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Cappers Picks NBA Power Rankings – Dec 31st, 2012

Larry’s NBA Power Ratings

So is this the new normal for the Miami Heat? Run and preen at home for the locals, then go after it hard on the road only when the pressure builds? .

The Heat are 14-2 in Miami and just 6-6 on the road. The Large Three (James, Wade, Bosh) had a combined total of minus-54 when they were on the court in unexplainable losses at Detroit (ugh) and Milwaukee (OK, the Bucks aren’t bad).

Now that they have a title, guess the Heat players figure they can cruise a bit on the road as long – especially since no game will really matter for the next 3½ months anyway.

To the rankings:

1. CLIPPERS (25-6) – This can’t go on. Or maybe it can. At red-hot Golden State Wednesday night in the second game of a back-to-back (the Clips are at Denver Tuesday) will be a real test. And if they get past the Nuggets and Warriors, the Clippers will take a 19-game winning streak into a home game Friday night against the Lakers. Great Clipper action all week.

2. SPURS (24-8) – San Antonio has not yet lost a game to a Southwest Division opponent this season (8-0). Too bad division games are just about meaningless once the playoffs start.

3. THUNDER (23-6) – Russell Westbrook averages 21.5 ppg on 18.5 shots a game; Kevin Martin takes eight fewer shots a game, and averages only five points less. Just saying.

4. HEAT (20-8) – James says he admires former wrestler Ric Flair for teaching him the glamour lifestyle he now leads – girls, limos, entourage, parties. Love to see James try that on a teacher’s salary.

5. KNICKS (21-9) – Say what you want about Rasheed Wallace, but the man still can get it done for spurts, and he turns 39 freaking years old in September.

6. WARRIORS (21-10) – GS is 13-2 against Eastern Conference teams, and what they did to the worn-down Celtics last Saturday night would have resulted in criminal charges in several states.

7. HAWKS (19-9) – Atlanta has four straight wins (all against Central Division teams), but the Hawks have 5 of their next 6 and 7 of the next 9 on the road.

8. GRIZZLIES (19-8) – Since opening day (Clippers), only one team (Houston) has scored in triple digits against the Griz in any game this season. Memphis is the best defensive team in the league.

9. BULLS (16-12) – Back in late November the Bulls inexplicably blew a 27-point lead and lost to the Bucks. Since then Chicago is 10-5. There are few better coaches around than Tom Thibodeau.

10. PACERS (17-13) – Former All-Star dunk contest winner Gerald Green, who came out of high school with awful fundamentals, is getting decent playing time with the Pacers in his 7th season.

11. BUCKS (16-13) – Co-meal tickets Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings play 10 minutes more a game than anyone else on the roster. Will their legs be mush by the All-Star break?

12. LAKERS (15-15) – Six wins in seven games. Steve Nash is running the show. Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol are rebounding. And Kobe Bryant hasn’t whined in over a week. Times are good again in LA, just in time for Friday night’s showdown against the Clippers.

13. ROCKETS (16-14) – After losses to San Antonio and OKC, Houston needs to get it done at home against Atlanta and New Orleans before spending most of January on the road. [ad-6571516]

14. NUGGETS (17-15) – Opposite of Houston. Between now and Feb. 9 Denver plays only three road games (Lakers, Thunder, Rockets). Pass the mashed potatoes and gravy.

15. TRAIL BLAZERS (15-14) – Just when they look like they’ve turned the corner, they lose to the Kings.

18. 76ERS
19. NETS
20. JAZZ
24. SUNS


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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!