It’s Friday, so that means it is time for my weekly NBA Power Rankings.
We have a new No.1 team as the Oklahoma City Thunder’s second stint as the top team ends after a two week run.
Where does your favorite team fall?
Let’s not waste any time and find out.
30. Charlotte Bobcats (11-34): The Bobcats have won only three times in January after winning only once in December. Four wins in two months keep them as the worst team in the NBA. Last Week’s Ranking-30
29. Cleveland Cavaliers (13-33): The Cavs went 2-1 during the week and saw a three-game win streak come to an end against the Golden State Warriors. They may be a really bad team but will find themselves well represented during All-Star Weekend with Kyrie Irving in both the All-Star Game and Rising Stars Challenge and Tyler Zeller, Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters playing in the Rising Stars game. Last Week’s Ranking-29
28. Orlando Magic (14-31): The Magic have lost seven in a row and are not a good defensive team. There aren’t many quick fixes for that. Last Week’s Ranking-28
27. Minnesota Timberwolves (17-25): Ricky Rubio is back but Kevin Love is still sidelined and as a result the ‘Wolves have dropped five in a row and 10-of-11. Last Week’s Ranking-27
26. Phoenix Suns (16-30): The Suns have gone 3-2 since Lindsey Hunter took over for Alvin Gentry, including a big win over the Lakers. But this team is not built to go anywhere. Last Week’s Ranking-23
25. Sacramento Kings (17-30): The Kings are a horrible rebounding and defensive team who also has problems sharing the basketball. They rank last in the NBA in points allowed for the second straight season (103.1), 24th in rebounds (40.5) and 28th in assists (19.8). In addition they are last in the NBA in rebounding rate (47.9). Last Week’s Ranking-25
24. Washington Wizards (11-33): Despite dropping their last two games, Washington has gone 6-5 since John Wall’s return and the Wall-Bradley Beal backcourt looks really promising going forward. Last Week’s Ranking-24
23. New Orleans Hornets (15-31): The Hornets are a young team playing better, but are coming off a tough week in which they lost 3-of-4. Even though he hasn’t played in every game since his return, the Hornets are 7-6 in games Eric Gordon has played. Last Week’s Ranking-17
22. Detroit Pistons (17-29): Acquiring Jose Calderon makes the Pistons marginally better this season and gives them cap flexibility for the summer. Calderon’s ability to create should see a spike in numbers for Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. Last Week’s Ranking-20
21. Los Angeles Lakers (20-26): The Lakers went 3-1 during the week, most because Kobe Bryant has turned distributor. But it is still a circus in Los Angeles and this group could be broken up in the next couple of weeks. This team can’t defend and isn’t going anywhere. Last Week’s Ranking-26
20. Philadelphia 76ers (19-26): The Sixers had a nice week, going 2-1, but despite Jrue Holiday heading to the All-Star Game, he can’t carry this team. Last Week’s Ranking-22
19. Boston Celtics (22-23): The Celtics weren’t playing well with Rajon Rondo in the lineup, but they are in trouble without him. They don’t rebound well as a team and aren’t nearly as good defensively as normal Doc Rivers’ coached teams. Last Week’s Ranking-18
18. Toronto Raptors (16-30): The Rudy Gay trade was big for the Raptors and the combination of Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Gay is intriguing and should be enough to get the Raptors into the playoffs. Last Week’s Ranking-21
17. Dallas Mavericks (19-27): The Mavs were looking good for a while but have dropped two in a row, prompting Mark Cuban and Rick Carlisle to criticize officiating. That’s a first. Last Week’s Ranking-15
16. Portland Trail Blazers (23-22): The Blazers starting five is very good and has them over the .500 mark contending for a playoff spot. They have found their rhythm again, winning three of their past four. Last Week’s Ranking-16
15. Houston Rockets (25-23): The Rockets ended an awful slump by winning three in a row before being tripped up by Denver. They are one of the better offensive teams in the league, but still have their issues defensively. Last Week’s Ranking-19
