NBA Power Rankings: Knicks No. 1?

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NBA Power Rankings: Knicks No. 1?

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 2 Power Rankings. Think we're way off? Agree with our picks? Hit us up on Twitter at@BullsTalkCSNwith comments or criticisms.
Past rankings: Preseason Week 1

Tony
MarkComments1
Tony: Wow. Never thought I'd lead off with NY.
Mark: LeBron put on one for the ages vs. Houston
2
Tony: Huh. Maybe age won't ever catch up to them.
Mark: Duncan may never slow down.
3
Tony: Ray Allen a perfect fit in South Beach.
Mark: Still the NBA's only undefeated.
4
Tony: Kevin Martin replacing Harden admirably.
Mark: Ibaka has an offensive game. Look out.
5
Tony: Griffin's numbers have generally declined each year.
Mark: Still the best team in Los Angeles.
6
Tony: They'll be fine. Stop freaking out.
Mark: No Mayo hasn't hurt Memphis' sandwich.7
Tony: D-Will looks rejuvenated. Could be in MVP talks.
Mark:4-game win streak had Denver rolling before Phoenix loss.8
Tony: Rondo has taken his game to another level.
Mark: D'Antoni will do wonders for a team with great individual defenders.
9
Tony: Very solid team. Z-Bo is back with a vengeance.
Mark: 2-game road win streak has them back on track.
10
Tony: Coming off a week with two tough losses.
Mark: Jennings continues to roll in contract year.
11
Tony: Holiday is on fire, but Bynum news a big blow.
Mark: If Hinrich's out, defense suffers big time.
12
Tony: They just need a bit more time to gel.
Mark: Brook Lopez benefitting early.
13
Tony: JenningsEllis learning how to co-exist?
Mark: They're winning, and Love return on the horizon.
14
Tony: And suddenly, Bulls may be favorites in Central again.
Mark: Bynum news (out until January) is huge.
15
Tony: Teague improved, but needs to jump to another level.
Mark: Injuries really piling up in the front court.
16
Tony: Mayo on fire, but can he be a No. 2 option when Dirk returns?
Mark: Always good to win a triple-overtime game.
17
Tony: Bogut's health could damper playoff aspirations.
Mark: Horford healthy and looking great.
18
Tony: Injuries are decimating a decent team.
Mark: Granger to miss 3 months. Paging Paul George.
19
Tony: At least Mo Williams is looking good.
Mark: Huge win over the Nuggets on Monday.
20
Tony: Who said Omer couldn't play offense?
Mark: Anthony Davis didn't miss a step post-concussion.
21
Tony: Gortat is a monster, but he and Dragic need help.
Mark: Maybe Asik is worth 25 million.
22
Tony: Seriously, no depth. Injury to starter would derail this team.
Mark: Tough schedule last week, but they've lost 4 straight.
23
Tony: Surprisingly hot start, but won't last.
Mark: Klay Thompson's shooting needs to improve, and it will.
24
Tony: My boy Kemba is turning into a star.
Mark: Kemba Walker early favorite for most improved player.
25
Tony: Kyrie has gone to next level, but not much of a supporting cast.
Mark: Lowry could be out another week.
26
Tony: Lowry injury allows them to showcase Calderon for trades.
Mark: 2-0 start may have been a mirage.
27
Tony: And...there it is. This is more like what I expected.
Mark: Waiters is starting to really get it going.
28
Tony: Cousins is a child. But a very talented child.
Mark: See: last week. Cousins hasn't grown up.
29
Tony: Hasn't Seraphin earned more minutes?
Mark: Bradley Beal looking like the right pick.
30
Tony: Laughable start to the season. Ouch.
Mark: How have they not won with Greg Monroe?

White Sox manager Robin Ventura declines to discuss future amid speculation about return

White Sox manager Robin Ventura declines to discuss future amid speculation about return

The uncertainty surrounding Robin Ventura’s future will drag on a little longer.

The White Sox manager — who doesn’t yet have a contract offer for 2017, according to a baseball source — said Wednesday afternoon that he intends to wait until the current season is complete to discuss what’s next.

Ventura’s fifth season at the helm concludes on Sunday and according to USA Today report, the door has potentially been opened for a sixth. But Ventura didn’t broach the topic during Wednesday’s pregame media session and White Sox general manager Rick Hahn wasn’t available for comment. Hahn has previously said he’d wait for the season to end to talk and is expected to address the media on Monday, according to team officials.

“I appreciate all the concern,” Ventura said. “But like I’ve said all year long, I’m waiting until the end of the year. Rick and I always have discussions, but I’m waiting until the end of the year. 

