Power Rankings
Power Rankings
Power Rankings
Power Rankings

Power Rankings: As trade season begins, Cavs get Korver, drop in rankings

john_schuhmann

John Schuhmann NBA.com

Jan 9, 2017 11:51 AM ET

1:35

The trade season has begun, just not in the way most of us expected.

The Atlanta Hawks, the fourth place team in the East, traded Kyle Korver, the eighth-best 3-point shooter in NBA history, to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the first place team in the East.

The Hawks had their reasons for making the deal. Considering that they lost Al Horford in free agency last summer, you can understand why they would want to get something (and maybe nobody else was sending them a first round pick) for their pending free agents before it's too late. But three things make the trade a little confusing ...

  1. The timing. The Hawks have won six straight games and have a pretty favorable schedule over the next few weeks.
  2. The team Korver was sent to. The Cavs, who already rank second in 3-point percentage, eliminated the Hawks each of the last two years.
  3. The fact that the Hawks signed Dwight Howard to a three-year, $71 million contract last summer.

The Hawks aren't about to turn into the 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers, but they're clearly taking a step backward in a season in which they have a decent shot to win a playoff series. The Sacramento Kings haven't won a playoff series in 13 years and would probably have loved to be in the position the Hawks were in a few days ago.

But this is the first sign that all but a few other teams are resigned to the fact that there's no getting past the Cavs or Golden State Warriors this season or, probably, next season.

Come April and May, that will probably be the case. This week, two teams jumped over the defending conference champs in the Power Rankings.

  • Hero team of the week: Chicago (3-0) -- The Bulls beat three of the East's top six teams (Charlotte, Cleveland and Toronto), making it 10 straight wins against the Raptors.
  • Zero team of the week: Denver (0-4) -- The Nuggets hung around with the Warriors, but then lost an important game to the Kings and weren't as competitive against San Antonio or Oklahoma City, running their losing streak to five games.
  • East vs. West: The West is 113-98 (.536) against the East in interconference games after the East went 13-11 (3-0 vs. New Orleans) last week.
  • Toughest schedules through Sunday: 1. Dallas, 2. Brooklyn, 3. Toronto
  • Easiest schedules through Sunday: 1. Indiana, 2. Golden State, 3. Chicago
  • Schedule strength is based on cumulative opponent record, and adjusted for home vs. away and days of rest before a game.
  • High jumps of the week: L.A. Lakers (+6), Chicago (+5), Detroit (+3), LA Clippers (+3)
  • Free falls of the week: Charlotte (-4), Minnesota (-4), Oklahoma City (-4)
  • Team to watch this week: Memphis -- After picking up big wins against the Warriors and Jazz over the weekend, the Grizzlies play two more West playoff teams, visiting the Thunder and Rockets and Wednesday and Friday, before returning home to host the Bulls on Sunday.

* * *

Pace: Possessions per 48 minutes (League Rank)
OffRtg: Points scored per 100 possessions (League Rank)
DefRtg: Points allowed per 100 possessions (League Rank)
NetRtg: Point differential per 100 possessions (League Rank)

The league has averaged 98.6 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes and 105.4 points scored per 100 possessions this season.

* * *

NBA.com's Power Rankings, released every Monday during the season, are just one man's opinion. If you have an issue with the rankings, or have a question or comment for John Schuhmann, send him an e-mail or contact him via Twitter.

* * *

1
Last week:
3

Record: 30-7
Pace: 95.9 (27) OffRtg: 110.6 (4) DefRtg: 101.0 (1) NetRtg: +9.6 (2)

It was only five weeks ago that the Spurs ranked 13th in defensive efficiency. They've been so good defensively since then, they're even stealing the ball from each other. Having allowed less than a point per possession over their last 17 games (seven against top-10 offenses, only five against bottom-10 offenses), they are back in that No. 1 spot, where they were for the last 22 weeks of last season. Their offense has been better too, they've led seven of their last eight games by at least 20 points, and they've outscored their opponents by a league-best 11.5 points per 100 possessions since Thanksgiving.

