NBA Power Rankings: Week 22By Bryan Power - Covers Expert
The Warriors are still No. 1, but LeBron James and his arch nemesis, the San Antonio Spurs, are both heating up as we hit the home stretch of the NBA regular season.
NBA Power Rankings
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The NBA's longest drought without a division title (39 years!) is now over, but who cares about divisions? I'd say the most impressive thing about the Warriors is that they lead the league in defensive efficiency despite playing at the fastest pace.
I keep saying it, but the Clips are much better than their record and will be the most likely lower seed to advance in the first round of the playoffs. They've won four straight.
You get the impression that the Hawks peaked too early and over the last three games they've just been awful, getting outscored by 15 points per 100 possessions.
Realistically, I probably should have the Cavs at #2. We'll see how they finish the regular season and make adjustments as necessary. This is the only team from the East that can win the NBA Finals, in my opinion.
Like the Clippers, no higher seed will want to face the Spurs in the first round. That being said, the defending champs have zero wins against fellow playoff teams from their own conference since the All-Star Break!
Because of Oklahoma City's slow start, the Northwest Division was the Blazers' for the taking and that will guarantee them a top-four seed. But this team is trending in the wrong direction right now (0-5 SU/ATS L5).
The Grizzlies figure to be the 2-seed in the Western Conference and that would mean they'd be division champs for the first time in franchise history. This is their third straight season with at least 50 wins.
33-0 when leading after three quarters, the Mavs are the only team in the league that has not lost a game when leading entering the fourth.
James Harden's ability to get to the free throw line is just incredible. The last three times we've seen a player make at least 20 FT's in a game have all been by him.
At just 5-12 SU their last 17 games, the Raptors (not the Bulls) are the team that either Atlanta or Cleveland would prefer to draw in the second round.
The only teams with better records since the All-Star Break are Golden State and Cleveland. Would Warriors-Thunder be the best 1st round playoff matchup ever?
Nikola Mirotic, not any of the league's MVP candidates, shockingly leads the NBA in fourth quarter scoring in March at 9.5 points per game.Nikola Mirotic, not any of the league's MVP candidates, shockingly leads the NBA in fourth quarter scoring in March at 9.5 points per game.
The Suns are rising again with three straight impressive wins (over New Orleans, Houston and Dallas). They've gone 5-1 without Brandon Knight.
There are no words to describe what happened in the third quarter Monday at Golden State. In the last three games, the Wizards have been outscored by over 20 PPG.
A stunning come from behind win over Miami Tuesday night snapped a six-game losing streak and means the Bucks are probably a lock for the 6-seed.
Anthony Davis will easily have the distinction of being the best player in the world stuck watching the playoffs. He didn't miss a shot in the 1st Half Sunday vs. the Clippers.
Some predictable regression here as the Jazz have lost three of four. Yet their 12-5 record since the All-Star Break is still one of the league's best.
Wow. What happpened here? The Pacers have lost six straight to fall out of playoff position and have allowed 233 points in their last two games, both at home.
Brad Stevens should get serious consideration for Coach of the Year if the Celtics make the playoffs.
They won't make the playoffs this year (I predicted they would), but I wouldn't bet on them missing out next year.
Right now, the numbers say that this would easily be the worst playoff team - in either conference.
The Hornets only win over the last five games required a big comeback effort and was at Minnesota. Al Jefferson remains hobbled.
Prior to Sunday's 119-100 win in Orlando, the Nuggets' last non-conference road win came all the way back on November 17th. They are also 0-11 ATS this year when playing with exactly two days rest (entering Wednesday).
It's ridiculous that this team even has a shot to make the playoffs. The Nets are the only team in the league to have a better record on the road than at home.
Boogie Cousins leads the league with six games of 30+ points and 15+ rebounds this season. No other player has more than three.
The fact that the Lakers moved up a spot shouldn't really be taken as a positive. They've won only two games in March!
The Magic are just tanking harder than LA is at the moment and that's the reason for the switch. They've dropped seven of eight.
Rookies scored 66 of the team's 106 points in an upset win at Utah Monday night.
The Sixers have finally done it! They move out of the bottom spot thanks to the ineptitude of the Knicks, whom they defeated by 16 last week.
Here was the Knicks' starting lineup Monday: Lou Amundson, Lance Thomas, Andrea Bargnani (actually decent), Langston Galloway, Shane Larkin. They lost by 21 at home to the Grizzlies.
Power Ratings compute offensive and defensive statistics into one number for each team, while accounting for factors like recent performances and strength of schedule. Power Ratings can be used as a baseline for relative spread index to compare current or future match-ups between two teams. The relative spread does not account for non-statistical factors like home-field advantage, recent injuries, game time decisions, rivalries, publicity, and weather.