Power ranking round-up and Rufus Links: Al Jefferson named East's Player of the Week

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

As the Spurs and Clippers took the top two spots across the board in each site's power rankings, the Bobcats made only the slightest climb despite a four-game winning streak. The teams ahead of them had just as solid weeks and that streak since ended with last night's loss to Atlanta, unfortunately. Still, the Bobcats rose a spot in each analyst's rankings, save for the continuously updated Hollinger rankings, which rank teams based on statistical metrics.

NBA.com: No. 16
The Bobcats come in at No. 16, a spot better than last week. John Schuhmann notes that Charlotte had an 8-game winning streak at home, and also the defensive struggles the Bobcats have had in lineups with Gary Neal and Al Jefferson together.

ESPN - Marc Stein: No. 16
Stein also gives the Bobcats a one-spot boost with the Bobcats jumping Minnesota for No. 16. He also includes some very interesting tidbits in that Jefferson just had his highest-scoring month of his career at 26.6 PPG and that one scout thinks the Bobcats are the East's fourth-best team. Interesting.

NBC Sports ProBasketballTalk: No. 16
I'm beginning to notice a pattern here. Kurt Helin also posits that Al Jefferson was the biggest All-Star snub this season.

Yahoo! Sports: No. 17
Marc J. Spears has the Bobcats at 17 with the usual refrain about the Bobcats' recent strong play but they can't quite leapfrog the Nets.

Hollinger Power Rankings: No. 17
Same deal. There's a wealth of information here though. For one, the Bobcats' opponents in the last 25 percent of their games have had a winning percentage of .541. In that same time, the Bobcats have had a scoring margin of +1.83.

CBSSports.com: No. 15
Matt Moore has the East's top teams tumbling down the rankings after their recent sour play (looking especially at you, Pacers) and the Bobcats have climbed a couple spots to 15th.

Rufus Links

Bobcats' Jefferson, Clips' Griffin named Players of the Week | NBA.com
Big Al gets the nod for the Eastern Conference's Player of the Week! Now let's just hope he doesn't have that little dropoff like Kemba did after his Player of the Week win.

Scouts Takes: Bobcats among East's best - Marc Stein Blog - ESPN
One Eastern Conference scout thinks the Bobcats are the East's fourth-best team. He loves Steve Clifford's defensive strategy and Thibodeau-esque "grinding style". Anonymous Scout goes on to laud Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson as two players the Bobcats can lean on to jumpstart the offense when it gets stuck.

Inside the NBA: Bobcats define Matt Carroll's role, bring Muggsy Bogues into the fold
Matt Carroll is back, baby! Rick Bonnell has some details about his role and Muggsy Bogues'.

The Zen Master of Puppets: What Phil Jackson Can Do and the Knicks Must Do to Succeed "
Few people write about basketball as well or as knowledgeably as Zach Lowe and his column about the prospective Phil-centric Knicks future is no exception. Plus how can you pass up a column that includes anecdotes about Phil Jackson having his teams practice in the dark to ready them for chaos.

Suit don't lie: Rasheed Wallace makes his voice heard as assistant coach
I can never get enough Sheed articles.

The hot seat: Which teams will change coaches at the end of the year?
Though this probably won't be coach-pocalypse like last offseason, there should be a good many openings. So get those résumés updated!

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