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Cappers Picks NBA Power Rankings – Nov 27th, 2012

Larry’s NBA Power Ratings

Mindful that what happens in November rarely has anything to do with what happens when snow melts in the north and real NBA basketball starts in mid-April.

Here’s a look at how teams have stacked up so far:

1. HEAT – The Heat won 10 of their first 13, with the only blips coming against good teams (Knicks, Clippers and Grizzlies). With six straight victories and only two road games between now and Christmas, Miami figured to take control of the East before Times Square is filled with revelers.

2. SPURS – SA went in to Boston and bitch-slapped the Celtics, but that’s not surprising – the Spurs, in the middle of a 6-game road swing, have lost only once away from home (heading in Wednesday night’s game in Orlando). The vets might be low on gas by the All-Star break, but for now . . .

3. GRIZZLIES – Memphis’s quick start has rewarded bettors – the Grizz went 9-3 ATS in their first dozen. That win over the Lakers raised some eyebrows; if they can bookend it with a win at San Antonio on Saturday, coaches may have to actually start game-planning for them.

4. THUNDER – Nothing like young talent. OKC’s rotation has not missed a single game this season, and Kevin Martin (15.7 ppg) has taken a little bit of the scoring load off Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Seven of the next nine are at home.

5. NETS – Freed of the Kardashian family madness, Kris Humphries is actually becoming a legit NBA big. He’s shooting 50 percent from the field and averaging 8 points and 8 rebounds a game. Nets are no doubt happy now that they didn’t ship Brook Lopez to Orlando in a go-for-broke trade for Dwight Howard.

6. CELTICS – Boston may be a month or so away from hitting its stride. The team added all kinds of depth to ease the burden on Pierce and Garnett, and they hope they’ll be in better shape than other teams come the dead of winter when everyone else’s rotation is thinned by injuries. Looks like they were right on Jared Sullinger.

7. KNICKS – New York’s recent 3-game skid reminded us that the whole is never greater than the sum of its parts with this crew. NY will get back on its feet with a soft schedule this week. The Knicks badly need Amare Stoudemire to get healthy so they can see exactly what they have.

8. HAWKS – Decent start in Atlanta, which has brought back the same cast of characters (minus Joe Johnson). Will someone please give Al Horford some credit? The guy goes up against bigger opponents every night and somehow gets the job done without getting hospitalized.

9. LAKERS – Kobe scored 40 in a loss to Indiana, and the rest of the team has 37 points total. The Lakers got outscored by 9 points when Dwight Howard was in the lineup, and the big guy missed 9 free throws. Ouch.

10. CLIPPERS – Four straight losses have taken the shine off the apple, and an overtime loss at OKC might have drained some life out of the front five in the rotation. A benign schedule over the next week and a half could put some more gas in the tank.

11. WARRIORS – Golden State has made some money for its backers (8-5-1 ATS) and is holding its own in the Pacific Division. Defense has always been a challenge for these guys, but the Warriors are actually middle of the pack in that category this season.

12. 76ERS – Philadelphia has shown that it can beat mediocre teams, but all the hustle in the world won’t win you too many playoff series against better talent. They just can’t catch a break with bigs – first Elton Brand and now Andrew Bynum. Bynum looks like he’s out indefinitely.

13. NUGGETS – Denver keeps waiting for PG Ty Lawson to take it to the next level, but the kid’s shooting is actually getting worse each season. He’s down to 41 percent this year, and he makes less than 1 in 4 3-point attempts. [ad-6571516]

14. BUCKS – With speed (Ellis and Jennings) in the backcourt, the Bucks have been able to do some early-season damage in the talent-challenged Central Division. The Bucks have a nice bench and unlike some teams actually play hard on the road.

15. JAZZ – They’re coming. Four wins in the last five (albeit against mediocre competition). There are signs that Derrick Favors will be able to contribute, and Al Jefferson continues to hold his own. Too bad Deron Williams and the Jazz couldn’t make it work. They might have been able to do great things.

16. MAVERICKS – It must kill Mark Cuban to sit in the middle of the pack, but it’s going to be a taffy pull for these guys until Dirk Nowitzki returns from knee surgery. So far rehab is not going as well as he or the team had hoped.

17. BOBCATS – That 45-point loss to OKC notwithstanding, the Cats have actually been one of the feel-good stories so far this season. It’s never a good sign, though, when the vast majority of your points come from the backcourt.

18. ROCKETS – James Harden has been filling up stat sheets since coming over from the Thunder, but the big surprise is center Omer Asik, who is grabbing more than 10 rebounds a game.

19. BULLS – That one-point loss at home to the Bucks was a crusher for the Bulls and Tom Thibodeau, especially after winning in Milwaukee two nights previous. Let’s be honest – the entire season hinges on when (if) Derrick Rose returns, and how effective he is when he does get back.

20. PACERS – What happened to these guys? They seem to have gotten their legs back under them after a 3-6 start, but something is missing. Roy Hibbert’s progress appears to have stalled, and when Gerald Green is playing big minutes, you know you have issues.



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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!