NBA Power Rankings: Giannis and Bucks hold firm midway | Bleacher's report


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15. Los Angeles Lakers (14)

The free throw of Lonzo Ball is a crisis in its own right. After doing 67.3% of his draws in college, he reached 45.1% as a rookie. That number fell to 41.3% this year (with just 1.1 attempts per game) and it has somehow achieved 18.2% this month.

The Lakers have won their last two games this week to go to 3-5, since LeBron James is injured in the groin. His net score over this period is less than 1.9, which puts him in 20th place.

We are passionate about Kyle Kuzma who scored 41 points and Michael Beasley looks very useful now that he is back in the rotation, but know that the Lakers are below average without James.

14. New Orleans Pelicans (20)

Do not look now, but the Pelicans have the second best attack of the league.

Nikola Mirotic is back from an ankle injury, Anthony Davis is about to be the first player since Shaquille O 'Neal to score at least 27 points and 13 boards over the course of the season. a season, and the Pelicans have scored at least 140 points in a match this year. for the third time when they waxed the Cavs on Wednesday.

The bench, which gains 1.2 point out of 100 possessions, has performed better lately. Jahlil Okafor and Frank Jackson led a reserve charge in the 114-95 win over the Grizzlies, allowing Davis and Jrue Holiday to rest at the end of the fourth quarter.

The slate was soft in a 3-0 week, but the Pels are healthier. The latter explains the rise more than the previous one.

13. Utah Jazz (12)

Utah have won three of their last four games, but the only defeat, a 114-102 loss to Monday's Bucks, is worthy of scrutiny.

The Jazz used a clever ploy against Giannis Antetokounmpo, but his 21st-place attack dropped him with a fourth quarter to 16 points that decided the match. Jae Crowder was just 2 of 9 from the depth on a crowd of clean looks, and Donovan Mitchell made only two of his 12 two-point attempts.

It's no secret to us that we're in the bag for Utah and that we have this 10th net performance score for a while, but either the shots will start to fall, or the guys who shoot them will have to change. Otherwise, it is hard to believe that the Jazz will score enough points to cause real damage.

With Ricky Rubio's hamstring muscles likely to cost him a week or two, the generator offensive will only get worse.

12. Los Angeles Clippers (13)

The clips do not have a conventional star, do not play a lot in defense and, probably because of these two factors, seem suspicious among the current playoff teams of the West. Still, they are halfway through the season, still in the playoff picture and about to snort 50 wins.

Perhaps there is something to say in favor of an offensive setup that makes defenses difficult by means of a particular weapon. Lou Williams, Danilo Gallinari and Tobias Harris came in first place for Los Angeles in scoring, while the Clippers managed to beat 3-1.

11. Portland Trail Blazers (11)

Winners in five of their last six games, the Blazers have eight best performances of the season north of .500.

The appearances of three guards have something to do with the Portland race. When Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Seth Curry share the floor, the Blazers outclass their opponents by 21.2 points for 100 possessions. In fact, Curry is a member of Portland's top seven men's three-man squad.

The activation / deactivation and alignment data can be noisy, and the causal factors are tricky to explore. However, there is a strong enough correlation between Curry's presence on the field and the team's success to consider giving him much more than the 17.4 minutes he averaged.