UPDATED: NBA Power Rankings

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Welcome to another edition of NBA Power Rankings. It has been awhile since we last did this so lets get right to it. As usual Alec and myself split the rankings with Alec doing the top 15 while I did the bottom 15:

1-15 done by @AlecWalt

Warriors

 

  1. Golden State Warriors (57-13): The Golden State Warriors have won five games in a row. Their biggest win was against the Eastern Conference best Atlanta Hawks. They haven’t skipped a beat with Klay Thompson out of the lineup. The Warriors now have a three game lead on the Atlanta Hawks for the best record in the NBA.

Grizzlies

  1. Memphis Grizzlies (50-21): The Grizzlies continue their dominance in the Western Conference beating the Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trail Blazers. Both games were won by eleven points. Mike Conley is back. To keep focus, the Grizzlies need to make sure Marc Gasol doesn’t let the free agency chatter bother him.

Hawks

  1. Atlanta Hawks (53-17): The Hawks were just challenged against the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder and lost both games. The Hawks have hit a bump in in the road but shouldn’t be a concern since they have already made the playoffs. Kyle Korver is returning to the lineup. Expect them to bounce back.

Cavaliers

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers (46-26): The Cleveland Cavaliers are the second team to clinch a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland’s schedule has been a joke as of late playing the Orlando Magic (W), Miami Heat (L), Brooklyn Nets (W), and Indiana Pacers (W). The win against the Spurs two weeks ago shows they can beat anyone. Could the Miami Heat be the Cavaliers achilles heal?

Spurs

  1. San Antonio Spurs (44-25): The Spurs have heard it all. They are too old, slow, out of their prime. The doubters have been silenced. The Spurs have won eight of the last ten games and are climbing up the Western Conference. It’s clear the Spurs are the third best team in the Western Conference.

Rockets

  1. Houston Rockets (47-23): James Harden continues to amaze. When all past Rockets legends are honored, Harden drops a career high 50 points. Dwight Howard’s health status has changed from out to doubtful. Lack of defense is killing the Rockets. Howard makes or breaks their playoff run.

Clippers

  1. Los Angeles Clippers (46-25): The Clippers have been streaky all season, and now they are on a three game winning streak. Chris Paul has scored 30 points with 10+ assists two games in a row. The Clippers are 4-1 since Blake Griffin returned from injury. Clippers better hope they are rolling in hot once the playoffs start.

Trail Blazers

  1. Portland Trail Blazers (44-24): The Portland Trail Blazers have lost four games in a row. Their schedule doesn’t get easier as they have to play the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday. Aaron Afflalo needs to step up only scoring 10.6 points per game since the trade. The Wes Matthews injury is killing the Trail Blazers.

Mavericks

  1. Dallas Mavericks (44-27): Dallas is falling down the Western Conference. The Mavericks are now the seven seed in the West. I’m starting to hear rumors of Rajon Rondo not being happy in Dallas which isn’t good for team chemistry. On the positive side they have won three of four and Chandler Parsons has made an immediate impact since his return from injury. Dallas is a scary seven seed.

Wizards

  1. Washington Wizards (40-31): The arrow is pointing in the right direction for the streaky Wizards. The Wizards have won seven of the last ten games. John Wall continues to blow up stat sheets. Interested to see how the Wizards play against the Golden State Warriors on Monday.

Thunder

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder (40-30): The Thunder received the worst news relating to Kevin Durant. He is out indefinitely. Russell Westbrook has been playing at an MVP level, but the Thunder aren’t talented enough to eclipse the eight seed in the West. The Durant injury makes the Thunder vulnerable in the playoffs.

Suns

  1. Phoenix Suns (38-33): The Phoenix Suns have won three games in a row. Phoenix though still sits in the ten seed in the Western Conference. Eric Bledsoe has been a machine since Isaiah Thomas and Goran Dragic were shipped out. The Suns are 2 1/2 games out of the playoffs. It’ll take a miracle to clinch a playoff spot.

Raptors

  1. Toronto Raptors (4-28): What in the world is happening north of the border. Outside of their offensive game I’m not afraid to play the Raptors. Kyle Lowry is the Raptors best player and is day-to-day with a back contusion. The Raptors have a lot of work to do as the playoffs are right around the corner.

Bulls

  1. Chicago Bulls (43-29): Chicago is being challenged by everything this season. Their is tension between the head coach and front office. The teams two best scorers are out with and both should be returning closer to the playoffs. Chicago is going in the wrong direction. The Bulls rely way too much on the health of Derrick Rose.

Pelicans

  1. New Orleans Pelicans (37-33): The Pelicans have been quiet all season. They have been in and out of the eight seed all season. The Pelicans have just lost two games in a row. Anthony Davis is out with an ankle injury. If Davis is out there is no chance they make the playoffs. Even if they don’t make the playoffs, the Pelicans have had a great season.

16-30 done by @FonzyDeFalco

Heat

  1. Miami Heat (32-37): It is clear right now that the trade for Goran Dragic has helped them. The Heat have gone 7-4 so far in the month of March, with Dwayne Wade playing like his old self averaging 25.4 points a game during that stretch. This could definitely be a sleeper them in the playoffs.

