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The Times' NBA rankings

Oklahoma City hangs on at No. 1; Clippers move up to No. 5, Lakers down to No. 22.

December 15, 2012|By Ben Bolch
  • Coach Scott Brooks and the rest of the Oklahoma City Thunder are on top of The Times' NBA rankings again this week.
Coach Scott Brooks and the rest of the Oklahoma City Thunder are on top of… (Sue Ogrocki / Associated…)

IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR
1. OKLAHOMA CITY (19-4) Scott Brooks to host seminar: Getting job done without unnecessary drama. (1)2. SAN ANTONIO (19-6)  Indecipherable Jackson tweet puts virtual police, grammar patrol on alert. (3)

ROCKIN’ AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE
3. NEW YORK (18-5) Knicks learning that sustained success can be a lot more fun than Linsanity. (5)
4. MIAMI (15-6) Rash of early season setbacks will build character -- or foretell of trouble. (2)
5. CLIPPERS (17-6) PR staff stretched thin hunting for so many instances of “the last time.” (7)
6. MEMPHIS (15-6) Success adding up even before adding stats guru John Hollinger. (4)
7. GOLDEN STATE (16-8) Should toast each day above Lakers in standings with Napa Valley wine. (10)
8. ATLANTA (14-7) No need for smoke and mirrors when Hawks have Josh Smith, Al Horford. (9)

JOY TO THE WORLD
9. BROOKLYN (13-10) Recent losses thrust Nets back deep inside pages of New York tabloids. (6)
10. BOSTON (12-11) What’s up, Doc Rivers, besides pitiful interior defense and road struggles? (8)
11. CHICAGO (13-9) Bulls fan to Derrick Rose: All I want for Christmas is you. (12)
12. MILWAUKEE (12-10)  The Larry Sanders Show is a hit with defense-minded demographic. (18)
13. MINNESOTA (12-9) Too bad Yahoo Sports didn’t ask Kevin Love his thoughts on Ben Howland. (19)
14. UTAH (13-12) Breaking up Jefferson-Millsap duo via trade would be a big mistake. (13)15. PHILADELPHIA (12-11) Don’t be surprised if Bynum parks Porsche in spot for Lakers team bus. (11)

BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
16. DENVER (12-12) Will real Nuggets please stand up? Fans worried they may already have. (14)
17. INDIANA (13-11) Team was supposed to fly under the radar, not completely off it. (15)
18. HOUSTON (11-11) Reserve center Smith conducts in-game layup line in victory over Celtics. (16)
19. DALLAS (11-13) Mayo hasn’t packed this much punch since hanging around D. Hackett. (20)
20. PORTLAND (10-12)  Oden continually haunted by ghost of (sitting out every) Christmas past. (22)
21. ORLANDO (10-13)  Magic fans save on postage now that Howard is off holiday card list. (24)
22. LAKERS (10-14)  They won’t get to 72 victories, but at least they reached double digits. (17)23. PHOENIX (9-15) Two-game winning streaks are as good as it gets around here. (23)

DO THEY KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS?
24. CHARLOTTE (7-16)  Bobcats may have exhaled too soon after matching last season’s win total. (21)
25. SACRAMENTO (7-15) Jerry Springer books DeMarcus Cousins for five dates in 2013. (25)
26. DETROIT (7-19) Lack of coveted players makes trading to upgrade roster difficult. (26)
27. NEW ORLEANS (5-17) This team by any other name will be just as bad as it was before. (27)
28. CLEVELAND (5-20) John Ireland should have offered to walk home if Lakers beat Cavaliers. (28)29. TORONTO (5-19) Management claims Bargnani calling team “worst” was lost in translation. (29)

GRANDMA GOT RUN OVER BY A REINDEER30. WASHINGTON (3-18) Nation’s capital is place where lengthy Lakers losing streaks go to die. (30)

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