It’s been a little while since we checked in with the Powerless Rankings. When we last did this, the All-Star Game, trade deadline, multiple trades, a bunch of winning streaks, and a couple awful season-ending injuries had not yet happened. We’re now in the home stretch.
A couple teams escaped the Powerless Rankings this month. The Denver Nuggets, Chicago Bulls, and Detroit Pistons have improved their positions and escaped the lottery. Others were less fortunate.
There’s only a little more than 20 games left in the NBA season for most squads, so let’s see where the dust settled after a busy month of February.
14. Miami Heat (Last Month No. 3) – How long was their win streak? It was at least 13 or 14 games, I lost count. They were 11-29 at last PR check-in. Now, it’s 27-32. Fantastic turnaround, though I’m certain both the Heat front office and their fan base can’t be too thrilled about accidentally shooting up the standings in a draft that is expected to run eight or nine guys deep with legitimate NBA potential.
13. Portland Trail Blazers – I hate that the Trail Blazers made this list. They’re having the kind of year that they probably should’ve had every year for the past several seasons. Portland kept out-playing expectations. Not anymore. Lots of bad contracts have left them looking dead in the water. Not a lot of time for them to try and turn it around.
12. Milwaukee Bucks – Jabari Parker blew out his ACL. Again. This is the worst news. The Bucks are an exciting young team. Malcolm Brogdon is great, Giannis Antetokounmpo is the best, Khris Middleton is healthy again. Now, no Parker and on the outside looking in at the playoffs. I think they have a push still in them, but I also want Jason Kidd to be pushed – out of the organization.
11. New Orleans Pelicans (Last Month No. 14) – They haven’t been playing well, but they just pulled off the heist of the decade, landing DeMarcus Cousins for Buddy Hield. There were other pieces, but this was the heart of the deal. Good job, the Boogie-Brow phenomenon is going to be wonderful.
10. Dallas Mavericks (Last Month No. 5) – Hey! Dallas isn’t doing such a bad job at basketball. Yogi Ferrell is a thing that happened since the last PR. Also, they traded Justin Anderson for Nerlens Noel (picks were also involved). Now, they’ve got Noel instead of Bogut. That’s pretty cool for them.
9. Charlotte Hornets – As a writer who covers the Hornets, I must say that this season started out cool and has turned into something altogether miserable. They have lost so many games and had so many injured players. Cody Zeller has been out of luck and can’t find health. They traded Spencer Hawes and Roy Hibbert for Miles Plumlee (I think it was that Plumlee?), and he basically got injured right away. They’ve been starting Frank Kaminsky at center and he’s actually scoring baskets these days.
8. Minnesota Timberwolves (Last Month No. 11) – Zach LaVine blew out an ACL, which is terrible news. Tom Thibodeau seems to hate Ricky Rubio, also terrible news. Thibs also seems to hate Tyus Jones, awful news. Thibs loves Kris Dunn, not great news. Karl-Anthony Towns has been really good for the past month or so, excellent news.
7. New York Knicks (Last Month No. 6) – So many things to dislike about the Knicks. They almost pulled off a deal to swap Derrick Rose for Rubio with the Timberwolves. Thankfully that didn’t pull through. Kristaps Porzingis is going to miss some time with an ankle injury. Carmelo is great at insults. If I heard the most recent one correctly, “Onion bagel face ass.” And that’s the best thing about Carmelo other than his game-winning shots against really bad teams for a team that is still nowhere near the playoffs.
6. Orlando Magic (Last Month No. 2) – I’m not even sure this team exists. They traded Serge Ibaka. Hopefully, they’ll stop this stupid Aaron Gordon at the three garbage because there is no way that was ever a good idea. Never again, Vogel. Stop it.
5. Philadelphia 76ers (Last Month No. 12) – I can’t say anything great about Philly. Joel Embiid got hurt again. Luckily, it was something relatively minor. Ben Simmons isn’t going to play this year. Bad team. Colangelo has been very questionable over the past week or so. Not great.
4. Los Angeles Lakers (Last Month No. 8) – They aren’t winning games anymore. 3-7 in their last 10, they’ve managed to drop down the standings, fired Jim Buss, Mitch Kupchak, and their head of public relations. Then they hired Magic Johnson, traded Lou Williams and moved Marcelo Huertas. They need to keep dropping. They’re still a bit too far from safety. They need to land in the top three picks for the upcoming draft or they lose the pick. Tank, baby, tank!
3. Phoenix Suns (Last Month No. 4) – Also 3-7 in their last 10, dead last in the West. Devin Booker letting his mouth write checks that his scoreboards can’t cash. Marquese Chriss is a lot of fun, has too many technical fouls as a rookie – eight this season, at last count.
2. Sacramento Kings (Last Month No. 9) – They traded one of the best players in the NBA. For almost nothing. Vivek Ranadive is obsessed with Buddy Hield and thinks that he’ll be the next Steph Curry. Okay, guy.
1. Brooklyn Nets (Last Month No. 1) – 0-10 in their last 10 games. They basically do not win anymore. The publish date of the last Powerless Rankings was January 11 and they were 8-29. They are now 9-49. They are 1-20 since the last time we did this. They don’t own their 2017 first-round draft pick. They are, without a doubt, the worst team in the NBA.