NBA: Power Rankings (Week of 3/3/14-3/9/14)

Starting this week, I will be releasing power rankings for the NBA each Monday. The rankings will be based solely off of my opinion of how hot the team has been over their past 10 games and overall team record thus far.

1. Miami Heat: 42-14; Last 10: 9-1; Streak: Won 7

A tough road trip where they face the Rockets, Spurs, and Bulls is on the horizon, but the

way they have been handling business as of late it should be no problem for the two-time

defending champs.

2. Los Angeles Clippers: 41-20; Last 10: 7-3; Streak: Won 4

A head-to-head win against the Rockets last week spots the Clippers as the highest

Western Conference team in my power rankings. Their bench has been solid all year long

and the recent signing of Danny Granger will only help even more.

3. Houston Rockets: 40-19; Last 10: 8-2; Streak: Won 1

The Rockets logic of “a good defense” being “a great offense” was the key to their 8-2

record in February. Each time the club reached at least 100 points they won, while each

time they didn’t they lost.

4. Indiana Pacers: 46-13; Last 10: 7-3; Streak: Won 5

In my mind the only competition in the Eastern Conference for the Heat is the Pacers

who definitely upgraded in the waning minutes of the trade deadline where they were

able to move Danny Granger and his big contract for Evan Turner.

5. Oklahoma City Thunder: 45-15; Last 10: 6-4; Streak: Won 2

Kevin Durant was on a tear for the month and a half that Russell Westbrook was injured.

The team has slipped a bit over the past week falling to the Clippers and Cavs, but signed

Caron Butler on Sunday to help aid their bench.

6. San Antonio Spurs: 43-16; Last 10: 7-3; Streak: Won 3

The Spurs were 3-0 over the past week and continue to hang around the top of the

Western Conference standings, as they got Kawhi Leonard back from injury. Gregg

Popovich will begin to rest his key players in the upcoming weeks to get his team in tip-

top shape for the playoffs.

7. Portland Trailblazers: 41-18; Last 10: 6-4; Streak: Won 5

The Trailblazers have been the surprise team of the year thus far and have continued to

impress as of late. They are 5-1 since the all-star break with their one loss coming to San

Antonio.

8. Dallas Mavericks: 36-25; Last 10: 6-4; Streak: Lost 2

The Mavs had moved up to 6th in the Western Conference standings before losing their

last two against Chicago and San Antonio. They are now just one game ahead of Phoenix

who has come on strong lately.

9. Golden State Warriors: 36-24; Last 10: 6-4; Streak: Lost 1

The Warriors have been up-and-down over the past month. They headed above the border

on Sunday to face the Raptors and blew a fourth quarter lead leaving them with a 2-2

record on their six game road trip.

10. Chicago Bulls: 33-26; Last 10: 9-1; Streak: Won 4

The Bulls are on fire right now and will look to extend their winning streak when they

face Brooklyn, Detroit, and Memphis (who are all beatable) this week before squaring off

against the Heat on Sunday afternoon.

11. Toronto Raptors: 33-26; Last 10: 7-3; Streak: Won 1

The Raptors beginning the week with some momentum after defeating the Warriors on

Sunday. They are up to 3rd place in the East, but are 11.5 games behind the Heat for 2nd.

Strong play down the stretch is necessary if they want home-court in the first round of the

playoffs.

12. Phoenix Suns: 35-24; Last 10: 6-4; Streak: Won 2

The Suns bounced back from a three-game losing streak earlier on in the week to win

their last two against New Orleans and Atlanta behind strong play by Goran Dragic.

Phoenix now holds a two game advantage over Memphis for the last playoff spot in the

West.

13. Memphis Grizzlies: 33-25; Last 10: 7-3; Streak: Won 1

The playoff push for the Grizzlies will be very tough as they only have nine home games

remaining, to go along with 15 road games. They will be on the road facing three Eastern

Conference playoff teams this week in Washington, Brooklyn, and Chicago.

14. Washington Wizards: 31-28; Last 10: 7-3; Streak: Won 6

John Wall and Bradley Beal have kept this team around .500 all year long, but have them

playing some great basketball over the past two weeks now. They have victories this year

over Miami, Golden State, Portland, and Oklahoma City just to name a few. The Wizards

are for real.

15. Minnesota Timberwolves: 29-29; Last 10: 5-5; Streak: Won 2

Kevin Love had six consecutive games with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds snapped

on Sunday, but was still able to help his club get back to an even .500 winning

percentage. While a playoff run is not likely, it is not completely out of the picture.

16. Brooklyn Nets: 28-29; Last 10: 6-4; Streak: Won 2

The Nets were a joke about two months ago, but after a great January (10-3) and a decent

February (7-5) Jason Kidd has his squad playing playoff-caliber basketball. They are

currently 11th in the NBA in points allowed per game (99.6) and they will look to carry

their defensive intensity into the playoffs come April.

