Cappers Picks NBA Power Rankings – April 2nd, 2013

Larry’s NBA Power Ratings

It’s nut-crunching time in the Association, where the furniture is being re-arranged as playoff position is in the process of being settled deep in the shadows and the NCAA Tournament gets most of the attention.

The Lakers’ hopes of landing the 8th playoff spot that they would have sneered at in other seasons now rest on the ailing left foot of Kobe Bryant. Bryant was able to go 47-plus minutes in a must-win game at Sacramento on Saturday night, and with 6 of the final 8 at home, the Lakers feel that Bryant has enough oomph left to at least get them to a first-round matchup with the Spurs or Thunder.

To the rankings:

1. HEAT (58-15) – Oddsmakers knew what they were doing when they enticed bettors by offering 6/1 on Miami breaking the old Lakers’ record of 33 wins in a row.
2. SPURS (55-18) – For now. But with Ginobili out indefinitely (Spurs say it’s weeks, not days) with a hamstring injury, red flags are up all over south Texas.
3. THUNDER (55-20) – You’re flat-out lying if you thought that Serge Ibaka would be leading in the league is shots blocked per game (an even 3).
4. NUGGETS (50-24) – Losses at New Orleans and San Antonio illustrate how important it is for the Nuggets to have home-court advantage in as many playoff series as possible. For the record, Denver is 33-3 at home this season.
5. GRIZZLIES (49-24) – Memphis has reportedly hired a sabremetrics nerd to crunch numbers. Isn’t it bad enough that these creeps have taken over baseball?
6. PACERS (47-27) – But don’t expect much, if anything, out of Danny Granger the rest of the way. The scoring forward will undergo his second knee operation since the start of the season, and his return is more than questionable.
7. KNICKS (46-26) – New York has to be salivating at a first-round series against Boston after bending, folding and mutilating the Celtics twice in six days.
8. CLIPPERS (49-25) – March was unkind to the Clippers, who battled injuries and inconsistency on the way to a 14-14 record after ending February at 35-11.
9. NETS (42-31) – A win over godawful Cleveland on Wednesday will give the Nets a winning record on their difficult 9-game road trip and some momentum heading down the home stretch. [ad-6571516]
10. WARRIORS (42-32) – Looks like the end of the line for Richard Jefferson, an unassuming guy who had some big moments in the league but now gets only garbage-time minutes.
11. BULLS (40-32) – RIP Tom Boerwinkle, who was more than just a generic banger in the league and once hauled down 37 rebounds. In one game.
12. HAWKS (41-33) – Give it up, Larry Drew. You can send an army of psychiatrists to invade Josh Smith’s cranium, but you’re never going to get through to him. Eight more regular season games and maybe one playoff series and you won’t have to deal with him anymore.
13. ROCKETS (40-33) – Chandler Parsons went up against Blake Griffin the other night. The Rockets were plus-20 when Parsons was on the court, the Clippers minus-12 when Griffin played. Draw whatever conclusion you want from that.
14. JAZZ (38-36) – The NBA wouldn’t screw over the Jazz over the final two weeks just to get the Lakers into the playoffs and guarantee higher TV ratings. Would it?
15. CELTICS (38-35) – Don’t know about you, but I love the pissing match between Danny Ainge and Pat Riley.
16. LAKERS (38-36) – Lesson learned by Jordan Hill: Never loan out your Bentley to a drunken friend.

17. MAVERICKS (36-37)
18. BUCKS (35-37)
19. TRAIL BLAZERS (33-40)
20. 76ERS (30-43)
21. WIZARDS (27-46)
22. KINGS/SONICS (27-47)
23. RAPTORS (27-46)
25. TIMBERWOLVES (26-46)
26. PISTONS (24-50)
27. SUNS (23-51)
28. CAVALIERS (22-50)
29. MAGIC (19-55)
30. BOBCATS (17-56)

By Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!