Missing in the draft (Greg Oden) can set you back a way. Hitting in the draft (Damian Lillard) can speed things up. That’s where the fun-lovin’ Blazers are today.
20 76ers 13-15 -3
So much excitement surrounded this team after the trade for Andrew Bynum. Now, it’s the basketball blahs. It probably won’t change unless Bynum suddenly gets healthy, either.
21 Magic 12-15
Not quite as good as when they had Dwight Howard. But not even close to as bad as people predicted. A playoff appearance would be among season’s best stories.
22 Mavericks 12-16
Dirk Nowitzki is back, and that could fix things. It still doesn’t make sense, however, that a team with O.J. Mayo, Darren Collison, Chris Kaman and others doesn’t win more.
23 Suns 11-17
They sure can look bad, can’t they? Sure can look … well, decent, too. But let’s face it. Steve Nash left. This season’s a wash.
24 Raptors 9-19 +5
Honestly? Probably had a better week than anyone this side of the Clippers and Thunder. The Raps are playing hard, playing smart, and Jose Calderon has been marvelous. Let’s give them (and coach Dwane Casey) some credit.
DeMarcus Cousins can’t get along with easy-going coach Keith Smart, you have to wonder if Cousins will even be in the league in five years. If he is, he’s likely to be very good. He just needs to decide.
26 Pistons 9-21 -1
The main players are young and the older ones are just kind of in the way. Either need a trade or another draft (or two) before there’s much to care about here.
27 Bobcats 7-20 -3
Lost 15 in a row heading into Christmas break. But they’re better than last season with some youth and moveable assets. Gotta give it time. Like, maybe four or five years.
28 Cavaliers 6-23 -2
Young and maddeningly inconsistent. It’s not unusual for those two descriptions to be used in the same sentence. Unfortunately for the Cavs, it’s likely to be this way for the rest of the season.
29 Hornets 5-22 -2
Well, at least they’re getting a lot from Eric Gordon. Oh, wait. But with Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson, there’s something with which to work. No word on why it’s not working at all anymore.
30 Wizards 3-22
Somebody has to be bad, but did we ever envision the Wizards turning into this year’s Bobcats? Here comes another year of hitting the reset button.