NBA Teams, ranked

This is the bottom of the list.

We’ll publish the top of the list tomorrow, also for free, and from there we’ll dig in for about-a half-season’s worth of Behind the Boxscore.

You should hop on, it’s an excuse to ignore all the other apps on your phone (for a little while).


If Toxic Masculinity could fly a plane, this would be its bus.

“General manager Gar Forman is Paxson’s people person, the bearer of no news, the fella left to explain why Hoiberg doofed his way into lying about former All-Star Joakim Noah’s place in the starting lineup, the man left to conclude that we were the idiots prior to formulating the explanation for pairing Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo alongside a starfucker like Jimmy Butler.

“Prez Paxson and GM Forman have been terrific at their jobs for long stretches, but the argument against the duo long ago ceased to be about basketball, rather the miserable atmosphere they’ve made the redass-backward United Center and its accompanying practice facility.” — Dec. 11.

No. 14 in the East, 10-36.


The best argument yet for term limits.

“Bradley Beal led Hell with 27 points.” — Dec. 4.

“Trevor Ariza tuned the dial on the clubhouse radio back to the traffic info station but he couldn’t get John Wall ready for the Atlanta Hawks.” — Dec. 18.

“They’ll just perch an apple up there before begging you to put the entire fruit (and anything underneath) out of its misery.” — Dec. 27.

No. 10 in the East, 19-26.


I guess I’d pick James Harden as my MVP, he’s been winning a whole lotta games by himself. I respect the hell out of the dude and his team, even when they aren’t so exciting to watch. I won’t be sick of James Harden for a long time.

The award was always pretty nutty, due to that nebulous title, now its purpose exists basically to provide programming filler.

“James is in Math Mode again.” — Dec. 28.

“Houston’s a bitch, Denver knows it and the rest of the NBA hates it. Houston’s a MF’er with a drawl that turns high and lonesome the second it gets upset. The Rockets are just going to be this way until James Harden gets tired or bored or both.” — Jan. 8.

No. 5 in the West, 26-19.


“The Wolves’ new coach is 32, which means he’s a likely candidate for the smartest person in most rooms, youngsters that age were forced long ago to develop a pliancy that reflects well on every survivor’s future, let alone a basketball club’s.” — Jan. 11.

No. 11 in the West, 21-24.


Cool to ride with (until everyone catches up).

“Nik Vucevic will remain a load until he decides to finally finish installing that swingset.” — Nov. 10.

“The Magic lead the NBA in participating in these sorts of contests, running like the little idiot that eats his day’s worth of packed sandwiches and hidden candy even before the tram let him out at the gate, spending the entire afternoon throwing up on roller-coasters he used to handle. Even sweated through the fireworks.” — Jan. 10.

No. 11 in the East, 19-27.

Thanks again to By: Dylan Clark.


There are like 29 other people I’d rather pick (not all of them NBA players) but J.J. Barea had to be the Sixth Man of the Year this season, until what happened happened.

The little bugger was the sickening force in so many Mavericks victories or near-victories this season. He knows so many plays.

“Devin Harris (18 minutes in 2018) played as well as you remember from that box TV you used to have.” — Nov. 10.

“This is Texas, though, Harrison Barnes is paid like a CEO and sometimes he even acts like an officer, 28 points. J.J. Barea was back at executive assistant and he mostly ran the show, seven assists and 18 points, Luke Doncic fit in with 21 and 11 free throw trips, his 62 bosses celebrating each and every hour of that artificial cap contract.

“Dorian-Finney Smith was the Maverick up-and-rusher, trying to work off the ball to create opportunities the original budget didn’t call for, attempting to seek common workplace ground among the grunts and the greats. For his agitation in the face of all this free enterprise, he was dealt a 1-9 shooting night from the field. Four fouls.” — Nov 22.

No. 13 in the West, 20-25.


They have to play so many more games this season.

“Larry Drew coached some good teams in Atlanta, his groups enjoyed OK-enough movement and effective offensive rushes in spite of Josh Smith halting as much action as he could in order to rub his wrists all over the basketball.

Some of that is in Cleveland now, one of the many reasons Mr. Drew asked for what he was owed upon his ascension to head coach. This guy knew things were going to be different, maybe not ‘good,’ but the Cavs were at least going to be professional in the application. Dunks and open shots.” — Nov. 22.

