No change among the power ranking pundits. Nets are the NBA’s worst, with most of the pundits putting them dead last or 29th. The Suns are the Nets competition at the bottom.
While there may not be anything new in the rankings, there’s some interesting data in some of the copy accompanying the rankings, like Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s improved shooting (Schuhmann); where Lopez fits among NBA bigs in the 40-40 Club, those centers who have 40 blocks and 40 three pointers (Stein); the Nets offensive prowess (Woo); and whether Sean Kilpatrick is fool’s gold (Hughes).
So, enjoy ... or not. Any ranking with an asterisk was done prior to the weekend. Not that it matters.
The Nets had their best half of the season (the first half against Golden State on Thursday) last week, but still lost to the Raptors, Warriors and Cavs by a combined 48 points. After shooting 32 percent through his first 19 games, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has shot 54 percent over his last seven, with most of that (19-for-31) coming at the basket. The Nets have scored 120 points per 100 possessions and are a plus-14 in 40 minutes with Hollis-Jefferson, Jeremy Lin and Brook Lopez on the floor together since Lin's return from his hamstring injury. With Hollis-Jefferson coming of the bench, those minutes have been limited.
Did you come here for a full-on autopsy on how the Nets turned a 16-point halftime lead on mighty Golden State on Thursday night into a 16-point defeat? Of course not. You surely came here to read about how Brook Lopez has joined forces with DeMarcus Cousins and Marc Gasol to make this the first season, already, in which three different NBA centers have rung up at least 40 3-pointers to go with at least 40 blocked shots. (We should note, for posterity's sake, that the Nets are the first team to lose at home by 15 or more points after leading by 15-plus at halftime in -- gulp -- 30 years. It hasn't happened since the Suns endured a similarly painful turnaround against the visiting Clips on Dec. 30, 1987.)
Whoever gave them the Raptors, Cavs and Warriors in back-to back-to-back games was a not nice person and I hope they got coal in their stocking.
Jeremy Woo, Sports Illustrated (29)
The Nets just put up 100-plus points in 10 straight games, their longest streak since 1994, and are gradually improving. Getting stops, yes, is still a problem.
Moke Hamilton, Basketball Insiders (29)*
Now seems a fine time to remind fans of the Nets that the Boston Celtics own the right to swap first round picks with the Nets in the 2017 draft. Some scouts are calling the draft the best one over the past 10 years. So yeah.
Grant Hughes, Bleacher Report (30)*
Having spent a good portion of my formative basketball fandom watching the Golden State Warriors miss the playoffs in 17 out of 18 seasons from 1994-95 until 2012-13, I know a "good stats on a bad team" player when I see one.
Fans of bad teams need these guys, and there's nothing wrong with being on the low end of a 450-person club composed only of the greatest basketball players in the world. But I have to say it.
Sean Kilpatrick is one of them.
Ben Rohrbach, Yahoo! Sports (30)
It appears that some of the power rankers took the week off. That’s fine.