Power Ratings: Are the Clippers among the elite?

Identifying the top four teams in the NBA is easy, but the fifth is a toss up. As our Zach Harper writes in this week's Power Ratings, the Clippers are that team. Question is, does it matter?

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Does being the fifth-best team in the NBA actually matter this season?

We can fluctuate between two and six teams being capable of winning the championship in any given year, but this year's top-heavy Western Conference and barren Eastern Conference once we get past Cleveland is making this a bit tougher.

The method behind the Power Ratings
SportsLine's Power Ratings are based on a team's Neutral Win%. To calculate a team's Neutral Win% we simulate them playing every other team in the league thousands of times on a neutral court. Teams are rated in descending order of Average Neutral Win% vs. the other 29 teams.

SportsLine's Power Ratings are objective and numbers based, vastly different from subjective power rankings. Our method gives all teams the same schedule and we remove any bias from the analysis.

Our Power Ratings are based on healthy rosters. Any player not out for the season is assumed to be 100 percent. This method allows us to compare their actual Win% to their Neutral Win% and determine which teams have over or under performed relative to their talent. 

Neutral Win% is not consistent between rankings. For example, the difference between the No. 3 and No. 4 team could be wider than the difference between No. 15 and No. 20. While our sequential ranking is how we display, we provide the Neutral Win% so you can really identify how much of a gap there is between teams and whether the gap between two teams is really significant or not.

There is no shame in being behind the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs. There is no shame in not being as good as the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East.

Even if you struggle to measure up to the Oklahoma City Thunder, you're doing just fine, theoretically.

But it doesn't mean you matter, and that can be a tough thing to reconcile.

I've always contended that elitism is better for the NBA than it is for other sports.

The idea of getting a hot goalie or a pitching staff in a groove or even a Wild Card in the NFL riding a flamethrower quarterback or defense to the Super Bowl doesn't translate to the NBA.

You have to be great in order to advance toward a shot at the title in the NBA, and that ensures there isn't the "what if" game when it comes to who could have won the championship.

So for teams like the Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors, is there anything to being the fifth-best team in the NBA this season, other than using it to leverage a player wanting to join you in the offseason?

Is that simply how you make that next leap?

