The bottom half of the rankings have teams facing injuries. The Wizards are missing their number one pick John Wall and the Mavericks are missing their star player Dirk Nowitzki. The one-month barrier has officially been passed and several teams have been playing well below their expectations. December though, is a new month and many teams could push into the top fifteen.
30. Washington Wizards
Your 2012-2013 Washington Wizards are on the board everybody! The Wizards picked up their first win of the season just before the start of December with a victory over the Trail Blazers. Although, this team is still the worst team in all of basketball by a landslide without John Wall on the floor.
Last Week: 30
29. Toronto Raptors
Toronto finally escaped their late-game woes with a close win over Phoenix at home, but the Raptors also faced a comeback cut short by the Nuggets on Monday night. With the signing of Mickael Pietrus, the Raptors are hoping that they could improve their scoring which has been one of their more bleaker statistics to see.
Last Week: 29
28. Sacramento Kings
After showing signs of life last week, the Kings took a step back in their development. The Kings are shooting an awful 34 percent from beyond the arc and are lacking a definitive rotation to abide by—starting ten different players this season.
Last Week: 24
27. Phoenix Suns
When a team loses to the Detroit Pistons by 40 points, you should not be expecting a good ranking this week. The Suns played so poorly in this contest that their second half total scoring, 33 points, would still be outscored by Detroit in the fourth, 36 points. The Suns do not have the talent to compete with the higher-tier teams in the league, and clearly not the weaker teams in the league either.
Last Week: 22
26. Cleveland Cavilers
Right now the MVP race has a true dark horse—Anderson Varejo. Varejo is having a career year by all means, averaging 15 and 15 on a nightly basis in a workhorse-like 36 minutes. Besides that, the Cavs have been awful on both sides of the ball and are lacking a go to guy down the stretch, which is what the need in a game similar to their double overtime loss to the Trail Blazers.
Last Week: 27
25. New Orleans Hornets
Despite their two star players being out with injury, the Hornets have pulled out some impressive victories. This week it came against Milwaukee in a big way, 21 points to be exact. Grevis Vasquez has been able to run the point and facilitate Ryan Anderson. Although, with Davis and Gordon out of commission right now the Hornets need these morale victories.
Last Week: 26
24. Detroit Pistons
Lawrence Frank is finally pushing the right buttons in Detroit. Kyle Singler has emerged as a great starter and fit for this team, and Greg Monroe is playing similar to last year putting up double double numbers. The only player holding the Pistons back is Andre Drummond—the rookie needs to find his fit on this team and show his versatility on the court to complement Monroe in the frontcourt.
Last Week: 28
23. Charlotte Bobcats
They are back—the Bobcats the NBA became accustomed to last season. The Bobcats went winless this week and it seems that their time has come to fall back into the basement of the league. This team does have some prospects who can form a formidable roster down the stretch—besides the obvious (Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) Byron Mullens has been a solid center who can run the floor, and Ben Gordon who is starting to find his shot like the one he had in Chicago several years ago.
Last Week: 19
22. Indiana Pacers
The Pacers finally have adjusted to not having Danny Granger in the lineup with their last-second victory over the Lakers and valiant effort against the scorching Warriors. Roy Hibbert is starting to find himself on the defensive side of the ball, he just needs to put the ball in the basket, and David West may have taken the leadership role this Pacers ball club needs.
Last Week: 25
21. Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers have been able to score on a consistent basis, but they also have been unable to stop teams from scoring on a consistent basis. The Blazers took a double overtime victory from the Cavs on Saturday night, but they also gave the Wizards their first win of the season which is a tragic loss to a team that has been awful this season.
Last Week: 21
20. Orlando Magic
Who needs Dwight Howard anyway? The Magic took down the Lakers on the road with their coveted center playing for the other team. Even though this team got essentially nothing in return for Howard, they have rallied around each other to beat several competitive teams—like the Warriors Monday night. This team is not good in comparison to the other teams, but they have outplayed what their roster shows.
Last Week: 23
19. Dallas Mavericks
The Mavs signing of Derek Fisher will make their point guard situation trickier as the 38-year old veteran will steal some time from Darren Collison, Dominique Jones and Rodrigue Beaubois. Besides that Rick Carlise has no means to be upset with where his team stands at the moment. Without their leader, Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavs are 8-9 and are keeping themselves relevant in a competitive Western Conference.
Last Week: 14
18. Minnesota Timberwolves
Kevin Love is starting to work himself back into his dominant self, but his shooting is still as weak as ever. He seems to be just rusty though and this will only be a phase for the former Bruin. Injuries still have plagued the T’Wolves though, but with Andrei Kirlenko expected back soon and Ricky Rubio beginning to practice, the Timberwolves can finally play a game at full strength.
Last Week: 2
17. Utah Jazz
The Jazz had a rough week as their schedule got much more difficult including games against the Thunder and Clippers. The Jazz lost to the Clippers by one in a game that could have gone either way. Randy Foye has been a spark off the bench and filling in the starting lineup by shooting 46% from the three-point line. Anytime the Jazz play they are going to keep it close, but winning is the hard part.
Last Week: 17
16. Houston Rockets
The Rockets are allowing well over 100 points a night, but it does not seem to matter with the lineup they have on the floor. The Rockets counter their poor defense by scoring over 103 points per game. Chandler Parsons has developed into a viable small forward with size to play the post and a well enough shot to spread the floor. If only Jeremy Lin can pick up his game, this Rockets team can compete with many teams on a nightly basis.
Last Week: 18
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