About Us   Jobs   Contact Us      


 
Google  

Bucks Better than Rockets?
    2007-11-29 11:46:41     China Daily

Milwaukee Bucks Yi Jianlian (L) of China and Houston Rockets' Yao Ming (R) battle for position in the fourth quarter of their NBA basketball game November 9, 2007. The Rockets beat the Bucks 104-88. [Photo: Chinadaily/Agencies]

By Luke T. Johnson

We spend a lot of time in this space focusing on the exploits of individuals. But lost in our scrutiny of Yao Ming and Yi Jianlian are the ultimately more important performances of their respective teams. After all, teams win championships, and while individuals are part of what makes the NBA irresistible, the teams are what matter most.

One of the most surprising developments of this young NBA season, in terms Yi and Yao, is the fact that, on paper, the once-lowly Bucks appear to be a better team than the mighty Rockets, at least according to some of the latest power rankings. Power ranking looks beyond simple standings to gauge how teams compare with the rest of the league week-to-week. It is a highly subjective exercise and hardly matters at all in the grand scheme. Still, power rankings are a fun way to see how teams are doing.

Any schmuck with a whiff of basketball knowledge can throw together a power ranking, but obviously some analysts' rankings command more respect than others. One of the more respected power-rankers is John Schuhmann of nba.com. His rankings are conducted quasi-scientifically, taking into account teams' overall records, the strength of schedules and other factors.

The first thing Bucks' fans might notice in Schuhmann's rankings this week is Milwaukee's rapid ascent into the top 10, up eight spots to No 7 from last week's No 15 and leapfrogging the Rockets, who dropped from No 11 to No 12. The two teams faced opposite fates the past couple of weeks: Milwaukee won five in a row, including big wins over tough teams like the Cavs and Mavs, while Houston was mired in a six-game losing streak, which it finally snapped against Denver. If someone had suggested during the preseason that the Bucks would be leading their division (as they were until yesterday) or that Houston would be struggling for a playoff spot, he'd have been mocked.

Of course, just as quickly as a team can ascend the power rankings, it can come crashing back to reality, as the Bucks did in a listless loss at home yesterday to pitiful Philadelphia, ranked No 27 out of 30. Some may say the Bucks are playing out of their league this year, but anchored by Yi's strong defense, they clearly have a shot at making the playoffs.

The Rockets hit a rough stretch without Tracy McGrady. But now he's healthy and Yao and friends seem to be back on track. But unlike the Bucks out East, where any team with a pulse can make the playoffs, nothing is guaranteed for the Rockets in the West. With little use for power rankings in such a stacked conference, Houston's eyes need to be fixed on the real standings to stand any chance at all.

Share

               
Recommend


CRIENGLISH.com claims the copyright of all material and information produced originally by our staff. No person, organization and/or company shall reproduce, disseminate or broadcast the content in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of CRIENGLISH.com.

CRIENGLISH.com holds neither liability nor responsibility for materials attributed to any other source. Such information is provided as reportage and dissemination of information but does not necessarily reflect the opinion of or endorsement by CRI.

Also on our site
China | World
• Russian Natural Gas Supplies to Balkans Halted
• Three Israeli Soldiers Killed in Friendly Fire in Gaza
• Polanski's Lawyers Seek to Have Sex Case Dismissed
• Foreign Journalists still Not Allowed into Gaza
• US VP-elect Joe Biden to Visit Pakistan
• China Curbs Overseas Trips on Public Expense
Business | Sports | SciTech
• China Issues Long-awaited 3G Licenses
• Wahaha, Danone Start Trademark Arbitration
• GM Reports 31 Percent Sales Decline in U.S. Market
• Call for More Overseas Talents
• Bulgarian Figure Skating Champion Sentenced to 2.5 Years in Prison
• China's Mission to Mars Set for Take-off
Life | Showbiz
• A Seemingly Endless Scandal
• Asian Art Top Show Kicks off in Beijing
• Behind-the-Scene Photos of "Look for a Star"
• Universal Pictures Movies Set New B.O. Record in 2008
• Tan Dun's Deep Pool of talent
• Top 10 Shows in 2008 
Webcast  
• China Drive, Afternoon, 2009-01-07
• China Drive, Afternoon, 2009-01-06
• China Drive, Morning, 2009-01-06
• Official Property Declaration System
• India handed over evidence of Mumbai attacks to Pakistan
• EU delegation holds talks to push for a cease-fire in Gaza
• Mubarak Meets with EU Troika on Gaza Situation
• Bush says any Gaza ceasefire must stop Hamas rocket fire
 
View the Messages