This week: vs. MIL, vs. LAL, @ PHX (Mexico City)

2
Last week:
4

Record: 30-9
Pace: 100.9 (4) OffRtg: 112.5 (3) DefRtg: 105.3 (16) NetRtg: +7.1 (4)

The Rockets still have the league's best first-quarter offense, but they had some ugly starts in Orlando (missing 20 of their first 26 3-point attempts) and Toronto (missing 19 of their first 22 threes) over the weekend. Of course, their offense eventually got going both nights and they've scored 117 points per 100 possessions over their eight-game winning streak. They're reportedly in the market for a big man, but haven't broken stride since Clint Capela broke his leg, with Montrezl Harrell and Nene taking turns as the starter. Harrell's two biggest games, including 28 points on 12-for-13 shooting on Sunday, have come off the bench.

This week: vs. CHA, @ MIN, vs. MEM, @ BKN

3
Last week:
1

Record: 28-8
Pace: 98.9 (15) OffRtg: 110.5 (5) DefRtg: 105.0 (15) NetRtg: +5.5 (5)

The Cavs' 13-game, with-LeBron winning streak came to an end against Chicago on Wednesday when they blew an early 13-point lead. And that wasn't the only big lead they let get away last week. They had a 24-point lead cut to six in Brooklyn on Friday and had a 22-point lead erased completely in Phoenix on Sunday. They won both games with 40 total fourth-quarter points from Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, but wouldn't have needed those guys on the floor if they had able to keep their foot on the gas against two bad teams. The Cavs know how to close, and adding Kyle Korver should only help with their consistency.

This week: @ UTA, @ POR, @ SAC

4
Last week:
2

Record: 32-6
Pace: 102.8 (2) OffRtg: 113.4 (1) DefRtg: 102.0 (4) NetRtg: +11.4 (1)

The Warriors' fourth-quarter collapse against the Grizzlies on Friday and Draymond Green's mini-tantrum about Kevin Durant isolating on a critical possession should only help them down the line. It's better for them to hash it out about late-game play-calling and have Durant realize "who he play for" (not Oklahoma City anymore) in January than in June. There will only be so many high-pressure situations between now and when their season is on the line. This week should be relatively easy (and they'll have three full days off before next Monday's rematch against the Cavs), but they could use it to get back on track defensively, having allowed 108 points per 100 possessions over their last eight games.

This week: vs. MIA, vs. DET

5
Last week:
7

Record: 23-14
Pace: 98.4 (18) OffRtg: 108.3 (7) DefRtg: 105.6 (18) NetRtg: +2.7 (8)

The Celtics are making the most of their home-heavy January schedule. They're 3-0 this month, holding a four-game winning streak and a five-game home winning streak. They've made at least 17 3-pointers in each of their last four games, something they'd done just three times prior in the history of the franchise. And the onslaught really comes in the third and fourth quarters. Over their last 10 games, they've scored 105 points per 100 possessions in the first half and 124 in the second half, never scoring less than 57 points after halftime. At 16.0 points per game, Isaiah Thomas ranks second in second half scoring.

This week: @ TOR, vs. WAS, @ ATL

6
Last week:
5

Record: 24-13
Pace: 97.7 (20) OffRtg: 113.1 (2) DefRtg: 105.8 (19) NetRtg: +7.3 (3)

A rough stretch of schedule, combined with the absence of Patrick Patterson for four games, has taken its toll on the Raptors, who have lost five of their last seven games. Kyle Lowry has had a couple of rough offensive nights in that stretch and they had a season-low eight assists in San Antonio on Tuesday, but their defensive regression has hurt as much as their reliance on their guards. They now rank as the East's fourth worst defense and would fall to third place in the conference if they lose to the Celtics on Tuesday.

This week: vs. BOS, vs. BKN, vs. NYK

7
Last week:
10

Record: 26-14
Pace: 98.5 (17) OffRtg: 108.8 (6) DefRtg: 103.5 (6) NetRtg: +5.3 (6)

Chris Paul returned on Friday, but the Clippers' got their four-game winning streak started before that, winning ugly against Phoenix and then shooting 51 percent and getting to the line 45 times against the Grizzlies' second-ranked defense, with Austin Rivers scoring a season-high 28 points. The offense has been good, but the defense has been bad with Rivers, Paul and J.J. Redick playing together, a look the Clippers went with in Paul's return in Sacramento. They've only used it for 127 minutes, but that's already more than it saw last season (94, including playoffs), and it may be a critical postseason option if Luc Mbah a Moute is too much of a liability on offense.

