NBA Power Rankings, Jan. 30 Edition: Thunder Up As We Brace For All-Star Debates

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There’s a new sheriff in town, at least for this week. The Oklahoma City Thunder, by virtue of their nine-game winning streak, have moved to the head of the class in the latest edition of the NBA Power Rankings.

Here’s a quick look at the NBA Power Rankings, or you could check out the slides for each team:

1. Oklahoma City 37-10 4-0 3
2. Indiana 35-9 2-1 1
3. San Antonio 33-13 1-3 2
4. Miami 32-13 2-1 5
5. Portland 33-13 2-2 4
6. L.A. Clippers 33-15 4-0 7
7. Houston 31-17 2-2 6
8. Phoenix 27-18 3-1 9
9. Golden State 27-19 1-2 8
10. Toronto 24-21 3-1 12
11. Dallas 26-21 1-2 10
12. Minnesota 23-22 3-1 13
13. Memphis 24-20 4-0 15
14. Atlanta 23-21 1-2 11
15. Denver 22-22 2-2 14
16. Chicago 23-22 2-2 16
17. Washington 22-23 2-2 17
18. Brooklyn 20-23 2-1 18
19. New Orleans 19-26 3-1 20
20. Charlotte 20-27 1-2 19
21. New York 18-27 3-0 24
22. Detroit 18-27 1-2 21
23. Sacramento 15-30 0-4 22
24. Cleveland 16-29 1-2 25
25. L.A. Lakers 16-30 0-4 23
26. Utah 16-29 2-0 27
27. Boston 15-33 0-4 26
28. Philadelphia 15-31 1-3 28
29. Orlando 12-35 1-3 29
30. Milwaukee 8-37 0-4 30

So with that out of the way, it’s time to cringe with dread—the All-Star reserves are going to be announced Thursday night.

At least I understand the debate when it comes to the reserves. The reserves are selected by the coaches in each conference, people who should know what they are talking about.

The problem is that I’m already weary from a week of mind-numbing debate over the starters for the game.

It is like the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano—it happens every year. Fans vote. Stat geeks, analysts and other NBA pundits go collectively insane when the fan vote doesn’t match what they think the All-Star lineups should be.

I respect the fact these people know the game better than the average fan. But come on—they allowed voting on Twitter. Do you really think Joe Casual Fan, as he’s in the process of tweeting “Kobe Bryant #NBABallot” 450 bazillion times, is looking at John Hollinger’s advanced NBA statistics while doing so?

I’m going to go with … no.

What amuses me most is the declarative statements that get made. “Fans want to see Roy Hibbert and Dwight Howard start against each other in the All-Star Game.”

(Checking the voting results.)

(Re-checking the voting results.)

(Triple-checking, just to make sure.)

Ummmmm …. no, no they don’t. To paraphrase the great philosopher Rasheed Wallace, vote don’t lie.

If this comes off as jaded, bear in mind I still remember the great All-Star debates about why Doug Collins was starting for the Eastern Conference instead of George Gervin in 1978.

Hear the same blather—just with different names—for nigh on to 40 years and it all starts to sound the same.

I’m almost at the point of wishing we could have two All-Star Games: One that the fans vote on, just the way we do now. The other would be determined strictly by statistical analysis and when Brandan Wright is suiting up for the Western Conference, don’t blame me.

I wouldn’t have voted for him. But, hey, he’s got the 13th best PER in the whole Association so he’s got to be good, right?

Anyway, when citing team statistics (which come from, any team that is in the top or bottom five of the league for the last seven days will be noted. Player stats are also just for the last week.


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