RWB Power Rank is a weekly feature in which I rank teams in the NBA with one thing in common: Their team colors are red, white, and blue.
This week, the Clippers and Hawks were both dealt blows. Clippers lost Chris Paul for 3-5 weeks while the Hawks lose Horford for the whole season. Ouch. The Clippers should be able to hold on to the top spot but, the Hawks could tumble. We’ll see. Meanwhile, the Sixers’ latest winning streak makes me eat my words. I’m sure you won’t want to miss that! Let’s get this party started!
Los Angeles Clippers: 1 (1)
Week Record: 2-2 (I predicted 3-1)
RWB Record: 2-1
Clippers lost at home to the Suns. They beat the Bobcats and Mavericks. Paul had the injury against the Mavs. The Clippers then proceeded to get blown out by the Spurs. At this point, the team will have to step up, obviously. Darren Collison is a solid PG so the Clippers should be in decent shape. If it means anything, ever since Paul became a Clipper, when he has missed games, the Clippers are 10-10, this including the two games he missed this season where the Clippers are 1-1. And so, for that, I will give the Clippers a chance.
This week, they shouldn’t have a lot of issues. They face the Magic, Celtics, and Lakers. All of them at home. My gut says 3-0 but, I have rarely hit a perfect prediction with this team. I’ll go 2-1.
Atlanta Hawks: 2 (2)
Week Record: 1-3 (I predicted 2-2)
RWB Record: 5-1
Hawks keep the 3 spot for now. But, this wasn’t a very good week for them. Again, they lost Horford. Okay, the week started with a loss to the Magic, and then a win over the Celtics before dropping the next two vs the Warriors and Bulls. None of the games were decided by more than 10 points. They lost at the buzzer against the Warriors when my boy Andre Iguodala hit a long 3. They beat the Celtics by one point.
This week, they face the Nets, Pacers, and Rockets. That’s not going to be easy. I think they beat the Nets and lose to the Pacers and Rockets. 1-2. A week record like that and a decent week from the Wizards and things shake up.
Washington Wizards: 3 (3)
Week Record: 1-2 (I predicted 1-2)
RWB Record: 4-4
Wizards matched my predicted record, although I must admit I saw a loss to the Pistons and a win over the Raptors. Those results flipped. There was also a loss to the Mavericks. That win over rival Pistons was key in helping them keep the 3 spot. And, like I just said, if this upcoming week goes well, they can move up.
Speaking of this week, they have the Warriors, Bobcats, Pelicans, Pacers, and Rockets. Ouch. Lose to the Warriors, beat the Bobcats and Pelicans, and round out the week with losses to the Pacers and Rockets. 2-3. A 2-3 record might not be enough to pass the Hawks, but it’ll keep them close.
Philadelphia 76ers: 4 (5)
Week Record: 4-0 (I predicted 0-4)
RWB Record: 1-4
I had to bump the Sixers up. They’ve been playing well this week with a four game winning streak, all on the road, and right after losing 13 straight on the road. The last win was over the mighty Trail Blazers, who had the best record in the West. Very impressive. They beat the Lakers, Kings, and Nuggets.
They finally come home to face the T-Wolves, then they visit the Cavaliers, and then they come back home to face rival Pistons and also the Knicks. I see them beating the T-Wolves, if only because, after a long road trip, the home crowd can energize you. I think they can beat the Cavs this time around, especially with their injury concerns. Then they have the huge game vs the Pistons. That game could help me decide who gets the 4th spot next week. I think Sixers win. I also think they beat the Knicks because why not? Call me crazy, and I NEED the Sixers to tank, but I’m going 3-1. Mercy.
Detroit Pistons: 5 (4)
Week Record: 0-1 (I predicted 1-0)
RWB Record: 2-4
I thought the Pistons could avenge their loss to the Wizards. I was wrong. The Pistons have been slipping in play recently. Combined with the Sixers spurt, I had no choice but to drop the Pistons. They will have a chance to get back into the race this week since they face the Sixers.
Besides the Sixers, the Pistons face Grizzlies, Knicks, Raptors, and Suns. They already lose to the Sixers. They can beat the Knicks. I think lose to the Grizzlies, Raptors, and Suns. So, 1-4. Ouch. Prove me wrong.