We're past All-Star Weekend so many of us will now start paying attention to the NBA. After careful scientific evaluation, I've compiled my power rankings for the first half of the season. We'll go from 1 to 12.
1. Oklahoma City - Kevin. Durant. Just give this man the regular season MVP. He's officially become unstoppable in leading OKC to the top spot in the West. The only question left is how KD adjusts when Westbrook returns, but I expect nothing changes because this KD is a meaner, more lethal version of himself. His teammates should just steer clear and let KD take them to the Finals. That goes double for Perkins.
2. Indiana - The Pacers had one goal for the regular season. Get homecourt advantage. They're almost there. They have the best roster from top to bottom and if they can somehow bring Bynum back from the dead, they will be tough to beat.
3. Miami - The East is awful and the Heat don't care about homecourt so time to coast right? Not really. Miami will lose a few more games, but LeBron wont let them slack too much because, well, he's a alien cyborg who refuses to take a night off. However, expect D-Wade to take several nights off to stay healthy. And there's Chris Bosh who's played well with Wade out. Anyone realize Bosh has been an all-star nine times? Let that sink in.
4. Houston - Dwight Howard is pretty good again and so are the Rockets. The Howard-Harden experiment is working well and the rest of the roster has bought in. Their defense needs to improve, looking at you Harden, but they can put up points. I thought the Omer Asik situation would cause problems, but H-town Heisenberg'd him and sent him to the desert until the trade deadline.
5. San Antonio - The Spurs have battled through so many injuries this season that at one point, Coach Popovich started Nando de Colo and Othyus Jeffers. Yet they are still first in the division. That's impressive. Tim Duncan was a bit of an All-Star snub, but he deserved the rest for carrying the Spurs during this stretch. When healthy, the Spurs are title contenders. So let's get healthy guys because I doubt anyone wants to see the dynamic duo of de Colo and Jeffers start a meaningful game.
6. LA Clippers - The Clips weathered the Chris Paul injury storm last month, and are back at full strength. Give credit to Blake Griffin who was beastly during Paul's absence, averaging 30 pts and 10 rebs a game. The Clips are in good shape, but again, they have to get it done in the post-season to validate their recent success.
7. Portland - The Blazers have came back down to earth after sizzling start, losing 8 of their last 13, mostly against the upper-echelon teams in the West. They still have a great inside-outside punch with Aldridge and Lillard, but their lack of experience is showing now that more teams are taking them serious.
8. Golden State - The Warriors are the NBA's version of Dr. Jeckyl-Mr.Hyde. They have the talent to beat anyone, but have lost 9 of 16 after winning ten straight. What gives? You couldn't pay me to put money on these guys in Vegas. Here's the thing, I want Golden State to make the playoffs, if only for the chance to watch Stephen Curry drop 60 in a game by hitting half-court jumpers.
9. Memphis - It took a while, but the Grizz finally woke up from hibernation Memphis is 14-4 after a dreadful start and coincidentally have gone on this run after Marc Gasol returned from injury. Things are looking up for Memphis, they just need to stay away from those "neck tattoo" fan promotions.
10. Dallas - Dirk apparently traveled to the same fountain of youth that Kobe and Duncan visited because the Dunking Deutschman is back. Well deserved All-Star nod for Dirk, but the Mavs are who they are. They will stay in playoff contention, but don't have the fire power to compete with the West's best. There's also Vince Carter and Shawn Marion who are still hanging around. This roster would have been great...in 2004.
11. Phoenix - Jeff Hornacek gets my early vote for Coach of the Year. The Sols lost Eric Bledsoe and remain in the playoff hunt with Goran "The Spurs Assasin" Dragic leading the way. I honestly don't even know who else is on this team, yet they are 30-21 in the West.
12. A random Eastern team! Someone please step up. Maybe John Wall and the Wizards? What about Brooklyn and their combined roster age of 346? The Bulls? Maybe Toronto (yes, there is still a team there)? At this rate, the most excitement we can expect from the East is who tanks best.