- JANUARY POWER RANKINGS -

Written By: 'BUBBA BUCKETS'

There are 3 games remaining for the majority of teams. It has been a tight race so far and seeds 3 to 11 are all 1 game apart. We are going to have a great finish! There have been some big games over the last few weeks which is starting to give us an idea of where teams could end up. I am posting my current power rankings for each team and where I think they will finish at the end of season…so as the Commish woud say...let’s get right into it!

Ranking

  1. PACERS – The Pacers have been the most consistent team all year. They have a balanced attack in Paolo, Ganen, Komathan to support the go to guy in Akshay.  Add stellar role players such as big man Andrew and GM Vimal and you have a team that is poised for a Championship run.  Akshay has been the #1 MVP candidate all year with his stellar play of 16 ppg (54% fg), 12 rpg, 1.5 stls and 3 blocks per game which is the biggest reason why they are #1.  But don’t be just fooled by the offense alone as Akshay and company get it done on the defensive end too.  Most complete team in ETBL.  Pacers hold the top spot.  Where they will finish: #1 - #2  

  2. WARRIORS - The defending Champs are rolling as of late!  With grind out wins and in your face defense, the Warriors are on the hunt for back-to-back Championships.  Last year’s Finals MVP Amit has been making opposing defenses pay and has been attempting nearly 8 FT’s per game! Add former MVP Thanujan who is looking like his old self again and you have a duo that can put the team on their back when need be.  Bahee has been playing the Draymond Green role, running some Point Guard duties and rebounding. It has worked well so far and looks to be the solution for generating a good balanced attack on the offensive end.  Gopal has been steady and is waiting for the playoffs where we know he picks up the intensity to another level.  Needless to say the Warriors will be one fun team to watch over the next few weeks.  Where they will finish: # 2 - # 5

  3. MAGIC - What a turnaround season for Wilbert.  The Magic GM looked to be a bottom feeder when the league first started but with good trades and picking up high IQ personnel in Puvi and Baki he has turned around his season. Baki has been phenomenal ever since joining the Magic!  He is the offensive force for this team and a key contributor on getting his teammates easy looks.  Puvi is the catalyst, he runs the offense smoothly and puts his guys in great positions to score. Vasko is a very solid defender who will make your best player work all game long.  Combine that with GM Wilbert who has had some solid games this year and super subs in Pras and Jeff and you have the team looking to create some post season Magic.  Where they will finish #2- #5

  4. CAVALIERS -  Cavaliers are by far the most interesting team in ETBL.  They have the star duo power in Harrison and Ainky.  Solid role players in Jo, Yaga and Thannojh, and GM Sayon.  However, despite the some hot games from them, they are one of the most inconsistent teams.  One week they are on fire and one week they are cold, kinda like this weather we had over the last couple weeks.  They have the best 3 point sniper in ETBL (Ainky) and you combine that with a pure scorer (Harrison) and what you have is a duo that can drop 45+ pts in any given game.  If only they could get some more help from the rest of the team.  Regardless, this is one team you do not want to see early in the playoffs!  Where they will finish: #2-#5

  5. HEAT - The Heat have the most dominant big man in ETBL history in Milton.  Most teams have not been able to stop him and because of this they have racked up a number of W’s.  However, there is no one else really there to help him most of the time and last week we saw the Cavs expose this weakness. The Heat couldn’t hit a shot, and the Cavs quickly frustrated the big man.  Look for teams to do more of this over the next few weeks.  Everyone on the Heat not named Milton need to bring it over the next few weeks or they could be heading for a first round exit.  Where they will finish #5

  6. LAKERS - Lakers are another feel good story of ETBL this season.  When Usamah went down early this year the Lakers season looked to be in jeopardy.  However, 2019 hits and the Lakers have looked like a completely different team.  GM Somi has been balling out lately and the grit and grind that Usamah brings has lifted this team to new heights.  Another bright spot has been the rebounding machine (Vinoth) who has been owning the boards and giving the Lakers second chance points.  Lakers are streaking at the right time which could pay off big in the playoffs.  Where they finish #6-#7

  7. HORNETS - Nishan is back and it’s winning time!  Hornets are a versatile team that defend well and can put up points in a hurry.  Nishan looks like his old self and Sen and Luxshan look to provide good secondary scoring options. Satish is a role player with high IQ and solid defense. They have the guys to go far but it starts and ends with Nishan.  This is another team you do not want to see in first round of the playoffs.  Where they will finish #6-#7

  8. SUNS - It’s crazy that I’m putting these guys in the middle of the pack! They along with the Pacers have been the most versatile team in ETBL.  However, all around consistency from their Big 3 in Abdul, Umaraj and Zanoon has been lacking.  They can give any team in ETBL a run for their money and they can defend well when they need to.  But for this team to really make a splash come post season they need the 'Big 3' to be the 'Big 3' from start to finish.  Where they finish #8

  9. PISTONS - Pistons have had an up and down season so far.  At times they have looked stellar with superstar Kris looking nearly unstoppable.  Then at times they look like they have no business being on the floor.  Key contributor Manish has been out and I’m sure once he gets back this Pistons team will be looking to upset some of the top teams in the first round. However, they will need Cameron to be more consistent and have GM Sugee help spread the court with his 3pt shooting.  Where they finish #9

  10. SIXERS - High hopes for this team when the league drafted in October.  Despite the talent level the Sixers have not gelled well together.  Maybe they have too many ball dominant guards or it could be the egos but either way the Sixers have not lived up the hype.  It would have been nice to see GM Rahul make some changes at the deadline but he is trusting the process.  Where they finish #10

  11. NUGGETS - The Nuggets who are filled with veterans look to be falling behind with the talent level in ETBL as it picked up this season.  This team can still defend the slower paced teams but teams like the Cavs, Magic, Suns, and Warriors will run the Nuggets out the gym.  These final weeks could dictate whether or not these guys see the first round or are headed to receive the participation award.  Where they finish #11-13

  12. BUCKS – Yes, I am putting this 2-6 team in the 12th spot.  Despite the lousy season by the Bucks, I still think they can win the next 2 out of 3 games and make the final playoff spot.  They have the chemistry but have not looked like a team that wants to win.  Hopefully they can pull together and make a late season surge.  Where they will finish #12.

  13. HAWKS - Not much has changed for the Hawks throughout the season in terms of their play. They have been able to catch some breaks and win a few games but aside from Nirsan and James this team can’t get it done.  They need to be more aggressive on defense and look to run.  If they can pull off a big win in the next couple weeks then they will definitely make the playoffs. But I believe it will be a disappointing year for the Hawks  Where they will finish #11-13

  14. RAPTORS -  Raptors will need some late season miracles by not only winning but having teams above them lose.  First time GM Chris has had a rough season and missing star player Davy Wong at the beginning of the season has hurt this team.  I don’t see this team making the playoffs.  Where they will finish #14

  15. TIMBERWOLVES – TANK SZN.  Sorry Wolves. I see them going 0-11. Started the preseason with alot of promise but no-shows and poor performances put the nail in the coffin early and often.  Where they will finish #15