This week: vs. ORL, vs. LAL

8
Last week:
8

Record: 24-16
Pace: 95.2 (28) OffRtg: 102.2 (23) DefRtg: 101.4 (2) NetRtg: +0.8 (12)

Over the last few weeks, the Grizzlies somehow evolved from a great defensive team to a great offensive team. But their defense hurt them in post-Christmas losses in Orlando and Boston, and then again last week in two losses in L.A. (with the Clippers missing Chris Paul and Blake Griffin). They turned things back around in historic fashion over the weekend, holding the Warriors to just 21 points in the fourth quarter and overtime on Friday as they came back from a 24-point deficit to pick up their second win against the conference champs. And with fifth place in the West and the No. 2 spot in defensive efficiency on the line against the Jazz on Sunday, they were the better defensive team in a predictably ugly game. Chandler Parsons made a few jumpers too.

This week: @ OKC, @ HOU, vs. CHI

9
Last week:
9

Record: 23-16
Pace: 93.0 (30) OffRtg: 106.3 (10) DefRtg: 101.7 (3) NetRtg: +4.6 (7)

The Jazz are 100 percent healthy, getting George Hill, Dante Exum and Alec Burks (remember him?) back from injury last week. Hill is the most important of the three by far and the Jazz were 8-0 with both him and Gordon Hayward in the lineup until Sunday's loss in Memphis. Though Derrick Favors has started the last eight games, Quin Snyder has staggered the minutes of Favors and Rudy Gobert so that the Jazz have played a lot more minutes with just one of the two on the floor than with both. But they were on the floor together down the stretch of Saturday's win in Minnesota and had Utah's last four field goals, with Favors hitting two big jumpers and Gobert getting the game-winning tip-in.

This week: vs. CLE, vs. DET, vs. ORL

10
Last week:
6

Record: 22-16
Pace: 100.2 (7) OffRtg: 105.2 (15) DefRtg: 104.2 (9) NetRtg: +1.1 (11)

The Thunder improved to 14-3 in Russell Westbrook's triple-double games with Saturday's win over Denver, but they've lost four straight on the road, getting outscored by 35 points per 100 possessions with Westbrook off the floor in the four games. Only the Wizards, Sixers and Lakers have a worse bench NetRtg on the road than the Thunder, who have a lot more road games to come this month. Maybe the return of Cameron Payne, who made his season debut on Saturday, can help the second unit. After shooting 7-for-35 from 3-point range over his previous six games, Westbrook is 15-for-27 over the last two, but he's 3-for-17 on clutch shots this month after missing a contested three for the win in Houston on Thursday.

This week: @ CHI, vs. MEM, @ MIN, @ SAC

11
Last week:
16

Record: 19-18
Pace: 96.9 (23) OffRtg: 104.5 (18) DefRtg: 104.4 (11) NetRtg: +0.1 (13)

The Bulls have played eight of their last nine games against teams that are currently at or above .500 and have won five of their last seven, knocking off the Hornets, Cavs and Raptors last week. The four games in which Rajon Rondo has been DNP'd have been the Bulls' best four-game offensive stretch (112 points per 100 possessions) since Games 2-5, with Jimmy Butler averaging 35.0 points and Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic combining to shoot 41 percent from 3-point range. We'll see if they can keep it up as they play four back-to-backs in the next 17 days. They've scored less than a point per possession in their eight games without rest thus far.

This week: vs. OKC, @ WAS, @ NYK, vs. NOP, @ MEM

12
Last week:
12

Record: 21-16
Pace: 99.8 (11) OffRtg: 102.1 (24) DefRtg: 102.1 (5) NetRtg: -0.0 (14)

It will be fascinating to see where the Korver trade (and assumed Paul Millsap trade) leads and who remains a part of the long-term plan. You only have to travel 400 miles south to find a team - Orlando - that intentionally took a step backward by trading Howard five years ago and still doesn't have a clear path toward sustained success. Right now, the Hawks have won six straight games, holding their opponents to just 96 points per 100 possessions. Eleven of their next 12 games are either at home or against a team currently under .500.

This week: @ BKN, vs. BOS, vs. MIL

13
Last week:
13

Record: 18-18
Pace: 97.7 (19) OffRtg: 107.1 (9) DefRtg: 104.4 (12) NetRtg: +2.6 (9)

Wednesday's game-winner at Madison Square Garden was the highlight of Giannis Antetokounmpo's career, the result of a lot of work put in on his post game, and gave the Bucks two straight wins in close games. But a collapse (and a late turnover from Antetokounmpo) against the Knicks on Friday and Antetokounmpo's absence against Washington on Sunday have them back at .500. They've taken a step backward defensively and rank 22nd on that end since Christmas.

