The Power 16
1. Boston 49-12. Sam Cassell and PJ Brown are the perfect types of veterans to help compliment the big 3
2. Detroit 46-17. Detroit is the deepest team this side of the Lakers, but losing again to the Celtics has to be a little disconcerting.
3. LA Lakers 44-19. A bad loss to the Kings considering the brutal road trip the team is about to embark on at the end of the week
4 . San Antonio 43-19. A slip-up this weekend against the Nugs and Suns, but the Spurs appear to have entered playoff mode.
5. Houston 42-20. The streak could reach 21 before the Rockets start an unreal stretch of games next week.
6. Utah 42-22. Another impressive week for the Jazz who have now won 5 in a row and are playing the best offensive basketball in the league.
7. New Orleans 42-20. The Hornets are really going to need David West to come back strong if they are going to survive 3 hellish games this week.
8. Phoenix 41-22. A huge win yesterday over the Spurs, but the true test will be if they can develop some consistency with Shaq before the playoffs.
9. Orlando 40-24. With their easy schedule upcoming, could the Magic catch the top 2 in the east?
10. Golden State 39-23. Baron Davis stays healthy and the Warriors keep winning.
11. Dallas 40-23. If the Mavs can't beat the top teams in the West then they are going to be out in the first round for the 2nd straight year.
12. Denver 37-25. Going 2-2 last week wasn't the worst thing in the world, but the Nugs are going to have to play more consistently if they want to make it in the playoffs.
13. Cleveland 36-27. Lebron is going to be a Knick in 2 years, that is a Young Swole guarantee.
14. Toronto 34-28. Its not a good time to start a west coast trip without Chris Bosh.
15. Philadelphia 30-33. The frisky Sixers have been on a serious roll, but games this week against the Celtics, Pistons and Spurs will show us how good they are.
16. Portland 33-30. Stuck between playoff contention and Clipper-like mediocrity.
Young Swole's Baller of the Week
Until further notice, Lebron James will always be the baller of the week. With the way he is playing right now, the Cavs are just as likely to make the finals as the Celts or Pistons, simply because King James is that damn good.
Young Swole's Jackass of the Week
Pat Riley has always been two things: an excellent coach and a turncoat bitch. Now that the Heat have gone south he's getting ready to bail again on a team even though it was his choice to get rid of Stan Van Gundy, build his team around slobs like Ricky Davis and Mark Blount and run Dwyane Wade into the ground. Hopefully his bad karma of skipping out on the last month in the regular season will result in the Heat not getting a chance to draft Michael Beasley or Derrick Rose.
10 games to watch this week
1. Boston @ Philadelphia, Monday. Are the Sixers really as good as they've played recently. A home game against the league leading Celtics is a great opportunity to convince Philly that they are for real.
2. Denver @ San Antonio, Monday. Beating the Spurs at home on Friday was a huge win for the Nugs, but if they lose tonight they will be 3 games behind the Warriors for the 8th spot. Such is life in the West
3. Philadelphia @ Detroit, Wednesday. A second huge game for the Sixers in three days. Can they hang with the big boys in the NBA or are they still too young.
4. San Antonio @ New Orleans, Wednesday. The Hornets should have David West back for this huge battle for division and conference playoff positioning.
5. Golden State @ Phoenix, Thursday. Simply the most exciting matchup the NBA can offer.
6. Utah @ Boston, Friday. The best offensive team in the league faces the best defensive team in the league in a possible finals preview.
7. LA Lakers @ New Orleans, Friday. Kobe against CP3 in a matchup that will be as exciting as it is important in the West playoff race.
8. San Antonio @ Detroit, Friday. Nobody seems to want to see these two teams face each other in the finals, but both teams are good enough to reach that goal.
9. New Orleans @ Detroit, Sunday. CP3 heads east to take on Chauncey Billups in a matchup of two of the greatest point guards in the league.
10. LA Lakers @ Houston, Sunday. There's a good chance the Rockets could have a 21 game winning streak heading into this clash with Kobe and the west-leading Lakers.