NBA Power Rankings Update: The Oddly Efficient Oklahoma City Thunder

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Teams Ranked 30th to 21st

It appears that nERD has a bit of a crush on the Brooklyn Nets. The Memphis Grizzlies, not so much.

Ranking Team Record nERD Last Ranking Plus/Minus
30 Chicago Bulls 5-20 16.9 30 Even
29 Sacramento Kings 8-18 17.2 29 Even
28 Phoenix Suns 9-19 28.1 28 Even
27 Atlanta Hawks 6-20 31.3 27 Even
26 Miami Heat 12-13 36.1 27 -1
25 Dallas Mavericks 7-20 36.6 24 +1
24 Memphis Grizzlies 8-18 39.7 21 -3
23 Orlando Magic 11-17 40.4 22 -1
22 Brooklyn Nets 10-15 40.6 24 +2
21 Los Angeles Clippers 9-15 41.4 20 -1

The Expected

Boy oh boy, are the Grizz lousy. Save for their December 4th victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, they've stunk up the West and fallen three spots in our rankings, having dropped 14 of their last 15.'s advanced stats disagree with nERD's assessment to an extent, placing Memphis 16th and 23rd in defensive and offensive rating, respectively. Thing is, during this brutal stretch, the Grizzlies have dropped games to strugglers such as Dallas, Brooklyn, and Orlando, so it's hard to take those numbers seriously. Let's see if they can bust out of their doldrums this week when they face yet more strugglers in Miami and Atlanta.

Dare we say it, the Clippers' ship is sinking, and sinking fast. Losers of four out of their last five, Doc Rivers' crew is officially bad at basketball. They're a mere 3.5 games away from being in the Western Conference cellar, they allow a whopping 107.9 points a night, and most egregiously, they suffered a 26-point blowout at the hands of the currently-less-than-horrible-but-still-really-bad Mavericks. Over the next seven days, they have to deal with Toronto, Washington, and San Antonio, so expect the drowning to continue.

The Unexpected

Our favorite punching bag, the Chicago Bulls, did some punching of their own last week, winning back-to-back games against New York and Charlotte. nERD, however, wasn't impressed, leaving them parked firmly at the bottom of the pack. (Apparently ranking 30th in offensive rating and 27th in defensive rating will do that to ya.) Look for their winning streak to come to a screeching halt tonight, as they host the Boston Celtics.

Brooklyn has won three of five and with the acquisition of a potentially legit center in Jahlil Okafor, could be an interesting team in the coming weeks.That week might not be this week, unfortunately, as they have to deal with Washington, Toronto, and Indiana. If they can hold on until D'Angelo Russell returns from his knee surgery -- and who knows when that will be -- a playoff spot is a distinct possibility. (Kidding -- they're totally lottery-bound.)