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NBA Power Rankings Part 1: 30th-21st

Sport Editor Tom Halliday suggests which NBA teams could be doing better

Kevin Love

30th – Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland were the biggest name in basketball with Lebron leading the Cavs to the NBA Finals for the past three years. But, since the King has left and joined L.A., the Cavs have
shown they can’t function without Lebron James at the helm. Kevin Love (PF) could’ve started to lead the team and make it his own like he did when he played for Minnesota or even young rookie Colin Sexton could’ve taken the team to at least mid-table. Yet, the Cavs sit third to last in points scored and sit dead last in the Eastern conference. Their winning percentage sits at .190, and there seems to be no chance of the Cavs escaping the pits of the Eastern Conference.

29th – Phoenix Suns
The Suns were expected to do well this season, with Devin Booker about to enter his prime
and the 2018 #1 Draft Deandre Ayton, they could’ve secured at least the 8th seed.
But, in a treacherous Western Conference, it has proven to be harder than first thought.
Phoenix sit dead last in their conference with a 10-33 win-loss record, and allowing
opponents to score at least 114.7 points per game. This team really shows that offense alone
does not win basketball games.

28th – New York Knicks
Everyone knew New York wouldn’t sit well this season, as they remain in rebuild mode and are aiming to grab the #1 pick in the 2019 draft, which is highly likely to be Zion Williamson. The Knicks are still longing for Kristaps Porzingis to come back from injury, whilst new guy Kevin Knox is doing all he can, averaging 12.1 points a game (ppg) but only 4.2 Rebounds a game (REB). The best thing the Knicks could do the season is to tank (lose on purpose) to gain a higher chance in landing Williamson.

Kevin Knox

27th – Chicago Bulls
Chicago are far from the star studded Tom Thibbedou Bulls team in the early ’10s, but Chicago do have some promising youngsters which could prove to be key assets in the long run. 2x dunk champion Zach Lavine is one of those notable names as he rises to become more than just a dunker in Chicago as he averages 23.5 points a game. Chicago also have a young sophomore in Lauri Markkannen from Finland, who can provide the extra baggage. To conclude, the Bulls need a miracle if they are to be successful in the upcoming seasons.

26th – Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks sit in the same boat as Chicago, as they try to rekindle the time when they had four All Stars on their team and took the #1 seed in the East. However, that’s hard to do when the Hawks have a completely new roster and new coach. The Hawks are resting on young sharpshooter Trae Young, (who is leading the team in assists) and talented big man John Collins who controls boards and is leading the charge for Atlanta. The Hawks play beautiful basketball, but it’s just not executed to the standard it should be. With a 12-29 record, the Hawks will most definitely not make the playoffs this year.

25th – Washington Wizards
In my opinion, this team needs to undergo a total rebuild. Scott Brooks is a great coach (led
an Oklahoma City Thunder team with Durant and Westbrook to the Finals) but the team he has currently is not a great fit. The basketball is messy, the chemistry is off and their star backcourt in John Wall and Bradley Beal is a shambles. They need to train both Wall and Beal to gain draft picks
and then they can start with a young core and hopefully soon compete for a championship.
The Wizards were so close a couple of seasons ago, with an explosive offense and a huge
defensive rating but they have declined since then. Sitting in the 11th seed with a 17-25
record, it looks like it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

24th – Orlando Magic
The Magic are an exceptional team when all is executed perfectly, with Aaron Gordon
running the PF position with style and flair and Evan Fournier’s buckets on top of buckets!
Fournier is one of the most underrated shooting guards in the league, but there is a reason
why he is underrated. The Magic are inconsistent, normally they start exceptionally well
with fast pace and easy buckets, but they can’t keep it up. It’s almost as if the Magic are
destined to miss the playoffs each year since Dwight Howard left. They have lost their last four
games with no signs of improvement.

23rd – Detroit Pistons
Now, I was expecting the Pistons do very well this season, with two seasoned big men in Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. And they still have a chance to make the playoffs this year; Griffin
recently had a career game dropping over 50 points. I believe the Pistons are one trade away
from competing with the power houses in the Eastern Conference. They have lost eight of their last ten games, but can still improve to move to the 8th seed and bump out the Hornets.

Luka Doncic

22nd – Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies are that NBA team you always forget about and there is a reason for this. The Grizzlies currently sit in the 13th seed in a very competitive Western Conference. Mike Conley remains one of the most underrated point guards in history, with pinpoint passing and a deadly sharpshooter. But for some reason the Grizzlies just can’t function, and are one of the lowest scoring teams in the League, only scoring 100.9 points a game. The Grizzlies best chance for success this season is to tank, as they will eventually fall to the bottom of the West.

21st – Dallas Mavericks
I only have to quote one name when talking about the Mavs. LUKA DONCIC. This young rookie is one of the most talented scorers this league has ever seen. A deadly step back jump shot, Doncic is the leading rookie for points and assists. Astonishingly, he has been playing professionally since the age of 14, so he is a phenomenal player and the reason why the Mavs seem very competitive this season. Yes they are sat in the 14th seed in the West, but this Mavs team shows that this may be the start to a successful future.

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