NBA: Power Rankings (Week of 3/17/14-3/23/14)
Last week in the NBA we saw the Clippers and Spurs extend winning streaks to double-digits, the Nets become the hottest team in the Eastern Conference, and Kevin Durant score his 40th 30 point game of the season.
1. Los Angeles Clippers: 48-20; Last 10: 10-0; Streak: Won 11 (Last week: 1)
The Clippers are playing their best ball of the entire season right now as they are trying to improve on their current #3 playoff seed in the Western Conference. They have averaged to win their last 11 games by 15.4ppg.
2. San Antonio Spurs: 50-16; Last 10: 10-0; Streak: Won 10 (Last week: 3)
If the Spurs had been anything but perfect since the Clippers started their winning streak, they could have possibly lost their title of having the “best record” to the Clips. They have reached the 50-win plateau for the 15th consecutive season.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder: 48-18; Last 10: 6-4; Streak: Won 1 (Last week: 6)
Kevin Durant has 40 30+ point games this season, with LeBron James second on that list with only 23 such games.
4. Miami Heat: 45-19; Last 10: 5-5; Streak: Won 1 (Last week: 4)
The Heat may be throwing their vehicle into cruise control for the remainder of the regular season with a playoff spot pretty much clinched.
5. Houston Rockets: 44-22; Last 10: 6-4; Streak: Won 1 (Last week: 2)
The Rockets are looking to hold onto their playoff spot as improving it will be quite difficult but have multiple teams at their heels.
6. Golden State Warriors: 42-26; Last 10: 7-3; Streak: Won 1 (Last week: 5)
The Warriors are 11-3 since the All-Star break and came back from an 18-point 3rd quarter deficit against the Trailblazers in Portland to win 113-112.
7. Indiana Pacers: 49-17; Last 10: 6-4; Streak: Won 4 (Last week: 9)
Indy has been winning some ugly games as of late, but hey… A win is a win.
8. Portland Trailblazers: 43-24; Last 10: 4-6; Streak: Lost 1 (Last week: 7)
Portland collapsed and blew a huge lead in the 2nd half against the Warriors on Sunday night, allowing Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to score a combined 64 points in the game. They must learn how to close out games if they want to be successful in the playoffs.
9. Dallas Mavericks: 40-27; Last 10: 6-4; Streak: Won 3 (Last week: 8)
The Mavericks are currently 0.5 games ahead of Memphis for the 7th spot and just 1.5 games ahead of the Suns who are in 9th. Their next eight games are at home (21-10 at home this season).
10. Chicago Bulls: 37-29; Last 10: 6-4; Streak: Lost 1 (Last week: 10)
They are currently 0.5 games behind Toronto, but over the next four games they will play the Pacers twice, Oklahoma City, and Portland.
11. Toronto Raptors: 37-28; Last 10: 7-3; Streak: Lost 1 (Last week: 11)
Toronto has surprised me a lot this season as they keeping on winning games, mostly because of their defense. The Suns did travel to Toronto in 121 points, but every team has off-games sometimes.
12. Memphis Grizzlies: 39-27; Last 10: 7-3; Streak: Won 1 (Last week: 12)
They hold a playoff spot coming into the week, but do face the Heat and Pacers this week so things may shuffle a bit.
13. Washington Wizards: 35-31; Last 10: 7-3; Streak: Won 2 (Last week: 13)
Ever since Nene got injured the Wizards have gone 8-3… Yeah, doesn’t make much sense to myself either. When they get Nene back, they will be a forced to be reckoned with come playoff time.
14. Brooklyn Nets: 33-31; Last 10: 8-2; Streak: Won 1 (Last week: 15)
Since Jan. 1, 2014 the Nets have the best record in the Eastern Conference (24-10). They are heating up at the right time.
15. Phoenix Suns: 38-28; Last 10: 5-5; Streak: Lost 1 (Last week: 14)
The Suns have been taken lightly in the eyes of critics all year, but this team is the real deal and their bench is phenomenal. Having Eric Bledsoe return from injury will prove essential down the stretch run.
16. Minnesota Timberwolves: 33-32; Last 10: 6-4; Streak: Won 1 (Last week: 16)
Minnesota has played solid all year and I feel bad for them because this is the best year they will have for a while before Kevin Love leaves the team this offseason in free agency.
17. Charlotte Bobcats: 33-34; Last 10: 6-4; Streak: Lost 1 (Last week: 17)
The Bobcats will make the playoffs. Yes “Bobcats” and “playoffs” were both just used in the same sentence. Mind-blowing right?
18. New York Knicks: 27-40; Last 10: 6-4; Streak: Won 6 (Last week: 19)
Ever since the “Phil Jackson to the Knicks” talks came about New York has yet to drop a game. Jackson has now signed with the team to be their team president.
19. New Orleans Pelicans: 27-39; Last 10: 4-6; Streak: Won 1 (Last week: 18)
Would be battling for a playoff spot if they were in the East. In the West. Bad luck Pelicans.
20. Atlanta Hawks: 29-35; Last 10: 4-6; Streak: Won 4 (Last week: 23)
A week ago it looked like the Hawks were trying to hand the 8th seed in the East to the Knicks, but times have changed after the Hawks went a perfect 4-0 on the week and pushed their lead to 3.5 games ahead of the Knicks.
21. Cleveland Cavaliers: 26-41; Last 10: 4-6; Streak: Lost 1 (Last week: 22)
The Cavs took down both Phoenix and Golden State last week, on the road in each. They face Miami, OKC, Rockets, and the Knicks this week.
22. Denver Nuggets: 29-37; Last 10: 4-6; Streak: Lost 1 (Last week: 20)
If the Nuggets were without the strong play of Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried then their season would be even more disastrous than it already is.
23. Sacramento Kings: 23-44; Last 10: 3-7; Streak: Lost 2 (Last week: 21)
Still a better record than the Lakers. Just sayin’.
24. Boston Celtics: 22-45; Last 10: 3-7; Streak: Lost 5 (Last week: 24)
The C’s gave up the first 40-20 game for an individual player this last week as Anthony Davis put up 40 points and 21 rebounds against Boston in an overtime victory.
25. Utah Jazz: 22-45; Last 10: 1-9; Streak: Lost 5 (Last week: 25)
At least spring is finally here so Utah isn’t both frozen and have a bad basketball team. Now they just have the latter of the two.
26. Los Angeles Lakers: 22-44; Last 10: 3-7; Streak: Lost 2 (Last week: 26)
Maybe next year guys… #FallApartForSmart #RiggingForWiggins hashtag credit to my roommate Miles (Lakers fan). The Lakers were the first team to be eliminated from playoff contention.
27. Detroit Pistons: 25-41; Last 10: 2-8; Streak: Lost 2 (Last week: 27)
I don’t quite understand how a team that goes out and gets Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith in the offseason and puts them in a rotation with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond gets worse than the year before. Chemistry matters.
28. Orlando Magic: 19-48; Last 10: 2-8; Streak: Lost 5 (Last week: 28)
The only bright side I see for the Magic is that Victor Oladipo is in the Rookie of the Year race with Michael Carter-Williams.
29. Milwaukee Bucks: 13-54; Last 10: 2-8; Streak: Lost 4 (Last week: 29)
You know the Bucks have had a rough year when they still have a worse record than the 76ers.
30. Philadelphia 76ers: 15-51; Last 10: 0-10; Streak: Lost 21 (Last week: 30)
We get it… You are tanking for the #1 pick. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver must figure out a way to stop teams from tanking in this league because it is just embarrassing.
*Bolded teams would be playoff teams if the season ended today.
*Records are as of Monday, March 17, 2014.