Unlocked … 2012 NBA Season Report #7

by Sriram

One of the vestiges of this terribly accelerated NBA season is how quickly we are around the bend.  The Bulls to wit have played 40 of the 66 games now, 60% of the schedule.  Considering how late we started, it really has felt like an avalanche, so we have playoff races to attend to.  How have the rankings changed since we last did this?

  1. (1) Heat (28-9)
  2. (3) Bulls (32-8)
  3. (2) Thunder (30-8)
  4. (4) Sixers (22-17)
  5. (5) Spurs (25-12)
  6. (10) Lakers (23-14)
  7. (6) Mavericks (22-17)
  8. (8) Nuggets (22-17)
  9. (9) Blazers (19-19)
  10. (7) Hawks (22-15)
  11. (11) Magic (25-14)
  12. (14) Grizzlies (22-15)
  13. (12) Clippers (23-14)
  14. (15) Pacers (23-13)
  15. (13) Rockets (21-17)
  16. (16) Celtics (19-17)
  17. (17) Timberwolves (19-19)
  18. (19) Jazz (18-19)
  19. (18) Warriors (15-20)
  20. (22) Knicks (18-19)
  21. (22) Suns (17-20)
  22. (20) Bucks (15-23)
  23. (23) Hornets (9-29)
  24. (25) Raptors (12-26)
  25. (24) Cavaliers (13-23)
  26. (26) Kings (12-26)
  27. (27) Nets (12-26)
  28. (28) Pistons (12-26)
  29. (29) Wizards (8-29)
  30. (30) Bobcats (4-31)

Some notes:

While the East playoff picture is coming into focus as far as the 8 teams who will be standing at the end of the season (sure the Bucks can rally but it’s not likely, not when their defense is an un-Skiles like 21st), the West is very much a free for all.  Consider the Top 8 as of this writing:

  1. Thunder (2nd in power rankings)
  2. Spurs (5th)
  3. Clippers (13th)
  4. Lakers (6th)
  5. Grizzlies (12th)
  6. Mavericks (7th)
  7. Nuggets (8th)
  8. Rockets (15th)
  9. Timberwolves (17th)
  10. Blazers (9th)
  11. Jazz (18th)

So the Rockets cannot feel safe.  Portland has the 2nd highest scoring margin in the West, and at 9th overall – they have outperformed their record.  Portland has an ungodly bad record in close games – and that is usually a function of luck – and that should start to turn around.  On the other hand, the Jazz and Timberwolves are recordwise in a position to rally but the performance compared the the Blazers is not nearly as optimistic.  Should be fun down the stretch.

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