SPORTSLINE'S NBA POWER RATINGS
RANK TEAM NEUTRAL WIN% WIN PROJ. ATS% PLAYOFF%
1
Golden State Warriors
Amidst all of the Kevin Durant rumors and the latest challenge from the Thunder, the Warriors still weather all of these storms and keep their focus. SportsLine now has them projected for exactly 72 wins and you start to wonder if the Warriors will even fall short if they do rest guys down the stretch. It's insane to also consider they're second best ATS, despite the monster lines they have to cover every night.
79.0% 72.0 63.3% 100%
2
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs and Warriors are on pace to be the first two teams to win 66-plus games in the same season. They'll be just the 15th and 16th teams to win 66 or more games in a season in NBA history. Also, one of those teams will end up not making the NBA Finals, which is crazy. They would be just the fourth team ('09 Cavs, '07 Mavs, '73 Celtics) to win 66 games and not make the Finals. This seems unfair.
72.7% 65.5 64.7% 100%
3
Cleveland Cavaliers
Cavs are back in third this week, despite losses to the Celtics and Hornets during the week. With games against the reeling Kings and the Lakers, they'll likely head into the All-Star break with an 8-3 record since Tyronn Lue took over. That's pretty much the same pace David Blatt had them on. The difference is if the Cavs are at least happier now than before, so they should be set up for greater success.
68.5% 59.5 46.8% 100%
4
Oklahoma City Thunder
It doesn't seem fair that the Cavs lost two games and the Thunder only lost to the Warriors in a highly competitive finish, and yet OKC drops down to the fourth spot this week. Part of this is how bad they remain to be against the spread. Only Chicago is worse ATS and the Thunder are tied with the Suns right now. It shouldn't mean everything, but it means enough to keep them from being considered the third best.
66.5% 56.0 38.5% 100%
5
Los Angeles Clippers
So now we get to the Clippers and wonder if this designation as the fifth best team even matters. They've managed to withstand the loss of Blake Griffin and maybe it will help them out more in the long run. They can develop other role players and their confidence. At some point though, they have to measure up to other top teams and we don't know that they can conquer that challenge.
62.0% 53.7 52.1% 99.7%
6
Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks are up two spots this week after going 3-1 and their one loss coming on a buzzer-beater. Amidst the trade rumors, the Hawks found a way to play some pretty good basketball. You'd feel better about this team if it looked like they could get to 50 wins. That would secure a top-three seed and a potential second-round match-up with Toronto. Do they have to get back to the conference finals?
59.4% 46.8 49.0% 98.8%
7
Boston Celtics
The Celtics have won 12 out of 15, including a big win over Cleveland, since they fell to 19-19 on the season. They've taken advantage of mostly an easy stretch of games, but that's what good teams are supposed to do. They are bad at making 3-pointers (26th) but they take a lot of them. It's similar to the style the Rockets had last season where they keep offensive efficiency by taking a lot of them.
58.7% 48.6 57.7% 99.6%
8
Detroit Pistons
Detroit jump three spots this week and are now rated as the fourth-best team in the East, despite being the No. 8 seed after this weekend. The question then becomes can they end up being a top 4 seed like they project to play like? They're another team that shoots a lot of threes but hits a poor percentage. If Stan Van Gundy's team starts hitting these shots, they'll erase the 2.5 games between them and the No. 4 seeded Hawks.
57.3% 44.9 54.0% 94.1%
9
Toronto Raptors
The Raptors dropped a couple spots and we're still left figuring out just how dangerous they are. The No. 2 seed isn't locked up for them, but they have a healthy distance between them and the three seed. Despite his poor shooting (39.0/33.9), the Raptors are destroying with Patrick Patterson on the floor. Plus-9.7 net rating, offense is 3.3 points better, and defense is 6.4 points better. Play PatPat.
57.3% 53.2 55.1% 100%
10
Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies are frustratingly confusing when you look at their numbers. They only have a couple of guys playing significant minutes with a net rating over zero, and even Marc Gasol has a net rating of minus-0.1 when he's on the court. How is this team nine games over .500 with that being the case? I know the losses have been bad, but this is still insane.
55.5% 47.7 49.0% 99.5%
11
Chicago Bulls
Things are not going well for the Bulls. Jimmy Butler hurt his knee (out 3-4 weeks), the rest of the team is frustrated, and they can't seem to find any passion or fire. For the 11th-best team in the league as designated by SportsLine, you need more confidence in them than what is available. Get through this season and then overhaul the roster surrounding Butler. This entire situation is stale.
53.1% 44.9 38.0% 93.7%
12
Utah Jazz
The Jazz finally got healthy and got a homestand. It resulted in them winning five straight games and are now within shouting distance of the No. 6 seed in the West. The way they're playing right now, it wouldn't shock me if SportsLine ended up rating them as the fifth-best West team by the end of the season. They have a lot left to do, but things are finally turning their way.
