John Rohde's NBA power rankings

By John Rohde, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.coms Published: March 3, 2012
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20. Utah Jazz (17-18): Big win over Miami on Friday, but this franchise is a shadow of its former self and still suffering from the fallout of Jerry Sloan's departure.

21. Golden State Warriors (14-19): This is a scary team to play because you never know when Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, David Lee — or all three — could go off.

22. Sacramento Kings (12-24): Took over Minnesota's role as the most underachieving team in the West. Better under Keith Smart, but not as good as it should be.

23. New Jersey Nets (11-26): Should be much more competitive with Brook Lopez back from injury and with Deron Williams constantly auditioning for a trade.

24. Milwaukee Bucks (14-22): With Andrew Bogut likely lost for the regular season due to bum ankle, the once hopeful Bucks are simply riding out the storm.

25. New Orleans Hornets (9-27): This disheveled team has won five of its last nine and beat the Mavericks on Friday, but a four-game road trip in six days awaits.

26. Toronto Raptors (11-25): Oh, Canada. Remember when the Raptors actually were good? Me neither. This team has the talent to win far more than it does.

27. Cleveland Cavaliers (13-21): Luckily, the Cavs have rookie of the year pick Kyrie Irving or they would really stink. Anxiously awaiting LeBron's return.

28. Detroit Pistons (12-25): A once proud franchise has a plight similar to the city it represents. The Pistons are not void of talent, but turnaround will take some time.

29. Washington Wizards (7-28): Five wins have come against Charlotte (twice), Toronto (twice) and Detroit. Other two have come against Portland and — ugh — OKC.

30. Charlotte Bobcats (4-30): The worst season winning percentage in NBA history is .110. Bobcats are second-worst at .118. Amazingly, they began the season 1-0.

PLAYOFF PAIRINGS

Projected playoff pairings, according to our latest power rankings:

WESTERN CONFERENCE

1-OKC vs. 8-Portland

2-San Antonio vs. 7-Denver

3-LA Clippers vs. 6-Dallas

4-LA Lakers vs. 5-Memphis

EASTERN CONFERENCE

1-Miami vs. 8-Atlanta

2-Chicago vs. 7-Boston

3-Orlando vs. 6-New York

4-Philadelphia vs. 5-Indiana

BY THE NUMBERS

Friday marked the 50th anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game against the New York Knicks in Hershey, Pa.

Some other NBA record numbers for Chamberlain:

55 — Most rebounds in a game (against Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics on Nov. 24, 1960)

50.4 — Season scoring average (1961-62)

37.6 — Rookie scoring average (1959-60)

23,924 — Career rebounds (1959-73)

27.2 — Season rebound average (1960-61)

22.9 — Career rebound average (1958-73)

48.5 — Average minutes per game (games were 48 minutes and Philadelphia played 10 overtime periods in 1961-62)

45.8 — Career average minutes (1959-73)

79 — Complete games in one season (1961-62)

118 — Career 50-point games (1959-73)

45 — Season 50-point games (1961-62)

59 — Most points in one half (March 2, 1962)

0 — Career foul disqualifications (1959-73)

Note: Chamberlain is said to have blocked 26 shots in one game against Detroit, but blocks were not officially recognized as a stat by the NBA until 1973-74, the year after Chamberlain retired.

QUOTABLE

Charles Barkley on a radio show evaluating Michael Jordan's performance as an NBA executive: "I love Michael, but he just has not done a great job. Even though he's one of my great friends, I can't get on here and tell you he's done a great job. He has not done a great job, plain and simple."

TWEETABLE

Rob Lowe (@RobLowe): “If the #Lakers don't become champs this year, then let it be the amazing, fun #Thunder. Great time at Chesapeake arena. #NBA”

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