Once again, Basketbawful and Hardwood Paroxysm bring you the weekly Powerless rankings. Much like a man lost in the woods, I'm going to try to stay alive by cannibalizing the West while the hardwood boys gnaw on the nasty flesh of the East.
Memphis: Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley sent franchise center Pau Gasol to the Lakers for a large, steaming pile of crap named "Kwame Brown." It's not his fault, though. It's the Bulls' fault. Just ask him. Said Heisley: ''We had conversations with Chicago that were non-satisfactory." Here's what I want to know. What could the Bulls have possibly offered him that was any worse than Kwame Brown?! I'm pretty sure Will Perdue and Bill Wennington have been retired too long to include in a deal.
Hardwood Paroxysm says: The Committee applauds the Grizzlies' efforts not only to rebuild, but to claim the top spot in the Western Powerless Rankings. We award them ten Schrutebucks.
Seattle: They beat the Knicks! Goooooooo Sonics! In other news, that 7-for-21 shooting line has become so familiar to Kevin Durant that it should be carved onto his tombstone someday. And some veterans on the team are starting to grumble about all those shots.
Hardwood Paroxysm says: At least they weren't forced to look at obtaining Kwame Brown as a "positive step."
Minnesota: After they won five of seven games, the 10-win Timberwolves were described as "surging." You know, my bowels can also be described as "surging" sometimes, but that doesn't mean it's something to get excited about.
Hardwood Paroxysm says: The Harbinger (Al Jefferson) has reached a whole new level lately. This team clearly has no investment in our rankings. It's sad to see a team develop into actual quality as the season progresses. They could learn a thing or two from Miami. About sucking.
Los Angeles Clippers: Donald Sterling, clearly upset that Michael Heisley has -- for the moment -- one-upped him in the battle of inept owners, is openly fueding with coach Mike Dunleavy and GM Elgin Baylor. Since when did Sterling start caring about how his team was run?
Hardwood Paroxysm says: I told my wife about what's been going on with the Clippers over the past two years. She said it reminded her of Temptation Island, whatever the hell that was. I don't think that's good.
Sacramento: The Kings have won four in a row and seven of 10, and now they're talking about making the playoffs. Seriously? They're still two games under .500. They do know that they play in the Western Conference, right?
Hardwood Paroxysm says: We can't believe how big of a turnaround these guys have had. Kevin Martin is silky smooth, John Salmons is a great counter-punch, and Bibby is actually playing like he cares, along with a talented front-court. If they can sell Crazy Pills and get something of value back for him, they could snake the 8 spot, and you know what that means!
Houston: Another "surging" team, the Rockets are 8-1 since T-Mac returned from whatever injury made him miss a bunch of games this time. That's impressive and all, but you know he's just going to get hurt again. And Yao too, probably. Plus, Rafer Alston is still their point guard. And he's backed up by Mike James, who's backed up by Steve Francis. You see where I'm going with this?
Hardwood Paroxysm says: Tracy McGrady thinks the home rims are against him. Rafer Alston is their quality backcourt starter. Louis Scola is their energy guy, and Landry is the biggest bench contributor. Outside of Yao Ming and Luis Scola, this team is shaky at best, and first round fodder at worst.
Portland: Hmmm. That magic sauce is still pretty tangy, but they've gone 5-7 in their last 12 games. And the rest of February is going to be rough; I see Detroit, Houston, Dallas, Boston, and the Lakers (twice) in their future. And seven road games. They're 8-14 on the road you know. This may be the defining stretch for this young team.
Hardwood Paroxysm says: Must... not... fade.. So.... tired...
Denver: Wait, whoa, hold on for a second. The Nuggets might deal Linas Kleiza and Eduardo Najera to Sacramento for Ron Artest?! If that happens, this team automatically moves up at least five spots in these rankings, just on general principle.
Hardwood Paroxysm says: Here's a fun fact for you. Denver is 5-9 against teams in the "good" net points category, according to 82games.com. Basically, that means they have a losing record against teams that consistently score more than they allow their opponents to. The good news is that they'll only play bad teams in the playoffs. Wait. They can't play themselves.
Golden State: If Don Nelson is a mad scientist, then Chris Webber is the secret Bezonko Ray that will either help him take over the world or destroy it on accident.
Hardwood Paroxysm says: If this team were a band, they'd be the Black Crowes. When they're together, they're amazing. The rest of the time? They're completely unstable and on the verge of chaos.
San Antonio: No matter how low they've fallen, they can still beat the Suns. So there's that.
Hardwood Paroxysm says: Hmm? Oh, Don't mind us. We're just napping. Go ahead and and keep moving. We'll see you in April. Oh? What's that? The Suns? Hold on a sec... *SWAT! Okay. That should do. Wake us when the Mavs come around.
Utah: The Jazz have won nine games in and are 15-2 since trading for Kyle Korver. They really like the white-boy shooters in Salt Lake City, don't they? Utah has faced some powerder puffs during this stretch, but they've also beaten the Blazers, Suns, Spurs, and Hornets.
Hardwood Paroxysm says: How do you spell second-round elimination? U-T-A-H. Millsap's fun to watch, though.
Dallas: The loss to the KG-less Celtics looked bad. Their brutal beatdown at the hands of the Pistons looked really bad. But hey, they beat the Orlando Magic on the road, and they're like the third best team in the Eastern Conference! I just...this team is 31-15...but I just don't trust them.
Hardwood Paroxysm says: The Mavericks are like the submarine from The Hunt For Red October. You don't hear them coming until you're dead.
Lakers: The Pau Gasol trade was a coup for the Blue and Gold, no question about it. On paper, this team looks well-nigh unstoppable. But...Gasol is still a soft, defenseless center who might find the paint a little crowded once Andrew Bynum returns. And this is the same team, led by the same coach, featuring the same selfish superstar, that flopped in the 2004 Finals despite an All-Legend roster of Shaq, Kobe, Karl Malone, and Gary Payton. So hey, I know you Lakers fans are excited, but we're gonna just hold off on handing over the Larry O'Brien Trophy for the time being, okay?
Hardwood Paroxysm says: Don't be surprised if these guys jump to number one sometime soon. But man, the loss of Javaris Crittenton should hurt them badl...bwahahhaha. I kill me.
New Orleans: A few weeks ago, I predicted that the Hornets would struggle during Mardi Gras. Well, they've lost three in a row and today is Fat Tuesday. That is so not a coincidence. It's a scientific fact that men -- especially pro ballers -- cannot concentrate on basketball-related matters when drunk women are wandering through the streets of their city and flashing boobs that are both full and supple. I expect these guys to start tearing it up again once the hangover wears off.
Hardwood Paroxysm says: If December through January was their "Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik" period, the last two weeks have been their "One Hot Minute" period. And "Aeroplane" sucked.
Phoenix: The Suns just looked over their shoulders at the Lakers, and they suddenly noticed a former All-Star center who can score effectively, rebound okay, and can't play defense. Oh, and he's soft like marshmallow. Then they took a look at their own roster and see Amare Stoudemire. So, you know, they're not as worried as you'd think. As long as they're not playing the Spurs, that is...
Hardwood Paroxysm says: Haha! We're back to full strength! Nothing can stop us now! The Spurs don't even have Parker! (48 minutes later) Do we have any interest in winning a championship?