NBA Power Rankings: Week 18

By Bryan Power - Covers Expert

Not surprisingly, the Warriors remain on top, but the Clippers have jumped over the Hawks to take over the No. 2 spot this week.

NBA Power Rankings

Rank Last Week Change Team W-L (ATS) Power Rating Team Comments
1 1 same 44-10
(33-20-1)
-15.5 Golden State
The last time we had a team outscore its opponents by 10 or more points per game over the course of an entire season was the 2007-08 NBA Champion Celtics. So the Warriors (+10.6 PPG) are in pretty rarified air and could be a good value taking points Thursday at Cleveland.
2 3 up 1 37-20
(24-33-0)
-11.5 L.A. Clippers
What's funny about the Clips is that I think most people think they are among the most overrated teams in the league. The numbers suggest otherwise, even though they remain just a 42.7% ATS proposition at the betting window.
3 2 down 1 44-12
(38-18-0)
-11.4 Atlanta
I always thought the Hawks were a lot closer to the "rest of the pack" than they were to catching the Warriors for the top spot and it shows this week as I drop them.
4 4 same 39-20
(29-28-2)
-10.5 Dallas
The Mavs have dominated Eastern Conference foes to the tune of 20-5 straight up and 15-9-1 ATS. Too bad then that they're a Western Conference team.
5 7 up 2 41-14
(28-25-2)
-10.1 Memphis
With a comfortable lead for second place in the West, the Grizzlies continue to be an Under machine (Under is 13-2 last 15 games).
6 5 down 1 36-19
(27-27-1)
-10 Portland
They're a top four team in the West right now only because they are in first place in their division, but I'd say most consider Oklahoma City as the superior team in the Northwest at this point of the season.
7 6 down 1 37-20
(27-29-1)
-9.7 Toronto
I admit that it looks odd to still have the Raptors above both the Cavs and Rockets (who just blew them out). A three-game losing streak does drop them however, and I expect they'll fall even further in the weeks to come.
8 11 up 3 36-22
(28-30-0)
-9.1 Cleveland
You won't find wild fluctuation in these rankings on a weekly basis, however the Cavs making the biggest jump (three spots) this week does bear mentioning. They've won 17 of 19 and are the favorites to win the Eastern Conference.
9 9 same 38-18
(32-24-0)
-8.9 Houston
Charles Barkley doesn't like analytics and ironically analytics aren't that friendly to the team that embraces them the most. Advanced stats say the Rockets are a team likely to be "upset" in the 1st round of the playoffs.
10 8 down 2 34-22
(23-31-2)
-8.6 San Antonio
Everyone keeps waiting on the defending champs to really get going, but after losing three straight out of the Break, I don't see the Spurs finishing higher than 7th in the loaded Western Conference.
11 10 down 1 36-21
(26-31-0)
-8.5 Chicago
The news of another Derrick Rose injury is just soul-crushing, unless you're Atlanta, Toronto or Cleveland, whose paths to the Eastern Conference Finals probably got a whole lot easier.
12 14 up 2 32-25
(28-27-2)
-8.2 Oklahoma City
Speaking of injuries, Kevin Durant is out again, which makes me leery of putting the Thunder any higher despite the fact they've now won and covered seven in a row.
13 13 same 31-25
(34-22-0)
-7 Milwaukee
You're not getting as much "bang for your Buck" now as Milwaukee has failed to cover in seven of their last eight games. But still, they are the only team in the league besides Golden State and Atlanta to be above 60 percent ATS for the year.
14 12 down 2 33-24
(23-33-1)
-6.5 Washington
This is a team in complete freefall. The Wizards are just 2-7 (straight up) in February, but the weak East should keep them as a top five seed.
15 15 same 29-28
(28-27-2)
-5.8 Phoenix
It's absolutely over for the Suns, who are just 1-7 SU this month, including losses to both Minnesota and Boston since the All-Star Break.
16 16 same 29-27
(32-24-0)
-5.1 New Orleans
We conclude the "it's all over but the shouting" group with the Pelicans, who despite wins over Toronto and Miami aren't a real threat without Anthony Davis.
17 19 up 2 23-34
(27-30-0)
-4 Detroit
Now we're into the "challenging for the final two spots in the Eastern Conference" group, which is led by the Pistons, despite the fact they currently would not be a playoff team.
18 17 down 1 23-34
(30-24-3)
-3.9 Indiana
Interestingly, the Pacers have yet to win a game on exactly two days rest. They're 0-8 SU and 0-7-1 ATS in that spot.
19 18 down 1 21-33
(30-24-0)
-3.5 Boston
Jared Sullinger being out for the year is the final nail in this overachieving team's coffin.
20 20 same 21-34
(30-24-1)
-3.2 Utah
You may be surprised to find out that the Jazz have played .500 ball over their last 30 games, giving up the 4th fewest points per game in the entire league.
21 21 same 22-32
(25-27-2)
-2.3 Charlotte
Five losses in a row have really hurt and we know they can't count on the front office to do anything right.
22 24 up 2 23-31
(26-28-0)
-1.9 Brooklyn
The Nets had all the makings of being a seller at the trade deadline, but a couple of wins actually have them back in playoff position (at least temporarily).
23 23 same 24-31
(24-28-3)
-1.8 Miami
One step forward, two steps back. That's how I describe the last week on South Beach with Goran Dragic's arrival followed by Chris Bosh's departure for the rest of the year. The Heat are 28th in scoring, last in rebounding and 28th in assists.
24 22 down 2 20-36
(21-32-3)
-0.6 Denver
Just two wins since January 14th? Yikes! I still don't know why the Nuggets thought they could be a playoff team coming into the year.
25 25 same 19-35
(22-30-2)
-0.5 Sacramento
After winning George Karl's debut at home vs. Boston, it was back to the same old Kings the following night as they were blown out by the Clippers.
26 26 same 19-39
(30-27-1)
0.5 Orlando
You cannot deny that this team is playing better since firing Jacque Vaughn. They've won four of six, including three straight.
27 27 same 14-41
(22-29-4)
2 L.A. Lakers
The Lakers last win in regulation came all the way back on January 9th!
28 28 same 10-45
(21-32-2)
3.3 New York
The Knicks are officially challenging Minnesota to see just who is the second worst team in basketball. Phil Jackson has absolutely stolen a paycheck this year.
29 29 same 12-43
(24-30-1)
3.5 Minnesota
Favored against Phoenix, now favored against Washington? It seems to me that the T'wolves are getting a little too much respect.
30 30 same 12-44
(28-26-2)
5.5 Philadelphia
The only team in the league not to be favored a single time all year.

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.