NBA Power Rankings: Week 16By Power Sports - Covers Expert
There's not much change in this week's rankings, but the big news is that the Spurs and Warriors continue to do their dance at the top. With San Antonio inching their way on top with a superior ATS record and point differential.
NBA Power Rankings
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The Spurs scoring margin (best in league history through 52 games) carries more weight than one loss to the Warriors. They're also the Associations best bet at 34-18 ATS.
Since losing to the Pistons on January 16th, the Warriors have won nine in a row and seven of those have come by double digit margins. Note that there has not been a Conference Final of two 60+ win teams since Celtics-Sixers in '81. That changes this year.
The truth is that OKC is closer to the 9th place team in the rankings than they are the 2nd. The Spurs & Warriors both being over 60% ATS while the Thunder are below 40% plays a large role in that.
As a road favorite, the Cavs are just 7-13-1 ATS. But for all the criticism that this team takes, I don't see any way they won't be the top seed in the East.
Since Christmas, the Clips are 19-4 straight up and have not lost back to back games. Keep in mind that's all without Blake Griffin.
Quietly, the Raptors have comfortably positioned themselves as the second best team in the East. Beware of them as an underdog as they've gone 10-4-1 ATS taking points.
Under Brad Stevens, the Celtics are a remarkable 35-14 ATS when playing without rest. They are just 83-88 ATS in all other contests!
Despite being swept in a home and home by the Magic, Atlanta's rating gets a minor upgrade. Note they've been an underdog only two times in 2016, both times by three points or less.
What a difference for the Pacers in conference vs. non-conference games. They are 21-8 ATS vs. the East, but only 6-17 ATS vs. the West.
I still feel like no one is more pro-Hornets than myself. They have won 8 of 12 including beating LeBron for the first time since 2010.
I firmly believe that the Jazz are the fifth best team in the West. Seven straight wins and they've allowed just 89.9 PPG despite two of those games going to overtime.
The Heat shot 57.1 percent Tuesday at home vs. San Antonio and still lost by 18. No home team in league history had ever lost by the margin while ever shooting that well.
The Pistons performance Monday, defensively, was their worst of the season as they allowed Toronto to shoot 55.7 percent. I would expect improvement from this team after the All-Star Break.
A 6-0 SU record as a road favorite could be tested in the Mavs' first game after the All-Star Break as they visit Orlando.
Circle this team's home date vs. Golden State on February 19th. It is the Blazers first game after the Break and they are 10-1 SU/ATS playing with two more days rest.
The Break can't come soon enough for the Bulls, who just finished 2-5 SU/ATS on a road trip and lost Jimmy Butler to injury.
Marc Gasol's injury came at a terrible time. The Grizzlies had won 11 of 13, but now have dropped back to back games. Over the last two seasons, they are just 10-14 without Gasol in the lineup.
In their last six road games, the Rockets have allowed an average of 120.8 points. Just awful.
A home and home sweep of Atlanta was nice but you can't forget that the Magic had dropped 15 of 17 before that.
I wouldn't get too excited Wizards fans. Your team's last three wins have come against the Knicks (lost six in a row), the Sixers (awful) and Rockets (by 1 point).
Charles Barkley was insane to call this a playoff team at the start of the season. The wheels have come off (six straight losses), though Derek Fisher's firing was no great loss.
Surprisingly, the Pelicans have the highest scoring bench in the league (42.5 PPG).
While the Knicks coaching change was a little surprising, more surprising is that the Kings did not fire George Karl. I still feel that the market has this team overpriced. Wednesday marks the 9th time in the last 13 games that they have been favored.
Speaking of favored too many times, the T-Wolves are just 3-9 ATS when laying points at home this season.
You should look to fade this team, which had covered 11 of 12 before Monday's outright loss in Brooklyn, after the Break.
Nobody wants to hear that their favorite team is "comfortably the fifth worst team in basketball."
For the first time in a while, the Nets have escaped the bottom three. But that has more to do with Phoenix's incredible decline than anything positive Brooklyn may have done.
There has been some signs of competitiveness under interim HC Earl Watson, but this is a team with only two wins in its last 25 games. It will likely be a 2-29 SU stretch before they get to host Brooklyn on the 25th.
Make it a perfect 3 for 3 when favored after Saturday's win over Brooklyn. But a return visit from the Nets on March 11 might be the next (and last) time the Sixers are favored all season.
A season-best four-game ATS win streak is not enough to pull the Lakers out of the basement, but it does get them closer to Philadelphia.
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.