NBA Power Rankings (Jan 25th-Feb 1st)

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Another week of the NBA season which means another weekly power rankings. As usual, Alec Walt (@AlecWalt) joins me as we determine who’s 1-30. Alec ranked teams 1-15 and I (@FonzyDeFalco) ranked 16-30.

@alecwalt

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  1. Atlanta Hawks (LWR 1): 19 games and counting as the Atlanta Hawks keep winning. Al Horford, Paul Millsap, and Jeff Teague were recently announced as Eastern Conference All-Stars. The Hawks are the best team in the NBA.

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  1. Golden State Warriors (LWR 2): I never thought I would see the day but this week the Warriors lost two games in a row, both by two points. This doesn’t worry me, but later this week they have to play the Atlanta Hawks. If Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson continue to average over 20+ per game, the dice will keep rolling.

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  1. Memphis Grizzlies (LWR 3): In the 12 games Zach Randolph has played since return from injury, Randolph has 12 double-doubles. The Grizzlies hold a record of 9-1 since the acquisition of Jeff Green. Marc Gasol is continuing to play well, but Mike Conley is shaken up. Conley’s health could determine how deep this team goes in the playoffs.

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  1. Los Angeles Clippers (LWR 4): I have been doubting the Clippers all season, but this recent hot streak gives me reason to believe in them. On Saturday, the Clippers beat the San Antonio Spurs by 20. Doc Rivers has figured this team out, finally.

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  1. Toronto Raptors (LWR 12): The Raptors are back. They have won six games in a row, and DeMar DeRozan is back. DeRozan has scored in double figures in five of the six last games. Kyle Lowry averages 19.3 points per game and is the most underrated player in the NBA. P.S. The Raptors have a top bench in the NBA.

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  1. Cleveland Cavaliers (LWR 11): LeBron is back, and the Cavaliers are winners of ten straight. Kyrie Irving headlined sporting news Wednesday when he dropped 55 points against the Portland Trail Blazers. This team has all of the talent to win, and the only people stoping them is themselves.

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  1. San Antonio Spurs (LWR 7): Consistency, defense, defying the odds, that is what the Spurs have done all season. They have been playing well since Kawhi Leonard has been back. This team is tired and is counting down the days until the All Star break. As I have said all year don’t count out the Spurs.

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  1. Houston Rockets (LWR 6): The Mavericks have been on a nice run winning four of five, but Dwight Howard is out a month. The Rockets have experience playing without Howard, winning 11 out of 15 games in this season. James Harden is playing at an MVP level, and all of the pressure is on him in a tight, competitive Western Conference.

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  1. Dallas Mavericks (LWR 8): The Mavericks have hit a bump in the road, and it just got bumpier as Rajon Rondo suffered orbital and nasal fractures. Rondo is listed as day-to-day, and over the next few days the Mavericks have to play Minnesota, Golden State, Sacramento, and Portland. The offense still averages close to 107 points per game which will keep them afloat.

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  1. Portland Trail Blazers (LWR 5): Portland has fallen off the face of the earth, winning only two of the last ten. LaMarcus Aldridge is not 100% healthy, but still scored 37 earlier in the week against the Atlanta Hawks. The Trail Blazers will still be a top three seed in the West due to a pathetic division.

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  1. Washington Wizards (LWR 10): In a group of Western Conference games, it will be a few weeks to forget. The Wizards only won two of the last six games and have proved all season they can’t beat teams out West. The schedule gets a lot easier next week so expect the Wizards in the top ten.

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  1. Chicago Bulls (LWR 9): Derrick Rose called out the Bulls, and we read reports of tension between Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls organization. I have been buying on the Bulls all season, and I am not buying on this current team. As the All Star break nears, this team needs the rest just as much as the Spurs.

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  1. Phoenix Suns (LWR 13): The Suns are still the eight seed in the Western Conference. Defense keeps this team from contending. This week they gave up 104.3 points per game. I like to compare the Suns to a POOR mans Atlanta Hawks team due to smoothness of passing. Grizzlies are next.

