Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” On MLK Day, this week’s Fanalyst Rankings shine a light on the real stars for the best teams in the Eastern Conference instead of the ones that cloud the fans’ perception.
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. Miami HEAT (26-12, prev. rank: 1)
MHI: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen and Shane Battier cracked the top 25 in fan voting for the Eastern Conference, but Mario Chalmers is the player that rounds out the HEAT’s top 5 in wins produced, not #ShavedMonkeyNuts. LeBron, Wade, Bosh and Allen should be productive enough to go 3-0 this week vs. Raptors, Pistons and @Celtics.
Mrs. NBA: OKC > Miami. #FatteningFrogsForSnakes
2. New York Knicks (25-13, prev. rank: 2)
MHI: Four Knicks cracked the top 25 in fan voting for the East All-Stars: Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Amar’e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton, but Chandler’s the only one that ranks in the Knicks’ top 4 for wins produced. The other players that crack the top 4 are Jason Kidd, Steve Novak and Pablo Prigioni. As the best center in the East, Chandler should be able to carry the Knicks to a 3-1 record this week vs. Nets, @Celtics, @Sixers and vs. Hawks.
Mrs. NBA: Knicks have went 5-5 in their last 10 games. Enough said.
3. Indiana Pacers (25-16, prev. rank: 3)
MHI: Paul George is the only Pacer that cracked the top 25 in fan voting, but that makes sense because he also leads the Pacers with 5.3 wins produced. If George can maintain his production against Rudy Gay, Nicolas Batum and Marvin Williams this week, then the Pacers will go 3-0.
Mrs. NBA: Give Paul George that All-Star bid. Now.
4. Chicago Bulls (23-16, prev. rank: 4)
MHI: Joakim Noah and Luol Deng were the 2 Bulls that cracked the top 25 in fan voting for the East All-Stars and also lead the team in wins produced. If Deng doesn't recover from his hamstring injury, Noah should be able to carry the Bulls to a 2-2 record against the Lakers, Pistons, Warriors and Wizards.
Mrs. NBA: Even without Rose, the Bulls are able to persevere thanks to tenacious defense and rebounding.
5. Brooklyn Nets (24-16, prev. rank: 6)
MHI: Deron Williams and Brook Lopez led the Nets in fan voting for the All-Star game but Reggie Evans and Andray Blatche have led the team in wins produced. The Nets will need more than their big men on the road this week to avoid going 1-3 @Knicks, @Timberwolves, @Grizzlies and @Rockets.
Mrs. NBA: Brooklyn have went 8-2 in their last 10 and somehow are still just one game behind the Knicks in the Atlantic division.
6. Milwaukee Bucks (21-18, prev. rank: 8)
MHI: Monta Ellis was the only Bucks player in the top 25 for All-Star voting but he only ranks 10th on the team in wins produced. While fans focus on Monta, Larry Sanders will be the one in the shadows carrying the Bucks to a 3-0 week against Sixers, @Cavs and Warriors.
Mrs. NBA: I've been really impressed with Sanders this season as he's another candidate for MIP.
7. Boston Celtics (20-20, prev. rank: 6)
MHI: How a 0.500 Celtics team got 5 players in the top 25 for all-star voting is beyond me. Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jeff Green and Jason Terry led the team in all-star votes but KG and Green don’t rank in the team’s top 5 for wins produced. Lack of productive big men will equal a 1-3 week for the Celtics.
Mrs. NBA: Boston's production is too bi-polar, Doc is about to go off the deep end, and the Patriots lost. Want some popcorn?
8. Atlanta Hawks (22-18, prev. rank: 7)
MHI: Josh Smith led the Hawks in all-star voting but he only ranks 8th on the team in wins produced. The Hawks will need Kyle Korver’s three-point shooting and Al Horford’s high post game to go 3-1 this week.
Mrs. NBA: They scored 58 points in a regulation NBA game this week. The Bulls had more rebounds. Get them the fuck outta these rankings.