Nov 30, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) and Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) react to action against the Utah Jazz during the second half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Power Rankings: Week 12

It is Friday, so that means it is time for my weekly NBA Power Rankings.

There’s a lot of movement this week and a very tight battle for the top spot overall. Where does your team rank?

Jan 11, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Charlotte Bobcats forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14) goes to the basket against Toronto Raptors guard Landry Fields (2) at the Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Bobcats 99-78. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s get right into it.

30. Charlotte Bobcats (9-29): Michel Kidd-Gilchrist has the makings of a future star, but after snapping their lengthy losing streak, the Bobcats have lost five in a row again. Last Week’s Ranking-29

29.  Washington Wizards (7-29): Bradley Beal is also a youngster that has the makings of a future NBA star and the Wizards have gone 2-1 since John Wall returned to the lineup. Last Week’s Ranking-30

28. Cleveland Cavaliers (10-31): Kyrie Irving is something special and the Cavs have some young pieces, but they aren’t ready to win yet. Last Week’s Ranking-28

27. Phoenix Suns (13-28): The Suns have trouble scoring the ball but it doesn’t help that they are also only 26th in the league in terms of defensive efficiency. Last Week’s Ranking-26

26. Orlando Magic (14-24): The Magic snapped a 10-game losing streak and have made it know they are looking to make deals. J.J. Redick has been playing very well and could be the first to go.  Last Week’s Ranking- 27

25. Sacramento Kings (15-24): DeMarcus Cousins has been brilliant, averaging 20.7 points over his last 10 games and recording eight double-doubles and the Kings have split their past 10 games. But there isn’t much else to get excited about in Sacramento except a potential move to Seattle. Last Week’s Ranking-21

24. Detroit Pistons (14-25): The Pistons beat the Hawks and Heat and have won 6-of-10 but have dropped their past two. It will be interesting to see Andre Drummond get more minutes and see what he and Greg Monroe can do together.  Last Week’s Ranking-19

Nov 4, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Andrew Bynum (33) looks on against the New York Knicks during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

23. New Orleans Hornets (13-26): The Hornets have a bright future and are showing why, winning 7-of-10, which is impressive considering they won only six of their first 29. The backcourt of Greivis Vasquez and Eric Gordon has been outstanding and a big reason for the sudden turnaround. Last Week’s Ranking-25

22. Toronto Raptors (14-25): The Raptors should be coming back to earth after dropping three in a row, ending a string of which they won 10-of-13. Last Week’s Ranking-17

21. Minnesota Timberwolves (16-20): Finally the injuries have caught up with the Timberwolves, who have lost five in a row. The latest Kevin Love hand injury is a back breaker. Last Week’s Ranking-20

20. Philadelphia 76ers (16-23): Andrew Bynum says he could be back around the All-Star break, which is great news for the Sixers as they need him badly, dropping eight of their past 10 games. Last Week’s Ranking-24

19. Los Angeles Lakers (17-22): Kobe Bryant has been outstanding at both ends of the floor, but the Lakers have lost 7-of-10 and are 26th in the NBA in points allowed per game. Last Week’s Ranking-23

18. Portland Trail Blazers (20-19): The Blazers have dropped four straight after playing so well for the last month. A playoff run will be unlikely with the worst bench in the NBA, despite their starting five playing very well. Last Week’s Ranking-12

17. Dallas Mavericks (17-23): The Mavs have turned things around lately, winning four straight. But to get back into playoff contention, Dallas must get better defensively, allowing the 27th most points in the NBA. Last Week’s Ranking-22

16. Milwaukee Bucks (20-18): The Bucks keep hanging in there in the Eastern Conference, but there is just something about this team that makes it hard to believe in them. Last Week’s Ranking-15

Jan 11, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics point guard Avery Bradley (0) shoots the ball against the Houston Rockets during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

15. Houston Rockets (21-19): The Rockets have been fun to watch and have been hanging around  but they have lost five straight which means they drop from the Top 10 for the first time in weeks. They are turning the ball over almost 15 times per game, which is the worst mark in the league. Last Week’s Ranking-9

