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Power Rankings: No. 28 and dropping

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

We took off last week from Power Rankings because 1) it was the holidays and 2) the Nets were 28th in virtually every one of the 10 or so rankings we follow.

Not much new this week and holidays are over. So what's the difference? The Nets hold on 28th is shaking as both the Lakers (29th) and 76ers (30th) are showing signs of life, while the Nets are ... not.  Matt Moore already has them in 29th, noting that LA is playing better.

John Schuhmann, (28)

The Nets got a surprise win in Chicago on Monday, but their defense was terrible in losses to Dallas and Washington at home, where they've lost six straight. There's been some ugliness around him, but Thaddeus Young is one of just four players who have averaged at least 15 points and nine rebounds while shooting 50 percent. He gave the Nets a lift when he arrived last season and he's been much better this year.

Marc Stein, ESPN (28)

Remember last week when we said we planned to track Joe Johnson's shooting? As noted by our own Mike Mazzeo, Johnson is at .324 from the field and is a minus-54 in 303 minutes over his last nine games ... with the Nets now heading into a stretch where their next eight opponents are .500-or-better teams until a Jan. 13 meeting with the Knicks.

Matt Moore, CBS Sports (29)

If they were a "Star Wars" film, they'd be "Attack of the Clones." You don't really understand why its existence was necessary and the CGI remains unnecessarily exaggerated. In this scenario, Brook Lopez is Ewan McGregor.

Tim Bontemps, Washington Post (28)

Brook Lopez can’t even be happy about Star Wars this season.

Jeremy Woo, Sports Illustrated (28)

The Nets have now lost seven of eight, six straight at home, and allowed 100 points in eight straight. Their next eight games come against plus-.500 opponents, including two against the Celtics, who can’t wait to inherit Brooklyn’s unprotected, essentially sure-to-be lottery pick.

Adi Joseph et al, USA Today (28)

They're grateful the 76ers are in the East

Eric Freeman, Yahoo! Sports (28)

Regular readers of this feature probably know that we rarely have anything to say about the Nets. The best I can do is my recent discovery that Joe Wolf is one of their assistant coaches. Remember him from mid-'90s basketball cards and video games?

Grant Hughes, Bleacher Report (28)

In a continuing effort to stay positive about the teams that so reliably fill out the bottom rungs of these rankings, let's appreciate Brooklyn Nets forward Thaddeus Young.