Merry Christmas to all! Our Power Rankings have filled up on far too much turkey and ham, eaten its (and others) share of gingerbread, and the less said about it's cider consumption, the better.
So what did Santa bring the Rankings for Christmas?
It brought some upsets on Christmas Day – talking about the basketball, not about our overstuffed belly – a contender riding a losing streak, some unexpected form at the foot of the league, and a 1st time #30.
Throughout the season, Inside Sport will be bringing you our NBA Power Rankings. These are not necessarily ranking based on records. This is a purely subjective assessment of how a team is progressing, projected and playing.
All records are as of Thursday night Australian time.
30. Atlanta Hawks (Down 1)
(6-25 Record) Last week: 0-3
We have a new cellar dweller in our Power Rankings as the Hawks finally hit rock bottom. An 8 game losing streak, with 5 of those losses by 10+ points, has bestowed a league worst record upon the Hawks.
Trae Young is their only shining light. The 2nd year guard is pouring in 29 points and 8 assists a night. John Collins returned this week, posting 27 and 10 with a pair of blocks and steals thrown in. His return is the best Christmas gift the Hawks could get, but it's too little too late for this season.
29. New York Knicks (Down 2)
(7-24) Last week: 0-3
After a brilliant stretch last week (it's all relative) the Knicks fell back to earth with a loss to the Wizards, and blowouts against the Bucks and Heat.
The Knicks net rating of -9.3 is only 'bested' by the Hawks -9.4. Their offensive and defensive ratings both rank 29th in the league, so it's only appropriate that they're ranked 29th in our Power Rankings as well.
28. New Orleans Pelicans (Steady)
(8-24) Last week: 2-1
Signs of life in New Orleans.
After breaking their monstrous losing streak against the now equally moribund Wolves, they went out and lost to the Warriors. Swings and roundabouts? Not quite.
The Pelicans pulled out an strong performance to take down the Trailblazers before upsetting the heavily fancied Nuggets on Christmas Day, behind big games from Brandon Ingram (31 points with seven 3's) and Jrue Holiday (20 points and 8 assists) with Derrick Favors playing some huge defensive minutes to force Nikola Jokic into 5 turnovers and a poor shooting night.
It's lucky they've notched up those wins now. Their next 3? Pacers, Rockets and Lakers.
27. Golden State (Up 3)
(8-24) Last week: 3-0
Wow! The Warriors live!
Victories over the Pelicans and Timberwolves are fair enough – all teams that are at the tail of the NBA field. The Christmas Day victory over the Rockets, though? Hand up who saw that coming.
This tweet says it better than we ever could.