Power Rankings for the Week of January 4th, 2016

I love podcasts, they are what occupy me during my commutes, on my elliptical, while I’m playing video games (I put 2k on mute), and generally I am listening to podcasts during any “dead” period in my day. I am subscribed to 77(!!!) of them, and I specifically wanted to thank those that help me understand the NBA and entertain me along the way – in no particular order, with the exception of the first:

[Apologies if I mistakingly left any podcast that I listen to out]

-Fastbreak Breakfast (@FastBreakBreak)- Three very funny guys discuss the week in NBA and also have a Memphis Grizzlies specific epilogue as 2 of the 3 are Grizz fans. I am so glad I discovered this podcast, please please please give it a shot. This podcast is the one the perfectly balances humor/entertainment with good basketball discussion and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
-The BBALLBREAKDOWN Podcast – Hosted by Coach Nick (@bballbreakdown), there are other podcasts on this feed
-CBS Sports Eye On Basketball Podcast – Hosted by the great Zach Harper (@talkhoops) with frequent guests Matt Moore (@HPBasketball), James Herbert (@outsidethenba)
-Dunc’d On Basketball Podcast – Hosted by Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA), a really good podcast that discusses more of the nitty gritty details including great discussions of the salary cap.
-Silver Screen and Roll Podcast – Hosted by the team over at Silver Screen And Roll, the SB Nation Los Angeles Lakers blog (@LakersSBN). A great team, with really good post-game discussion.
-The Bill Simmons Podcast – Hosted by Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons), the Friday podcasts with Joe House (@HousefromDC) have become one of my favorite. While the Friday episodes do discuss some NFL gambling lines as well, the show notes are very helpful in marking the times where that is discussed.
-The Lowe Post – Hosted by Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) with a great combination of guests from the NBA and writers (including the commish!). As Zach Lowe has become the best NBA writer on the planet, his podcasts are continuations of his excellent written work. Entertaining and informative, another can’t miss.
-The Starters (@TheStarters) – A daily TV show on NBA TV, they also release podcast versions of the show daily which is a great resource. My most recommended episodes, however, are the weekly long-form episodes they call “The Drop”. These release every Friday and are a kind of week-in-review and because of their free form nature allow for fun, non-structured conversation that got me interested in them in the first place. Their show is awesome and I watch it whenever I can (also posted on YouTube!).

Please support podcasting any way you can, including going on iTunes and leaving a review and subscribing. In addition, support the smaller podcasts by buying any merch or donating if they have PayPal/etc. links set up including using any of their affiliate links if they advertise. Try to get more of your friends to listen as well! Just think about how many hours of entertainment they provide for a free product – pass it forward!

Below are this week’s power rankings with (REALLY ORIGINAL IDEA DAMAN – SERIOUSLY?) New Year’s Resolutions for the rest of the 2015-2016 NBA Season.

Snapshot
1. Spurs (29-6) [LW:2]
2. Warriors (31-2) [LW:1]
3. Cavaliers (22-9) [LW:3]
4. Thunder (24-10) [LW:4]
5. Clippers (22-13) [LW:8]
6. Raptors (21-14) [LW:5]
7. Heat (20-13) [LW:6]
8. Pacers (19-14) [LW:7]
9. Bulls (20-12) [LW:10]
10. Hawks (21-14) [LW:9]
11. Pistons (18-16) [LW:12]
12. Mavericks (19-15) [LW:13]
13. Celtics (18-15) [LW:11]
14. Magic (19-15) [LW:14]
15. Grizzlies (18-17) [LW:16]
16. Hornets (17-16) [LW:15]
17. Wizards (15-17) [LW:18]
18. Bucks (14-21) [LW:19]
19. Timberwolves (12-22) [LW:20]
20. Knicks (16-19) [LW:23]
21. Rockets (16-19) [LW:17]
22. Jazz (15-17) [LW:22]
23. Kings (13-20) [LW:21]
24. Pelicans (11-22) [LW:25]
25. Trailblazers (15-21) [LW:27]
26. Nuggets (12-23) [LW:26]
27. Lakers (8-27) [LW:29]
28. Nets (10-23) [LW:28]
29. Suns (12-25) [LW:24]
30. 76ers (3-33) [LW:30]

