Mark Heisler's NBA rankings

February 14, 2010|By Mark Heisler

Comment (last week's rank)

1. Cavaliers 43-11 (1): Full of themselves, er, so confident they may not make a deal after all.

2. Lakers 41-13 (2): Now we know what the problem was: Too many stars.

3. Nuggets 35-18 (3): Lakers of Rockies trail real ones by

5 1/2 for all-important home court.

4. Magic 36-18 (4): Reports of Vince Carter's death apparently exaggerated: Scores 48 to end slump.

5. Hawks 33-18 (5): Proving they still have some Hawk in them, lost last one at home to Miami.

6. Jazz 32-19 (7): Problem matchup: Went 13-1 before losing to Lakers at home without Kobe Bryant.

7. Celtics 32-18 (6): Just lost to Hornets without Chris Paul. Next: Four-game West Coast trip.

8. Mavericks 32-20 (8): Set to upgrade, dealing Josh Howard, Drew Gooden for Wizards' Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood.

9. Spurs 30-21 (10): Hello, garbage heap of history: 35-15 at break last season.

10. Thunder 30-21 (11): Two-man show or no two-man show, they were 13-40 at break last season.

11. Suns 31-22 (9): Steve Nash urges them to keep Amare Stoudemire without whom he's old guy in rebuilding project.

12. Raptors 29-23 (14): Leader in Chris Bosh Derby? 21-34 at break in '09, 11-17 on Dec. 16, 18-6 since.

13. Trail Blazers 31-24 (12): Phil Jackson has them guessing: Nate McMillan says sitting Kobe Bryant was psychological ploy.

14. Rockets 27-24 (13): Still have hottest property on market: Tracy McGrady's expiring $23 million deal.

15. Grizzlies 26-25 (15): 15-37 at break in '09 when they would have been 1,000-1 to be in race in '10.

16. Bobcats 26-25 (16): D.J. Augustin, whom Larry Brown wanted over Brook Lopez, can be had for phone call.

17. Hornets 28-25 (20): Darren Collison happens, averaging 18

over six, but they're 2-4 without Chris Paul.

18. Bucks 24-27 (17): Hottest team in East race for No. 8, closed 6-2 as Andrew Bogut averaged 17-12.

19. Heat 26-27 (19): Pat Riley at crossroads: Upgrade now (Amare Stoudemire?) to help Dwyane Wade, or gut it out?

20. Bulls 25-26 (18): Oops: Derrick Rose joins Joakim Noah on sideline, leaving instant D-league team.

21. Clippers 21-31 (21): They don't make honeymoons the way they used to.

22. 76ers 20-32 (27): Andre Igoudala, Elton Brand look likeliest to leave as trade rumors swirl.

23. Knicks 19-32 (22): Mike D'Antoni kept them respectable - at cost of junking plan to showcase Eddy Curry.

24. Kings 18-34 (25): Even if they went 2-16 in Kevin Martin's first 18, won't trade him for Ray Allen. (25)

25. Wizards 17-33 (24): Can't trade Gilbert Arenas, they like Antawn Jamison, so Butler, Haywood get tickets to ride.

26. Pistons 18-33 (26): Oops: Best new Piston isn't Ben Gordon or Charlie Villanueva but Ben Wallace.

27. Pacers 18-34 (23): Reggie Miller: Drawing No. 1 pick only way out of post-Auburn Hills fall.

28. Timberwolves 13-40 (28): Al Jefferson back, averages 11, shoots 85 percent in fourth quarters of 4-0 run.

29. Warriors 14-37 (29): Don Nelson is 11 wins from Lenny Wilkens' record - which may be all keeping him there.

30. Nets 4-48 (30): Rick Pitino denies interest in job, which means he wants the job.

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