It is a great time to be a fan of the NBA.
Jeremy Lin has caused a global phenomenon, while Blake Griffin is teaming up with Chris Paul in “Lob City.” The All-Star game is taking place this weekend, so let’s take a look at this week’s power rankings.
NBA Power Rankings
1. Miami Heat
The Heat are currently on a six game winning streak, with the first five of those wins coming on the road. Each win has been by double digits, and the Heat will have a chance to take down Lin and the Knicks on Thursday night.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant and the Thunder went 3-1 last week, with the loss being by one point to Houston. Last night’s boxscore tells why the Thunder are the best team in the West: Kevin Durant had 51 points, while Russell Westbrook had 40 points and Serge Ibaka had a triple-double.
3. San Antonio Spurs
Currently on a ten-game winning streak, the Spurs have had a great season thus far with Manu Ginobli being injured for most of the season. They have beaten the Thunder during this winning streak and have a chance to make it 13 in a row before the break.
4. Chicago Bulls
The Bulls have been without Derrick Rose for most of this month, but they have managed to keep pace with the Heat in the East. They are currently .5 games behind after a loss to the Nets, in which New Jersey jumped out to a 22-3 lead, but there is no need to panic. The Bulls are going to finish either first or second in the East, so letting Rose completely heal is important to their postseason success.
5. Los Angeles Clippers
Chauncey Billups is out for the season, but Chris Paul is still leading Lob City. They went 2-2 last week, with the second loss being to the Spurs on Saturday night. With games against Golden State and Denver before the break, the Clippers have a chance to go into the All-Star break eleven games over .500.
6. Dallas Mavericks
The defending champs fell victim to Linsanity on Sunday, but that loss ended a six-game win streak for Dallas. They beat the Clippers, Nuggets, and 76ers last week, and have two tough games against the Celtics and Lakers before the All-Star break.
7. Philadelphia 76ers
Philly had a tough week, going 1-3, but they are still 20-12 and in the top half of the playoff race in the East. They need to get back on track, and begin to pull away from the Celtics and Knicks in the Atlantic division. The 76ers currently have a four game lead over both teams, but with Linsanity heating up, no lead is safe.
8. Orlando Magic
The Magic seemed to be in freefall at the end of January, but they have turned it around in February, with a record of 8-3. They went 3-1 this past week, with the loss coming on Sunday against Miami. The Dwight Howard fiasco is certainly a distraction, but maybe all this winning will quiet him down.
9. New York Knicks
Carmelo is nearing his return, and along with the addition of J.R. Smith, this team is going to rise up through the standings. Oh, and there’s this guy named Jeremy Lin, who I hear is good at basketball. One might say it’s linsane how good he is.
10. Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizz are currently on a four-game winning streak, with the four wins coming by a combined twelve points. Memphis is a great team in crunch time, and have a very easy schedule heading into March.
11. Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers have been playing solid ball all year, and are only two games behind the Clippers in the Pacific division. As long as Kobe is healthy, the Lakers should be able to challenge the Clippers for the division title.
12. Indiana Pacers
The Pacers were recently on a five-game losing streak, but have turned it around with two straight wins. In their next four games, they play New Orleans twice, Charlotte, and Golden State. Three or four wins during this stretch will put the Pacers back in the top half of the Eastern playoff race.
13. Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks continue to be a middle of the road team in the East, and are a perfect example of a team who consistently succeeds in the regular season, but can never advance far in the playoffs. At 19-12 and fifth in the East, the Hawks need to finish ahead of the Magic in the regular season to try and make that next step.
14. Houston Rockets
The Rockets are 6-5 this month, and are currently in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. They beat the Thunder by one point on Wednesday, which proves that the Rockets are capable of being a serious threat in the West.
15. Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers were 2-2 this past week, but one of the losses was a three point loss against the Clippers. A twenty point win over the Hawks on Saturday showed that Portland is not dead yet, and the post-Brandon Roy era should begin with a playoff berth.
16. Boston Celtics
This may seem low to some, but the Celtics are playing very average. They are 1-5 in their last six, and went 1-3 this past week. They only played two teams, the Bulls and the Pistons, but surprisingly beat the Bulls once, while losing both to Detroit.
17. Minnesota Timberwolves
The T’Wolves are on a three-game winning streak, which puts them back at the .500 mark. They are only one game out of the playoffs in the West, and the Kevin Love-Ricky Rubio tandem is one of the most underrated in the league.
18. Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets are 2-8 in their last ten games, which puts them at 17-15 after starting the season at 15-9. They have slid out of the playoff race in the West, but are right on the verge of getting back into the race. They have the talent to compete, but have failed to be consistent throughout the year.
19. Utah Jazz
The Jazz have a record of 15-15, and have not been below the . 500 mark since they were 2-3. They are one of the eleven teams in the West who are contending for the playoffs, but they will have to rise above the .500 mark if they want to make the playoffs.
20. Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs went 2-1 this past week, and are getting back on track after the return of Kyrie Irving, who was out with a concussion. Even at 12-17, the Cavs are only 2.5 games out of the playoffs in the East. They will play without center Anderson Varejao for the next month, which will prove how good of a team the Cavs truly are.
21. Phoenix Suns
The Suns were recently on a four-game losing streak, but bounced back on Sunday with a twelve point win over the Lakers. Even with the losing streak, they are 6-6 on the month. In a tough Western conference, especially a division featuring the Clippers and Lakers, the Suns have slim chances of making the playoffs.
22. Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks were on a four-game losing streak of their own, but ended it on Sunday with a win over the Nets. They face the Magic and the Bulls before the break, which are not favorable matchups heading into a break.
23. Detroit Pistons
Detroit started the season at a terrible mark of 4-20, but have gone 7-2 since then. They have had an easy schedule during this stretch, but they have defeated the Celtics twice. The problem is that they started 4-20, which makes a complete turnaround nearly impossible.
24. Golden State Warriors
The Warriors are on a three-game losing streak, which follows three straight wins. They are playing average basketball, and are becoming known as the team who did not see the talent in Jeremy Lin.
25. New Jersey Nets
The Nets are 2-9 this month, and I’m sure this makes Deron Williams happy, considering he demanded the trade that sent him to New Jersey. They just got their center Brook Lopez back from injury, which should help them start doing somewhat better.
26. New Orleans Hornets
The Hornets have the worst record in the West at 7-23, but they are the only team among the bottom seven in the league who are not on a losing streak. They have won three in a row against quality teams in Milwaukee, New York, and Utah. Will Ferrell seems to have given them some life.
27. Sacramento Kings
The Kings are on a five-game losing streak, and are headed for another season in the lottery. They want to keep the team in Sacramento, but loyal fans can only root for a bad team for so long.
28. Toronto Raptors
The Raptors are having another poor season in the post-Bosh era. Their only publicity all season came on Tuesday, when Jeremy Lin him a game-winning three in Toronto. It didn’t help that the Raptors’ “fans” were cheering for Lin and the Knicks when he hit the shot.
29. Washington Wizards
After starting 4-20, the Wizards have turned it around since that point, going 3-4. They are a very talented team that under-achieved under Flip Saunders. They are still a few years away from competing, but having high draft picks is never a bad thing.
30. Charlotte Bobcats
The Bobcats are 4-27, and recently ended a sixteen-game losing streak on Friday. It may be in the team’s best interest to let Michael Jordan suit up for a game.