Last in the East, 9-38.


Blake and the Vacuums and their hit “I Know That (But).”

“I already called the Detroit Pistons “Allosaurus-armed” and I am going to run out of dinosaur names to use by the end of winter.” — Dec. 6.

“The Pistons travel out West after this and frankly they shouldn’t.” — Jan. 8.

No. 9 in the East, of course, 20-25.



“Memphis dug in on what it does: JaMychal Green yelled at Jusuf Nurkic, Shelvin Mack picked up his dribble near the half-court line, MarShon Brooks won a new car with one of his five buckets and Kyle Anderson remains wildly productive even on the No-Show Nights (which have become increasingly rarer).” — Dec. 8.

“The Grizzlies have made bad, worse. These guys aren’t lousy enough to be mean.” — Jan. 3.

No. 14 in the West, 19-27.


Mostly cocaine jokes so far.

“James Johnson is getting his ‘together’ back. Winter is going to be hell on a lot of who the Heat got next.” — Dec. 8.

“I don’t know if Justise Winslow has ever played what we call ‘a basketball position.’” — Dec. 29.

Seventh in the East, 22-22.


Still waiting for them to shed some skin.

“The Celtics want us to trust that there is method to this creepshow.” — Oct. 31.

“The Celtics have more to figure out than most, the team wastes endless hours faffing away possessions with Brad Stevens’ bullcrap (his word, I assume) college offenses and the individual efforts haven’t struck as enough to overcome this season’s initial difficulties.”

Answers will come, but for now the kids aren’t hitting (8-22 for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown against New York) and Gordon Hayward (not terrible, 19 points on 14 shots) stands around like a scared small forward instead of pounding like the proud power forward he needs to grow into.” — Nov. 22.

“The point guard had Tommy Heinsohn cackling all evening, happy to have Irving on the right side, Kyrie is spectacular and human.” — Dec. 1.

Fifth in the East, 28-18.


Now we’re into the territory of teams we enjoy even when they butt-up all over the place.

“ … the hosts kept pushing, suddenly the place had more rooms than you remembered and every one of them had some sort of intrigue within. Some of noises were louder than others (Cody Zeller doesn’t stop moving, Jeremy Lamb is in some sort of prime, Nicolas Batum percolates on a break when you least expect it) and it wouldn’t have stopped but for the buzzer.” — Nov 22.

Eighth in the East, 22-23.



“The Hawks perform better than most terrible teams, the village is already starting to make an impact in the community, these weirdos locate good shots and develop solid spacing, you’d never know that Atlanta was on its way to 9-to-12 wins this season.” — Nov. 29.

“Alex Len missed all three of his shot attempts in under ten minutes of play, dragging his points per game average down to 9.8.” — Dec. 6.

“Back on the bench, Alex Len sprung toward a season-high 24 points against that super-slow Wizards defense. Len has hit double-figures in six consecutive games, he’s up to 10.6 points per game this year in 20 minutes per contest, 5.5 rebounds with a block.

“The Hawks run some cool action in delayed transition, Atlanta is quite watchable.” — Jan. 3.

No. 12 in the East, 14-31.


Ignore that shadow.

“The Knicks are fun because, for once, there is potential in these lineups. There is a coach in place that will compete on his feet and some of it is already starting to show within the guys that aren’t named ‘Mario.’” — Nov. 21.

“Who could have guessed that David Fizdale would have to go all the way to New York to find the space he needed to be left alone?” — Nov. 24.

“People like James Dolan thrive in airless vaults, heaps like him do their best explaining within the gulps without a pulse, the Fallon-eyed opposite of the bullshit ‘space between the notes’-quote that people keep attributing to Miles Davis.

“Dolan was probably thinking of Miles, famous fedora wearer, when he scribbled off the check for a hat of James’ own.” — Dec. 18.

No. 13 in the East, 10-34.


Television is at its best after midnight.

“None of this should have aired.” — Dec. 28.

Last in the West, but 11-36.


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The rest of the list hits on Monday, ah geez, thank you for making it all the way down here, thank you for reading.

(More to come.)