23-year-old shooting guard Bradley Beal has nearly equaled his age in points per game, as the Wizards continue their stellar play (Keith Allison/Creative Commons).
While nine teams held the same ranking from our previous edition, six squads rose or dropped at least six spots. Leading the way among most improved from last edition, the Washington Wizards jumped from 22nd to 12th. Thanks to lethal 3-point shooting, the Rockets continued their ascent to fourth even as starting center Clint Capela will be sidelined for the next month at the very least. The Nuggets also impressed the panel, playing extremely well in their first stretch as a completely healthy unit. The returns of Danilo Gallinari and Gary Harris have Denver fans feeling as high as their city’s altitude. The Lakers, however, continue their slide and can no longer use injury as the lone excuse for dropping 11 of their last 12 games. Since our second edition, which was published four weeks ago, the Lakers have dropped from 13th to 27th or seven spots every two weeks.
Biggest Jumps: Washington Wizards (+10), Denver Nuggets (+7), Dallas Mavericks (+6)
Biggest Falls: Los Angeles Lakers (-7), Portland Trail Blazers (-7), Detroit Pistons (-7) Continue reading
Devin Kharpertian reporting from the Barclays Center for YES
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The Brooklyn Nets and new GM Sean Marks certainly have a difficult road ahead, as they attempt to transform a struggling team without having control of any of their own first- or second-round draft picks over the next three years. Devin Kharpertian, managing editor and founding partner of The Brooklyn Game on the YES Network, joins us to explain exactly how the Nets got themselves into this situation, the current state of the team and why there might be glimmers of optimism after an overhaul of the front office this season. Exciting excerpts below:
1:55-2:40 on what new GM Sean Marks must do going forward:
“The thing that they have to do is wield some of their power in free agency this year. Now the problem with that is 25 of 30 teams are able to sign somebody to a max deal… It’s a really tough avenue for (the Nets), because the only thing they can do is something that almost every other team can do and almost every other team is in a better position to do, because the Nets just don’t have the talent to compete. It’s going to take some magic from Sean Marks.”
3:58-4:11 on whether any Nets player is off limits:
“Brook (Lopez) and Thad (Young) are the centerpieces right now, and Rondae (Hollis-Jefferson) is a piece of that as well. But, I think for the right deal. They’re 21-52 at this point; nobody on that team is untouchable.”