This week: @ SAS, vs. MIA, @ ATL

14
Last week:
15

Record: 20-18
Pace: 100.0 (9) OffRtg: 104.7 (16) DefRtg: 105.0 (14) NetRtg: -0.3 (16)

The Pacers are taking a five-game winning streak to London. They've scored a league-best 119.6 points per 100 possessions over the streak, shooting a season-high 58 percent in Tuesday's win in Detroit, committing a season-low six turnovers in Thursday's win over Brooklyn, and tying a season-high with 24 second-chance points in Saturday's win over New York. Monta Ellis has been inconsistent coming off the bench since his return from injury, but the starting lineup has been pretty darn good, outscoring its opponents by 61 points in 102 minutes over the streak.

This week: @ DEN (London)

15
Last week:
11

Record: 20-18
Pace: 98.8 (16) OffRtg: 105.6 (14) DefRtg: 104.0 (8) NetRtg: +1.7 (10)

The Hornets won six of their first nine games on the road, but have dropped eight of their last 10 away from the Spectrum Center after losing in Chicago, Detroit (despite Marco Belinelli's creativity) and San Antonio last week. They still rank third in defensive rebounding percentage for the season, but are 27th in January after allowing 54 offensive rebounds (and 61 second-chance points) in four games last week. They were good enough offensively - with Nicolas Batum leading them on a big fourth quarter run - to beat Oklahoma City on Wednesday and have won six of their last seven games at home. But Batum is dealing with a (minor) knee injury and they don't play at home again until next Wednesday.

This week: @ HOU, @ PHI

16
Last week:
14

Record: 18-18
Pace: 99.0 (14) OffRtg: 105.8 (13) DefRtg: 106.0 (21) NetRtg: -0.2 (15)

The Wizards saw a couple of games (one loss, one win) turn around in the fourth quarter last week and benefited from the flu bug that's been going around the league by picking up a rare road win and sliding back into eighth place by outlasting the Antetokounmpo-less Bucks on Sunday. Earlier in the week, they managed to lose in Dallas, even though they were a plus-16 in six minutes with their super lineup (Kelly Oubre with the starters) on the floor and outscored the Mavs 50-22 in the paint. They're home for four of their next five, with a big game against the seventh-place Bulls on Tuesday.

This week: vs. CHI, @ BOS, vs. PHI

17
Last week:
20

Record: 18-21
Pace: 96.1 (26) OffRtg: 103.4 (21) DefRtg: 104.3 (10) NetRtg: -0.9 (17)

With Aron Baynes out, Boban Marjanovic got a shot at some rotation minutes last week and was huge (both literally and figuratively) in Thursday's win over Charlotte, outrebounding the Hornets, 19-18, in his 22 minutes on the floor and hitting nine of his 11 free throws when they could do nothing but foul him after he cleaned up his teammates' missed shots. Baynes was back on Sunday, but only to provide six minutes of relief for Andre Drummond, who played an NBA season-high 52 minutes (including the final 39:54) in the Pistons' double-OT win in Portland. Detroit has won two straight games for the first time since Reggie Jackson made his season debut five weeks ago.

This week: @ SAC, @ GSW, @ UTA, @ LAL

18
Last week:
17

Record: 17-20
Pace: 100.0 (8) OffRtg: 104.5 (19) DefRtg: 108.2 (26) NetRtg: -3.8 (21)

The Knicks traded huge comebacks with the Bucks and got a big shot (in Friday's win in Milwaukee) and a lot of assists (22 in the last three games) from Carmelo Anthony, but have still lost seven of their last eight games, with Jeff Hornacek coming to the realization that his team "might not be good defensively" and with Anthony dealing with a shoulder injury. After Saturday's loss in Indiana (which they trailed by 29 points), they're 0-7 in the second game of a back-to-back and have three more in the next 11 days.

This week: vs. NOP, @ PHI, vs. CHI, @ TOR

19
Last week:
18

Record: 15-22
Pace: 96.8 (24) OffRtg: 104.1 (20) DefRtg: 108.2 (25) NetRtg: -4.1 (23)

The Kings remain the league's worst team in the first six minutes of games and were down seven after the first six minutes against the Heat on Wednesday. But they've generally been better in the first quarter recently. Still they're looking good for an 11th straight season in the bottom 10 in defensive efficiency, having allowed 115 points per 100 possessions as they've lost five of their last six games. They're still in a virtual tie for eighth in the West, but might regret getting swept in their season series to Miami, especially with the stretch they have coming up. After Tuesday's game against Detroit, they play 13 of their next 16 games against teams currently over .500.

