Well, here we go again. The Superbowl is over and was actually pretty entertaining. I’m not a big fan of the Boss, but the halftime show wasn’t bad either. Spring training starts in a couple of weeks, but for right now all the focus is on basketball – unless you like hockey for some reason.
This week’s top-15 have a different look once again. We’re still waiting on Bynum’s MRI, but it is probably safe to assume that he will be out for at least a month, if not longer. The Jazz lost AK-47 and lost a spot in the TTT rankings, and the Pistons and Suns are still nowhere to be found.
The last two teams in the top-15 this week will rock your world. Enjoy…
1. Boston Celtics-The Celts have won 11 straight and are finally healthy, although KG missed yesterday’s game with the flu. Boston still needs to add depth, but Eddie House has been hot as hell lately.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers-Big Z is back and shooting 3-pointers, which helps the Cavs maintain spacing so that LeBron and Mo Williams can get into the paint. Boobie Gibson and J.J. Hickson will be keys down the stretch.
3. L.A. Lakers-We still don’t know about Bynum’s injury, but it looked bad. He most likely has at least a partial tear somewhere so he will miss around four weeks at best. The Lakers will be fine providing that he is healthy and effective by the Playoffs.
4. San Antonio Spurs-The aged Spurs just keep winning. Bynum’s injury may have opened to the door for San Anton to claim home court advantage in the West.
5. Orlando Magic-I watched the Magic beat down the Cavs last week, but Orlando is unproven and will likely come back to earth down the stretch. 36-10 ain’t bad, but the bench ain’t good. Head coach Stan Van Gundy has down a wonderful job this season.
6. Denver Nuggets-Melo is back and Nene is making everything, so the Nuggs looked primed for a hot streak this month. Denver has great talent and could surprise in the playoffs.
7. Portland Trail Blazers-Steve Blake came back last week and promptly got popped in the shoulder. Portland has played well without its starting point guard, but he is a very good shooter and really solidifies the lineup. The Blazers faded last year, so it will be interesting to see what happens this season.
8. Houston Rockets-Rick Adelman has done a remarkable job this season. The Rockets could fall apart again at a moment’s notice, but for right now T-Mac and Artest back in the lineup (T-Mac sat out Friday but should play Tues.) Houston looks okay. Just okay.
9. New Orleans Hornets-Chris Paul shined during the last two games, but when he scores big it means that his teammates are struggling. David West hasn’t responded to being named to the All-Star team. He needs to go to the basket more and hit the boards, especially since Tyson Chandler is out. Peja needs to score 20 a night, otherwise the Hornets can lose to anybody – even the Warriors.
10. Philadelphia 76ers-Elton Brand hasn’t impressed since his return, but the Sixers are still playing well in the East. Philly could lock up the fourth seed in the Playoffs this season.
11. Dallas Mavericks-I have said this for weeks now, but the Mavs aren’t going anywhere. Josh Howard still shoots too much, Jason Kidd is old and really bad at defense, and there just isn’t enough consistency here.
12. Miami Heat-The trade winds are swirling in South Beach, and if the Heat can land either Brad Miller or Jermaine O’Neal, it will become the fourth or fifth best team in the East. Shawn Marion should be back soon though. Oh boy.
13. Atlanta Hawks-The Hawks are struggling lately, but they should still make the Playoffs with ease and have a great starting five. It would be nice to have an insurance policy in case Mike Bibby gets hurt. Kirk Hinrich?
14. New York Knicks-Wow, this is a surprise. Nate Robinson has really taken to his role coming off the bench and Al Harrington has surprised me by playing well since his trade to the Big Apple. The Knicks could actually make the Playoffs.
15. Chicago Bulls-This is an even bigger surprise. It is a bit of a reach, but the Bulls have won three straight on the West Coast, including a win at Phoenix which hadn’t happened since I was a high school freshman in 1997. The three wins probably saved Vinny Del Negro’s job – for right now at least.