Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

March 24, 2012
Power Rankings: Trades, buyouts lead to change

It's been a little more than a week since the NBA trade deadline. And buyouts for the likes of Boris Diaw have created an opportunity for teams like San Antonio to add players at a discount.

Ronny Turiaf might help Miami's front court and Derek Fisher should be a positive
influence in Oklahoma City.

The trade that might have the most impact on the playoff race might be the Los Angeles Lakers landing Ramon Sessions, giving the Lakers the creative point guard they've been missing for years.

Even with all the moves, the Chicago Bulls continue to win while their lineup has hurt by injuries.

The Bulls have the NBA's best record and the top spot in the rankings, again.

1. Chicago Bulls (39-10 LW 1) - Derrick Rose being in and out of the lineup has to be a concern as the season winds down.

2. Miami Heat (35-11, LW, 2) - If Dwyane Wade is who the Heat go to for game winners, can LeBron James be the league MVP?

3. Oklahoma City Thunder (36-12 LW, 3) - Could Derek Fisher provide the veteran leadership needed to get OKC to the NBA Finals?

4. San Antonio Spurs (31-14, LW 4) - Will the additions of Boris Diaw and Patrick Mills put the Spurs ahead of the Thunder?

5. Orlando Magic (31-18, LW 5) - For the Magic to be contenders, Jameer Nelson has to play at an All-Star level.

6. Los Angeles Lakers (30-18, LW 6) - Trading for Ramon Sessions gives the Lakers a player who can create for others.

7. Indiana Pacers (27-19, LW 8) - Danny Granger's scoring average (17.7) is its lowest since 2006-07.

8. Atlanta Hawks (28-20, LW 13) - In spite of regular-season success winning a playoff series without Al Horford will be tough.

9. Philadelphia 76ers (25-19, LW 9) - The Sixers get a lot their offense from two reserves -- Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young.

10. Memphis Grizzles (25-20 LW 7) - Zach Randolph's return hasn't led to a surge in wins yet.

11. Utah Jazz (26-22, LW 18) - On a six-game winning streak after routing the Denver Nuggets.

12. Dallas Mavericks (27-22, LW 11) - Lamar Odom's bad season has fans in Dallas booing him.

13. Los Angeles Clippers (26-21 LW 10) - Struggles continue and coach Vinny Del Negro figures to take the blame for that.

14. Houston Rockets (26-22, LW 14) - In rallying to beat the Lakers, Rockets showed they can play well without Kyle Lowry.

15. Denver Nuggets (26-22, LW 12) - Re-signing Wilson Chandler proved important after Danilo Gallinari broke his thumb.

16. Boston Celtics (25-22, LW 15) - Looking like a tough first-round playoff opponent for Chicago or Miami.

17. Phoenix Suns (24-24, LW 16) - Steve Nash is helping keep the Suns in playoff contention in the deep Western Conference.

18. New York Knicks (23-25, LW 20) - In a shocker, Knicks used defense during their five-game winning streak.

19. Milwaukee Bucks (22-25, LW 19) - The Bucks are still hanging around with a chance to make the playoffs.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves (23-26, LW 17) - Losing Ricky Rubio and Michael Beasley being hobbled are a lot to overcome.

21. Portland Trail Blazers (22-26, LW 21) - Rookie Nolan Smith will have a chance to develop at point guard with Blazers looking like a lottery team.

22. Golden State Warriors (19-26, LW 22) - Stephen Curry's ankle problems continue to force him to miss games.

23. Sacramento Kings (17-30, LW 26) - When Marcus Thornton is hot the Kings are tough to beat.

24. Cleveland Cavaliers (17-28, LW 24) - Anderson Varejao's injury has accelerated Tristan Thompson's development.

25. Detroit Pistons (16-31, LW 23) - Pistons have dropped four games in a row.

26. Toronto Raptors (16-32, L 25) - Jerryd Bayless and Gary Forbes have a chance to play more after Leandro Barbosa trade.

27. New Jersey Nets (15-34, LW 27) - The latest losing streak has reached five games.

28. New Orleans Hornets (12-35, LW 29) - Hornets beat slumping Clippers in Chris Paul's return to New Orleans.

29. Washington Wizards (11-35, LW 28) - Management will continue to try to build a team that John Wall will want to lead.

30. Charlotte Bobcats (7-38, LW 30) - Perhaps the Bobcats can reach double digits in wins before the end of the season.

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