Word up playaz, we're back! The Cavs regain their throne at the top of our Power Rankings this week. They also just got big Z back, so we've added this special picture of Big Z for all our friends who are Cavs friends, especially for this one fan in particular named Rama. Here's a jam for you guys as well...
Mase - Welcome Back
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Anyways, Amar (of Cavalier Attitude fame) and myself (Docksquad) are doing this week's rankings, so here they are...
1. (2) Cleveland Cavaliers (56-15)
- After a brief hiccup to drop to #2, the Cavs are back where they belong on this list. They have won seven straight, nine of their last 10, and possess the league's best record -- all without a real center. Oh, and Z returns on Wednesday. Rowdy. (AP)
- The Magic have won 10 out of their last 11 games and are peaking at the right time. As long as this team can stay healthy, they are a legit threat to beat the Cavs in the ECF, and to make the Finals. Superman leads the League in technical fouls, and now he needs to be careful before he gets suspended. (VC)
- Laker fans definitely want to think that this crew is just saving that extra gear for the playoffs, but seeing Andrew Bynum get injured again can't be too comforting. Remember that the Lakers' core of Kobe, Gasol, Odom, and Artest average to just above 30 years of age -- something to keep in mind when the long playoff run starts in late April. (AP)
- The Nuggets are hitting the road for a tough five game road trip. This road trip will probably decide who will finish with the better seeding, the Nuggets or the Mavs. The Kmart knee injury is a huge blow for this team though. Hopefully for the he is ok by playoff time. Big ups and good luck to Coach Karl...(VC)
- Definitely cooling off considerably since scorching through the last half of February and the first half of March. Like the Lakers, their core players -- Dirk, J-Kidd, JET, Marion, and Butler -- are all well over 30 (with the exception of Butler, who just turned 30 not too long ago). Dallas has a history of breaking down in the playoffs, so forgive Mavs fans their unease. (AP)
- The Sun are playing some great basketball right now. I know they have been at home for most of this run, but still, they are winning games and that's all that matters. Steve Nash is doing his thing like usual, but Amare has been playing on a different level since the trade deadline passed. He's been a beast. Just watch this and you will understand...
7. (13) Milwaukee Bucks (39-30)
- The Eastern Conference's answer to the Utah Jazz. As hot as Utah was earlier this month, the Bucks are just as hot. Tuesday's win over the Hawks avenged one of their two losses over the last 17 games and pretty much locked up the fifth seed, where you would have to love their chances if they wind up facing the Hawks again. (AP)
- Injuries, injuries, injuries. That is the one word that always goes hand in hand with the Jazz. If they can ever get their full squad healthy, then yes, they will contend in the West. But this story seems like it will always have the same ending. The Jazz probably won't be at full strength in the playoffs, and they'll bow out like usual. Sad fo. (VC)
- It seems like this Hawks team has capped out its potential. They were swept ruthlessly by the Cavs last spring, and now it doesn't seem like they would have a prayer against either the Cavs or Magic in the second round. They're ridiculously talented, but they're also the poster boys for the adage "defense wins championships." Atlanta could use some. (AP)
- The Celts had a nice road trip last week, and won a game in Dallas that no one expected them to win. These vets are showing everyone that they aren't done just yet, and that they have one more run in them. PP and Ray Ray are getting hot at the right time, but let's see if they can keep it going. (VC)
- They've simply roughed up inferior teams over the last several weeks, but there's something to be said for beating the teams you're supposed to. Sunday night's loss at Phoenix was rough because of the way they lost and the blown opportunity to move up in the playoff standings, but the Blazers (currently the eighth seed) trail the fifth-seeded Suns by just 2.5 games. (AP)
- The Spurs have a killer schedule coming up this week with the Cavs, Lakers, and Celtics on tap. If they can somehow go 2-1, that will be huge for them and their playoff seeding. BTW, what's gotten into Manu lately? He seems rejuvinated, and is plain balling on cats. I can never get tired of watching Manu and his Euro two-step (nh)...(VC)
- Looked like seasoned world-beaters there for a while, but bad, bad losses to dregs like the Pacers and Kings brought them crashing back down to earth. This crew, no matter how talented they are, has a whole hell of a lot to learn. It will take some playoff beatings to break these guys in, starting with an inevitable beatdown this spring. (AP)
- This Heat team is killing me. I was praying they would drop out of the playoffs, but instead they have locked up on D and have pretty much locked themselves into a playoff spot. Sad for me and for the Bulls fo. Looks like no DWade fo. (VC)