“I’m not going to get into it. But I’ve always felt, especially this year, that I’m going to wait until the end of the year. 

“That’s just the way I like to do it.”

The White Sox are headed for their fourth straight sub-.500 record under Ventura unless they win their final five games. The club has only posted a winning record in Ventura’s first season (2012) and they’re 373-432 overall during his tenure.

The USA Today report suggested the decision on whether or not Ventura would return in 2017 is up to him. Ventura said he likes his job and also is aggravated by it. He’s disappointed with the team’s failures in 2016 after a 23-10 start and wouldn’t discuss whether or not he was interested in managing were the team to go into rebuild mode. Ventura also said he’s more focused on the club’s day-to-day operations.

“I enjoy the job,” Ventura said. “Right now we’re dealing with rain and trying to figure out how we’re going to do this. I’m figuring out how to get to the end of the year right now. That’s the biggest concern, and making sure everybody finishes it on the way that they should professionally.”

Outfielder Adam Eaton supported Ventura and said his even-keel management style is effective. Eaton said he’d welcome Ventura back. But Eaton also knows the decision isn’t his to make.

“I’ve always enjoyed Robin,” Eaton said. “I’ve always backed Robin. I think he’s a tremendous manager, people person, communicator. So for me I’ve enjoyed my time with him. I’d welcome him back. I’d love to have him back, but at the end of the day, it’s up to the higher-ups again.”

Ventura’s one concern is that the issue distracts from his players’ preparation over the final five games. Given everything else that has occurred this season, from the Adam LaRoche saga in spring training to Chris Sale’s suspension in July, Ventura wants to avoid adding another distraction. It’s one of the main reasons he has pushed off talking about his future.

“It was quite a ride,” Ventura said. “It really was. You just deal with it when it happens. Like I said, every team has its challenge and this one is no different. We had some unique ones, I would say this year. You handle it, you handle it inside the clubhouse and that’s my job.”

Former Blackhawks D-man Trevor Daley reflects on bittersweet postseason with Penguins

Former Blackhawks D-man Trevor Daley reflects on bittersweet postseason with Penguins

Trevor Daley’s hearing the same chatter in the Pittsburgh Penguins this season as he did with the Blackhawks last fall.

“It feels a lot like when I started last year with Chicago, where a lot of guys were speaking the same thing: ‘We want to try to do it again,’” Daley said on Wednesday evening. “I felt I was in that situation with the same feeling with the guys around me, so it was an exciting time.”

Well, there is one difference this time around. When Daley was traded to the Blackhawks in the summer of 2015 he didn’t know that feeling of winning a Stanley Cup. Now, he does. After the Blackhawks traded Daley to Pittsburgh he became a key part of the Penguins’ run to their Cup triumph.

Daley fit in immediately with the Penguins because they all found common ground: he wasn’t the only one going through changes at the time. Daley was traded to Pittsburgh two days after the team named Mike Sullivan its new head coach.

“The way they were going with a new coach coming in, I think everyone was happy to have a fresh start, including myself. I felt I was in the same situation they were,” Daley said. “It all worked out obviously in the long run. But a lot for my success had to do with being on the same page as everyone else.”

Daley suffered a fractured ankle in late May, missing the rest of the postseason. But after the Penguins won the Cup in Game 6 against the San Jose Sharks, Daley, on the ice in full uniform and skates, was the first to get the Cup from captain Sidney Crosby.

“When you get to hoist that thing,” Daley said. “There’s nothing better than that.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

The postseason was bittersweet for Daley, as his mother became ill with cancer as the playoffs began. She got to see Daley hoist the Cup on June 13. Sadly, she died on June 21.

“Pittsburgh was great to me. I got to go home in between series. When I had time off I got to see her and when I got hurt I got to spend more time with her. It did make it bittersweet,” Daley said. “Before she passed she would always say, ‘Why are you here? I want you to be playing.’ But under the circumstances, at least I got to say I got to spend a little more time with her.”

The Penguins are waiting for a few players, including Crosby, to return from the World Cup. Who knows how the season unfolds but much like last fall, Daley is part of the let’s-try-to-repeat talk.

“We’re excited for those guys to be able to have the opportunity they have [at World Cup]. We get to watch the best player in the world doing what he does, knowing he’s coming back to us,” Daley said of Crosby. “We’ve been enjoying it; we’ve been staying in touch with them while they’re gone. Most of them are back now. Those guys are going to be ready to go. They’ve already played some big games, so it’ll be good.”