This week: vs. DET, vs. CLE, vs. OKC

20
Last week:
19

Record: 14-24
Pace: 99.8 (12) OffRtg: 101.0 (26) DefRtg: 103.9 (7) NetRtg: -2.9 (20)

Donatas Motiejunas had 11 points, five rebounds and four assists in his debut on Saturday, but the Pelicans allowed the Celtics to score 62 points in his 20 minutes on the floor. Offense was the issue in losses to the Cavs and Hawks last week, with Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway, Solomon Hill, E'Twaun Moore and Jrue Holiday somehow combining to shoot 24-for-53 (45 percent) from 3-point range and 7-for-40 (18 percent) on 2-point shots. They've lost three straight and need to get some road wins if they're going to stay within shouting distance of eighth place in the West.

This week: @ NYK, @ BKN, @ CHI

21
Last week:
22

Record: 16-23
Pace: 99.9 (10) OffRtg: 107.3 (8) DefRtg: 109.8 (29) NetRtg: -2.5 (19)

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's 3-pointer in double-overtime kept the Blazers from winning two straight games for the first time in more than a month and gaining any kind of traction as they try to hold onto eighth place. But after Thursday's win over the Lakers (in which Damian Lillard returned from a five-game absence), they're 6-3 against the four teams - Denver, L.A., New Orleans and Sacramento - chasing them. Terry Stotts did draw up a pair of slick plays (or maybe it was the same play just rotated 90 degrees) to get C.J. McCollum open threes to twice tie the Detroit game. He now leads the league with 10 clutch 3-pointers (on just 19 attempts).

This week: @ LAL, vs. CLE, vs. ORL

22
Last week:
28

Record: 15-26
Pace: 100.5 (6) OffRtg: 104.6 (17) DefRtg: 109.5 (28) NetRtg: -5.0 (25)

The race for eighth place in the West seems to be going backwards, because a 3-1 week has put the Lakers, who went 2-15 from Dec. 2 - Jan. 1 and lost to the eighth-place Blazers on Thursday, within two games of a playoff spot. And with another game against the Blazers on Tuesday, things could get interesting. The Lakers had one of their best offensive games of the season against the Grizzlies' defense on Tuesday and then held both Miami and Orlando under a point per possession over the weekend. They're the first team to have played half of its games, but are still in the middle of a stretch of seven games in 11 days.

This week: vs. POR, @ SAS, @ LAC, vs. DET

23
Last week:
21

Record: 14-23
Pace: 100.6 (5) OffRtg: 105.9 (12) DefRtg: 110.2 (30) NetRtg: -4.3 (24)

The Nuggets are taking a five-game losing streak to London, having allowed 121 points per 100 possessions over the five games to fall to No. 30 in defensive efficiency. Losses to the Thunder Warriors, Spurs and Thunder last week dropped them to 4-14 against teams that are currently at or above .500, and the only win against that group since Thanksgiving was against a Clippers team missing Chris Paul, J.J. Redick and Blake Griffin. They'll have to figure out those good teams if they want to make the playoffs because only one West team - Philadelphia and Sacramento - has more games left against them.

This week: vs. IND (London)

24
Last week:
24

Record: 16-23
Pace: 97.6 (21) OffRtg: 100.8 (28) DefRtg: 105.8 (20) NetRtg: -5.0 (27)

Elfrid Payton was moved back to the starting lineup on Wednesday and the Magic lost. Evan Fournier was moved back into the starting lineup on Friday and the Magic lost again. The starting lineup stayed the same on Sunday and the Magic lost once more. After a December dalliance with efficiency, they're back to being a terrible offensive team again, ranking in the bottom three in free throw rate for the fourth time in the five seasons since they traded Dwight Howard. After eight straight games in which they attempted no more than 16 free throws, they got to the line 29 times against the Lakers on Sunday, but shot 38 percent from the field and turned the ball over 18 times against the league's 28th-ranked defense.