52.2% 41.3 53.1%  75.3%
13
Portland Trail Blazers
Speaking of West teams playing well, the Blazers enjoy the biggest jump in the eyes of SportsLine this week by leaping up six spots in the Power Ratings. They've won 10 of their last 13 games and are right behind Houston and Utah for the last two spots. During this stretch, Allen Crabbe is shooting 48.6 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from deep. The offense puts up 112.9 per 100 possessions with Crabbe right now.
52.0% 39.6 53.9% 59.3%
14
Dallas Mavericks
The Mavs jumped four spots this week despite going 1-3. Their one win was an overtime victory over Memphis. They're four games over .500 after the weekend, but their negative point differential doesn't project well for them. They're not totally in danger of falling out of the playoff picture because there is a small cushion, but at some point the Parsons-Matthews-Williams trio has to be healthy and very good to keep up.
49.6% 42.4 55.6% 89.4%
15
Indiana Pacers
Myles Turner is becoming a monster. I'll admit I wasn't huge on him coming out of Texas, but after half a season in which he's missed some time due to injuries, I'm now positive he'll have a good career. Over his last 11 games, Turner is averaging 16.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks in 29.6 minutes. He doesn't know what he's doing yet, but he's doing it well.
49.3% 43.3 52.0% 86.4%
16
Houston Rockets
Are we entirely sure this apathetic bunch of Rockets are going to make the playoffs? They're only a game and a half away from being the ninth-placed team in the West and they too have a negative point differential, which projects poorly in most situations. Houston falling out of the playoffs and joining the lottery could be a wake-up call for this team's makeup.
48.5% 40.2 41.5% 68.5%
17
Washington Wizards
Not convinced the Wizards are going to turn this thing around. The problem is they simply can't beat good teams. They're 10-20 against .500 or better teams, so when they play bad teams they really do feast (12-7). That's a big reason their playoff percentage is so low. You just don't know when they're going to take down good teams, and that's necessary to make the East playoffs.
48.5% 39.4 51.0% 20.1%
18
Miami Heat
Miami falls three spots this week, but they may have found the right balance with their Hassan Whiteside problem. It's been nine games since he started (six inactive with an injury) and Miami is 6-3 in that time. But bringing Whiteside off the bench in the past three games has been big for his net rating. Before this stretch, they were plus-1.2 without him. These three games, they've been plus-5.7 with him.
47.0% 43.5 51.0% 85.4%
19
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans didn't have much of a shot at making the playoffs after that 1-11 start, but it did seem like a couple weeks ago they were poised to make things difficult for the West. SportsLine still believes they will, but that 0.5 percent playoff percentage can't be ignored. This team is simply a West nuisance now and not a real threat for the postseason.
47.0% 32.3 40.0% 0.5%
20
Orlando Magic
This team sucks since the turn of the calendar year and now they're possibly entertaining offers about Tobias Harris, whom they just re-signed this past summer. The question with them is whether or not this young core is actually any good. Is Victor Oladipo a good No. 2 scoring option? Is Elfrid Payton a full-time starter? Do you want to build with Nikola Vucevic and Harris? They've stockpiled assets but what do they have?
45.4% 35.4 55.1% 1.9%
21
Sacramento Kings
For maybe the fourth time in the past year, the Sacramento Kings are considering firing George Karl. This time it seems more serious than ever, but is this simply a case of the team crying, "we're going to fire our coach?" The previous times, it's led to turning things around, but the dysfunction remains in this organization and it's crippling. They need to find stability and keep it this time.
45.3% 35.5 46.0% 6.8%
22
Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte should be respected more in these Power Ratings. They've consistently been in the bottom 10 almost every week, and yet this team is better, has played better, and has dealt with just as many injuries as the Washington Wizards. So why are the Hornets below them every week? Even if a fully healthy Hornets team played a fully healthy Wizards team in the playoffs, I'd take the Hornets in six.
42.6% 38.7 48.0% 18.8%
23
New York Knicks
Derek Fisher is fired and now Kurt Rambis takes the wheel of the ship until they can find a new coach in the offseason. Will it be Tom Thibodeau? Will it be Luke Walton or Brian Shaw? Whomever it is, we know it won't be Rambis. Hard to trust a coaching option that wanted to play Ryan Hollins over a young Kevin Love.
41.2% 34.4 53.7% 0.7%
24
Denver Nuggets
The goal of almost any bad team is to be the team in the second half of the season nobody else wants to face. That's this Nuggets team. They won't quite be the defensive unit last year's Utah Jazz were, but this team's versatility, pace, and depth will cause a lot of problems for the West playoff picture. A healthy Denver can climb into top 20 in the ratings.
