|ESPN.com: NBA||[Print without images]|
|Chauncey Billups has given Pistons fans plenty of reasons to cheer.|
STEIN: Are you suggesting, Todd, that Pistons fans think the world is ignoring their team? Even though the Pistons have received top-five placement 11 times in the 23 weeks of regular-season Power Rankings? Have fun at the next alumni meeting out there.
Please. How many points did the Sonics lose by when they played in L.A.? "Toying" is probably not the right word for what Seattle has done to the Lakers at home. Besides, the Sonics are not even going to make the playoffs.
Los Angeles, Calif.
STEIN: Exactly. The Sonics aren't going to make the playoffs, yet they have beaten the Lakers twice in Seattle since acquiring Ray Allen by a combined 38 points. That's pretty much toying. In L.A., the Lakers beat Allen's Sonics by five points.
Let's take a look at this. The Jazz loses to the top-ranked Spurs and drops a spot. The Lakers lose to the No. 17 team and they go up two. Just doesn't make sense to me.
STEIN: You have the best case of the week, David, but you should know that the Jazz didn't really slip in the committee's eyes. It's more like Utah got passed by the Nets, who had a bigger week after a miserable stretch. Of course, if the Jazz keeps playing the way they have lately, they won't have to worry about their top-10 status. The fortysomethings look to be moving up again.
You wrote that the Sixers "have to end the home blahs." They've won eight out of their last 10 at home. Are you paying attention?
STEIN: Actually, yeah. Your stat conveniently overlooks that, at the time the rankings were released Tuesday, the Sixers had lost their previous two home games. To Golden State and Atlanta. At a time they're trying to catch New Jersey for the division lead. Philly indeed won seven in a row at home as part of its surge since the All-Star break, but its overall record at First Union (23-13) is only sixth-best in the East.
|Clubber Lang went down hard, just like the Sixers did during a two-game home losing streak.|
STEIN: Don't come in here sounding like Clubber Lang, especially when you're the guy who wrote in earlier this season, guaranteeing a two-game Sixers sweep of a swing through Texas -- with the promise that you'd write in to call yourself "an idiot" if it didn't happen. Don't think we've forgotten that foolishness from December, how the Sixers lost to San Antonio and Houston and how you never did write in to apologize.
I don't usually complain about the Power Rankings. Usually, you're right on. But I don't understand why the Blazers, after going 1-2 last week, are still a spot behind the Timberwolves, who lost three in a row -- including a blowout loss Sunday to the Mavericks, the team Portland blew out on Friday. I see you dropped the Timberwolves two spots, from No. 4 to No. 6, but I think you should have dropped them three and flip-flopped Portland and Minny. Am I wrong?
STEIN: Yes you are. Portland was on a longer slide (2-5) than Minnesota's before the Blazers routed Dallas, and thus it was deemed that one victory, however impressive, couldn't overcome everything. That was the determination even before knowing what would happen this week.
You're usually right on, but it's kind of annoying when you focus on the Warriors' loss to Cleveland --which was awful --instead of noting how they followed it up by knocking the Celtics and 76ers around like they were college teams. The Warriors still have a ways to go, but they are resilient and play hard and can beat very good teams on the road. No quarrel with where you put them (No. 18) but maybe commenting on what they do that is positive on occasion, rather then their hiccups, would give a more balanced view of how they've started turning the corner on respectability.
Santa Cruz, Calif.
STEIN: Respectfully disagree, Ken. The Warriors' virtues and accomplishments have been noted here all season. Losing to the Cavs by 20-some points, and giving up 124, is unacceptable under any circumstances, but especially when you're desperately trying to hang on in a playoff race.
I want the Celtics to be higher in the rankings. Why can't I have what I want?
STEIN: Simple. Because your name is not Rachel.
Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here. Also, send Stein a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.