NBA Power Rankings: Warriors unable to grab top spot
From 30 to 1...
Welcome to another week of Power Rankings!
30. Mavs (18-42)
The first rule of tank club is that we don’t talk about tank club. Mark Cuban had a really bad week. Most of the issues fall directly on the Mavs owner. Even Dirk Nowitzki is disappointed.
29. Hawks (18-42)
So many bad 18 win teams to choose from. We’ll go with the one with the least assets on the roster at No. 29. They’ve already started printing DeAndre Ayton jerseys in Hotlanta.
28. Suns (18-43)
This team went all Rip Van Winkle on us. They’ve lost nine straight and 14-of-15. Lots of young talent, but they aren’t even trying on most nights. Wake them up after the draft lottery.
27. Magic (18-41)
Clearly all of the Magic’s issues were on Elfrid Payton. Something is amiss in Orlando. It’s probably time for a complete reset...again.
26. Kings (18-41)
The De’Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic era is upon us. The Kings are competing on a nightly basis, they just don’t know how to finish games yet. They have 23 games to assess their young core and plan for a huge summer of growth.
25. Grizzlies (18-40)
This team still has a foundation in Marc Gasol and Mike Conley Jr, but that might not be a good thing. They held onto Tyreke Evans at the deadline. Maybe he is a long term answer? Their record says rebuild, but they are clinging to something here.
24. Nets (19-41)
This team has lost eight straight and 12 of their last 13. They’ve jumped back into the mix for the top overall selection in the NBA Draft. Too bad the Cavs own their pick.
23. Bulls (20-39)
A team that’s 19 games under .500 is all the way up at No. 23? Welcome to the 2017-18 tank-a-thon! Chicago has found a couple of pieces for their rebuild, but like the stack of 18 win teams below them in the standings, they needs a star to add to the mix.
22. Knicks (24-37)
Unicorn down. I saw this in the movie Legend and it didn’t work out well. Who wants to see a bare knuckle brawl at MSG between Jeff Hornacek and Joakim Noah? I got Hornacek.
21. Lakers (25-34)
The Lakeshow is back! Not really, but this team loves to run up and down the court. They have some nice building blocks, they just need a star or two to commit in free agency.
20. Pistons (28-31)
The initial bump from landing Blake Griffin is over. This team has been streaky all season long. If they don’t fall into a winning streak soon, this team is toast.
19. Hornets (27-33)
We’ve got a runner! After spinning their tires for much of the season, the Hornets have won four straight and sit just four games out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
18. Heat (31-29)
Eight Heat players are averaging in double-figures this season for Erik Spoelstra. It’s an equal opportunity offense, but you have to play defense to get on the floor. D-Wade is back where he belongs and the NBA world is better for it.
17. Clippers (31-27)
No CP3. No Blake Griffin. No Patrick Beverley. No problem. Despite the changes and challenges of the season, Doc Rivers has his team in the mix. They’re 14-6 over their last 20 and just a game and a half out of the eighth spot in the west.
16. Jazz (31-29)
It’s Donovan Mitchell’s world, we’re all just living in it. He has the Jazz flying up the standings. The return of Rudy Gobert didn’t hurt matters. The 7-foot Frenchman has nine double-doubles since returning to action 16 games ago.
15. Bucks (33-26)
Losing Malcolm Brogdon was a blow. Getting Jabari Parker back in the mix is interesting. He has just enough time to build his value going into free agency. The Bucks could really use his scoring punch off the bench.
14. Thunder (34-27)
Still just a collection of stars and not a team. It took a miracle at the buzzer to get out of Sacramento with a win. And then the Warriors showed them what a real team looks like. A reality check will come in the playoffs.
13. Pelicans (33-26)
Still in it! Despite the crushing injury to DeMarcus Cousins, the Pelicans are sitting in the seventh spot in the West. Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and Emeka Okafor...wait, what? After a four year absence, the 35-year-old big is starting for New Orleans. Didn’t see that one coming.
12. Philly (32-26)
J.J. Redick and Marco Belinelli on the same team? Everything is still riding on Joel Embiid’s health, but this is a fun team to watch. They’ve won seven straight and moving up the Eastern Conference standings.
11. Nuggets (33-27)
Michael Malone wants Nikola Jokic considered in the MVP conversation. That’s taking things a little too far, but the Serbian center is the game’s best passing big man and he’s got his team in the thick of things.
10. Pacers (34-25)
Victor Oladipo is quickly becoming one of the best stories of the 2017-18 season. He can score. He can dunk. He can dance. Nate McMillan has done a very nice job with a group of NBA vagabonds.
Say it ain’t so, Jimmy. This team was in over his head before the injury to their star guard. With the Western Conference bunched up in the middle, this team is going to need to find it’s teeth without one of the league’s best two-way players.
8. Trail Blazers (34-26)
We’re used to a late season surge from the Blazers. This season seems a little earlier than usual. With the injury bug hitting the Minnesota and San Antonio, this might be the year Portland avoids a first round juggernaut come playoff season.
7. Wizards (35-25)
The Wiz are 9-3 since John Wall’s injury and Tomas Satoransky’s ascension to the starting lineup. Kids in Washington DC are trading their Wall No. 2 jerseys for Satoransky No. 31’s. It’s a Czech revolution!
6. Cavs (35-24)
Chemistry is a funny thing. The great purge of 2018 seems to have struck a chord with LeBron James. If this is his last hurrah in Cleveland, it appears he wants to go out with fireworks.
5. Spurs (36-25)
Kawhi Leonard joins a long list of injured NBA players that likely won’t return the season. This one feels different. This is a rift between a storied franchise and a star player. This is usually the point where the Spurs ramp it up and start their trek towards the top of the heap. Instead, they’ve lost four straight and six out of seven.
4. Celtics (42-19)
Versatile. Young. Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge are building the next great team. They just need a Gordon Hayward and some seasoning.
3. Raptors (41-27)
The best team in the East. I’m not sure what that means anymore. A double-overtime loss to the Bucks is the only blemish on the Raptors record in a while. All roads still lead through Cleveland and then Golden State, but We The North has a shot to make things interesting.
2. Warriors (46-14)
Zaza should stop falling on people. It’s not nice. We haven’t reached ‘Draymond kick to the groin’ or ‘Bruce Bowen slide under the shooter’, but not cool dude.
1. Rockets (46-13)
The Rockets are so hot right now. 12 straight wins. Harden is the league’s MVP. Everything is going so well. Too bad the regular season doesn’t decide the NBA Championship.