Pierce out two weeks, won in Orlando.

2. Lakers 23-5 (1): Guys must be trying to get out of playing on Christmas every year.

3. Magic 22-8 (3): Also may prefer Christmas at home: Dwight Howard scores five vs. Celtics.

4. Cavaliers 23-8 (4): Welcome back: Shaq scored 9-5-3-8 before busting loose for 11 vs. Lakers.

5. Hawks 20-8 (5): Oops: Marvin Williams, whom they took over Chris Paul and Deron Williams, averaging 10.3.

6. Suns 19-11 (6): As in back-to-back MVP years, Steve Nash at 50 percent from field, 40 on 3s, 90 from line.

7. Nuggets 20-10 (7): J.R. Smith, who looked set to take off but hasn't, gets 41 in victory over Hawks.

8. Mavericks 20-9 (8): Not many teams bring two double-figure guys off bench like Jason Terry, Josh Howard.

9. Trail Blazers 20-12 (12): Gutty Blazers lose Joel Pryzbilla after losing Greg Oden, go 6-0 with four on road.

10. Rockets 17-12 (10): Carl Landry loses five teeth, two in Dirk Nowitzki's elbow, misses game, returns with 27.

11. Spurs 15-11 (11): Not good sign: Just lost at home to Blazers, who were without Brandon Roy, Oden, Przybilla.

12. Jazz 16-13 (9): Why bring him? Mehmet Okur averages 8.6 ppg on East trip, 1-for-13 on 3s as they go 2-3.

13. Heat 15-12 (14): Heat like chance as only team with max slot and superstar partner for LeBron.

14. Thunder 14-14 (13): Still coming: After chasing Lakers to wire, won in Phoenix next night.

15. Hornets 13-14 (15): Good news: 6-3 since Paul returned. Bad news: No. 10 in West, two games out of No. 8.

16. Grizzlies 13-15 (19): With Zach Randolph averaging 23-14 this month, they're 12-7 since starting 1-8.

17. Kings 13-15 (20): One big guy short of a load; Kevin Martin back soon.

18. Bucks 12-15 (16): Not how it's supposed to work: With Michael Redd, Andrew Bogut back, have lost 12 of 18.

19. Raptors 14-17 (22): Happy New Year: In first 10 days of 2010, play Celtics twice, Spurs and Magic.

20. Clippers 12-17 (21): Another tire losing some air: Eric Gordon averages 12 over five, shoots 33 percent.

21. Bobcats 11-16 (18): Tyson Chandler, ripped by teammate Gerald Wallace for lack of heart, out with broken foot.

22. Pistons 11-18 (17): Offense could use some work: Just scored 96-87-98-81-76-64, went 0-6.

23. Knicks 11-18 (24): Not bad for team that started 1-8, but I'm thinking LeBron will want more.

24. Bulls 10-17 (25): Feeling blade nearing, Vinny Del Negro benches John Salmons, Brad Miller.

25. Wizards 10-17 (26): Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler making $37 million for team going nowhere.

26. 76ers 7-21 (23): Andre Iguodala unhappy AI's back. Elton Brand doesn't like losing minutes to Marreese Speights.

27. Pacers 9-18 (27): T.J. Ford, former point guard of future, loses job in present to Earl Watson.

28. Timberwolves 6-24 (28): Showing why most had him before Brandon Jennings, Jonny Flynn averages 18 over eight.

29. Warriors 7-21 (29): Human layup line: Just lost 12 of 14, allowing an average of 113.

30. Nets 2-27 (30): Yi Jianlian returns with 22-8. Of course, they still lose, to Timberwolves at home.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.