NBA Power Rankings: Kings on the rise; bring on the drama for Warriors
From 30 to 1...
Welcome to another week of Power Rankings! Trade season is heating up, so is the race for eighth in the West. Miami is on fire. The Wizards are magical and KD returns home to OKC to a hostile environment.
30. Nets (9-45)
So bad. I mean, CeeLo at the Grammys bad. What was going on there? That is so much more interesting than the Nets. We need answers, CeeLo.
29. Suns (17-38)
Phoenix needs time for their frontcourt to catch up to their backcourt. Unfortunately, by the time that happens, Tyson Chandler will be an AARP recipient.
28. Magic (20-36)
Please be active at the trade deadline. So many of these pieces would look really cool on other teams. Blow it up! Blow it up! Blow it up!
27. Lakers (19-37)
Still just an odd collection of chuckers that play the same position? Next.
26. Philly (20-34)
Rumors of a torn meniscus for Embiid has NBA fans everywhere sad. At least he still has Twitter. And Shirley Temples.
25. Timberwolves (21-34)
Losing LaVine is brutal, but it’s opened a door for Wiggins and Towns to shine even brighter. The wins still aren’t coming like many expected.
24. Pelicans (21-34)
AD fills it up, but even Donatas Motiejunas couldn't help this team get over the hump. Yeah, they tried that.
23. Knicks (23-33)
Oak dragged out kicking and screaming. What is going on in NY? This is the biggest hot mess in the game and it’s not getting better anytime soon.
22. Hornets (24-30)
This was always a strange mix of players. Can’t we lock the Hornets and the Magic in a room and come out with two better rosters? At least they landed a Plumlee.
21. Bucks (23-30)
Oh cruel world. Why do you have to take Jabari from us like that? It’s all Antetokounmpo all of the time from here on out.
20. Pistons (26-29)
Still sputtering, but sitting alone in the 8th spot in the East. Stan Van Gundy has cut the floorboards out he’s going to Fred Flintstone this thing to the playoffs.
19. Heat (24-31)
13 straight wins and then a loss to the Sixers? Come on Spo. This team is playing way over their heads, but they are right back in the playoff convo in the East.
18. Mavs (22-32)
Welcome to the conversation. We’ve saved a seat for you. It was only a matter of time before Rick Carlisle had his team playing good ball. But the roster is still old and injury prone.
17. Trail Blazers (23-31)
Adding Nurkic and a pick in the 2017 NBA Draft is huge. Losing Plumlee stings. This move will substantially change the look of this team, but is it enough to move up in the standings?
16. Kings (23-32)
Dropped the Cavs, Warriors, Celtics and Hawks over the last two weeks. Lost to the Sixers, Suns and Bulls over the same stretch. Cousins’ suspension for tech number 16 has the big on notice. Can he be himself and stay out of trouble at the same time?
15. Nuggets (24-30)
Plumlee is a Michael Malone type player. This might be one of those rare trades that helps both teams in a big way. Or it could go the other way and open a door for the five teams chasing the Nuggets.
14. Bulls (26-29)
The Bulls sent the Dolan family flowers and a box of chocolates. They are no longer the biggest circus in the league. Still a solid opening act, just not the headliner this week.
13. Thunder (31-24)
It’s never nice to be rude to KD’s mom. Poor manners and an over reliance on Russ has OKC on the slide. Can someone tell this team they are a seven seed?
12. Pacers (29-25)
This team looked really good a week ago. Thaddeus Young's injury and a tough schedule has Indy on a three game skid.
11. Clippers (33-21)
The Clipps spend a lot of cash on their starters and skimp out on the second unit every season. Investing in injury prone stars and having no one to back them up is a recipe for disaster.
10. Hawks (31-23)
The middle of the pack has set their cruise control to .500. Nothing to get overly excited about here, unless you like management quits on team, team refuses to quit on themselves narratives.
9. Raptors (32-23)
This team needs something new. They are sliding down the standings in the East, which isn’t an easy task to accomplish. Let's make a deal!
8. Grizzlies (33-23)
Fizdale has no chance at the NBA’s Coach of the Year trophy, but he’s done one heck of a job in Memphis. He has his team winning, but he’s also reinventing veterans on the fly. Very impressive for a rookie head coach.
7. Jazz (34-21)
Back-to-back losses mask an otherwise strong month for the Jazz. Quin Snyder has his team playing playing some serious D. This is a really solid 4/5 seed in the West.
6. Wizards (32-21)
The Wiz look like Lance Armstrong in the Pyrenees - they just keep climbing. It’s hard to imagine this team started at 2-8. Hat tip to Scotty Brooks.
5. Cavs (37-16)
The noise has quieted down in Cleveland. But with the trade deadline just two weeks away, anything is possible. Adding the Coke Machine doesn’t move the needle. The Cavs need more, because LeBron said so.
4. Celtics (35-19)
Winners of 9-of-10, the Celtics are right on the heels of the Cavs for the top spot and they aren’t even healthy. Make a move Danny Ainge. Push this team over the top.
3. Spurs (41-13)
A Sunday loss to the Knicks cost Kawhi and Co. a spot in the ranks. At least Latrell Sprewell was sitting courtside with the Knicks owner to watch. Wait, Grandmama and Kenny “Sky” Walker was there too? Where was Charlie Ward? Chris Childs? Oh yeah, Spurs, they’re really good.
2. Rockets (40-17)
Cupcake schedule has the Rockets back in the top two. This might be the most dangerous threat to the Warriors once the playoffs roll around.
1. Warriors (46-8)
Speaking of cupcakes, an emotional win in OKC has the Warriors feeling good. This might be the most interesting great team the league has seen since the Shaq and Kobe Lakers. Bring on the drama!