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GIF ON THE BEAT:
8. New York Knicks (↑Previously 10th), 34-27, +2.3 net rating
Weekly slate: Win over Hornets, Win over Hawks, Win over Raptors
Old player to break the Power Rankings curse: Allan Houston
Basketball-Reference claims Houston’s career field goal percentage if 44.4 and his career 3-point accuracy is 40.2 percent. There’s no way this is correct. I am fairly certain I’ve never seen Houston miss a jump shot during his career. Definitely not his career with the New York Knicks. I don’t care what that website says. I know I never saw him do that. He fled Detroit after his third season in the NBA and spent the rest of his career as a Knick. Injuries robbed him of being a much deadlier player and for much longer. Houston was such a strong player regardless. For a shooting guard, nobody could really handle him, and he was just fun to watch score.
Why are they ranked here? Nine straight victories. Julius Randle has played himself onto the MVP ballot. Everything seems to be clicking with the Knicks. Nobody should be trying to deny this team is good. And they can absolutely make the second round of the playoffs.
Also read: A Patrick Ewing comp and 9 observations after Knicks hit 9-game win streak
9. Dallas Mavericks (↑Previously 12th), 33-26, +1.7 net rating
Weekly slate: Win over Pistons, Win over Lakers, Win over Lakers
Old player to break the Power Rankings curse: Jason Kidd
We’re not talking championship Kidd from his second stint with the Dallas Mavericks. It’s all about that first introduction of Kidd to the NBA, as one of the greatest phenom point guard prospects we’ve ever seen. For some reason, it feels like he was there more than 182 games the first time around in Dallas (he played in 318 games in Dallas during his second tour there). Kidd was this revolutionary, big point guard who could snatch the ball from you and then find teammates who didn’t know they were open. Kidd was so electric out there, and then so many reasons led to him being traded for Sam Cassell, Michael Finley and A.C. Green. Even though Dallas was terrible back then and he shot 38 percent from the field, it felt like he was inevitably overwhelming.