Sportsmanship is an important part of success in athletics. How teams handle adversity says as much about them as their success. This week’s Fanalyst Rankings analyzes how the best teams in the East have managed adversity with the referees this season.
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 plays the fanalyst for the Eastern Conference. As a Denver Nuggets fan living west of the Mississippi River, Mrs. NBA plays the fan and provides the slander. The roles are reversed for the Western Conference.
1. New York Knicks (15-5, prev. rank: 2)
MHI: The Knicks players and coach have the most technical fouls in the Eastern Conference and the best schedule-adjusted efficiency differential. The Knicks have played the 3rd easiest schedule in the East, so most of their games haven’t been close enough for their referee beefs to matter. The beefing and bitching won’t stop them from going 3-0 this week with @Nets, Lakers and Cavs on the schedule.
Mrs. NBA: I'm impressed you put them over Miami, although how could you not after they've embarrassed Miami twice. NY is dazzling with perimeter shooting and ball movement, but I miss fat Felton.
2. Miami HEAT (13-5, prev. rank: 1)
MHI: The HEAT have coasted and don’t give a fuck about the games right now, so the players and coaches have the lowest number of disqualifications, flagrants, techs and ejections in the Eastern Conference. LeBron seemed pissed after the Knicks gave him his worst home loss in Miami last week, so maybe they’ll show some anger and go 3-0 at home this week against the Hawks, Warriors and Wizards.
Mrs. NBA: Miami gives ZERO fucks about early season standings. They have shitty perimeter defense, but they aren't exactly the LOLakers.
3. Chicago Bulls (11-8, prev. rank: 4)
MHI: The Bulls play hard and wear their emotions on their sleeves. The players rank 2nd in techs behind the Knicks. while head coach Tom Thibodeau hasn’t gotten a tech this season. That combination helped them go a surprising 3-1 last week and they’ll need that alchemy to go 2-1 this week with Clippers, @Sixers (back-to-back), Nets on the schedule.
Mrs. NBA: I'm a bit surprised how well the Bulls have been without Derrick Rose. Joakim Noah is having one heck of a week after posting a 30 point, 23 rebound, 6 assist line. Still, he gets no respect with his tranny-loving ways.
4. Atlanta Hawks (12-5, prev. rank: 6)
MHI: The Hawks have played it as cool as the HEAT so far this season, with the lowest number of disqualifications, flagrants, techs and ejections in the Eastern Conference. Playing the easiest schedule in the East has probably helped Josh Smith and company keep their cool. Things will be slightly tougher this week with @HEAT, @Magic, Bobcats (back-to-back) and Warriors on the schedule, but the Hawks should go at least 2-2.
Mrs. NBA: Atlanta Hawks are low-key among one of the best teams in the East. They're only a 1/2 game back of Miami. Too bad they don't have a fan base to support them :(
5. Milwaukee Bucks (10-9, prev. rank: 5)
MHI: The Bucks players rank 2nd in disqualifications (i.e. fouling out), 4th in techs and 1st in player ejections. They keep the refs busy. After their destruction of the Nets in Brooklyn on Sunday, the Bucks get Kings, @Cavs, Clippers (back-to-back) this week and should go 2-1 while the whistles blow.
Mrs. NBA: One of the greatest things about the Bucks is Larry Sanders and his improved production this season and mix in Jennings' audition year. It's still #FearTheVenison though.
6. Brooklyn Nets (11-8, prev. rank: 3)
MHI: The Nets lead the East in team techs and player ejections. The former’s probably from making mistakes in Avery Johnson’s defensive schemes (i.e. resulting in defensive 3-second calls) and the latter’s from their players losing their temper. They’ll have plenty of reasons to be angry, because the Nets don’t look like a playoff team without Brook Lopez and 2-2 is the best to expect from them this week with Knicks, @Raptors (back-to-back), Pistons, @Bulls (back-to-back) on the schedule.
Mrs. NBA: The Nets went from having a great week 14 days ago to looking shitty when they lost horribly at home. Also, they flop worse than fish outta water.
7. Boston Celtics (11-9, prev. rank: 8)
MHI: Rondo’s the leader in unsportsmanlike conduct for the Celtics but his teammates haven’t followed his lead as the team only ranks 8th in disqualifications, flagrants, techs and ejections. They’ll need Rondo to keep his cool if they want to get a split from their back-to-back in Texas this week against the Rockets and Spurs, but it’s unlikely that will happen. Looks like a 1-2 week for Boston.
Mrs. NBA: Boston Celtics are so trash and fuck Rondo. Not literally though. Space Invaders get no love.
8. Philadelphia 76ers (11-9, prev. rank: 7)
MHI: The Sixers players don’t ruffle the refs feathers. They’ve only gotten 1 individual tech called on them so far this season. They’ll need that discipline, focus and sportsmanship to defend their homecourt against the Bulls and Lakers this week. They’ll probably split and go 2-2.
Mrs. NBA: Philly is just a bore. Oh. And that expert that said Jrue Holiday is a franchise player: GTFOH with your monotone voice.