17. Charlotte Bobcats: 27-32; Last 10: 6-4; Streak: Lost 2

The Bobcats and Ben Gordon have never clicked all that well over the past few seasons

and finally cut ties, waiving him after their buyout talks fell through.

18. Atlanta Hawks: 26-32; Last 10: 1-9; Streak: Lost 3

Kyle Korver extended his NBA-record for having at least one 3pt shot made to 127

games, but other than that not much is going for the Hawks. They sit 3.5 games ahead of

Cleveland for the 8th seed in the East, but at this point that spot is a case of who wants to

be blown out by either Miami or Indiana in the first round.

19. Denver Nuggets: 25-33; Last 10: 1-9; Streak: Lost 5

The Nuggets were 38-3 at home in the regular season last year, but are 14-15 at home this

season. They will get Ty Lawson back from injury this week, but are now too far out of

the race for the 8th spot in the Western Conference standings.

20. Sacramento Kings: 20-39; Last 10: 3-7; Streak: Lost 3

The Kings are in a tie for the worst record in the West right now with the Lakers. They

host New Orleans on Monday before leaving Sac Town for a seven-game road trip.

21. Cleveland Cavaliers: 24-37; Last 10: 6-4; Streak: Lost 1

The Cavs are right on the brink of a playoff spot, regardless of the fact that they are 13

games under .500. They’ve picked up five games on Atlanta in the standings in the past

week and a half, but have a tough upcoming schedule with games against San Antonio,

Phoenix, Golden State, the Clippers, OKC, Miami, Houston, and Indiana all in March.

22. New York Knicks: 21-39; Last 10: 1-9; Streak: Lost 6

The Knicks are freeeeeeeee…free fallinnnnnnn’. A team that was 38-22 through 60

games last season finds themselves in 11th place in the standings and six games out of a

playoff spot. They will possibly be losing Melo in the offseason as well, if matters could

be made any worse.

23. New Orleans Pelicans: 23-36; Last 10: 1-9; Streak: Lost 7

The Western Conference is a bad place to be when you are playing sloppy basketball as

the Pelicans are on a season-long seven-game losing streak. Anthony Davis left their

game against Dallas last week with a shoulder injury, but played two days later putting up

30 points and 9 rebounds so “The Brow” is the only bright spot for New Orleans.

24. Utah Jazz: 21-38; Last 10: 5-5; Streak: Lost 2

Since getting Derrick Favors back from injury, the Jazz have gone 2-2 to help them get

out of the cellar in the West. The team is 18-11 with Favors in the lineup with Gordon

Hayward, Marvin Williams, Trey Burke, and Richard Jefferson.

25. Detroit Pistons: 23-36; Last 10: 3-7; Streak: Lost 4

The Pistons are the only team in the NBA that has not defeated the lowly Los Angeles

Lakers. They are also winless against Boston, as well as Sacramento. Being 0-7 against

teams like that rank the Pistons right with them.

26. Boston Celtics: 20-40; Last 10: 3-7; Streak: Lost 1

The Celtics have slipped to the lower realm of the Eastern Conference standings with

their last two wins being against the Hawks and Bucks (nothing impressive their). The

NBA is a weird place when both Boston and the Lakers aren’t playing well.

27. Los Angeles Lakers: 20-39; Last 10: 3-7; Streak: Won 1

It is a great year to be a “Laker-hater” and Laker fans were upset when Steve Blake was

traded to Golden State for Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks. In my eyes, it was a

brilliant move as they cleared up cap space and got a great talent potentially in Bazemore.

28. Orlando Magic: 19-43; Last 10: 4-6; Streak: Won 1

Orlando is a solid 15-15 at home (better than Denver: see above), but it is their 4-28 road

record that is their kryptonite however.

29. Milwaukee Bucks: 11-47; Last 10: 2-8; Streak: Lost 2

The only reason that the NBA-worst Milwaukee Bucks aren’t last in my rankings is

because they suck just a little bit less than Philly does at the moment.

30. Philadelphia 76ers: 15-45; Last 10: 0-10; Streak: Lost 14

The 76ers are playing great right now. SIKE! Thats the wrong adjective! The word

“garbage” would be a much more fitting word. Let the race for the worst record and

most ping-pong balls begin.

 

*Bolded teams would be playoff teams if the season ended today.

Brendan Kennealy

Brendan Kennealy

Brendan is a sophomore and is currently studying journalism and mass communication at Arizona State University. He is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and grew up a fan of the Giants, 49ers, Sharks, Warriors, and the California Golden Bears. His favorite player growing up was ASU alum Barry Bonds. You can follow Brendan on Twitter at @TheBKing4

More Posts