Blakely's NBA Six Pack Power Rankings: Feb. 6
Blakely's NBA Six Pack Power Rankings: Feb. 6
BOSTON — The closer we get to the All-Star break, the clearer it becomes that only a handful of teams have a legit shot at winning it all this season.
And those teams have some really tough decisions to make in the coming days.
Do the the Los Angeles Clippers get rid of Jared Dudley and add more size? Does Dallas look to make a blockbuster move in hopes it'll fend off a late charge by the Memphis Grizzlies? And what about Indiana? Do they have what it takes to knock off the Heat now that they have Andrew Bynum, or do they still have a deal or two left to do?
And what about teams like Boston and Philadelphia who have spent the bulk of this season developing their young talent. Do you shake things up and swing a deal, or let the kiddies continue to play?
These are all questions that'll be answered with absolute clarity by the Feb. 20 trade deadline.
In the meantime, speculation will continue, rumors will swirl and teams will continue to do what they do and that's play the guys in the fold, now.
And with that, here's the latest NBA power rankings:
THE FLAT PACK
30. (30) Milwaukee — Would love to know the odds on Milwaukee (9-39) hitting double-digit wins by the All-Star break.
29. (28) Orlando — The good news is the Magic's next three games are at home. The bad news? They face Oklahoma City, Indiana and Memphis.
28. (23) Cleveland — Even Peyton Manning would have called Cleveland's home loss to the injury-riddled Los Angeles Lakers an embarrassment.
27. (24) Philadelphia — They're not good, but fun to watch because they are all about getting buckets. Defense? #whatsdat
26. (29) Boston — Rajon Rondo is looking like his old self to the chagrin of those hoping the Celtics would tank away the rest of this season.
25. (25) Los Angeles Lakers — Australian phenom Dante Exum wants to be drafted by the Lakers. Having Kobe Bryant sit out the rest of the season would go far in making that happen.
BACK OF THE PACK
24. (26) Utah — Jazz rookie Trey Burke named Western Conference rookie of the month for January. #silverlining
23. (27) Sacramento — DeMarcus Cousins. Jared Sullinger. Friday at the Garden. #cantwait
22. (20) New York Knicks — The Knicks would have to finish the season 22-11 just to finish with a .500 record. #wishfulthinking
21. (22) Detroit — Once again, Detroit has talent that doesn't really fit neatly together. And the result is yet another underachieving Pistons team.
20. (15) Denver — Next four games all on the road, critical stretch for the Nuggets.
MIDDLE OF THE PACK
19. (21) New Orleans — With wins in five of last seven games, slim playoff hopes remain alive and well.
18. (18) Minnesota — They are the league's top scoring team in the first and third quarters, and sixth in the second. But in the fourth they rank in the bottom-10 (24th). #emptytank
17. (19) Charlotte — They're not playing great, but the Bobcats continue to cling to that eighth and final playoff spot.
16. (16) Chicago — West coast trip has been a mix of good (beating San Antonio) and not-so-good (blowout loss at Sacramento) performances.
15. (14) Atlanta — Paul Millsap's All-Star credentials got stronger with his play - and Atlanta's continued success - following Al Horford's injury.
14. (10) Brooklyn — Brutal stretch coming up with nine of 12 games on the road.
13. (17) Dallas — The hottest team nobody's talking about, with wins in four of their last five games.
12. (13) Washington — Quality wins over Oklahoma City and Portland this week speak to this team's improvement.
11. (11) Memphis — Division schedule has been a killer for the Grizzlies with losses in 11 of their 13 Southwest Division games.
RUNNING WITH THE PACK
10. (8) Phoenix — Won't play more than three consecutive road games rest of the season. And those three are against teams in the East with losing records.
9. (12) Toronto — Their scorers get lots of ink, but Raptors win with a defense that gives up just 96.4 points per game which is the NBA's fourth-best scoring defense.
8. (9) Golden State — At their best defensively in the fourth quarter, giving up just 23.9 points which is the eighth-lowest average in the NBA this season.
7. (4) Portland — Not only have they lost three of their last five, but all three losses were by double digits.
LEADERS OF THE PACK
6. (3) Los Angeles Clippers — Former Boston College star Jared Dudley has been a big dud this season for the Clippers who are eager to move him by trade deadline.
5. (7) Miami — Got road trip off on the right foot with win over Los Angeles Clippers which extended win streak to three straight, six of the next seven.
4. (5) Houston — Winners of four straight. Up next? Milwaukee. #makethat5please
3. (6) San Antonio — Piling up the wins should continue with the next four games against teams with sub-.500 records.
2. (2) Indiana — The Pacers continue to set themselves apart from the rest of the East as the prohibitive team to beat.
1. (1) Oklahoma City — It will be interesting to see how the re-integration of Russell Westbrook into the lineup will work for a team that's clicking right now.