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NBA Power Rankings Part 2: 20th-11th

In the second part of our NBA Power Rankings, Tom Halliday looks at the teams bubbling just under the current seeds

20th – Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets are doing as everyone expected this season, currently sitting on the 8th seed.
They are an average team with potential to kiss that 7th spot before February. Their star
point guard Kemba Walker leads the charge with 25.1 points a game and 5.8 assists helping his team to remain in playoff contention. I believe the Hornets will remain at the bottom of
the table but may drift between 9th and 7th. Kemba becomes a free agent at the end of the
season, so this may be one of the last seasons for a while where the Hornets are thriving.

Anthony Davis

19th – New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans have to make a great push this year if they are to keep star centre Anthony Davis. The Pelicans currently sit below the 8th seed but that could all change; they are averaging
117 points per game, as courtesy of Davis. Davis leads the team in points, rebounds, steals and blocks and is one of the most powerful big men in the League. But one big man isn’t enough for today’s game. Davis needs to be paired with a skilled all star guard to realise his full potential. The Pelicans will not make the playoffs this year, and my prediction is Davis will leave the Pelicans and join Lebron and the Lakers in the summer.

 

D’Angelo Russell

18th – Minnesota Timberwolves
The Timberwolves have had a rollercoaster season so far, from the resurgence of Derrick Rose to the trade of Jimmy Butler and of course the firing of renowned coach Tom Thibbedo after a blowout win. The Wolves hope now lies in Karl Anthony Towns and the sixth man production of Derrick Rose. They are as average you can be, averaging 111.0 points a game and the players producing average numbers.

17th – Brooklyn Nets
I thought Brooklyn would be further down this list this year, as the only player of notable mention is the star guard D’Angelo Russell. With good production from their role players and centre Jarret Alan blocking some well known names this season, the Nets are on the up and up. But they will miss the playoffs this year and will do for some time until they can secure another top tier player to the roster. The Nets sit just below .500 with a record of 21-22.

16th – Miami Heat
I will try and not be bias as this is my team, but Miami have shown improvement over the
last few seasons. However, they still remain one of the most average teams in the NBA. The glimmer of hope in this team are its young stars Justice Winslow, Josh Richardson and Bam Adebayo. Each player has shown the true potential to be a dominant force in the league. The problem with Miami is the overpaid players on their roster such as Hassan Whiteside, Tyler Johnson
and James Johnson, who should each be all-star caliber for the huge contracts they have
been given. Once Miami trade away those contracts, general manager Pat Riley could
have more freedom to sign more useful players, as Miami is such a popular destination. Miami sit on .500 with a 20-20 record, only scoring 106.5 points a game.

Donovan Mitchell

15th – Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings are a team with huge potential and a great future. This comes in De’aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III, who are playing exceptionally well and always manage to appear on the highlight reel. The Kings sit fourth in their division and tenth in their conference, whilst scoring 114.9 points a game and could have the opportunity to knock down the Lakers to take the 8th seed. It is all to play for in the West.

14th – Utah Jazz
The Jazz have been quiet this season and their young guard Donovan Mitchell has been quiet this season, scoring 20.7 a game. It doesn’t seem to have impressed the fans as last year. The Jazz is a team which is expected to miss the playoffs, as the Lakers are the favourites tosecure the 8th seed.

 

 

James Harden

13th – Houston Rockets
The Rockets are nowhere near where they were last year. This time last season, the Rockets were sitting on the 2nd seed, ready to take the 1st seed from the Warriors. But now, all has
collapsed since the offseason. On the other hand, James Harden is having a terrific year, averaging 33.9 points per game and dishing out 8.6 assists a game. The Rockets should be
higher than they are right now, but with injuries rising there is more of a burden on Harden’s shoulders. The Rockets are not who they once was, who knows when they will be back.

 

12th – Los Angeles Lakers
THE KING IS IN L.A. Lebron James signed with the Lakers this past summer, along with a string of role players (who were considered clowns and average players). However, with a mix of rookies and veterans in the team, the Lakers seem like a dominant force in years to come. They just need one more piece to the puzzle to ensure success. The Lakers have a record of 23-19 in the West, scoring 112.2 points a game. The Lakers will regain their glory once again.

11th – San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs were the crème de le crème of the basketball world. The movement would be like
clockwork and it would all come together nicely. Their coach Gregg Popovich is still regarded
as one the best coaches in the league. But the Spurs have fallen since the days of Tim
Duncan and Tony Parker, but still remain competitive sitting in the sixth seed. They may not
win a championship soon, but they are one of the hardest teams to compete against in the
league.

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