40.7% 33.3 58.0% 1.0%
25
Milwaukee Bucks
He probably won't be moved, but the $3 million expiring contract of Jerryd Bayless is also attached to a combo guard who is shooting 43.2 percent from 3-point range this season. He's taking 4.6 3-pointers per game and just shredding perimeter defenses with his accuracy. It's the second time in his career he's been over 40 percent, but you'd think a playoff team would want that option off the bench.
39.2% 32.5 50.0% 0.3%
26
Brooklyn Nets
Hardest part of the Power Ratings every week is finding something to say about the Brooklyn Nets. The injuries, the lack of picks, and the general malaise have just robbed this team of being interesting. But one thing they are is scrappy. They're 49 percent ATS this season and that's as one of the worst teams in the league. They're easy to beat but tough to embarrass. That could go on their next media guide.
39.1% 23.5 49.0% 0.0%
27
Philadelphia 76ers
Whoa, Nelly! This newfound competence on the basketball court over the last month has finally caught up with the Sixers in the Power Ratings. They jumped three teams to avoid last place and are now all the way up to a season-high 27th place. SportsLine now have them at 19 wins, which would make it the third straight year they can't tank to get the top lottery odds. Brett Brown is too good.
38.0% 19.3 46.0% 0.0%
28
Minnesota Timberwolves
Over the last five games, Karl-Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng have shared the floor together for 146 minutes. That's the fourth highest combination on the team. During that time, the Wolves are a plus-8.1 per 100 possessions and these two guys are helping the Wolves put up a 117.4 per 100 on offense. Towns has been his usual impressive self, but Dieng is looking for scoring opportunities and it's making a big difference.
33.7% 25.0 45.1% 0.0%
29
Phoenix Suns
The Suns' free fall is just about complete. I don't really think they'll end up being the 30th team on this list at any point the rest of the season. That has very little to do with them and very much to do with how bad the Lakers are. Good news for the Suns is their draft pick will be very high and it'll be hard to screw up. That's the new goal for them: don't screw it up.
29.2% 22.3 38.5% 0.0%
30
Los Angeles Lakers
The worst team in the NBA. Byron Scott has said his young guys aren't confident enough and they're too confident. He's implied that D'Angelo Russell is too young for Scott to go and talk to about his role with the team and what he can do to get better. Russell's next coach is going to make the young guard feel like Tim Robbins escaping from Shawshank.
21.3% 16.3 45.3% 0.0%
RANK TEAM NEUTRAL WIN% WIN PROJ. ATS% PLAYOFF%
1
Golden State Warriors
Amidst all of the Kevin Durant rumors and the latest challenge from the Thunder, the Warriors still weather all of these storms and keep their focus. SportsLine now has them projected for exactly 72 wins and you start to wonder if the Warriors will even fall short if they do rest guys down the stretch. It's insane to also consider they're second best ATS, despite the monster lines they have to cover every night.
79.0% 72.0 63.3% 100%
2
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs and Warriors are on pace to be the first two teams to win 66-plus games in the same season. They'll be just the 15th and 16th teams to win 66 or more games in a season in NBA history. Also, one of those teams will end up not making the NBA Finals, which is crazy. They would be just the fourth team ('09 Cavs, '07 Mavs, '73 Celtics) to win 66 games and not make the Finals. This seems unfair.
72.7% 65.5 64.7% 100%
3
Cleveland Cavaliers
Cavs are back in third this week, despite losses to the Celtics and Hornets during the week. With games against the reeling Kings and the Lakers, they'll likely head into the All-Star break with an 8-3 record since Tyronn Lue took over. That's pretty much the same pace David Blatt had them on. The difference is if the Cavs are at least happier now than before, so they should be set up for greater success.
68.5% 59.5 46.8% 100%
4
Oklahoma City Thunder
It doesn't seem fair that the Cavs lost two games and the Thunder only lost to the Warriors in a highly competitive finish, and yet OKC drops down to the fourth spot this week. Part of this is how bad they remain to be against the spread. Only Chicago is worse ATS and the Thunder are tied with the Suns right now. It shouldn't mean everything, but it means enough to keep them from being considered the third best.
66.5% 56.0 38.5% 100%
5
Los Angeles Clippers
So now we get to the Clippers and wonder if this designation as the fifth best team even matters. They've managed to withstand the loss of Blake Griffin and maybe it will help them out more in the long run. They can develop other role players and their confidence. At some point though, they have to measure up to other top teams and we don't know that they can conquer that challenge.
62.0% 53.7 52.1% 99.7%
6
Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks are up two spots this week after going 3-1 and their one loss coming on a buzzer-beater. Amidst the trade rumors, the Hawks found a way to play some pretty good basketball. You'd feel better about this team if it looked like they could get to 50 wins. That would secure a top-three seed and a potential second-round match-up with Toronto. Do they have to get back to the conference finals?
