Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers won nine more games than last year, defended well enough in some especially committed stretches to finish 12th overall on that end and got positive performances from just about every young player with a future on the roster.

And before you go burying Lonzo Ball for his busted shot, note that he posted the second-best DRPM among point guards, per ESPN.com, while also producing the highest on-court net rating of any Laker to log at least 1,000 minutes.

A pivotal summer awaits, but the 2017-18 regular season went about as well as could have been expected.

19. Detroit Pistons (19)

“Philadelphia is good, and everyone is praising the process, how great it was, but the process is based on being as bad as you can be, historically bad for as long as you can,” Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy lamented after his team finished four games out of a playoff spot with a 39-43 record. “If that’s the process and the accepted way to build a team in the NBA, then something needs to change.”
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Van Gundy isn’t the only coach to think this way, but he’s uniquely positioned as the leader of one of the teams stuck in the middle because it refuses to use the incentive structure the Sixers exploited.

With Detroit spinning its wheels over the next several seasons, locked into crippling deals for Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin, its unwillingness to embrace a real rebuild will look awfully misguided.

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18. Washington Wizards (18)

The Washington Wizards must hope John Wall’s 29 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds against Boston on Tuesday are a harbinger of what’s to come. Because if they’re not, that means the blown leads, lazy defense and selfish offensive play that produced a 3-9 mark over their final dozen games will be.

It’s hard to find a playoff team that looks shakier than Washington.

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17. Los Angeles Clippers (17)

The Los Angeles Clippers lost six of seven to close out a transitional year but managed to stay alive in the playoff race until the season’s final week. Forty-two wins and a top-10 offense are nothing to be ashamed of for a team that used a league-high 34 starting lineups and gave nearly 2,000 minutes to players either called up on two-way deals from the G League or inked to 10-day contracts, per ESPN.com’s Kevin Arnovitz.
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This was a big year for resiliency in L.A.

NBA Power Rankings: How All 30 Teams Stack Up at the End of 2017-18

How good are all 30 NBA teams?

That’s a more complicated question than you’d think because answering it means pricing in whatever extra gear we believe each team has while also taking into account its entire body of work from the 2017-18 regular season.

Mostly, we’re ranking on the usual basis: stats, recent play and health are the key factors. But since this is the last set we’ll publish ahead of the playoffs, we’ve also got to account for the more nebulous idea of switch-flipping.

That doesn’t mean these will read like a rundown of who’s got the best title odds, but there will be more “OK, deep down, how good do we know this team to be?” thinking than in previous editions.

Six months of power rankings highs and lows have led us to this.

It’s been emotional.

30. Phoenix Suns (30)

The Phoenix Suns closed out their season with a 124-97 win over the Dallas Mavericks that represented, easily, their largest margin of victory all year. In that contest, a gentleman named Alec Peters scored 36 points. Admit it: You’ve never heard of him.authentic nfl jerseys cheap

Phoenix finished last in offensive and defensive efficiency and will hit the lottery with the best odds of getting the No. 1 pick.

Congratulations, Suns. You were the worst team in the NBA this season. Mission accomplished.

29. Memphis Grizzlies (28)602908e419aaf807d25d7f5717b891a1_crop_exactnfl jerseys for cheap

The Memphis Grizzlies also logged a victory this week, which would normally have been enough to get them upward momentum. But if this final edition is to be reflective of the season as a whole, the Grizzlies can’t be any better than second-to-last. They had two double-digit losing streaks in 2017-18, the longer of which spanned an incredible 19 games.

Bring on Luka Doncic!
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28. Chicago Bulls (26)

If not for that ridiculous 10-3 stretch to close out December, the Chicago Bulls would have handily won the race to the bottom. But because Nikola Mirotic led them on that improbable spurt before getting traded to the New Orleans Pelicans on Feb. 1, they wound up with 27 wins and in a tie with the Sacramento Kings for sixth in the lottery odds.nfl jersey cheap

If we acknowledge the roster that accumulated that 10-3 streak doesn’t resemble the one that finished the season, it’s fair to drop the Bulls this low. Especially since they concluded the year with a minus-7.8 net rating, tied for second-worst with the Kings.