Power Rankings:
1. Spurs (29-6) [LW:2]: Quietly keep winning games and continue in a Spurs like fashion to low-key have a better season than the Warriors thus far, with better health. Their net rating is now a full 1 point over the Warriors!
2. Warriors (31-2) [LW:1]: Begin the Popovichian rest schedule, and take advantage of the (only) 3 game cushion you built up on the Spurs. Klay, Dray, Steph all need days off as the sludge part of this season begins.
3. Cavaliers (22-9) [LW:3]: Reduce the load on Lebron James by increasing the load on Kyrie as he brings himself back from injury.
4. Thunder (24-10) [LW:4]: For the love of the Basketball Buddha, forbid Billy Donavan from playing even 1 minute of non-garbage time of a non-KD, Russ, and Serge Ibaka lineup. Also, does Donovan know that Anthony Morrow is a good 3 point shooter?
5. Clippers (22-13) [LW:8]: Either give Lance and Josh Smith a real shot at a rotation spot, or cut them loose. In what I would describe as a fragile mentality of the basketball team, it would seem wise to eliminate any potential distraction.
6. Raptors (21-14) [LW:5]: Improve the end of game execution or risk another early round exit. Also, why in the world is Lowry off the ball so much at the end? I love Cory Joseph too, but let Lowry work!
7. Heat (20-13) [LW:6]: Explore the idea of staggering D-Wade and Goran’s minutes more because with room to operate and the freedom to dominate the ball, Goran has the potential to be as good as the Heat have hoped.
8. Pacers (19-14) [LW:7]: Add an alternative Hickory High court to match the Hickory High uniforms – go all out!
9. Bulls (20-12) [LW:10]: Unambiguously hand over the keys of the franchise to Jimmy Butler and eliminate the weird vibe of the team in it’s awkward Butler-Rose transition period.
10. Hawks (21-14) [LW:9]: While Kyle Korver is struggling (relatively speaking), try using him as a 6th man to balance the scoring of the starting and bench units, which might help more in the playoffs.
11. Pistons (18-16) [LW:12]: Reunite Marcus with Markieff and upgrade Ilyasova’s spot at a low cost
12. Mavericks (19-15) [LW:13]: Keep treading .500 water on the road and make the most of the home games. The West is weak this year and the team will be able to keep it’s 5-6 seed at his pace without much of an issue.
13. Celtics (18-15) [LW:11]: Consolidate the roster, use whichever assets need to be used, and turn this team into a contender by the next season. With a unique group of young guys (none of them true stars) and a treasure chest of assets, including the head coach, now is the time to strike.
14. Magic (19-15) [LW:14]: Figure out how to properly utilize Victor Oladipo or move on. If him and Payton can’t co-exist, fine. Make up your mind and start shopping
15. Grizzlies (18-17) [LW:16]: Don’t scapegoat Dave Joerger and understand that the peak of this group has been reached.
16. Hornets (17-16) [LW:15]: Pay Nicolas Batum.
17. Wizards (15-17) [LW:18]: Forget Kevin Durant, try to get this team to .500 first. If Ryan Anderson becomes available, or somebody of his stretch-4 caliber, jump on that deal to make Wittman’s style work.
18. Bucks (14-21) [LW:19]: Bring in a defensive special assistant to turn around this unacceptable bottom-5 defensive efficiency squad
19. Timberwolves (12-22) [LW:20]: Increase local excitement for this team. No way should a team featuring these young guys (and KG!) be this low in attendance. (Currently 29th in NBA).
20. Knicks (16-19) [LW:23]: Trust the Process.
21. Rockets (16-19) [LW:17]: Put everybody on the table, everything on the table, because the Harden-Dwight chemistry experiment failed. In pieces, this team will still work, but those 2 need to be separated. This isn’t because Dwight and Harden are enemies, it’s that two of that kind of player simply can’t work on the same team.
22. Jazz (15-17) [LW:22]: Get healthier. This is a cop out, but there’s really not much else at this moment
23. Kings (13-20) [LW:21]: #FreeBoogie
24. Pelicans (11-22) [LW:25]: Get Tyreke Evans off this damn team and keep him from infecting Brow with his Tyreke-ness.
25. Trailblazers (15-21) [LW:27]: Determine if Noah Vonleh is indeed a true building block of this roster or replace him with Meyers Leonard and see how that does moving forward
26. Nuggets (12-23) [LW:26]: Send Gallinari and Faried to happier places and continue the youth movement!
27. Lakers (8-27) [LW:29]: Ask your head coach not to disparage the rookies on the team publicly, also known as the only way this franchise will turn around their fortunes. And then when he declines, scream into a pillow and cry yourself to sleep and wait to fire him after the last game of the season.
28. Nets (10-23) [LW:28]: Pray for Jarrett Jack, a true team leader, for a quick and safe recovery and begin planning for next season. Do what needs to be done at the deadline to get some assets.
29. Suns (12-25) [LW:24]: Buy owner Robert Sarver the same “Dealing With Millennials” book that Brian Shaw used during his stint with the Nuggets.
30. 76ers (3-33) [LW:30]: Distrust the Process.

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