No Country For Boring Teams: The Diss’ Biweekly League Pass Power Rankings (6th ed.)

Editor’s Note: Welcome back to No Country For Boring Teams, The Diss’ look at the most aesthetically pleasing teams in the league. They aren’t necessarily the best teams (though there is some correlation between being enjoyable to watch and winning), but they are the most fun teams.

1. Oklahoma City Thunder (Last Week: 1)
The casual fan can appreciate the sheer Kevin Durant-ness of it all, but the Thunder are a true treat for anybody that loves player development. Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka and Sefolosha seemingly improve every single night, and it is a joy to watch.

2. Golden State Warriors (Last Week: 10)
Did you watch the Warriors play the Clippers and Thunder last week? WERE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED? And now with Bogut back, and Harrison Barnes seemingly posterizing somebody every single night…

3. San Antonio Spurs (Last Week: 11)
Maybe it is because I’ve watched more ugly ball than pretty in my lives, but there is something immensely satisfying about watching a team correctly rotate the ball around the perimeter, execute a pick and roll, box somebody out etc.

4. Washington Wizards (Last Week: 29)
With John Wall, this is a whole new team that all of a sudden makes sense. Wall has always been entertaining, but now that Bradley Beal has somebody to feed him the ball, and Nene has somebody to feed him the ball, this team is great to watch.

5. Denver Nuggets (Last Week: 13)
Nothing new here, except that the Nuggets have finally playing how everybody predicted they would at the beginning of the season. They run player after athletic player out on the court, and fun things happen. Also four to eight alley-oops a night it seems.

6. Miami Heat (Last Week: 6)
Watching LeBron James be the physically overpowering tank of a man that he is will never, ever get old. Neither will seeing him pass the ball in a crunch time situation, think “oh crap, the national media is going to get on him for this”, and then remember that he won a championship and they’ve shut the hell up.

7. New York Knicks (Last Week: 3)
It’s a bit risky watching the Knicks these days because you never know which team is going to show up. But when they are clicking on all of their three-point bombing glory, it’s a good show.

8. Los Angeles Clippers (Last Week: 5)
The loss of Chris Paul, which makes the Clippers offense borderline unwatchable at times, is mitigated by the opportunity to watch Eric Bledsoe play more minutes. He’s struggling through growing pains, but my god is he going to be good.

9. Indiana Pacers (Last Week: 16)
Paul George has come into his own, and was duly rewarded with an All-Star berth. But watching David West, who has as sure of an elbow jumper as you will see in this league, gently rocks me to sleep. In a good way, if that wasn’t clear.

10. Los Angeles Lakers (Last Week: 8)
Over the past few games we have seen glimpses of a cohesive, foreboding team. Who knows if they can keep it up (they probably can’t), but we’ll tune in to find out.

11. Houston Rockets (Last Week: 2)
The Rockets just beat the Jazz by 45. Sure they recently lost a bunch in a row, but there is always the chance that they will explode like they did last night.

12. Portland Trail Blazers (Last Week: 17)
Damian Lillard and co. are wonderful, but as soon as you see that bench start to enter the game, switch channels. I mean, do you pay money to your cable company to watch pick-up basketball? No? Then why would you watch the Blazers bench?

13. Cleveland Cavaliers (Last Week: 25)
All Kyrie Irving, all the time. A little bit of Tristan Thompson, some of the time.

14. Chicago Bulls (Last Week: 23)
Seriously, this team is sneaky fun to watch. Still not exactly sure why, but they are. Also, if you’d like to have an excited Bulls announcer commentate on your life, check out the Stacy King soundboard.

15. Minnesota Timberwolves (Last Week: 4)
Gah, how fast excitement for the Timberwolves has been dashed. Though, any team with Ricky Rubio and Andrei Kirilenko will always be worth flipping to every now and then.

16. Brooklyn Nets (Last Week: 15)
Can somebody properly explain why this team is so “meh” to watch? Because that’s what they are. “Meh”

17. Detroit Pistons (Last Week: 19)
Your enjoyment from the Pistons is exactly proportionate to your excitement for seeing how Andre Drummond’s career will turn out. That strip and dunk of Wade a couple nights ago…damn.

