Marc Stein has released his first Power Rankings of the 2012-13 season. A quick scan down to the middle teams shows support for something that I have been thinking to be true about this Western Conference playoff landscape: There will be four teams fighting for two playoff spots. They are the Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors and, yes, our very own Minnesota Timberwolves. If you follow Stein’s writing, you know that he loves Dallas and, like many others in the NBA media, quickly took to the Rubio-led Timberwolves of 2012. It comes as no surprise then, that he has them ranked slightly ahead of Utah and Golden State. Stein ranks the Wolves 14th–8th best in the West. He has Utah and Golden State ranked 16th/9th and 17th/10th respectively. He has Dallas ranked 10th overall, 6th in the West, ahead of Memphis, which he ranks 11th/7th. His Dallas bias got the best of him there. While the Mavs could surprise and do well in a Post-Jet & Chandler World, there’s no reason to expect them to finish ahead of the Grizzlies.
Why only two spots? Continue reading