14. Atlanta Hawks (22-16): The Hawks are coming back to earth rapidly, winning only three of their past 10. Last Week’s Ranking-14

13. Boston Celtics (20-18): The Celtics have won six of 10 and things have looked better for Boston since Avery Bradley returned although his recent rib injury could be a concern. Last Week’s Ranking-16

12. Utah Jazz (21-19): Utah is back to playing well, as their season has been filled with stretches of good play and bad play. They have won 6-of-10 and are 12-4 at home on the season. Last Week’s Ranking-18

11. Brooklyn Nets (23-16): The Nets have turned things around by winning 8-of-10, but they have only two wins against over .500 teams since the end of November. Last Week’s Ranking-13

10. Chicago Bulls (22-15): Without Derrick Rose, the Bulls season has been quite odd. They have won 7-of-10 but have done most of their damage on the road where the Bulls are 11-5 on the season, compared to only 11-10 at home. Last Week’s Ranking-11

9. Memphis Grizzlies (24-13): The Grizzlies keep winning because they are second in the NBA in defensive efficiency, but the offense must get much better as they rank only 22nd in the league in offensive efficiency. A three-game losing streak doesn’t help at all either.  Last Week’s Ranking-4

8. Indiana Pacers (24-16): The Pacers have won 7-of-10 as well and have done so without the services of Danny Granger all season. Paul George has upped his play and the Pacers are No. 1 in the NBA in both rebounding and defensive efficiency. Last Week’s Ranking-6

7. Golden State Warriors (23-14): The Warriors are third in the NBA in rebounding and still a threat in the Western Conference, but that can’t get by without Stephen Curry, who is out with an ankle injury. Last Week’s Ranking-5

Jan 17, 2013; London, United Kingdom; New York Knicks forward Amar

6. Denver Nuggets (24-17): I said all season that the Nuggets fortunes would turn around once the unkind schedule gave them some home games. After barely playing any games at home throughout the middle of December, the Nuggets are now 15-2 at home and rolling, winning 9-of-12 overall. Last Week’s Ranking-10

5. New York Knicks (25-13): The Knicks are getting healthier by the day and should expect Raymond Felton back in the next week or so. Iman Shumpert made his season debut Thursday against the Pistons, the same day that Amar’e Stoudemire turned in his best performance since returning January 1. This is a deep and dangerous team. Last Week’s Ranking-7

4. Miami Heat (26-12): Back-to-back road wins over the Warriors and Lakers were needed for a team that has gone only 10-9 away from home this season. However they have to find a way to add some quality size to repeat.  Last Week’s Ranking-8

3. San Antonio Spurs (30-11):  Manu Ginobili is out for about two weeks, which is bad news. However the good news is that Tony Parker is averaging 19.4 points and 7.2 assists per game and Tim Duncan’s 17.2 points and 9.6 rebounds are the highest totals in each category that Duncan has posted in three years. Last Week’s Ranking-3

2. Oklahoma City Thunder (31-8): The Thunder have won five in a row and 8-of-10 overall.  They are the NBA’s most efficient team in terms of offense and the sixth most efficient defensive team. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are playing at a very high level and it was very difficult not to put them back in the top spot. Last Week’s Ranking-2

1. Los Angeles Clippers (31-9): The Clippers rank in the top five in the NBA in both offensive and defensive efficiency and continue to win. Their deep bench allows Vinny Del Negro to limit the minutes of both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Despite losing to the Magic, the Clippers maintain the top spot as they beat the Grizzlies, Rockets and Timberwolves without the services of Paul. The Clippers are the first team this season to stay in the No. 1 spot for four consecutive weeks. Last Week’s Ranking-1

Biggest Climber: Jazz (+6)

Biggest Faller: Rockets, Blazers (-6)

Follow Matt Shetler on Twitter for news, reaction and analysis from around the NBA.

Follow Buckets Over Broadway on Twitter and on Facebook

Tags: Los Angeles Clippers NBA Power Rankings New York Knicks Oklahoma City Thunder San Antonio Spurs

comments powered by Disqus