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Skyhook NBA Power Rankings: Week 11

January 11, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson (3) directs his team during the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets won 98-91. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

This week’s Skyhook’s NBA Power Rankings provide a delightful twist, as we have additional contributions from Reece Hooker and J.P. Pelosi, two of our current featured writers on the site. Breaking that down, we each exclusively ranked our 30 teams, then mashed them together to get some average weighted rankings, which is what you see below as the finished product.

We all obviously agreed that the Pacers, Nuggets (breaking into the Top 10), Blazers and Nets are rolling, while the Lakers and Hawks are struggling.

So welcome back to The Skyhook’s NBA Power Rankings, where any given week, things can change faster than a James Harden trade.

Week 11 – January 14, 2013

Biggest jump: Rockets, Trail Blazers (+6) | Biggest drop: Lakers, Hawks, Bucks (-7)


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com1. Oklahoma City Thunder | 29-8 | Won 3 | Last rank: 2

I think we’ve found the Thunder’s kyptonite in the form of the Washington Wizards. Good thing they won’t be meeting in the NBA Finals anytime soon. Meanwhile, Durant continues to dominate in wins over the Wolves and Lakers/Blazers on the road. – Mike


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com2. Los Angeles Clippers | 28-9 | Lost 1 | Last rank: 1

The Clippers have already lost more than games this month than they did December, but don’t take that as an issue. After dropping two straight to start the year, the Clips padded their 10 game home winning streak with 3 straight wins before an uncharacteristic loss to the Magic on Saturday. – Reece


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com3. San Antonio Spurs | 29-11 | Won 1 | Last rank: 3

A potentially bold statement, but as the Spurs continue their ever-consistent run year after year, one might now be inclined to say that Tony Parker should now be considered a lock for the Hall of Fame. The Spurs consistency is unheard of in sports. – Mike


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com4. Memphis Grizzlies | 24-11 | Lost 1 | Last rank: 4

Before a minor blip in Dallas, the Grizz had won three straight on the road, including two statement wins over the Warriors in Oakland then a grinder against the Spurs in overtime at home. The question will be – what will this team look like when the Rudy Gay dust settles? – Mike


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com5. Golden State Warriors | 23-13 | Lost 1 | Last rank: 7

The Golden State Warriors sit fifth in the Western Conference right now, a position that fans would have been hopeful for with a healthy Andrew Bogut, let alone without. A lot of that success has been due to the brilliance of Stephen Curry, who posted a double-double in their win against Portland. – Reece


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com6. Miami Heat | 24-11 | Won 1 | Last rank: 6

The Heat have opened 2013 with uncertainty, going an uncharacteristic 4-3, but recent losses are nothing to worry about. Crockett and Tubbs didn’t always come out on top, right? Every season has these episodes – especially when you don’t rebound, which is emerging as a must-get. – Reece/J.P.


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com7. New York Knicks | 24-13 | Won 1 | Last rank: 5

A rough week for the Knicks as they drop important inter-conference games to the Celtics, Pacers and Bulls (two of them at home). Suddenly they find themselves barely holding on to that #2 seed. Anyone else excited for Mel0-KG round 2 in Boston on the 24th? – Mike


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com8. Indiana Pacers | 23-15 | Lost 1 | Last rank: 10

Ten wins in a row at home, including one against the defending champs, the Heat, and old rivals, the Knicks. This defense is stifling. – J.P.


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com9. Denver Nuggets | 23-16 | Won 5 | Last rank: 13

After the Broncos collapse, at least the Nugs are currently one of the hottest teams in the league right now. They’ll have 6 of their next 8 at home and could very well find themselves near the top of the rankings in a couple weeks’ time. – Mike


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com10. Houston Rockets | 21-17 | Lost 3 | Last rank: 16

Consider this a retroactive bump for the Rockets recent “hotness,” as they hit a wall last week, though it was all on the road. With they way they score the ball, we still like them more than 2/3 of the rest of the league, at least for now. – Mike


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com11. Portland Trail Blazers | 20-17 | Lost 2 | Last rank: 17

This is a team to watch out for in the playoff race in the West. A snapshot of January for the Blazers: Wins – @NYK, @MEM, @MIN, MIA. Losses – @GSW, OKC. Quality wins and even the losses are respectable. After his 37 against the Warriors, Dame Lillard keeps improving. – Mike


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com12. Chicago Bulls | 20-15 | Lost 1 | Last rank: 9

They’re prone to sleep on some lighter teams, but when push comes to shove, the Bulls will bang and bruise against the elite. And Rose is still to come! – J.P.