59.4% 46.8 49.0% 98.8%
7
Boston Celtics
The Celtics have won 12 out of 15, including a big win over Cleveland, since they fell to 19-19 on the season. They've taken advantage of mostly an easy stretch of games, but that's what good teams are supposed to do. They are bad at making 3-pointers (26th) but they take a lot of them. It's similar to the style the Rockets had last season where they keep offensive efficiency by taking a lot of them.
58.7% 48.6 57.7% 99.6%
8
Detroit Pistons
Detroit jump three spots this week and are now rated as the fourth-best team in the East, despite being the No. 8 seed after this weekend. The question then becomes can they end up being a top 4 seed like they project to play like? They're another team that shoots a lot of threes but hits a poor percentage. If Stan Van Gundy's team starts hitting these shots, they'll erase the 2.5 games between them and the No. 4 seeded Hawks.
57.3% 44.9 54.0% 94.1%
9
Toronto Raptors
The Raptors dropped a couple spots and we're still left figuring out just how dangerous they are. The No. 2 seed isn't locked up for them, but they have a healthy distance between them and the three seed. Despite his poor shooting (39.0/33.9), the Raptors are destroying with Patrick Patterson on the floor. Plus-9.7 net rating, offense is 3.3 points better, and defense is 6.4 points better. Play PatPat.
57.3% 53.2 55.1% 100%
10
Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies are frustratingly confusing when you look at their numbers. They only have a couple of guys playing significant minutes with a net rating over zero, and even Marc Gasol has a net rating of minus-0.1 when he's on the court. How is this team nine games over .500 with that being the case? I know the losses have been bad, but this is still insane.
55.5% 47.7 49.0% 99.5%
11
Chicago Bulls
Things are not going well for the Bulls. Jimmy Butler hurt his knee (out 3-4 weeks), the rest of the team is frustrated, and they can't seem to find any passion or fire. For the 11th-best team in the league as designated by SportsLine, you need more confidence in them than what is available. Get through this season and then overhaul the roster surrounding Butler. This entire situation is stale.
53.1% 44.9 38.0% 93.7%
12
Utah Jazz
The Jazz finally got healthy and got a homestand. It resulted in them winning five straight games and are now within shouting distance of the No. 6 seed in the West. The way they're playing right now, it wouldn't shock me if SportsLine ended up rating them as the fifth-best West team by the end of the season. They have a lot left to do, but things are finally turning their way.
52.2% 41.3 53.1%  75.3%
13
Portland Trail Blazers
Speaking of West teams playing well, the Blazers enjoy the biggest jump in the eyes of SportsLine this week by leaping up six spots in the Power Ratings. They've won 10 of their last 13 games and are right behind Houston and Utah for the last two spots. During this stretch, Allen Crabbe is shooting 48.6 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from deep. The offense puts up 112.9 per 100 possessions with Crabbe right now.
52.0% 39.6 53.9% 59.3%
14
Dallas Mavericks
The Mavs jumped four spots this week despite going 1-3. Their one win was an overtime victory over Memphis. They're four games over .500 after the weekend, but their negative point differential doesn't project well for them. They're not totally in danger of falling out of the playoff picture because there is a small cushion, but at some point the Parsons-Matthews-Williams trio has to be healthy and very good to keep up.
49.6% 42.4 55.6% 89.4%
15
Indiana Pacers
Myles Turner is becoming a monster. I'll admit I wasn't huge on him coming out of Texas, but after half a season in which he's missed some time due to injuries, I'm now positive he'll have a good career. Over his last 11 games, Turner is averaging 16.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks in 29.6 minutes. He doesn't know what he's doing yet, but he's doing it well.
49.3% 43.3 52.0% 86.4%
16
Houston Rockets
Are we entirely sure this apathetic bunch of Rockets are going to make the playoffs? They're only a game and a half away from being the ninth-placed team in the West and they too have a negative point differential, which projects poorly in most situations. Houston falling out of the playoffs and joining the lottery could be a wake-up call for this team's makeup.
48.5% 40.2 41.5% 68.5%
17
Washington Wizards
Not convinced the Wizards are going to turn this thing around. The problem is they simply can't beat good teams. They're 10-20 against .500 or better teams, so when they play bad teams they really do feast (12-7). That's a big reason their playoff percentage is so low. You just don't know when they're going to take down good teams, and that's necessary to make the East playoffs.
48.5% 39.4 51.0% 20.1%
18
Miami Heat
Miami falls three spots this week, but they may have found the right balance with their Hassan Whiteside problem. It's been nine games since he started (six inactive with an injury) and Miami is 6-3 in that time. But bringing Whiteside off the bench in the past three games has been big for his net rating. Before this stretch, they were plus-1.2 without him. These three games, they've been plus-5.7 with him.
