|Posted by Matt Rury on December 9, 2009 at 11:47 AM|
In preparation for this post I needed to go check out my favorite mass media power rankings to figure out how I was going to disagree with what I saw. Upon seeing the rankings however, I realized that I actually agree with four out of the top five (Gasp!). Without further ado, here are those rankings along with my changes, topped off with a quick reflection on my Bucks preview.
As I just said, I agree with four of these teams being in the top five, including the top three teams in the same order. Being the diehard fan that you know I am, it probably doesn't come as a surprise that my opinion about Lebron and the rest of the Cleveland Cry Babies is slightly different.
As usual, I had the luxury of waiting to see what happened on Monday and Tuesday before making a decision on my top five. Last night the Cavs dropped a squeaker to the A.I.-less Grizzlies (is anyone really surprised that they are better without "The Answer"?) Meanwhile, my #5 team won a close game at home against Phoenix.
Lakers - The champs are the champs until they hit a bump in the road or get knocked off by our Celtics so until then they stay at #1.
Magic - See above and insert "Eastern Conference" in front of "champs." Look out on Christmas as the Celts look for revenge in Orlando.
Celtics - Eight game winning streak, KG is stronger every day and Rondo held a clinic for rookie Brandon Jennings last night. Even though the franchise replaced Marquis Daniels (wrist surgery) with Tony Allen on the active roster this team should keep rolling.
Hawks - Atlanta has been the most inconsistent team in my top 5 to this point in the season but their 8-2 record vs. teams at or above .500 can not be overlooked. Their home and home slate against Cleveland at the end of December should speak volumes of how strong this team really is.
Mavericks - My friends have been giving me grief about Dallas since before the season started. I've been calling them my "sleeper" West team all year, insisting that this would be the year they finally break through and not choke in the playoffs. Up until this point it seemed as though that grief was deserved but after the early return of star forward Josh Howard last night the Mavs finally seem to be living up to the potential I saw before the season.
Last night's Celtics game was closer throughout the game than I expected but the outcome never really seemed to be in doubt as the Celtics essentially dominated the Bucks on the defensive end. Rajon Rondo showed rookie Brandon Jennings that you can control a game without scoring 50 points (or ONE point in the first 2+ quarters for that matter). He was one rebound away from a triple-double, tallying 11 points and 13 assists to go along with five steals which contributed to the Celtics' total of 17. He also held Jennings to just 17 points on 7-19 shooting and forced him into four turnovers. The C's held Milwaukee to 43% shooting while shooting 52% themselves and the only real issue was stopping Andrew Bogut who had 25 points and 14 rebounds as well as four assists (but seven turnovers!)
On to DC where Agent Zero and the Wizards look to cast a spell and break this winning streak...check back throughout the week for updates - you'll hear from me on Sunday from the Windy City!