This week: @ LAC, @ POR, @ UTA

25
Last week:
25

Record: 11-26
Pace: 93.4 (29) OffRtg: 101.6 (25) DefRtg: 106.9 (22) NetRtg: -5.3 (28)

There has been better health and small signs of progress over the last few weeks. The Mavs are still just three games in the loss column behind the eighth-place Blazers. But a home loss to Phoenix, in which they allowed 18 offensive rebounds and 26 second-chance points, is probably a sign that the Mavs' aren't climbing out of the West's bottom three, even though this week's three games are against the other two teams in that group. After coming off the bench the previous two games, Andrew Bogut started alongside Dirk Nowitzki against Atlanta on Saturday and, with a minus-7, the two fell to a minus-69 in just 68 minutes together.

This week: @ MIN, @ PHX (Mexico City), vs. MIN

26
Last week:
27

Record: 12-26
Pace: 102.5 (3) OffRtg: 102.4 (22) DefRtg: 107.4 (23) NetRtg: -5.0 (26)

Before almost coming back from 22 points down against the Cavs on Sunday, the Suns won two straight games for the first time since early November. And it might be noteworthy that they were two of their three slowest paced games of the season. In fact, the Suns are 4-3 in their seven slowest-paced games, and the three losses were to Cleveland, San Antonio and Utah. Their 0-7 record in their seven fastest-paced games includes losses to Brooklyn and Philadelphia, so it might not be a good thing that they rank third in pace. Tyson Chandler has grabbed 53 boards over the last three games and has career-high marks in both defensive rebounding percentage (35.7 percent) and overall rebounding percentage (23.9 percent).

This week: vs. DAL (Mexico City), vs. SAS (Mexico City)

27
Last week:
23

Record: 11-26
Pace: 96.7 (25) OffRtg: 105.9 (11) DefRtg: 107.9 (24) NetRtg: -2.0 (18)

The Wolves made a huge comeback on Tuesday, but that was after trailing the Sixers by 26 points. And after Ricky Rubio tied the game with a three, they gave up the game-winning lob. They had a great third quarter in Washington on Friday, but then blew a late lead. And they led the Jazz by 13 points on Saturday, but blew that game too. The three losses dropped them to a league-worst 5-15 in games that were within five points in the last five minutes. As they've lost six of those games in a row, they've shot 9-for-34 (26 percent) in the clutch. Considering that field goal percentage, it probably wasn't wise for Zach LaVine to take his time before shooting for the tie on Saturday.

This week: vs. DAL, vs. HOU, vs. OKC, @ DAL

28
Last week:
29

Record: 10-25
Pace: 99.5 (13) OffRtg: 98.4 (30) DefRtg: 105.4 (17) NetRtg: -7.0 (29)

The Sixers have won three of their last four games to become the first team to match last season's win total. They rank fifth defensively over the last five weeks and have been at their best on that side of the ball (allowing 100.7 points per 100 possessions) with Nerlens Noel on the floor. He has pushed Jahlil Okafor (three DNPs in the last four games) out of the rotation, which is probably the preference of Sixers fans. Joel Embiid got a standing ovation for a trip to the free throw line on Tuesday, because he and Noel passed the ball to each other.

This week: vs. NYK, vs. CHA, @ WAS

29
Last week:
26

Record: 11-28
Pace: 97.0 (22) OffRtg: 100.5 (29) DefRtg: 104.5 (13) NetRtg: -4.0 (22)

The Heat got Dion Waiters back from a 20-game absence last week, but lost Justise Winslow (shoulder surgery) for the season, and that swap probably isn't in their favor. They haven't gotten much offense from anyone other than the usual suspects (Goran Dragic and Willie Reed), but got a win in Sacramento on Wednesday with a crazy shot from Tyler Johnson in the final minute. It's hard to imagine their offense being worse than it's been over the last few weeks, but if they were to trade Dragic...

This week: @ GSW, @ MIL

30
Last week:
30

Record: 8-28
Pace: 104.1 (1) OffRtg: 101.0 (27) DefRtg: 108.4 (27) NetRtg: -7.5 (30)

The Nets cemented their spot in the Eastern Conference and Power Rankings basements with another loss to the Sixers on Sunday. And they probably won't have another chance to climb out of either until they play the Heat twice in the last seven days of January. They've had some decent defensive games of late (they held the Cavs to just 43 percent shooting and nine threes on Friday), but have scored less than a point per possession as they've lost 11 of their last 12. Only three of those 12 games were against teams that rank in the top 10 defensively, but five of their next eight (including two against New Orleans) will be.

This week: vs. ATL, vs. NOP, @ TOR, vs. HOU


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