Dwyane Wade, the all-time leading scorer in Miami HEAT history, scored his 16,000th point over the weekend. This week’s Fanalyst Rankings analyzes how the active all-time leaders for the best franchises in the East will impact their teams’ performances.
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 (40-14, prev. rank: 1)
MHI: In addition to being the franchise’s all-time leader in points, Wade is also the HEAT’s all-time leader in assists and steals. He’ll get a chance to pad those totals against a Kings team that #GivesNoFucks and a Knicks team that’s become mediocre defensively. Tony Allen will be a tough matchup for Wade but the HEAT should still go 3-0 this week.
Mrs. NBA: Notice since I dropped my lyrical miracle about LeBron in the Fanalyst Rankings, the Heat have went on a rampage. YUP! This is ALLLLL MEEEE!
2. Indiana Pacers (35-21, prev. rank: 2)
MHI: Danny Granger ranks 5th all-time in points scored for the Pacers, but he struggled to score when he returned to the lineup last week. The only bump in the Pacers schedule this week is the 2nd night of a back-to-back in Toronto on Friday. It would help the Pacers go 4-0 if Granger found his scoring touch by then.
Mrs. NBA: Wake me up when Indiana can make the Eastern Conference Finals.
3. New York Knicks (33-20, prev. rank: 3)
MHI: Carmelo Anthony just cracked the Knicks’ top 50 list for points scored this season, but the scorer’s burden will be heavy this week against 2 above-average defenses from the Wizards and HEAT. If Melo can carry the weight, then he should lift the Knicks to a 2-1 record this week.
Mrs. NBA: The Knicks have regressed, especially defensively, since their raging 18-5 start.
4. Chicago Bulls (32-24, prev. rank: 4)
MHI: Luol Deng is the 6th-leading scorer in Bulls history, but he’ll need to rely on his offense and defense this week as the Bulls face 2 offensive teams (Cavs and Nets) and 2 defensive teams (Sixers and Pacers). If Deng can be a productive scorer and defender this week, then the Bulls can bounce back from last week’s blowouts and go 3-1.
Mrs. NBA: Luol Deng drinks Tang while doing the Harlem Shake...I don't know what that has to do with anything, but it sounds pretty funny, right?
5. Brooklyn Nets (33-24, prev. rank: 5)
MHI: Brook Lopez ranks 12th on the Nets all-time scoring list, but his offensive game will be tested by 3 teams that rank in the top 10 defending the paint: Hornets, Mavericks and Bulls. Lopez and the Nets will struggle to a 1-2 record this week.
Mrs. NBA: Nets are pitiful after failing to beat Memphis in a late-game situation.
6. Atlanta Hawks (31-23, prev. rank: 6)
MHI: The Hawks reportedly came close to trading Josh Smith last week, but the 8th-leading scorer in franchise history is still around to help the Hawks break even with a 2-2 record on their 4-game road trip this week against Pistons, Jazz, Suns and Lakers.
Mrs. NBA: The Hawks are still unimpressive after failing to deal Josh Smith considering he may walk in the off-season.
7. Milwaukee Bucks (26-28, prev. rank: 7)
MHI: By the end of the season, Brandon Jennings will pass Oscar Robertson to crack the list of top 20 scorers in Bucks history. By the end of the week, the Bucks will be 2-1 against the Mavs, Rockets and Raptors.
Mrs. NBA: Is it still #FearTheDeer, MHI?
8. Boston Celtics (29-27, prev. rank: 8)
MHI: Paul Pierce is the 2nd-leading scorer in Celtics history, and at his age he’ll appreciate a light week with just 2 games on the schedule: @Jazz and vs. Warriors. Pierce will struggle in Utah but he should take Harrison Barnes to school to help the Celtics go 1-1 this week.
Mrs. NBA: *YAWNNNSSS*