Jazz

  1. Utah Jazz (31-39): By trading away former first round pick Enes Kanter, it was a sign that the Jazz were ready to have Rudy Gobert their full time starting center for now and the future. Since Gobert has been the full time starter, he is averaging 8.9 points, 13.1 rebounds and 2.4 blocks while posting a 13-4 record during that stretch. I’ve always said this about Utah on how they have the potential and now we are starting to see it unfold. Another interesting statistic to point out here. They give up the lease amount of points per game, with 94.

Bucks

  1. Milwaukee Bucks (34-36): The Bucks have struggled ever since they traded away Brandon Knight, posting a 4-13 record. In a terrible Eastern Conference they are still holding onto the #6 seed for a playoff spot. The next couple of games for them will be important for them. The question will be can Michael Carter-Williams lead this team to victory for the foreseeable future.

Hornets

  1. Charlotte Hornets (30-39): Mo Williams has been on tear lately, seriously. Every since he was acquired from the Timberwolves, he has been leading the team in scoring with 19.4 points per game. He has been a nice fill in player and that means they can bring Kemba Walker in slowly, who is recovering from a meniscus injury.

Celtics

  1. Boston Celtics (31-39): Boston has been a weird team this year. At times they looked like they were tanking and other times they have been within playoff reach. Currently they are a half game back behind Charlotte for the final playoff spot in the Who knows what this team has up their sleeve but one thing is for certain, Isaiah Thomas has been a great acquisition for them so far.

Pacers

  1. Indiana Pacers (30-40): I guess once they heard the news that Paul George is ready to come back and play the team started playing better so they can make the playoffs. We don’t know if PG-13 will even play this season, but if he did he would definitely upgrade the Pacers into a playoff team.

Nuggets

  1. Denver Nuggets (27-44): Melvin Hunt has done a nice job with this team ever since they decided to fire Brian Shaw. Shaw had a record of 56-85 (.397) in his one and half year tenure as the head man. While they are only 7-5 since hunt has been in charge, it could be a good sign of things to come for this team. The problem for them still is that who will be their go to man in crunch time.

Pistons

  1. Detroit Pistons (26-44): This is another team that has a roller coaster of a season. One week looking like a playoff team to the next week looking like team playing for a lottery pick. The acquisition of Reggie Jackson has not been spectacle for them so far, but only time will tell if it’ll work out.

Nets

  1. Brooklyn Nets (29-40): With only a game back behind the Hornets for the 8th seed, there is still a tight race for the final seed. It’ll be interesting to see if the Nets decide to go all in for a playoff spot or hold back and try in free agency/draft to rebuild a another better squad.

Magic

  1. Orlando Magic (22-50): The firing of Jacque Vaughn was an obvious of because the Magic have so much talent yet they do not produce well once they are on the court. Elfrid Payton is quietly having a great rookie season and should be in the Rookie of the Year discussions. Especially after having a back-to-back triple double night against the Mavericks and the Trail Blazers.

Kings

  1. Sacramento Kings (24-45): The Kings have gone through 3 different coaches this season. In the Beginning they had Mike Malone, who was fired after posting a 11-13 record to start the 2014-2015 season. Then they Tyrone Corbin, who led them to a 7-21 record then ultimately being fired. Now they have George Karl, a well-known coach with over 25 years of coaching experience. Currently they have a 6-11 record with Karl leading the way but I think with the talent they have in Cousins, Rudy Gay and Ben Mclemore, they could be making some noise next year. They should be going after a power forward in the draft or free agency to match up alongside nicely with DeMarcus Cousins.

Lakers

  1. Los Angeles Lakers (18-50): This season has been disastrous for the Lakers. Their current scoring leader is Kobe Bryant with 22.3 points a game but he suffered a torn rotator cuff in the beginning of the season so he’s been out. The second leading score is Nick Young with 13.4 so they lack in another person in that department. Look for them to find another person to be that guy. Possibly Rajon Rondo, Kevin Love or even Russell Westbrook? The possibilities are endless.

76ers

  1. Philadelphia 76ers (17-53): The 76ers had one goal in mind the whole season and that was to tank. It has been working so far for them, but a head-scratching move was trading away former Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams to the Bucks. The front office probably knew something that not us regular fans did not know. The offseason will be huge for them as they try to bring in good players that fit their system via the draft.

Timberwolves

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves (16-54): All I have to say with the T-Wolves have a great young trio in Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, and Gorgui Dieng. Give this team a couple of years and they could be competitive in the Western Conference. The acquisition of Kevin Garnett I think was an underrated move as it gives a veteran discipline to the team.

Knicks

  1. New York Knicks (14-57): This season just needs to end for the Knicks. They are currently on pace to have the worst season in franchise history. This offseason will be huge as they only have one 1st round draft pick in the next couple of years (2015 pick) and a lot of cap space so they’ll attract a lot of free agents.

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