47.0% 43.5 51.0% 85.4%
19
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans didn't have much of a shot at making the playoffs after that 1-11 start, but it did seem like a couple weeks ago they were poised to make things difficult for the West. SportsLine still believes they will, but that 0.5 percent playoff percentage can't be ignored. This team is simply a West nuisance now and not a real threat for the postseason.
47.0% 32.3 40.0% 0.5%
20
Orlando Magic
This team sucks since the turn of the calendar year and now they're possibly entertaining offers about Tobias Harris, whom they just re-signed this past summer. The question with them is whether or not this young core is actually any good. Is Victor Oladipo a good No. 2 scoring option? Is Elfrid Payton a full-time starter? Do you want to build with Nikola Vucevic and Harris? They've stockpiled assets but what do they have?
45.4% 35.4 55.1% 1.9%
21
Sacramento Kings
For maybe the fourth time in the past year, the Sacramento Kings are considering firing George Karl. This time it seems more serious than ever, but is this simply a case of the team crying, "we're going to fire our coach?" The previous times, it's led to turning things around, but the dysfunction remains in this organization and it's crippling. They need to find stability and keep it this time.
45.3% 35.5 46.0% 6.8%
22
Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte should be respected more in these Power Ratings. They've consistently been in the bottom 10 almost every week, and yet this team is better, has played better, and has dealt with just as many injuries as the Washington Wizards. So why are the Hornets below them every week? Even if a fully healthy Hornets team played a fully healthy Wizards team in the playoffs, I'd take the Hornets in six.
42.6% 38.7 48.0% 18.8%
23
New York Knicks
Derek Fisher is fired and now Kurt Rambis takes the wheel of the ship until they can find a new coach in the offseason. Will it be Tom Thibodeau? Will it be Luke Walton or Brian Shaw? Whomever it is, we know it won't be Rambis. Hard to trust a coaching option that wanted to play Ryan Hollins over a young Kevin Love.
41.2% 34.4 53.7% 0.7%
24
Denver Nuggets
The goal of almost any bad team is to be the team in the second half of the season nobody else wants to face. That's this Nuggets team. They won't quite be the defensive unit last year's Utah Jazz were, but this team's versatility, pace, and depth will cause a lot of problems for the West playoff picture. A healthy Denver can climb into top 20 in the ratings.
40.7% 33.3 58.0% 1.0%
25
Milwaukee Bucks
He probably won't be moved, but the $3 million expiring contract of Jerryd Bayless is also attached to a combo guard who is shooting 43.2 percent from 3-point range this season. He's taking 4.6 3-pointers per game and just shredding perimeter defenses with his accuracy. It's the second time in his career he's been over 40 percent, but you'd think a playoff team would want that option off the bench.
39.2% 32.5 50.0% 0.3%
26
Brooklyn Nets
Hardest part of the Power Ratings every week is finding something to say about the Brooklyn Nets. The injuries, the lack of picks, and the general malaise have just robbed this team of being interesting. But one thing they are is scrappy. They're 49 percent ATS this season and that's as one of the worst teams in the league. They're easy to beat but tough to embarrass. That could go on their next media guide.
39.1% 23.5 49.0% 0.0%
27
Philadelphia 76ers
Whoa, Nelly! This newfound competence on the basketball court over the last month has finally caught up with the Sixers in the Power Ratings. They jumped three teams to avoid last place and are now all the way up to a season-high 27th place. SportsLine now have them at 19 wins, which would make it the third straight year they can't tank to get the top lottery odds. Brett Brown is too good.
38.0% 19.3 46.0% 0.0%
28
Minnesota Timberwolves
Over the last five games, Karl-Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng have shared the floor together for 146 minutes. That's the fourth highest combination on the team. During that time, the Wolves are a plus-8.1 per 100 possessions and these two guys are helping the Wolves put up a 117.4 per 100 on offense. Towns has been his usual impressive self, but Dieng is looking for scoring opportunities and it's making a big difference.
33.7% 25.0 45.1% 0.0%
29
Phoenix Suns
The Suns' free fall is just about complete. I don't really think they'll end up being the 30th team on this list at any point the rest of the season. That has very little to do with them and very much to do with how bad the Lakers are. Good news for the Suns is their draft pick will be very high and it'll be hard to screw up. That's the new goal for them: don't screw it up.
29.2% 22.3 38.5% 0.0%
30
Los Angeles Lakers
The worst team in the NBA. Byron Scott has said his young guys aren't confident enough and they're too confident. He's implied that D'Angelo Russell is too young for Scott to go and talk to about his role with the team and what he can do to get better. Russell's next coach is going to make the young guard feel like Tim Robbins escaping from Shawshank.
21.3% 16.3 45.3% 0.0%