I check Hollinger's power rankings a couple times a week just to see whose trending (and not) based on his fully automated statistical rankings.
Although it doesn't mean much, I'm happy to see the raps in the top half of the league for the first time this season albeit they squeak in at 15.
Also nice to see that they are currently ranked sixth in the East using his metrics. They are behind (in order of appearance)
Just squeaking past the Hawks, Bucks and Celtics.
I don't think this means that we'll end up with the 6th best record overall, but it does reinforce that we've been playing really well the last month. I still don't think it's likely that we'll make the playoffs as we'd have to have a better record than at least 1 of three teams that are immediatley trailing us in Hollinger's rankings. IF we could sustain our current winning ways then it's certainly possible, however I don't think that's likely because a number of factors have to go the right way. My opinion is cap'd in brackets.
Anderson has to stay (mostly) hot OR Fields gets back to his preinjury days with the knicks (NOT LIKELY)
Continue to get good production out of PF/C position (NOT LIKELY), due to injuries, unless bargnani is effective off the bench (IMPROBABLE)
Continue to get good production from Jose or increased production from Lowry (PROBABLE)
Demar needs to take it up one more notch offensively, he still disappears to often and for too long (OKC game) for us to challenge the better teams in the league and I think we'll need to beat a few "elite" teams if we want a good enough record for the playoffs. Don't get me wrong, I do think that Demar has progressed this season and I'm happy with his effort and production, but we are still missing players who can manufacture points when things aren't going well or when the opposing teams defense tightens up. Unfortunately, as our SG and primary slasher that responsibility rests mostly on him. (PUSH)
In order to make the playoffs the raps have to have the mental fortitude to grind it out EVERY game for the next three months, that's a tall order for any team (except maybe the spurs?) and as well as the raps are playing NOW it's just to big of a hole that they are trying to dig themselves out of.
To be honest I won't be disappointed if they don't make the playoffs, I'd be happy to see them continue to put out the effort and hustle (and trade bargs for something useful) and finish 9th or 10th... but it's still nice to see us in the top half of the league in Hollinger's metric.
Want to check out Hollinger's rankings yourself? Here are teams 1-15 & 16-30
This is based on the rankings of Jan. 10th, since they updated daily the information source may no longer be accurate as of Jan. 11th...