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com13. Brooklyn Nets | 22-15 | Won 6 | Last rank: 14

With that #2 seed wide open in the East, the scorching Nets are making their run before the All-Star break with a 6-0 January start, with an impressive average margin of victory of 15 points per game. It’ s obvious, but Brook Lopez has outplayed the two other “All-Stars.” – Mike


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com14. Boston Celtics | 19-17 | Won 5 | Last rank: 18

The C’s have been making their own run with 5 straight wins, and over some high quality opponents in IND, @ATL, @NYK and HOU (a combined record of 89-60). Avery Bradley, game changer? Certainly feels like it. – Mike


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com15. Atlanta Hawks | 21-15 | Lost 1 | Last rank: 8

The Hawks went 1-3 this week, closing with an embarrassing 10 point loss to the Wizards. Yes, those Wizards. Josh Smith continues to delight and disturb Hawks fans with his inconsistent performances. Can Larry Drew turn it around, or will those trade winds pick up again? – Reece


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com16. Utah Jazz | 20-19 | Won 1 | Last rank: 19

This Jazz team just can’t sustain any moment. At times they show flashes of brilliance, other times look lottery bound. With 6 of their next 7 at home (where they’re 11-4), hopefully they can grab a cushion over .500 and slip into that 8th spot. – Mike


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com17. Minnesota Timberwolves | 16-18 | Lost 3 | Last rank: 15

You really have to feel bad for this team, they can’t catch a break. First Rubio suffers set backs then love re-breaks his hand and is out 8-10 weeks, likely crushing their playoff hopes. In the meantime, more minutes for Derrick Williams to prove himself? – Mike


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com18. Los Angeles Lakers | 16-21 | Won 1 | Last rank: 11

After an 0-6 start to the month/year, Mike D’Antoni says the season BEGINS Sunday for the Lakers. A good thing in the background is that won’t face pressure about seeding, as it’s “win to get in” time. Losing Jordan Hill, who was playing well, will hurt. – Mike


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com19. Milwaukee Bucks | 19-17 | Won 1 | Last rank: 12

It’s pass the buck time. Jim Boylan inherits a rather one dimensional offense that lacks the ability to compete because they don’t share the ball. – J.P.


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com20. Toronto Raptors | 14-23 | Lost 1 | Last rank: 21

The Raps (once up 20 in the 1st quarter) really needed that W against the Bucks and finished their homestand only 3-3. It seems with each game that passes, the Kyle Lowry experiment in Toronto is failing. Shout out to Amir Johnson and Ed ‘Boss’ Davis, playing well in the frontcourt. – Mike


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com21. Detroit Pistons | 14-24 | Lost 1 | Last rank: 26

So they gave up a few games early season, but keep an eye on these Pistons. They can shoot, their center, Greg Monroe is dominating the paint, and wow, Jason Maxiel can really throw it down. – J.P.


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com22. Philadelphia 76ers | 16-22 | Won 1 | Last rank: 20

After a horrible start to January, the Sixers have a light 2-game week, hosting the Hornets/Raps. ASG comparison: Player A – 16.8 pts, 7.7 sts, 3.2 rebs, .409 FG%. Player B – 18.7 pts, 8.8 asts, 4.1 rebs, .454% ( Player A = Deron Williams, Player B = Jrue Holiday). I rest my case. – Mike


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com23. Dallas Mavericks | 15-23 | Won 2 | Last rank: 22

According to insiders, there is a 100% probability that Mark Cuban makes a deal(s) before the deadline. Are we really going to bet against this man? The question will be: Will the roster in a month from now be good to make a last-ditch playoff run? – Mike


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com24. Phoenix Suns | 13-26 | Won 1 | Last rank: 23

The Suns win the award for the most mundane team in the league right now, hands down. With Michael Beasley registering consistent DNP-CD’s lately, this team is in total flux. Not sure what happened in Chicago the other night. – Mike


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com25. Sacramento Kings | 13-24 | Lost 4 | Last rank: 25

The DeMarcus Cousins circus keeps on rolling. After 31 points and 20 rebounds in Toronto, the big man gets ejected against the Mavericks for his foul jab at Vince Carter. A huge loss to the HEAT summed up a disappointing week for the Kings. – Reece


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com26. New Orleans Hornets | 11-26 | Lost 1 | Last rank: 28

Stolen from Marc Stein: Hornets are 0-15 when they fail to score 100 points. But what an extremely satisfying week for the Hornets, going 3-1 with wins over the Spurs (yes!), Rockets and Timberwolves (holding them to a combined 86.3 points per game). – Mike


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com27. Orlando Magic | 13-23 | Won 1 | Last rank: 24

The Magic ended a 10 game slide with a Saturday upset of the Clippers. They have a chance to steal some wins with games against Washington and Charlotte coming up. Nikola Vucevic has averaged 17 boards a game during the last week. And Magic fans thought all the great centers had already bailed on the city. – Reece/J.P.


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com28. Cleveland Cavaliers | 9-30 | Lost 2 | Last rank: 27

They should have more wins given Kyrie Irving is so damn dynamic. Rookie Dion Waiters is pairing up nicely with his point, offering a view to what this Cavs team might become. – J.P.


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com29. Washington Wizards | 6-28 | Won 2 | Last rank: 29

John Wall is back! John Wall is back! That has a nice ring to it. The Wiz have actually won TWO straight games with hopefully more wins to follow. – J.P.


Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com30. Charlotte Bobcats | 9-27 | Lost 3 | Last rank: 30

Good news for the Bobcats is they’ve finally snapped that huge losing streak. The bad news is they’re back to being awful, only managing to steal the outlying victories against an off Chicago Bulls and overtime against the dreadful Detroit Pistons. A double-digit loss to the Raptors was typical of a Bobcats season that’s gone from promising to poor in a blink. – Reece

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