NBA Power Rankings: Warriors go streaking, once again the team to beat
From 30 to 1...
Welcome to another week of Power Rankings!
30. Lakers (22-55)
12-45 since a 10-10 start. This is the worst team in the league. Brandon Ingram is finishing strong after a shaky start, but is he a star in the making?
29. Suns (22-56)
12 straight losses! You almost have to try to accomplish something like that...
28. Knicks (29-48)
Torn meniscus for Derrick Rose basically sums up this entire season for the Knicks. So many changes coming in the offseason. Can they give Noah a giant golf check and ask him to leave?
27. Nets (18-59)
The Nets are so hot right now. Once they realized that tanking did nothing but help the Celtics, things got real in Brooklyn.
26. Magic (27-50)
Outside of the swap of Terrence Ross and Serge Ibaka, the Magic are still playing the same basic rotation they have run out on the court all season. Still not working.
25. Philly (28-49)
Dario Saric is averaging 18.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists in the 20 games since the All-Star break. He’ll run away with the Rookie of the Year trophy, despite playing professionally in Europe for five seasons before coming over to Philly. He won similar trophies in Europe in 2013 and 2014, so maybe he can be the first 3-time rookie of the year?
24. Timberwolves (30-45)
2-7 over their last nine, the tank is in and it’s not even intentional. We’ve said it all season, but this team is too talented to be this bad. No D. No consistency. Just a lot of Wiggins and Towns doing their thing and losing.
23. Kings (30-47)
11 straight seasons without a sniff of the playoffs and now they call Sam Hinkie? They’ve tried “The Process,” but without the clever nickname. It hasn’t worked. #PlannedRest
22. Mavs (32-44)
Good enough to hurt their chances for a top tier pick. Bad enough to miss the playoffs. Mark Cuban’s refusal to hit the reset button will hurt this franchise long term.
21. Pistons (35-42)
Stan Van Gundy amassed a team that looked good on NBA 2K17, but in reality, it never worked. Not sure where you go from here, but this is a collection of pieces, not a team.
20. Pelicans (33-44)
Too little, too late. Cousins and Davis are finally playing well together, but they’ve run out of time to catch the Trail Blazers. There’s always next year.
19. Pacers (37-40)
The trepidation at the trade deadline has sent hit club into a death spiral. They’ll be lucky to sneak on the 8th spot. Or maybe unlucky. This team looks cooked.
18. Hornets (36-41)
There is fight in this team, which means they have a shot. They’re a game out with a handful of games remaining and they’ve won three straight, including a big one over the Thunder on Sunday.
17. Hawks (39-38)
Hot mess in the ATL. What in the world happened to this team. 2-9 over their last 11 after Sunday’s loss to the Nets. Losing Millsap was tough, but this is a veteran team.
16. Bulls (38-39)
After all the drama and chaos, here they sit, in the playoff picture five games remaining. Jimmy Butler is trying to go out in style in Chi-Town.
15. Nuggets (36-40)
Denver might kick themselves for a while over the trade that catapulted Portland into the playoff conversation. Nurkic, a no. 1 and a playoff spot for Plumlee? Yikes.
14. Heat (37-40)
With five games remaining, they're in. Spoelstra has done enough to earn coach the year honors and his squad deserves a spot in the dance. They’ll need help to get in, but Indiana and Atlanta appear more than open to giving the Heat the final spot in the east.
13. Trail Blazers (38-38)
A two-game lead with six games to play, but the loss of Josuf Nukic hurts. Blazers won six straight and 9-of-10 to get back to .500 on the season and disntance themselves from the Nuggets. They spent a summer signing bad contracts only to get bailed out by a mid-season deal that includes a 1st round pick and a starting center.
12. Bucks (40-37)
Giannis Antetokounmpo in the playoffs is a good thing for the NBA. He’ll get bounced early, but this is only the beginning for the Greek Freak.
11. Grizzlies (42-35)
Grit and grind has tightened up a bit down the stretch. A loss to the Lakers on Sunday has this team at .500 over the last 10 games. This team has had some major personality swings over the last month.
10. Thunder (43-33)
Who knew that Russell Westbrook had a grand finale in him. It’s like a statistical fireworks show each and every night as he tries to overwhelm MVP voters. Losing to Harden in a head-to-head matchup this week shines a bright light on why this race isn’t over just yet.
9. Wizards (46-31)
This is a fun little team with all kinds of weapons and intrigue. They’ve allowed the Raptors to slide ahead of them in the standings, but this was a solid year one for head coach Scotty Brooks.
8. Jazz (47-30)
Who doesn’t want to see Rudy Gobert versus DeAndre Jordan in an epic postseason battle? BLOCK PARTY! Quin Snyder’s team can beat you in a variety of ways, but they’ll need to bear down and get home court advantage if they want to survive round 1.
7. Clippers (47-31)
The Clippers are coming, the Clippers are coming! Utah is in for a battle in round 1. Chris Paul and his aging band of high-fliers are peaking at the right moment.
6. Cavs (49-27)
While most of the big dogs are ramping up for the postseason by running over the dregs of the league, LBJ and Co. have decided to back their way in. This team can’t stop anyone right now on the defensive end.
5. Raptors (47-30)
We The North is on the rise. Savvy moves at the deadline has this team rolling. They’ve survived the Kyle Lowry injury and are 8-2 over their last 10.
4. Celtics (50-27)
Isaiah Thomas won’t finish in the top 3 in MVP voting, but he probably should. The Pizza Guy has delivered all season long. Round two against the Wizards should be a fun watch.
3. Rockets (52-25)
MVP or not, James Harden has made a believer out of plenty of naysayers (this writer included). This team has a chance to win it all, if someone can just take the Warriors out of the picture for them.
2. Spurs (59-17)
Gregg Popovich started this whole rest thing. Let’s blame him. Another 60 win season for the most consistent franchise in professional sports over the last four decades.
1. Warriors (63-14)
We’re going streaking! 11 straight for the no. 1 overall seed in the West. Kevin Durant should make it back in time for another long playoff run. Once again, this is the team to beat.