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Rankings: Bobcats, Cavs or Wizards in last?
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On January 22, 2013 @ 1:00 am In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Adi Joseph, USA TODAY Sports
The Oklahoma City Thunder are on top.
They have been for weeks now, leading the way in USA TODAY Sports’ NBA power rankings with the agreement of most voters. This week, the Thunder drew five of six first-place votes. It’s nothing new.
The bottom is trickier, though. Three teams received last-place votes in this week’s power rankings, and they all have legitimate claims to the throne. Let’s take a look at them before we get into our normal rundown of top finishers:
30. Washington Wizards: They have the worst record in the NBA, so there’s that. At 8-30 entering Monday, the Wizards are out of playoff contention less than halfway through the season. But here’s the thing: They might be able to make a nice run anyway. Point guard John Wall’s return, coupled with the improvement of rookie shooting guard Bradley Beal, has boosted the Wizards, who had won four of their past six games. So they’ll take their four last-place votes with a degree of comfort, knowing they are in fine position to vault out of the cellar soon.
29. Cleveland Cavaliers: The future is murkier in Ohio. The Cavaliers found out Monday that center Anderson Varejao, one of their two best players, is out for the season because of a blood clot in his lung. That’s a double whammy: The Cavaliers are forced to play without their best rebounder and post scorer and lose the option of trading him at the deadline for young prospects. Cleveland, now 10-32, appears to have moved into the lead of the lottery race, if you’re projecting ahead, though for now they received only one last-place vote and finished 29th.
28. Charlotte Bobcats: This team is a mess in every way, playing poor defense and inefficient offense without the leadership to really improve. But these Bobcats already are better than last year’s version, which finished 7-59 for the worst winning percentage in NBA history. Charlotte’s roster is very young, but it also manages to lack top-flight potential. There’s no one ready to bloom into a star at any moment. Still, the 10-30 Bobcats are scrappy and might … [For more on NBA power rankings: Bobcats, Cavs or Wizards in last?, click here.]
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