14. Atlanta Hawks (26-19): The Hawks are hanging around in the Eastern Conference playoff race, splitting their past 10 games. But will Josh Smith be traded, breaking up this team with an eye on the future? Last Week’s Ranking-14
13. Milwaukee Bucks (24-20): The Bucks continue to stay in the playoff race, winning five of their past seven, mostly on the play of point guard Brandon Jennings, who should be an All-Star. Last Week’s Ranking-13
12. Brooklyn Nets (27-19): The Nets record suggests they should be higher up in the rankings, but they have been a product of their schedule. Brooklyn hasn’t beaten many good teams this season and were taken apart by Miami this week. Only seven of the Nets 27 wins have come against teams currently over .500 and they have an overall 7-15 record in such games. They have to beat good teams consistently to be taken seriously. Last Week’s Ranking-9
11. Utah Jazz (25-21): The Jazz are playing well in a tough Western Conference and have won 7-of-10 overall. Given the quality of teams ahead of them in the standings, it may be hard for Utah to move past the No. 7 seed, but they are in a good position to make the playoffs. Last Week’s Ranking-12
10. Indiana Pacers (27-19): The Pacers keep winning despite being the third worst offensive efficient team in the NBA. It helps when they have a league-best defensive efficiency rating of 96.2. Last Week’s Ranking-10
9. Memphis Grizzlies (29-16): It is always hard when you trade your leading scorer when you are contending, but adding Ed Davis, Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye will keep the Grizzlies in contention, if not make them better. Last Week’s Ranking-8
8. Chicago Bulls (28-17): Without Derrick Rose, the Bulls have managed the third best record in the Eastern Conference, but Rose should be coming back soon and that could make Chicago scary good. Last Week’s Ranking-11
7. Golden State Warriors (29-17): The Warriors have to worry about Stephen Curry’s ankle again, but got Andrew Bogut back and are in the middle of a three-game win streak. Last Week’s Ranking-6
6. New York Knicks (28-15): Now that Amar’e Stoudemire looks all the way back, the Knicks are loaded from top to bottom. They have hit a soft spot in their schedule which could see them take off once again. There is one concern though. While the Knicks rank third in the league in offensive efficiency, they are only 16th when it comes to defensive efficiency. Last Week’s Ranking-7
5. Denver Nuggets (29-18): The Nuggets have won five straight and 8-of-10 and look dangerous right now. They are an impressive 19-3 at home and may have the most balanced attack in the NBA. Last Week’s Ranking-5
4. Miami Heat (29-13): The regular season doesn’t really matter much for the defending champs, especially the way LeBron James has been playing. The only concerns for the Heat are their 11-10 road record and the fact that they are 22nd in the NBA in rebounding rate. Last Week’s Ranking-4
3. Los Angeles Clippers (34-13): Chris Paul has missed five straight games with a bruised right knee cap and eight of the Clippers past 10 overall in which they have gone only 6-4. But they broke four-game losing streak by winning two in a row and still have the league’s third best record. Last Week’s Ranking-3
2. Oklahoma City Thunder (35-11): It has been a small bump in the road for the Thunder as of late as they have split their past six games and as a result they lose grip on the top spot in the rankings. They are still the highest scoring and most efficient offensive team in the league though so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them back in the top spot before long. Last Week’s Ranking-1
1. San Antonio Spurs (37-11): Tim Duncan has sat out the past four games, but the Spurs have managed to reel off nine consecutive wins and are playing like the best team in basketball. That’s because Tony Parker has been playing like the best point guard in the NBA, seventh in the entire league in PER (23.54). When he’s playing, Duncan ranks fifth in the league in PER (24.9). Having two of the top seven players in terms of PER on the same team makes the Spurs very dangerous. But as always, they have proven they can win no matter who is in the lineup. Last Week’s Ranking-2
Biggest Climber: Lakers (+5)
Biggest Faller: Hornets (-6)
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