RPRs 2
Fifteen teams. One prize.

Happy MLK Day! To celebrate, Basketbawful and Hardwood Paroxysm once again bring you the weekly Powerless Rankings, just as Dr. King would have wanted it. In this installment, I will lay waste to the West while the Hardwood Boys make the sun set in the East.

1. Minnesota: Last week, I wondered whether Kevin McHale had wisely entered into a witness protection program. I should have known that McHale would never do anything "wise" unless it was entirely by accident. Not only did he rip his team for sucking so bad -- conveniently overlooking the fact that he's the Dr. Frankenstein that built this monster -- but he also let loose with this crazy quote: "You win four more games and all of a sudden, you're tied with Seattle." Yes, if you won four more games, you would be tied with Seattle. With nine wins. But other than showing off your grade school-level math skills, I really not sure what that proves. Other than you have, by far, the worst team in the league. And, therefore, the best team in our rankings.

Hardwood Paroxysm says: They're not scoring 100, they're not holding opponents to under 100. That's a bad recipe. Still waiting on Foye. Yup. Still waiting. Any time. Corey Brewer is a bright spot, though, which is more than can be said for some of the East teams.

2. Seattle: Kevin Durant is leading the team in scoring at 19 a game, and it’s only taking him about 25 shots to do it. That’s the kind of ruthless efficiency you expect from somebody working the counter at the DMV. Assuming that person is old and mildly retarded. And as long as Durant continues to shoot at that pace, the Sonics have a real fighting chance at the number one spot.

Hardwood Paroxysm says: Every now and again, Seattle comes close to moving down in these rankings, like when they pushed the Lakers to OT. Luckily, they still lost and then got pounded by Golden State and Memphis. Nice work to keep pace with Minnesota, guys. Get ready for the bevy of "Kevin Durant's not really shooting that bad" stories. Don't buy him. He is as bad in % as advertised.

3. Memphis: The Grizzlies’ winning streak was snapped at one by the Charlotte Bobcats. It was the ‘Cats first win over the bad news bears. If the Grizzlies’ season was a country song, this defeat would be the part where the dude’s wife ran off with her cousin and his dog died of AIDS. Or should that be she runs off with the dog and his cousin dies of AIDS? Whatever.

Hardwood Paroxysm says: I know you think you may be safe here, Memphis fans. But this team is starting to turn a corner that could plummet them in these rankings. A 1 point loss to LA, an overtime loss to LeBron on his 50+ night, and a 24 point drubbing of Seattle. Conley is going to be the death of this team in the Powerless Rankings.

4. LA Clippers: The Clippers’ biggest news story of the week was about how they signed Guillermo Diaz to a second 10-day contract. The highlight of that announcement was the following sentence: "In his first stint with the Clippers, Diaz appeared in one game, grabbing one rebound." Well, wow, I can see why the Clips resigned this guy. In other news, Elgin Baylor also signed Chris Kaman’s armpit hair to a one-year deal with a team option for a second year.

Hardwood Paroxysm says: Clips Nation calls them the Generic Clippers and that's a good word for it. They're just mediocre in all sorts of ways. Ravaged by injury, notching a nice win every now and again (Phoenix), playing close but never closing. The "Everybody Loves Raymond" of sucking.

5. Houston: After the Rockets beefed themselves up in the off-season, I pronounced them "much improved." Then I realized that two of their key additions were Mike James and the empty husk of Steve Francis. What, did I forget everything I ever knew about basketball when I deemed the Rockets improved? Don’t be fooled by their win over the Spurs. Beating the Spurs is the “in thing” in the NBA these days.

Hardwood Paroxysm says: The Rockets are saved from a drop here by improved play by the teams below them, and the ongoing Tracy McGrady debacle. Their saving grace is our confidence that they would somehow find a way to lose a seven-game series against the teams below them, no matter how much more talent they have. If they keep winning, though...

