Mar 15, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) reacts with center Chris Bosh (1) and guard Dwyane Wade (3) after a Heat basket during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center. The Heat beat the Bucks 107-94. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Power Rankings: Week 19


As we head into the regular season’s final month, it’s time to  take a look at my weekly NBA Power Rankings.

A couple teams are riding monumental win streaks, while the rest of the teams are positioning themselves for the playoffs or the lottery.

With that being said, let’s get right into this week’s rankings.

30. Charlotte Bobcats (14-52): The Bobcats have gone only 7-47 since starting the season 7-5. They are 27th in the NBA in both points per game and rebound, 28th in points allowed per game and last in the NBA in assists. Maybe this year they can actually win the draft lottery. Last Week’s Ranking-30

29. Orlando Magic (18-48): Four losses in five games for the Magic, heading into a brutal five game stretch that features games at Milwaukee, Indiana and New York before returning home to host Miami and Oklahoma City. Last Week’s Ranking-29

28. Minnesota Timberwolves (22-41): The ‘Wolves have lost four out of five to continue their swoon, but did upset the San Antonio Spurs behind Ricky Rubio’s first career triple-double. The good news is that Kevin Love could return by late March or early April. Last Week’s Ranking-28

27. Detroit Pistons (23-45): The Pistons have lost 11-of-12 and Brandon Knight continues to be on the wrong end of highlight reel plays. This time courtesy of DeAndre Jordan’s monster dunk. Last Week’s Ranking-23

26. Philadelphia 76ers (25-40): The Sixers have lost 13-of-16 and looked like a rather young and sloppy team down the stretch against Miami, even All-Star Jrue Holiday. But they earned a tough and surprising win over the Pacers on Saturday. Last Week’s Ranking-27

February 1, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; New Orleans Hornets guard Austin Rivers (25) during the first half against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

25. Phoenix Suns (22-45): Four consecutive losses for the Suns and 6-of-7 overall after getting blown out by the Wizards. But one bright spot has been Wesley Johnson. Since moving into the starting lineup five games ago, the Syracuse product has shot shooting 49 percent from the floor and averaged 14.3 points per game. Last Week’s Ranking-24

24. New Orleans Hornets (22-44): The Hornets have lost 5-of-6 and lost rookie Austin Rivers to a broken hand, although Rivers was having a terrible freshman campaign. Among the recent losses, the Hornets blew a 25-point lead to the Los Angeles Lakers and saw a 17-point lead evaporate to the Orlando Magic. Last Week’s Ranking-25

23. Sacramento Kings (23-43): The Kings have won 2-of-3, including hammering the Chicago Bulls by 42-points.Overall, they have played some playoff teams very tough as of late. Last Week’s Ranking-26

22. Cleveland Cavaliers (22-44): The Cavs have lost 6-of-8 and lost All-Star Kyrie Irving for likely the rest of the season. If you’re the Cavs, you have to be a bit concerned about the amount of injuries the young star has accumulated the past three years, dating back to his one season at Duke. Last Week’s Ranking-20

21. Toronto Raptors (26-40): Andrea Bargnani is done for the season and the Raptors can’t put together a winning streak, alternating wins and losses throughout their past six games. Last Week’s Ranking-21

20. Washington Wizards (23-42): The Wizards are riding a three-game winning streak, but they may have a few more of those if they could keep rookie Bradley Beal healthy as his 14.2 points per game could help the NBA’s worst offense. Last Week’s Ranking-22

19. Utah Jazz (34-32): It’s been eight losses in the last 11 games for the freefalling Jazz, who now are looking up at the Lakers for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. But a win against the Grizzlies on Saturday shows that Utah isn’t ready to concede a playoff spot just yet.  Last Week’s Ranking-16

18. Portland Trail Blazers (31-34): Damian Lillard torched the Knicks on Thursday and became the fastest rookie to reach 1,200 points and 400 assists since Allen Iverson in 1996-97. Lillard has all but locked up Rookie of the Year honors, leading all first-year players in points (19.1) and assists (6.5), and he has upped his scoring to 22.4 points per game since mid-February. The Blazers still are in striking distance for a playoff spot, but it could be better for their future if they miss out, as making the postseason would cost them a first-round pick in this summer’s draft.  Last Week’s Ranking-19

17. Dallas Mavericks (31-34): The Mavs were swept by the Spurs for the first time in 15 years, but five wins in their past six games have Dallas sitting only three games out of a playoff spot. Last Week’s Ranking-18

16. Milwaukee Bucks (32-32): After a recent hot streak, the Bucks have dropped three in a row. While they are firmly in the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, Milwaukee sits only 3.5 games out of the No. 5 seed. Last Week’s Ranking-17

