NBA Power Rankings: Week 10


NBA Power Rankings: Week 10

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 4 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

Tony: Still the king, but a viable case can be made for the Clippers.
Mark: Would have the lost the top spot, but stomped the Warriors on Sunday.
Tony: They've been dominant. I have a bet riding on them collapsing a bit, though.
Mark: Ibaka continues to improve offensively.
Tony: Slow and steady wins the race, right?
Mark:Consistent bench play always been as impressive as aging starters.
Tony: Fighting with New York for the top spot in the East.
Mark: Numbers don't lie: LeBron is your MVP.
Tony: Sporting the best D in the league.
Mark: Klay Thompson finally heating up from beyond the arc.
Tony: Come back to Earth a bit lately.
Mark: Impressive that they're better without Mayo...never thought that'd happen.7
Tony: Borderline Top 5 team, but have to keep playing at high level all year.
Mark: Tyson Chandler's career year has meant everything.8
Tony: Surprising squad of late. Highest scoring team in league.
Mark: They just won't go away in the West.
Tony: Lou Williams has been a real nice addition.
Mark: Nowadays it's impressive any time you beat the Clippers.
Tony: Can you believe they have a better defense than the Bulls?
Mark: So when does Taj start?
Tony: Big win over the Heat puts league on notice.
Mark: Danny Granger nearing a return.
Tony: Playing more like how I thought they would.
Mark:Quietly putting together an impressive season despite some offseason shake-ups.
Tony: At least D-Will is starting to play back to form.
Mark:Awful decision to fire Avery Johnson, but maybe it lights a fire underneath the Nets.
Tony: Need to fix the 7-11 on the road.
Mark: Still clinging to the No. 8 seed.
Tony: Right around .500 is what I expect of this team.
Mark: Dwight, Pau and Jordan Hill all out. Yikes.
Tony: If they can stay healthy, I fully expect them to be a playoff team in the West.
Mark: Could see them moving Courtney Lee for a big.
Tony: Rondo is having a whole heap of behavioral issues.
Mark: Derrick Favors has to break out at some point, right?
Tony: They've really fallen off lately haven't they?
Mark: Back at .500, the Bucks are slowly we all thought they would.
Tony: Pau and Howard out now? This is getting out of hand.
Mark: They were fine without Love the first time, don't know if it can happen again.
Tony: Jrue can't do it by himself, you guys.
Mark: The Bynum news this week was...that there's no new news...again.
Tony: TheReturn: Dirk Edition hasn't helped, huh?
Mark:Smart for the Kings to not want to move Cousins. He's a top-5 center with a bottom-5 brain. Hopefully he turns the latter around.
Tony: Cousins is beastin' right now.
Mark: Really believe they could sneak in as the No. 8 seed in the East (5 GB as of Monday).
Tony: Alan Anderson, Lowry tearin' it up from the bench.
Mark: Age quickly catching up with them. Glad they got their ring now.
Tony: At least Drummond looks like a future piece.
Mark: I concur with Tony: Andre Drummond is the real deal.
Tony: Won't be successful if you're just 7-12 at home.
Mark: Anthony Davis returning helps, but early season success was a mirage.
Tony: Maybe they need Steve Nash back?
Mark: What a boring team.
Tony: Got some nice players, but can't put it all together.
Mark: Really impressed with the overtime win over the Pistons on Sunday.
Tony: Hey, at least they halted their losing streak.
Mark: 2-8 in last 10; need Davis back soon.
Tony: My boy Greivis has been dominiant.
Mark: What happened to Dion Waiters.
Tony:Played the Heat real tough...until a MIA 21-0 run to end game.
Mark:Brad Beal rookie of the month in December. That's about it.

Bulls exploring signing former Celtics shooting guard R.J. Hunter

Bulls exploring signing former Celtics shooting guard R.J. Hunter

According to CSN Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill, the Bulls are exploring signing former Celtics shooting guard R.J. Hunter.

The Bulls currently have one open roster spot.

Hunter, a first-round pick of the Celtics in 2015, appeared in 38 games as a rookie. He struggled from the field, shooting just 36.7 percent from the field and 30.2 percent from deep. He ultimately lost out on a roster spot this preseason in a crowded Celtics backcourt.

Hunter was the darling of the 2015 NCAA Tournament playing for his father at Georgia State. Hunter hit a game-winning 3-pointer against Baylor to propel the 14th-seeded Panthers to an opening-round win.

Hunter was a two-time Sun Belt Player of the Year, averaging 19.7 points per game as a junior.

The Bulls open their 2016-17 season tomorrow night against the Celtics.

Stay with for more updates on this story.

Rookie Denzel Valentine believes he'll play in Bulls' season opener

Rookie Denzel Valentine believes he'll play in Bulls' season opener

Showing no hesitation, Denzel Valentine stood some eight feet behind the 3-point line and launched a triple in Jimmy Butler’s face, then on the next possession, hit a corner triple that ended a contested 3-on-3 game following Bulls practice Wednesday.

He looks ready, sounds ready and most importantly, feels ready for the season opener Thursday night against the Boston Celtics after missing so much time with a right ankle sprain he suffered in the preseason opener well over two weeks ago.

“I think I’m going to suit up,” Valentine said. “Still have to talk to coach about it, but I think I’m going to suit up. I feel great.”

Assuming the Bulls play nine or 10 guys tomorrow night, Valentine should get some run against the Celtics considering how easily he adapts to the game—and the Bulls are in no position to discriminate if a guy can contribute, thus making Valentine’s recovery that much more important.

“It feels great right now. The staff, give them credit. They’ve done a great job of getting me back into great shape, getting my ankle stronger, so it feels great right now, and ready.”

It seemed the injury took longer than the initial prognosis, and even Valentine felt that, as the Bulls’ first-round draft pick was anxious to get back on the floor and learn the new system and teammates.

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

“Yeah, that was my first ever actual ankle sprain. I’ve twisted my ankle a couple times in college, and I’m back in a couple days, practicing the next day,” he said. “But this one took a while. It was kind of frustrating because I thought it was going to be just like college, twist my ankle and be right back, but it was kind of an unfortunate accident. It took longer to heal. It actually took longer to heal than me actually being out there. It took time, but I’m ready now.”

Heck, he even has a new teammate in Michael Carter-Williams and that affects him being a primary ballhandler on the floor. Fred Hoiberg envisioned Valentine being able to play some point behind Rajon Rondo but with the recent trade, Valentine will likely play more on the wings behind Butler and Dwyane Wade.

It’s another change in the early stages of his career—one where he hasn’t been able to establish much continuity. Hopefully for Valentine, the worst of this is behind him.

“It’s very difficult, and being in Chicago, we’ve played all of our preseason games here, so there wasn’t no traveling like mid-season, so everybody is here pretty much every day practicing, and I’ve got to sit out at it,” Valentine said. “They kind of lose a little chemistry towards me, and the guys getting to play with me and me getting to know them on the court, so kind of lose a little bit of rhythm. But the good thing about me is I don’t need a whole lot of time with the team. I can kind of just sneak my way in and adapt.”