6. Sacramento: They've notched a couple impressive "Our main guys are back!" wins over the Mavericks, Pistons, and Pacers. (Okay, beating the Pacers wasn't all that impressive, but still.) A peek at their upcoming schedule reveals contests against the Nets, Clippers, Sonics, and Bobcats. Methinks that the Kings might be making a major drop in our rankings. For at least a week.

Hardwood Paroxysm says: Well, well, well. The rebuilding process looks bright, now, doesn't it. They follow up a big win over Dallas with a complete win over Detroit to plummet in the Powerless rankings. Throw in the way John Salmons is playing and the return of the Moss Covered, Three-Handled Family Gredunza (KevMart, Bibby, Artest), and this team may not be back at the top for a while.

7. Utah: The Jazz took a long, hard look at themselves in the mirror this week and said, "We’re just not the same team without Derek fisher." They then spent the rest of the day scribbling "Fish 4ever" all over their Trapper Keeper, pausing now and then to think wistfully of what might have been in a world without eye cancer.

Hardwood Paroxysm says: *Charges defibrillator* "Clear!" *Applies Defibrillator "We've got a pulse! They're stabilizing!"

8. Golden State: The Warriors have become the NBA equivalent of the Globetrotters. They have a run-and-gun offense, play absolutely no defense, and they're taking orders from a coach who adjusts the clock according to Miller Time. It's fan-tastic! Unlike the Globies, however, the games are fixed so that the Warriors win every game. So as entertaining as this team is, the chance of them winning (or losing) on any given night always feels like 50/50.

Hardwood Paroxysm says: Guess what team is only +1.5 in scoring differential? They're playing great, there's no question. But man, these guys are one injury, suspension, or Baron Davis realizing he's human from being out of the playoffs.

9. LA Lakers: With the loss of Andrew Bynum and the re-emergence of Kwame Brown as the NBA's best and biggest punchline, the Lakers are rocketing up through the rankings. This of course comes on the heels of Kobe's comment that the Lakers are a championship team with Bynum in the lineup. Which is categorically insane, unless Bynum ate Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or something.

Hardwood Paroxysm says: "Oh, they beat the Sonics without Bynum! They'll be fine!" Guess what. Lots of teams beat Seattle without Bynum. Then, the truth comes out against Phoenix. They have Kwame Brown. Starting. Wah-wah. Get your goggles on, Laker fans. This team is about to hit the atmosphere on these rankings.

10. Denver: I don’t know what to make of this team. I mean, they have a pretty good record, but they’re only ranked seventh in the West. And if they lost their next two games, they’d drop to ninth or tenth. Linas Kleiza was their offensive star this week, and they seem to think that Jose Calderon might be the missing piece of their championship puzzle (if you believe Yahoo's rumors). So are they ranked too high, or are they ranked too low...I have absolutely no idea. I guess I’ll just leave them where they’re at for the time being.

Hardwood Paroxysm says: If this team were a Batman villain, they'd be Two-Face. From Batman Forever. Right down to the bad fashion sense. Seriously. Lose to Atlanta and Charlotte. Whip the Jazz. Is J.R. Smith spiking the water?

11. San Antonio: I hate to brag, but my grandpa was a total badass. He was awarded the Bronze Star in World War II for staying up for three straight days during a major battle. He also rode a motorcycle well into his 70s. But a few years ago, we were walking through a grocery store together and suddenly I realized my grandpa was gone. I turned around and saw him sitting down on a nacho cheese display, trying really hard to catch his breath. That was the moment I realized that, damn, my grandpa is old. I had that same moment this week with the Spurs. And if there's a chink in their championship armor, that's it.

Hardwood Paroxysm says: "Tim."
"Yes, Pop?"
"It's January."
"Time to put it on cruise-control, till March, Pop?"
"That's right, Tim. Cue the sloppy loss to the Cavs!"

12. Portland: The Trailblazers contagious confidence is spreading across the country. I got so high on the Blazers magic sauce that I tried to walk into a Bulls practice in my Kirk Hinrich jersey. I won't bore you with the rest of that story, but let's just say it didn't have a happy ending and leave it at that. In other news, Portland has lost three of five games. Is that the sound of the Blazers' rocketship coming back down to earth?

