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Old School Power Rankings

Week 9: Nowitzki reclaims top spot, Parker reemerges and a defensive specialist claws his way into the chase

POSTED: Jan 16, 2016 9:13 AM ET

By Scott Wraight,


Once the calendar flipped to 2016, Dirk Nowitzki's scoring climbed -- to the tune of 20.7 points per game.

And just like that, we're back where it all started.

Not since Week 1 has Dirk Nowitzki sat at the top of our list. It was a combination of Nowitzki getting offensive while the two guys ahead of him tailing off a bit. But make no mistake: the big German earned this promotion.

Also making a bit of noise are the Memphis Grizzlies, who make OSPR history by becoming the only team to land three names on the list for a week.

  • Notes: Statistics are through games of Jan. 14. Rankings are based on entire regular season with heavy emphasis on recent play.
  • Any player who turns 33 during the regular season can be added to the Old School Power Rankings

1. Dirk Nowitzki (37), Dallas Mavericks

Last week's rank: 3
Last week's stats: 3 games, 22.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 1.3 apg
Season stats: 17.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.9 apg

Someone was listening to us when last week we asked for more rebounds. In addition to the nice board work (seven or more rebounds in all three games), Nowitzki got offensive, managing 20 or more points in two of the three while shooting 46.3 from the field. Add to that a blistering 11-for-22 from beyond the arc, and it was a productive week for Nowitzki.

Mavericks vs. Timberwolves

Dirk Nowitzki scores 29 points, Zaza Pachulia adds a double-double as the Mavericks defeat the Timberwolves.

2. Dwyane Wade (33), Miami Heat

Last week's rank: 2
Last week's stats: 4 games, 17.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 5.3 apg
Season stats: 18.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 4.6 apg

Full disclaimer: Wade has been dealing with a nagging shoulder issue for the past few days. That might help explain last week's 39.3 shooting, which was defined by a 3-for-17 followed up two nights later by a 6-for-20. On the positive ledger, Wade managed his first double-digit assist game of the season Monday with 11 against Golden State.

3. Pau Gasol (35), Chicago Bulls

Last week's rank: 1
Last week's stats: 3 games, 11.7 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 3.7 apg
Season stats: 16.3 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 3.1 apg

Down goes the big man. The biggest reason for Gasol's slip may be his lack of offensive aggressiveness last week. Was he too passive? Not looking for his shot? Too unselfish? Whatever the reason, Gasol shot just 42.4 from the field and managed 12 or fewer FGA in all three games after putting up at least 14 in six straight.

4. Zach Randolph (34), Memphis Grizzlies

Last week's rank: 5
Last week's stats: 4 games, 18.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.5 apg
Season stats: 14.1 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.6 apg

Randolph's minutes have been on a steady climb, and so has his production. Last week, Randolph averaged 32.2 minutes and shot 50 percent from the field, leading to solid numbers across the board. Heck, we can even add in the 1.3 blocks to make it even more impressive. In his last 10 games, Z-Bo is up to 52.2 FG% and 16.9 points.

Celtics vs. Grizzlies

Zach Randolph scores 25 points and grabs 13 rebounds to lead the Grizzlies past the Celtics, 101-98.

5. Tony Parker (33), San Antonio Spurs

Last week's rank: NA
Last week's stats: 4 games, 19.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.3 apg
Season stats: 13.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 5.1 apg

We're going to move quickly past Monday's 2-for-7, six-point showing. It was a solid week from Parker, who after being bumped from the list comes back strong. In addition to shooting 55 percent and adding 1.3 steals, Parker got aggressive -- putting up 18 and 19 shots in the last two games. Those were the first two instances this season where Parker took 18 shots.

Tony Parker's 31 Points

Highlights from Tony Parker as he scores 31 points in the Spurs victory over the Pistons.

6. Matt Barnes (35), Memphis Grizzlies

Last week's rank: NA
Last week's stats: 3 games, 15.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.7 apg
Season stats: 9.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.5 apg

Barnes again shows us that on any given night, he's capable of filling the box score. In Thursday's win over Detroit, Barnes went 6-for-7 for 18 points while adding three rebounds and two steals. The impressive part: 6-for-6 from beyond the arc. For the week, Barnes shot 53.8 from the field and 69.2 on 3-pointers. If he continues to see 30 minutes, the production should continue.

7. Jamal Crawford (35), Los Angeles Clippers

Last week's rank: Just missed
Last week's stats: 3 games, 18.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.7 apg
Season stats: 12.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.2 apg

An uptick in playing time (29.6 minutes last week compared to 25.3 for the season) has resulted in an uptick in offense. Yes, the shooting is still off (41.2 from the field, 31.6 3PT%), but Crawford has scored 15 or more points in four of the last six games. He's also made at least two 3s in two straight games for the first time since Dec. 28 and Dec. 30.

8. Kobe Bryant (37), Los Angeles Lakers

Last week's rank: 4
Last week's stats: 3 games, 11.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.3 apg
Season stats: 17.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.4 apg

Bryant opened the week in decent shape (19 points and six assists, but on 8-for-20 shooting). But it went down hill quick, going a combined 7-for-24 over the next two including 0-for-9 from beyond the arc. For the week, Bryant managed 34.1 from the field and 7.1 (1-for-14) on 3-pointers. With his minutes down (23.9 last week) we have to wonder if Bryant is wearing down.

9. Tony Allen (33), Memphis Grizzlies

Last week's rank: NA
Last week's stats: 4 games, 11.0 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.5 apg
Season stats: 6.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.0 apg

With his minutes up (getting more than 30 minutes in six of his last eight games), Allen has been delivering -- 53.3 FG%, 60.0 3PT% and 2.8 steals last week. In addition to snatching seven or more boards in all four games last week, Allen has notched two or more steals in seven of his last eight games.

10. Joe Johnson (34), Brooklyn Nets

Last week's rank: 10
Last week's stats: 4 games, 14.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.3 apg
Season stats: 11.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.7 apg

It was an efficient week for Johnson, who despite no more than 12 shots in any game managed 56.1 from the field and 60.0 from beyond the arc -- making at least two 3s in every game. The shooting may be coming around, as Johnson is at 46.2 in his last 10 compared to 38.1 for the season.

Just missed the cut: Manu Ginobili, Nene, Tim Duncan, Jameer Nelson

Will turn 33 this season: Kevin Martin (Feb. 1), Devin Harris (Feb. 17)

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