Teams need stars to win championships and stars need a variety of tricks to get the job done. This week's Fanalyst Rankings analyzes the best moves by the best players on the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
There are two sides to every NBA Power Ranking: the Fanalytical and the Fanatical. As a Miami HEAT blogger living on the east coast, MHI played the Eastern Conference fanalyst for games thru Friday. As a Denver Nuggets fan living west of the Mississippi River, the NBA Mistress played the fan and provided the slander. The roles are reversed for the Western Conference Rankings.
1. Miami HEAT (37-13, Last Week #1)MHI: Dwyane Wade does more on the baseline than fellow Chicago native Kanye West. His turnarounds, fadeaways, post-moves, stepbacks, side-steps, pump fakes, spin moves, rainbows and bank shots helped the HEAT stay half-a-point more efficient than the Bulls when you factor in strength of schedule. Wade's weaponry will help the HEAT go undefeated in 4 home games next week after they beat the Celtics in Boston on Sunday.
NBA Mistress: I imagine Wade's personal conflict (nephew's shooting) will be translated on the court this week, but how did they BARELY beat the Craptors!
MHI: How did the Nuggets LOSE to the Raptors?
2. Chicago Bulls (42-11, Last Week #2)MHI: Derrick Rose is the man with the moves for the Bulls but nagging injuries are keeping him off the court. His teammates are good enough, and the schedule is weak enough (29th in the NBA), for the Bulls to have the best record in the league without the 2011 MVP but they'll need him healthy to beat the HEAT and it just won't happen this season. His teammates won't have any problem going 3-0 against the Rockets, Celtics and Knicks next week, though.
NBA Mistress: Nuggets beat the Bulls, that's all I need to say...
3. Atlanta Hawks (31-22, Last Week #4)MHI: Joe Johnson has the moves below the rim and Josh Smith has the moves above the rim but the Hawks need Al Horford's muscle more than anything. They're 4-1 against the Magic and Pacers, the teams they're most likely to face in the first round of the playoffs, but they may not win a game in the 2nd round without their all-star big man. They won't need Horford, Johnson or Smith to go 3-0 next week vs. the Bobcats and Pistons.
NBA Mistress: The Hawks ain't shit. Still. They should do us all a favor and choke on a bag of dicks.
4. Indiana Pacers (30-20, Last Week #6)MHI: Roy Hibbert spent the lockout learning post moves from Tim Duncan but his conditioning is more important for the Pacers. If Indiana's all-star center can make the same moves in the playoffs that he made before the all-star break, then the Pacers may win a playoff series. Hibbert should make enough moves against the Knicks, Wizards, Thunder and Celtics for the Pacers to go 3-1 next week.
NBA Mistress: WAIT!! Pacers throttled the Heat and they are only number 4?!?!?! Are you still mad about this??
5. Philadelphia 76ers (28-23, Last Week #3)MHI: Lou Williams makes the moves on offense for the Sixers, but they will need Andre Iguodala's athleticism and defense to advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in nine years. The best the Sixers' can hope for is a 2-2 split in their two back-to-backs next week, but their schedule is easy enough for them to win the Atlantic Division. They can't win a playoff series, however, if Iguodala isn't healthy.
NBA Mistress: The 76ers are being exposed....exposed as the craptastic team they are.
6. Orlando Magic (32-20, Last Week #5)MHI: Dwight Howard didn't have enough moves to score against Tyson Chandler or make enough free throws for Stan Van Gundy to trust him with the offense in a close game with the Mavericks. Howard's defense will be enough for the Magic to go 2-1 next week against the Pistons, Knicks and Sixers but not enough for them to get out the first round of the playoffs.
NBA Mistress: Magic is just trash...
7. Boston Celtics (29-22, Last Week #7)MHI: Paul Pierce doesn't have enough tricks up his sleeve to win the Atlantic Division. The Celtics have played the 3rd weakest schedule in the East this season but 11 of their last 15 games are against playoff teams. The Celtics play 2 back-to-backs against the Spurs, Bulls, Pacers and Sixers after their Sunday matinee with the HEAT. The BEST they can hope for is 2 wins in their next 5 games.
NBA Mistress: Admit I am right about the Celtics! They still ain't shit...
8. New York Knicks (26-26, Last Week #8)MHI: Carmelo Anthony's the man the Dead Basketball Poet Society says can score in more ways than any other player in the league. Thirty-six points weren't enough to get Melo the win in Atlanta on Friday night and he won't be able to score enough points for the Knicks to get a win against the Pacers, Magic or Bulls next week, either.
NBA Mistress: Melo ain't shit. He will NEVER see an NBA Finals game... Unless he buys tickets to see the LeBron James show.