Mar 6, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (1) warms up before the game against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT

15. Atlanta Hawks (36-29): Wins over the Lakers and the Suns have stopped a recent slide, but the Hawks are fading fast and could find themselves the No. 7 or No. 8 seed before it is all said and done. Last Week’s Ranking-15

14. Chicago Bulls (36-29): The Bulls rebounded nicely with a win against the Warriors, but that still doesn’t excuse the fact that they lost to the woeful Kings by 42 points, nor does it excuse the fact that they have dropped 12-of-18 since February 4. Last Week’s Ranking-11

13. Golden State Warriors (37-30): The Warriors have rebounded off a 3-10 stretch by winning four of their last seven games, but Mark Jackson’s team is one that is clearly trending in the wrong direction. However the Warriors have nine of their final 15 games at home so they could still make a late charge. Last Week’s Ranking-10

12. New York Knicks (38-25): The Knicks have lost their past three games on their current west coast trip by an average of 22.5 points per game and have gone only 20-20 since their impressive 8-5 start to the season. The injuries have piled up and the Knicks look nothing like the dominant team they appeared early on, right now they are mediocre at best.  Last Week’s Ranking-8

11. Houston Rockets (36-30): The Rockets have won 3-of-4 and continues to hold on to the No. 7 seed in the west. That’s a bit surprising because they haven’t won more than two in a row since January and their defense sits among the bottom 10 in the league in efficiency. Last Week’s Ranking-12

10. Boston Celtics (36-29): Just look back ant where the Celtics were when Rajon Rondo got hurt and what has happened since. Somehow the Celtics, winners of 7-of-9, sit only two games away from earing home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.  Last Week’s Ranking-13

9. Los Angeles Lakers (35-32): The Lakers have gone 17-7 in their past 24 games and would be in the playoffs if the season started today, but now there are concerns about Kobe Bryant’s ankle. However if Dwight Howard keeps focusing on playing basketball instead of being a crybaby, the Lakers will be fine as Howard looks healthy and has been outstanding as of late.  Last Week’s Ranking-14

8. Brooklyn Nets (38-27): The Nets have won 4-of-5 and trail the Knicks by only one game for the Atlantic Division lead. However Brooklyn’s true test is upcoming when they go on the road for an eight-game trip from March 18-April 3. On the season the Nets are only 16-14 away from the Barclay’s Center. Last Week’s Ranking-9

7. Indiana Pacers (40-26): Recent losses to the Lakers, Heat and Sixers mean the Pacers have gone only 4-5 over their past nine. But despite the recent slide, Indiana is still the second best team in the east right now, although the Knicks and Nets are within two games. Last Week’s Ranking-7

6. Los Angeles Clippers (45-21): The Clippers are still in a solid spot despite dropping 3-of-5. However two of those losses came at the hands of the Grizzlies and Nuggets, who are now both ahead of them in the rankings.  Last Week’s Ranking-4

Mar 13, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried (35) dunks the ball during the first half against the New York Knicks at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

5. Memphis Grizzlies (44-21): The Grizzlies are 15-5 since trading away Rudy Gay and have moved up to the No. 3 seed in the West for a moment. But they saw their six game winning streak snapped with back-to-back losses at the hands of the Nuggets and Jazz. Last Week’s Ranking-5

4. Denver Nuggets (45-22): If it weren’t for the Miami Heat making history, the 11-game win streak of the Nuggets would be drawing much more attention. Denver sits only a half game away from being the No. 3 seed, and home court would be big for them in the postseason as the Nuggets are an amazing 30-3 at the Pepsi Center. Last Week’s Ranking- 6

3. Oklahoma City Thunder (49-17): The race for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference is tightening as the Thunder now sit only one game behind the Spurs for top honors. That alone would be big in the Western Conference Finals as the Thunder one 20-1 at home against Western Conference opponents. Last Week’s Ranking-3

2. San Antonio Spurs (51-16): The Spurs reached 50 wins for the 14th consecutive season. But as good as the Spurs have been, they have won only three of their last five, which includes a 30-point loss to the Blazers and a 24-point waxing at the hand of the Timberwolves. With or without Tony Parker in the lineup, that can’t happen. Last Week’s Ranking-2

1. Miami Heat (50-14): Miami’s 21’st consecutive win means they are one of only four teams in NBA history to win as many as 20 games in a row in the same season. The defending champs are on some kind of roll and hold on to the top spot for at least another week. Last Week’s Ranking-1

Biggest Climber: Lakers (+5)

Biggest Faller: Knicks, Pistons (-4)

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Tags: Denver Nuggets Featured Miami Heat NBA Power Rankings New York Knicks Oklahoma City Thunder Popular

  • oljw

    Nuggets!!!!!