Hardwood Paroxysm says: This is why I'm hot. This is why I'm hot/ This is why, this is why, this is why I'm hot/ I'm hot cause I got Roy, you ain't cause you lack/ you wouldn't believe it, I'm getting run from Jarret Jack./ I'm hot cause I'm fast, you ain't cause you slow/ just imagine how good we'll be next year when Oden's good to go... (Okay, so we blog NBA better than we rap. Point is, the Blazers are friggin' good right now.)

13. Dallas: The Mavs won three of the four games they played this week. But those wins came against the Sonics, Clippers, and Sonics again. And they sandwiched a loss to the Kings in between a couple of those wins. So, as much as I'd like to let them slither down the rankings, I just can't in good conscience do that. Especially when you hear Dirk say things like, "Ich mochte einen flarfenduchte und geblachen deinen penischlossen."

Hardwood Paroxysm says: Anybody else feel like Dallas is the Indianapolis Colts of the NBA, only without the ring? Right up to the big goofy white guy leader. No matter what happens, you know they'll be in the top 4 by the season's end. They're starting to get in gear. They need a Dallas-like collapse to get back to the top of these rankings.

14. New Orleans: A few years ago, I went to Mardi Gras with some of my best buds. On one particular drunken day, we watched a small pile of discarded cups grow into a trash heap that covered the sidewalk and half the street for one full city block. This happened over the course of an hour. Seriously, it was like that thing was alive, and I swear that we saw several people fall into it, but we never saw them get out. It was awesome. Anyway, when this year's Hornets remind me of Mardi Gras, in that they sometimes look like a pile of trash, but they're still kind of awesome. Which, unfortunately for them, is bad for these rankings.

Hardwood Paroxysm says: Chris Paul owns you. Yes, you. And your mother. And your girlfriend/boyfriend, and her/his dog, too.

15. Phoenix: I can’t fight this feeling anymore. I’ve forgotten what I started fighting for. It’s time to bring this ship into the shore, and throw away the oars forever.

Hardwood Paroxysm says: "Hmm? What's that? We're losers? We have dysfunction, you say? We're on the verge of a massive collapse? Okay, we'll be right here. Winning, and waiting for that. Thanks."


Blogger Ben Q. Rock said...
The Nuggets may be Two-Face, and Two-Face may have some horrible fashion sense, but the Nuggets do not. Their home whites are one of the prettiest uniforms in the league, and their navy alts are probably the finest alts in the league.

I'll go back to reading Paul Lukas now...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I always thought it was "credenza," which is a real word (a type of furniture). Then again, this is Dr. Seuss we're talking about, and that thing in "The Cat in the Hat" bears no resemblance to a credenza.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
REO Speedwagon references rock.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Why do you guys hate on the Spurs so much? Although I definitely agree, they are playing beyond terrible right now, it just seems like any time you could knock them down a peg you guys always try to take advantage even moreso than the other NBA teams.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
They hate on everyone, that's the point of having a blog called "basketbawful". If he wanted to highlight all the wonderful things about the Spurs the blog would be called "basketwonderful".

Anonymous Anonymous said...
it seems like the Suns always get the best treatment even they only go on a 5-2 stretch. I know there was an article on them earlier for 'missing something" but it wasn't nearly as vicious as the way they treat other teams. However, maybe the blog is home to some genuine Suns fans which is certainly possible.

Still a fun read, though.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
don't see how people miss the something that's missing

which is defensive rebounding, absolutely terrible at giving up Orebs

Blogger bob said...
Another great read here, aber ich finde dein Dirk comment abscheurlich. Ich bin total ernst.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
I hope, Dirk will engross his thoughts in the "Powerless rankings" of the future. A beautiful mind, no doubt about it.

Blogger Unknown said...
All Star break is nearly here and you know what that means, right? If you said "It's that time of the year where Shawn Marion lets loose his serious pouting", you win!