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  1. New Orleans Pelicans (LWR 15): 7-3 in the last 10, I feel no one speaks of the Pelicans. Eric Gordon has produced scoring 28 against the Clippers. I fell bad for the fact they have been the nine seed all season. The future looks bright in New Orleans.

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  1. Milwaukee Bucks (LWR 18): The Bucks are three games over .500. Kris Middleton averaged 14 points per game this week and has filled in great for the injured Jabari Parker. John Henson has averaged 12.7 points in the absence of Larry Sanders. Jason Kidd keeps the confidence high in the Bucks locker room.

@FonzyDeFalco

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  1. Miami Heat (LWR 17): The story for the Miami Heat this week is a 2010 2nd round draft pick Hassan Whiteside. In 3 games this week, Whiteside has grabbed 16, 24 and 9 rebounds. I have said this for a while that the Heat needed a true center to play alongside Bosh and they finally have found one.

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  1. Charlotte Hornets (LWR 16): The Hornets did not have a busy week here in only playing two games, splitting them one a piece. Interesting to see where this team goes with Kemba Walker out for a while with a knee injury and Lance Stephenson now coming off the bench.

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  1. Oklahoma City Thunder (LWR 14): The Thunder are back to being under .500 this season thanks to those two ugly losses the Knicks and the Grizzlies. The injuries to KD have obviously been hurting the team and there playoff hopes look like they are slowly fading away if they keep playing like this.

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  1. Detroit Pistons (LWR 19): Looks like Pistons fan weren’t very welcoming on Josh Smith’s return. Keep in mind that was there only win this week, while getting blown out in 2 of the 3 games they lost in. Today they brought in John Lucas III in hopes to bring that veteran leadership and depth at the point guard since Jennings is out for the year.

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  1. Boston Celtics (LWR 21): The C’s have been quiet this week in any sort of trade talks. As the trade deadline nears, look for Boston to be involved in at least one or two more deals. But otherwise they have played good this week with Brad Stevens leading the way.

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  1. Utah Jazz (LWR 23): What an impressive win Utah had over the Warriors this week (and no this is not a typo) with Gordon Hayward leading the way with 26 points and 15 rebounds. We have been saying this all year, the core of Derrick Favors, Hayward and Trey Burke is only going to get better and it will take some time.

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  1. Brooklyn Nets (LWR 20): January has not been a good month for the Nets, winning only 2 games. Rumors are now being started that Brook Lopez is on the trading block. Another team to definitely look at as the trade deadline approaches.

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  1. Sacramento Kings (LWR 24): Sacramento has been struggling recently and congrats on DeMarcus Cousins on his first all-star nod. Besides Cousins, no one else can play defense allowing 104 point per game, which is 27th in the league

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  1. Denver Nuggets (LWR 22): Denver has jumped around the most in our power rankings, you do not know what to expect from this team. The question is will Brian Shaw be coaching this team next year?

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  1. Indiana Pacers (LWR 25): Its crazy how losing one person can ruin a whole teams season. Just think last year at this time Indiana was at the top of the conference.

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  1. New York Knicks (LWR 28): Very impressive win for the Knicks against the Thunder and they finally hit double digit wins this season. Not expecting any miracles but free agency will be huge for them this summer.

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  1. Philadelphia 76ers (LWR 29): Another team that finally hit the double digit win mark and it only took them until February, but we all expected them to be this bad. Really interesting to see if the Sixers actually trade away MCW

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  1. Orlando Magic (LWR 26): Jacque Vaughn is under fire with the teams recent struggles, recently going on an 8 game losing streak. And with the recent benching of Tobias Harris, this season can end really badly. The one bright spot for this team however is Nikola Vucevic, who is currently averaging a double double (19.4 PPG, 11.4 RPG)

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  1. Los Angeles Lakers (LWR 27): I guess you can say it’s a consolation that they beat the Bulls in overtime but still this season has been a disaster. I really do not want to see Kobe’s career to end like this.

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  1. Minnesota Timberwolves (LWR 30): Andrew Wiggins has been playing outstanding as of late so we know the future is bright in Minnesota. Good news for them is that Ricky Rubio is expected to be back after missing 42 games with an injury so this team will still be fun to watch despite only winning 8 games so far.

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