We just competed week 7 of this abbreviated NBA season. Phil Jackson, former coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, used to say he wouldn’t really know his team under after Thanksgiving. In a normal NBA season week 7 falls in early December, just after the Thanksgiving holiday. In short, Coach Jackson felt it took about 6 to 7 weeks for teams to become what they are. In that time their flaws are evident, their strengths are obvious; that is when you have a better idea what you are working with. After several weeks of lots of movement in our Power Rankings, you are beginning to see the dust settle and the cream rising to the top. We now have a better idea what we are working with.
As has been the case for some time now, the best professional men’s basketball is being played in Los Angeles. However, once again this week, the top spot belongs to a non LA team, the Utah Jazz. Unless something major happens the likelihood of seeing both LA teams along with the Utah Jazz in the top 3 spots is very high. The rest of the Western Conference, right now, is playing for that 4th spot.
Brace yourselves, but the Sacramento Kings may be good again! The Kings had a perfect 4-0 week and are one of only three teams left in the Western Conference without a Bad Loss. We define a Bad Loss as a loss to a bad team, home or away. Overall the Kings end Week 7 at 12-11 which is meh at best. But, they are not losing games to inferior teams and winning their fair share against Quality teams. When you watch them and see the maturity of De’Aaron Fox, the shooting of Buddy Hield and the potential of Tyrese Haliburton you have to be excited for the future of this franchise. The Portland Trailblazers moved up three spots too after a 2-2 week. It’s weird that the more exciting team, between Portland and Sacramento, are the Kings.
The Memphis Grizzlies had a rough 1-3 week which saw them drop four spots this week. The Grizzlies are a very talented team led by Ja Morant. The issue for the Grizzlies right now is that they are surrounding Morant with a lot of very good players. I know how that sounds, that sounds like it should be a good thing. But, in todays NBA you need to surround your star with another star. Then, another star after that, if you can. THEN, you can bring in some good players. Dillon Brooks, Brandon Clarke and Jonas Valanciunas are good players, but none of them is the other star this team needs. Regardless, the Grizzlies are in a good place looking forward. They just have to find a way to keep as many of the good players they already have while adding a star to partner with Morant. Should be easy, right?