February 24, 2012; Orlando FL, USA; Team Chuck guard Evan Turner of the Philadelphia 76ers (12) drives against Team Shaq guard Norris Cole of the Miami Heat (30) during the second half of the BBVA rising stars challenge at the Amway Center in Orlando. Team Chuck defeated Team Shaq 146-133. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Red, White, and Blue Power Rankings: 2/19-2/25

Perhaps the date should read to the 23rd. Friday and Saturday saw no NBA games. It was All-Star weekend. It’s still going on today (Sunday) so this week will only cover Monday-Saturday. But, there were games this past week that we need to look at. The most games played for a team was 3. In a regular season, this is actually normal, but in this condensed season, this feels short. Wow. Anyway, let’s get these rankings out of the way so we can enjoy the All-Star Game.

News

I always try to gather news that doesn’t directly effect the court. But, I guess everything really does become a factor. But here’s a couple of stuff I found to be interesting.

Our buddies at Soaring Down South found out about Al Horford and his recent award of Person of the Year by the Atlanta Sports Council. I don’t know all the details of what he’s done to deserve this award. But, it’s great that players are taking time out to help their local community. I know all about that. Horford has been injured for most of this season so I’m sure he’s had extra time to lend a hand. Still, it’s refreshing news for sure.

Now this next article is an interview between SI.com and Gilbert Arenas. The highlight of the convo was about the whole gun in the locker room incident. Look, I read this thing and I believe that Gilbert has learned his lesson. He talks about a lot of things. Depression, how the NBA is a world of fantasy, and if he plans on returning to the NBA. He also talks about his relationship with Jeremy Lin and Dwight Howard. It’s a long read, but worth it if you’re curios about Arenas’ story. And yes, it’s a two part article.

I remember when it happen, it was obviously big news. I’ve said this before, but around this time, I was running a Wizards blog for a now non-existent blog network. So I went deep into this. I really hope Arenas succeeds in whatever he plans on doing. It seems this whole incident helped him grow as a person and made him think about what’s important. Ok, moving on before some long story pops up from me.

Stats

Here are the leaders of the week in terms of stats. The sample size is small as there were only 2 or 3 games played for each team.

FG%—Wizards 46

3P%—Pistons 38

FT%—Sixers 78

APG—Wizards 19

RPG—Clippers 47

SPG—Hawks 10

BPG—Sixers 7

TO’s—Sixers 11.6

PPG—Clippers 100

Last week, the Pistons didn’t even make it. Now, the Nets are missing. Wonder if this will be the norm: A team doesn’t lead in any category. Hawks lead the steals with 10 but Nets and Pistons both had 9.66 steals. I could’ve rounded them up, but Hawks were there already so give the Hawks the title. If there is ever an exact tie, I’ll list both teams as the winner. Sixers take the most categories here with 3. FT, BPG, and TO’s. I sense another change coming but I think it would complicate things a bit. KISS (keep it simple stupid).

Week Review

Last week, Kyle introduced what should be a new feature for this site. He reviews the Sixers’ past week of games in depth compared to my brief sweep of the week. Again, this past week was rather short because of All-Star weekend. But, there were games played so let’s get to it.

Clippers: 1 (1)

Week Record: 1-1 (my prediction was 1-1)

Clips stay on top with a win over the Nuggets and loss to Warriors. You would kinda figure it to be the other way around. I think Clippers will be fine without Billups right now. they’ll wish they had him come playoff time though. There’s a reason why his nickname is “Mr. Big Shot” (did I get that right?). Still, the laughing stock of the NBA since forever is in a great position to win their division. Impressive.

Pistons: 2 (5)

Week Record: 1-2 (my prediction was 1-2)

Well the Pistons have lost 2 straight but they have been playing well. They beat the Celtics again, but lost to lower level teams in Cavaliers and Raptors. But, they earned a spot in the top 3.

Sixers: 3 (2)

Week Record: 0-3 (my prediction was 2-1)

Boy…Sixers needed this break. They actually have one of the worse records this week but the fact that they lead in those stats mentioned above keeps them alive. I do believe this is the lowest they have been ranked. I still think they win their division. I’m expecting them to shake off this week.

Nets: 4 (4)

Week Record: 1-2 (my prediction was 2-1)

Sometimes, I forget my own prediction. This was one of those times. But, I even mention during last week’s rankings that I wasn’t too sure anyway. “God help me” those were my words. Nets got Buck’d (you knew that was coming) and lost to the Magic. In between losses, they did beat the Knicks.

Hawks: 5 (6)

Week Record: 1-2 (my prediction was 1-2)

Alright well the Hawks are slumping. Will they ever get back to the top 3 in these rankings? Injuries are coming in. They have to keep hanging on. They lost to the Bulls and Knicks but beat the Magic.

Wizards: 6 (3)

Week Record: 0-2 (my prediction was 1-1)

Wizards are out of magic at this point. Need to get some new spells (how are the little jokes going for you?). They lost to the Suns and Kings. They are not the Bobcats. One thing I saw during the Rising Stars challenge is that John Wall can play basketball, he just needs basketball players on his team. I mean yeah there was no defense, but it seemed like Wall can really be effective with the right players surrounding him. Hopefully we’ll get to see that day.

Week Preview: 2/26-3/3

I guess it should really be from the 28th since there are no games for today and Monday. Just the All-Star game. But, for the sake of calender tracking, we’ll start here on the 26th.

Clippers have three games this week. T-Wolves, Kings, and Suns. Safe to say they should have chance on Suns and Kings. They lost to the T-Wolves before but maybe beat them this time.  Go safe and say 2-1.

Pistons will try and stick around here this week, but it won’t be easy. 3 games. Sixers, Bobcats, and Grizzlies. Beat the Bobcats. Lose to Sixers and Grizzlies. So 1-2. Does that sound right? Something better not go wrong…

Sixers have a week ahead of them. I’m just not sure anymore about this team. Pistons, Thunder, Warriors, and Bulls. Yeah. Let’s face it, it’s a loss to the Thunder. They had better beat the Pistons and Warriors. And the Thunder? Yeah, ok. If the Sixers win, excellent. If they lose, no biggie. 2-1.

Nets are on the road this week for both of their games. Celtics and Mavericks. Both teams are not playing as well as they probably could. But, Nets may not be able to get a win on either of those teams. Maybe Celtics can be beat. But, 0-2 anyway.

Hawks have a tough week. Warriors, Bucks, and Thunder. But, all home games so I guess that makes it easier. I can see them beating Warriors but…doesn’t seem like they will win any of the games this week. Well, I’m going with 1-2. A win has to come from somewhere.

Wizards have Bucks, Cavs, and Magic. Yeah. Well I still keep seeing something in this team that not many others can. They can beat either the Cavs or Bucks. Maybe both? Eh…slow down there Dante. 1-2.

I keep giving some teams the benefit of the doubt. In this type of season, we’ve seen games that we never thought could end the way they do. It’s really up for grabs a lot of the time. And although nobody had a winning record this past week, it was short and some games the mental part of it was just shut down. Some of these teams really need this break. I’m hoping my Sixers get it together and take back this Red, White, and Blue “division”, as well as the league by storm. Sure the refs and other things can factor in the result of a game. But, at the end of the day, you have to play the right way.

We’re now hitting March. And March promises to be a mad dash to the playoffs for some teams. Dwight Howard rumors will start to burn even more. Will the Nets be able to get Howard in a trade? Andre Iguodala has put in his “request” for Howard as well. This is quite the season and it’s starting to reach its climax. Let’s go Sixers!

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