Sunday, January 29th, 2012

NBA Western Conference Power Rankings

Published on January 25, 2012 by Scott Shirley   ·   1 Comment


Every Wednesday here at Roundballchat I will release either my Eastern or Western Conference power rankings.  I will update each conference every two weeks.  Today it’s the Western Conference.

1. Oklahoma City Thunder – The Thunder where my favorite to win the West before the season started and they have play like it so far this season. The Thunder have won 9 out of their last 10. Kevin Durant’s scoring numbers may be down a bit but he still a legit MVP front runner. Russell Westbrook is playing like a more team player this season.

2. Denver Nuggets- The high flying Nuggets are the highest scoring team in the NBA. Point guard Ty Lawson has taken his game to the next level and is playing like an All Star. Danilo Gallinari is averaging 17.4 points per game this season. The Nuggets have 6 double digit scorers.

3. Los Angeles Clippers- Chris Paul is hurt and the Clippers are still atop the Pacific Division. Paul has still played in 9 games and have averaged 18 points and 8.4 assists. Blake Griffin is his usual self averaging a double double. Chauncey Billups is proving that he still has a lot left and Caron Bulter was a great free agent pick up.

4. Memphis Grizzlies – Despite Zach Randolph and Darrell Arthur being gone because of injuries the Grizzlies are for real. One reason is Rudy Gay is healthy and averaging 19.8 points per game. Marc Gasol has also picked up his play and his on pace to set career highs.

5. Dallas Mavericks- The Mavericks are the best defensive team in the Western Conference. Dirk Nowitzki is currently resting because of an injury. The Mavericks had a bit of championship hangover in the beginning of the season but they have picked their play up as of late.

6. San Antonio Spurs – Despite the injury to Manu Ginobili the Spurs are still a contender in the West. The Spurs have struggled on defensive this season but their offense has not struggled. They are the second highest scoring team in the West. Tony Parker is still one of the best point guards in the league.

7. Utah Jazz – The Jazz has been one of the most surprising team in the NBA this season. Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap are one of the best frontcourts in the NBA. However the Jazz are lacking quality point guard play which will probably cause them to be lower down this list as the season goes on.

8. Los Angeles Lakers- Kobe Bryant is having a MVP type season averaging 30 points per game but he is playing way too many minutes. Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol team up to form an unstoppable frontcourt but the Lakers lack scoring from the point guard and small forward position.

9. Portland Trailblazers-Portland have got off to a hot start but they have but struggling as of late. LaMarcus Aldridge is playing like one of the best players in the NBA right now. The Trailblazers have 6 double digit scorers but they have been struggling to shot the ball of late.

10. Houston Rockets - New coach Kevin McHale have the Rockets playing well but that next step is to win on the road. Kevin Martin continues to be one of the most underrated players in the league averaging 19.5 ppg.

11. Minnesota Timberwolves- The Timberwolves are a couple years away but they are one of the most exciting teams in the league. Kevin Love is the best rebounder in the game and his ability to shoot threes has improved his offensive game. Ricky Rubio is living up to the hype.

12. Phoenix Suns – This is Steve Nash’s last season in Phoenix but he is still playing at a high level averaging 10.1 assists. Marcin Gortat is a very underrated center in this league. However besides Gortat and Nash the Suns don’t have much.

13. Sacramento Kings- The Kings are one of the most talented teams in the league but they are immature and don’t play well as a team. The Kings are the worst defensive team in the NBA. Their plus minus on the season is -11.6

14. Golden State Warriors –The main problem for the Warriors is that Stephen Curry needs to keep his ankles healthy. Monta Ellis and David Lee are two of the better players in the NBA but they need more help. New head coach Mark Jackson has them playing better defense something the Warriors needed to learn.

15. New Orleans Hornets- Poor Hornets, they trade Chris Paul and they are the worst team in the West. The only bright spot for the Hornets is Eric Gordon.

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