NBA Power Rankings: Bledsoe keeping LAC afloat

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NBA Power Rankings: Bledsoe keeping LAC afloat

By Tony Andracki & Mark Strotman

Each Monday throughout the regular season, Mark Strotman and Tony Andracki will rank all 30 NBA teams. Below are Week 11 Power Rankings. Think we're way off? Agree with our picks? Hit us up on Twitter at@BullsTalkCSNwith comments or criticisms.
Past rankings:PreseasonWeek 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7 Week 8 Week 10

Tony
MarkComments1
Tony: Durant plays like he's a cheat code.
Mark: An NBA-best 18-3 against the Western conference.
2
Tony: Bledsoe starring in CP3's absence.
Mark: How many teams would use Eric Bledose as a starter?
3
Tony: Same old, same old. Can Popp stir up some controversy again?
Mark: Ginobili missing two weeks will hurt quest for top spot in the West.
4
Tony: Trade Rudy Gay? Why would they do that? Legit title shot this year.
Mark: LeBron is still my MVP pick, but they need to figure out road woes.
5
Tony: David Lee is playing like a Warrior. Get it?
Mark: LeBron is still my MVP pick, but they need to figure out road woes.
6
Tony: Wow, never thought I'd move Heat out of Top 5, but they've lost 4 of 6.
Mark: Nuggets have won 8 of 10, are 14-2 at home. Rising fast.7
Tony: Gotta find a way to beat CHI.
Mark: Don't expect Carmelo to take any cereal endorsements in the near future.8
Tony: Lawson, Iggy leading well-balanced unit.
Mark: How long can this thing (No. 5 in the West) last?
9
Tony: Hottest team in the league right now.
Mark: An Eastern Conference-best 8-2 over their last 10 games.
10
Tony: Awesome at home, not so much on the road.
Mark: Danny Granger nearing a return, which could mean trouble for fellow Central Division foes.
11
Tony: Man, they need to shore up their play at the UC.
Mark: Tough to get a read on this team, especially after this week's roller coaster.
12
Tony: Ugly, ugly, ugly loss in Chi. Should be knocked out of Top 15 for that.
Mark: Quietly have won six in a row and are back in the playoff mix.
13
Tony: Asik has slowed down a bit. Growing weary with starter's minutes?
Mark: 58 points. In a game. Erm. Moving on.
14
Tony: Sullinger is looking like Boston's savior right now.
Mark: How good was Wes Matthews in the final minute against the Heat? Real good.
15
Tony: Man, can they fill up the stat sheet. Well, the starters can, at least.
Mark: The NBA's highest scoring team continues to move right along.
16
Tony: If only they played the Bulls every game...
Mark: Solid win over Miami last night as they fight for the last playoff seed.
17
Tony: They need Mighty Mo back.
Mark: John Henson is going to be a player in the NBA.
18
Tony: Injuries just sinking this season for 'Wolves.
Mark: Still haven't given up hope, but wow, what a disappointment.
19
Tony: It's getting pretty late. Do they have time to turn things around?
Mark: Good news for Andrew Bynum! All-Star center could be back at the All-Starb break.
20
Tony: Is this their true form or just a bad slump?
Mark: The wheels are coming off without Kevin Love, and Rubio still isn't near 100 percent.
21
Tony: Have quietly won 7 of 10.
Mark: A big fan of the Lowry-Calderon point guard duo. Will the latter be dealt?
22
Tony: Mark Cuban's gonna do somethin' crazy in second half.
Mark: They've won 7 of their last 10, including W's over Miami and Atlanta.
23
Tony: Lowry and Calderon co-existing experiment going just OK.
Mark: Dirk's return hasn't meant much to Dallas, which still sits 5.0 games back of final playoff spot.
24
Tony: Cousins has been another player altogether since suspension.
Mark: Isaiah Thomas back in the starting lineup and playing well.
25
Tony: Hey! They picked up a win on the road!
Mark: Worst record in the West, but defense has played well all year.
26
Tony: Gordon, Vasquez playing well alongside each other.
Mark: Glen Davis back in the rotation will help, but they've dropped nine of 10.
27
Tony: Have lost 9 of 10 and 5 straight.
Mark: 2-8 in their last 10, but a home win against the Bulls was nice.
28
Tony: Man, they won 3 in a row?? Completely different team with Wall back.
Mark: The Wizards have won two straight since John Wall returned. Baby steps.
29
Tony: Get the nod over CHA because they're only on 3-gm losing streak.
Mark: Nice to see Dion Waiters break out of a funk with a career-high 33 points on Monday.
30
Tony: Things have gotten downright ugly in Charlotte yet again.
Mark: Very little (if any) improvement from this team, despite "increase in wins".

The state of the Bulls after the first half of the season

The state of the Bulls after the first half of the season

Who are the Bulls? The team that beat Cleveland and Toronto or lost to Dallas, Minnesota and Milwaukee?

That's the question Bulls fans are currently asking and the one Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill posed in the video above.

The Bulls have had impressive wins and shocking losses, but neither of those should be surprising at this point. The Bulls are, as Goodwill put it, consistently inconsistent.

The first half of the season has proven that Dwyane Wade still has some memorable moments left to give and Jimmy Butler continues to approach superstardom. On the downside, the drama surrounding Rajon Rondo has meant the 'three alphas' that were hyped up in the preseason haven't been the dynamic trio some Bulls fans had hoped.

Coach Fred Hoiberg doesn't have the shooters his system needs, but can he still rally the troops and get something out of Rondo?

Watch the video to see Goodwill's look back on the Bulls' first half and what could be ahead.

Five Things to Watch: Bulls host Mavericks in search of third straight win

Five Things to Watch: Bulls host Mavericks in search of third straight win

Watch as the Bulls take on the Mavericks tonight on CSN+ and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Bulls Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Bulls.

Five Things to Watch:

1. What's Jimmy Butler got in store? On paper, Butler's performance Sunday night against the Grizzlies was nothing special. In fact, in many ways it fell short of his season averages. But Jimmy G. Buckets was on his game in the fourth quarter when the Bulls needed him most, helping them to a crucial road victory in Memphis. Tonight a fast start will be key against a Mavericks team that struggles to play from behind.

2. Dirk Nowitzki is back. The Mavericks are finally getting back to full-strength, and the main contributor to that is Dirk Nowtizki. The future Hall-of-Famer is finally rounding into form after an Achilles injury kept him out of the lineup most of the year. In his last three games, Nowitzki is averaging 20.3 points on 49 percent shooting.

3. There was at least some rumblings that the Bulls might have considered going after Ames native Harrison Barnes this past offseason. Instead, Barnes wound up in Dallas a potential building block for the Mavs. And he's looked pretty solid through the season's first half. Barnes is averaging 20.7 points on 48 percent shooting, 5.4 rebounds and nearly a steal per game in 36 minutes. It'll be a fun matchup watching him go against Jimmy Butler.

4. More 3-pointers on the way? It's easy to say that a 31-point outing will get you going, but maybe Doug McDermott can build on his career night against the Grizzlies. He hit 3 of 6 triples, made 10 of 11 free throws and even added six rebounds and a(nother) block. The Bulls will be able to run more against the Mavs than they were the Grizzlies, meaning more spacing for McDermott to find open shots. If he's hitting early, the Bulls are in good shape.

5. A three-game winning streak on the line. The last time the Bulls won three straight -- earlier this month -- it pushed them over .500. Now they've got a chance to reel off a third straight and again get back over .500. As poorly as the Bulls have played as a whole, the Eastern Conference is wide open at the bottom half of the playoff bracket, so these are opportunities they don't want to miss against a struggling team.

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

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