NBA Power Rankings: Week 25By Bryan Power - Covers Expert
The Golden State Warriors are the No. 1 team in the final Power Rankings of the season, holding onto the top spot for an incredible 21 consecutive weeks. However, look out for the Spurs, who could put an end to the Warriors dream season.
NBA Power Rankings
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Back in Week 4, the Warriors ascended to to the top of these rankings. Holding onto that spot for 21 consecutive weeks is beyond impressive.
With the playoffs upon us, the Spurs' actual rating spikes and they, not the Clippers, are likely the biggest threat to wreck Golden State's dream season.
Closed the regular season on a 14-1 run including a perfect 7-0 mark in April. The only loss was to the Warriors. Getting the 2-seed would be huge.
The favorites in the East cannot match Atlanta's YTD point differential, but over the last quarter of the season, the Cavs' number is almost twice as large.
Atlanta Losing Thabo Sefalosha is huge for the Hawks, who can at least claim the title of "best ATS team" in the league.
They won't have homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs, so I'm saying that no matter the opponent, they'll lose that series in seven games.
Injuries have also taken a toll on the Rockets, who barely have a positive scoring differential in conference play (just +0.5 PPG).
More injury woes here as the Grizzlies enter their final game at 4-6 SU L10 with just one win over a playoff team.
The Bulls are the second round matchup that neither the Cavs nor Hawks want, though they are just 1-5 SU against those two teams entering the regular season finale (vs. Atlanta).
Five of the Raptors last six games (entering Weds) have been decided by five points or less (1-4 ATS), so be wary of this team as a favorite.
Coming into the final regular season game, the Mavs are 0-6 ATS after playing three straight road games. At least they won't face that situation in the playoffs.
Whether or not the Thunder actually make the playoffs, it's safe to say they were overvalued down the stretch (1-6 ATS in April).
As a home dog, the Pelicans are 9-3 SU/9-2-1 ATS going into the final regular season game vs. San Antonio, which they will most likely have to win outright.
Not factoring in what happens against Cleveland on Wednesday, the Wizards are just 13-20 SU vs. teams with winning records, including 4-12 the last 16.
Jason Kidd is the only coach in league history to take two different franchises to the playoffs in his first year on the job.
The Eastern Conference playoffs would be a lot tougher if the Pacers make it in instead of the Nets.
For the first time in years, a Jazz season ends with optimism. They went 21-12 SU/20-13 ATS the last 33 games.
Over the past three months, few teams have been better than the Celtics. Seriously.
As expected, things went south soon after the Goran Dragic trade. They lost 10 of their final 11 games.
A last place finish was not what the Motor City faithful were looking for, but SVG should have them improved next season.
Dwyane Wade can no longer carry a team and without LeBron the Heat ranked in the bottom three in the league in points, rebounds and assists.
If the Nets do get into the playoffs, they'd be one of the weakest qualifiers by the rankings since I started doing them three years ago.
Everything fell apart late in the season, and no Mr. Jordan, you playing would not have made things any better.
I say it's time for a total teardown here with a new coach. The Nuggets, as presently constructed, have no shot at competing in the Western Conference.
A loss in the final game would make it six straight non-lockout seasons with at least 54 losses for the Kings, who have now gone nearly a decade since last making the playoffs.
It was pretty early in the year when I said we had a clear cut bottom five in the league. The Magic "lead" that group and really need to "hit" on their next draft pick.
Sure, Laker diehards will point to the loss of Kobe Bryant, but this team wound up being every bit as bad as I'd thought they'd be.
The T-Wolves are doing their best to tank as assuming they lose their final game, they will finish with the worst record in the league.
After opening the year with 17 straight losses, there's a chance the Sixers could close on a 10-game losing streak. But hey, in between they went 18-37!
Before the season, the Knicks were projected to win 40 games. I'm not making that up.
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.