18. Philadelphia 76ers (Last Week: 20)
In theory, Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young and Nick Young are all exciting players. On a team, it just doesn’t result in much that’s watchable.

19. New Orleans Hornets (Last Week: 26)
Similar to John Wall in DC, since Eric Gordon has been back, this team makes a lot more sense. Monty Williams is coaching the hell out of them, and it is exciting to think of a future Gordon-Davis core.

20. Dallas Mavericks (Last Week: 7)
The thing about Vince Carter this year is that, superficially, he looks just like Half Man Half Amazing. He lost that weight he’d been carrying the past few years, trimmed down that beard that made his face seem two times more round, and is wearing his headband again. If you blur your eyes while he’s crouching down, holding the ball behind his head, sticking his butt into the courtside fans, you can almost pretend it’s 2001. Then he staggers forward, launches that jumper that hasn’t fallen in two seasons, and watches the ball sail high into the air, into the waiting hands of whatever team will murder them on offense. With Vince and the Mavs, I wish it was 2001 in a really big way.

21. Utah Jazz (Last Week: 22)
As I speak, dem Jazz are losing to the Rockets by 43 points, even though Houston is shooting a pedestrian 50% from the field, 40% from three, and only have 3 more free throw attempts.  That’s about all I need to say.

22. Boston Celtics (Last Week: 21)
There’s no glory in kicking old men while they’re down, but I’ve never done this for the glory.  Ugly truth: the Celtics were pretty much unwatchable even before Rondo went down.

23. Memphis Grizzlies (Last Week: 9)
Sadly, the Grizz have passed over into that “when I’ve seen you once, I’ve seen you a million times” mode. The passes are still crisp, the defense is still tough, the plays still fine-tuned and perfectly manufactured.  I’ve just seen it a lot.  No hate.  I’m just not watching them til the playoffs.

24. Sacramento Kings (Last Week: 24)
The only reason they’re not 27th is because of Isaiah Thomas’ game winner tonight.  They can keep stuff exciting still, but there’s more chucking in a Kings game than in a beer pong tournament at a private liberal arts school.

25. Toronto Raptors (Last Week: 27)
I really only watch Raps games to hear their play-by-play guy Matt Devin. Whenever a guy drives to the hoop, he calls it like a hockey player attacking the opposing player’s goal. “DeRozan sees a lane, he goes, makes a MOVE, DEROHHHH-ZAN MISSES ANOTHER ONE!!!”

26. Orlando Magic (Last Week: 28)
See, this makes me sad, since I have always liked watching Jameer Nelson play, and I’m happy Nic Vucevic is proving himself to be a starter.  But the holes in this team are gaping, and the relevance quickly fading.

27. Milwaukee Bucks (Last Week: 14)
To me, the Bucks are like getting a Whitman’s sampler box with a cherry cordial, a piece of supermarket sushi, a few pieces of popcorn and a really neat looking bottle cap in it.  Sure, you might have a passing interest in all of these things.  But not consistently.  And not at the same time.  And if you do?  Well, that’s on you man.  That’s on you.

28. Charlotte Bobcats (Last Week: 12)
Does Mike Dunlap play the role of a grim-faced SS man in WWII movies in his spare time during the offseason?  If he doesn’t he should.  I see him.  He’s watching the same team that I am, and I can see his face on the computer screen.  He’s got that SS movie man chin.  It’s perfectly angled, just the right amount of grim.


29. Atlanta Hawks (Last Week: 18)
It’s long been a motto in the Greenberg household (of one): “When J Smoove is a launchin’, you’d better stop watchin’.”  I’ll be content to read about your dismantling in T-minus five months, give or take.

30. Phoenix Suns (Last Week: 30)
So you mean you’re taking away the Dollar Store version of SSOL, and replacing it with the Dollar Store version of the 2004ish Pistons? Okay! Call me when you become the new Sonics, and not the Kings.


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