- Are you scared, Raptor fans? Scared we're going to make our regular "Chris Bosh is leaving" jab? I don't even have to say anything. Being .500 despite having the best power forward in the game today says it all. (AP)
- The Bobcats are killing themselves by losing a ton of their road games. Their offense is so streaky, please keep it up Bobcats... Hopefully for me and the Bulls, the Bobcats keep losing! ...(VC)
- Very up-and-down team, like OKC. Unfortunately for them, they won't be able to use this year's playoffs as a learning tool, seeing that they won't be there. (AP)
- What a different a healthy Derrick Rose means. With him, they have a chance vs anyone on any night. Without him, the Bulls look like a D-League team. Yes, that is how important DRose is to this squad, and how good Derrick Rose has become in just one year. His jump shot has also come a long way since last year. It is a lot more consistent now, and he is finally extending back his shot to the 3pt. line as well. Anyways, the Bulls have now won 2 in a row, and they will need to go probably 9-3 in their last 12 if they want to get into the playoffs. Joakim Noah is also back, and Deng is coming back soon as well. It looks like the Bulls are finally getting healthy, but is it too late? Let's see if they can make a late playoff push. (VC)
- Daryl Morey got rid of one injury-prone, unreliable cornerstone player in T-Mac. The return -- Kevin Martin -- has been paying dividends. So wouldn't this summer be a good time for Morey to shop around Yao in return for a cornerstone big man that Houston fans can at least expect to be out there almost every night? (AP)
- I have to give the Hornets some props. I thought they would fade and become one of the worst teams in the game without CP3. Instead they hung in there, played some solid basketball, and pulled out some wins that no one expected. Collison's been great. CP3 is finally coming back, so let's see if they can play together and get some more wins. (VC)
- I promised not to talk about these bums again. And I don't feel like breaking my promise now. (AP)
- I have to give the Pacers some credit, they aren't tanking. They are playing the role of spoiler late in the season, and it's actually pretty cool to see a team do that. I really do think they have a bright future as a team. I think if they can just get another solid player, they will surprise some people and make the playoffs next year. (VC)
- I hope the Knicks realize that it's LeBron or nothing this summer. You don't give up three straight lottery picks for the Joe Johnsons and Carlos Boozers of the world. If the Knicks can't secure King James this summer, this franchise will be in for possibly another decade of hell given its lack of resources to add more talent. So yeah, no pressure Donnie Walsh. Given the Cavs' success, I wouldn't be too comfortable being a Knicks fan right now. (AP)
- You know you are bad when you lose to the Knicks two times in one week. Sad foo. I told you all AI2 wasn't a dude that could carry a squad, but people always hang on his jock. Well congrats Sixers, thanks to AI2 and his smooth jumper (not), you will be in the lottery. (VC)
- You really have to like how Geoff Petrie has rebuilt this team. But they're still just a bunch of role players around a rookie stud (Tyreke). In a league where you're only as good as your superstar (ok ok, except for you, 2004 Detroit Pistons), Sacto better hope T-Easy turns out to be one hell of a player. One. Hell. Of. A. Player. (AP)
- Someone needs to call the police...Ben Gordan and Charlie V are wanted for stealing millions of dollars and all of the Pistons cap room. Great job as usual Joey D! (VC)
- Ah, the Warriors. Let's not talk about what's happening on the floor and instead talk about what's happening off of it. Hearing that Chris Cohan is finally selling this team has to be music to the ears of Bay Area hoops fans. Trust me, better days are to come. Great news, Dubs fans. And I hope my Buckeye Evan Turner ends up here next year. (AP)
- The Whiz haven't won a game in March, but there's even worse news for the Whiz. Josh Howard will probably be out at the start of next season too with his ACL injury. It's sad to see the Whiz drop this far. I still remember when the Whiz had their big three and they beat the Bulls in the first round of the playoffs just a few years ago. Now they'll probably be a lottery team for 2 more years. Again, sad foo. (VC)
- Thirteen straight losses. At least the Nets get publicity for making a run at being the worst team ever. These guys are just irrelevant. Hey, at least the Twins kept Joe Mauer, right? (AP)
- The Nets rank dead last, again! Some things never change. If they don't win three more games, this team will be known as the worst team in NBA history. All I can say is wow! I still understand how this team, is this bad. Might as well end this writeup and the entire post with my favorite word of the night. The Nets are SAD FOO!!!