NBA Power Rankings: Week 17

By Bryan Power - Covers Expert

With NBA action interrupted by the All-Star break, the Top 10 remains unchanged in this week's Power Rankings. The surging Chicago Bulls are the high riser of the week, jumping up four spots thanks to their defensive prowess.

NBA Power Rankings

Week 18 Rank Last Week Change Team W-L
Power Rating Team Comments
1 1 same 43-12
-14.5 Oklahoma City
Russell Westbrook is set to return Thursday vs. the Heat, making the league's top team even better. The focus will be on how Westbrook affects Durant's production.
2 2 same 38-14
-14.3 Miami
Before we "hand" the MVP to Durant though beware that on a 40-minute per game basis, Lebron James would be averaging 36.8 PPG (Durant 33.1). He is also shooting a prepostrous 57% from the floor!
3 3 same 41-12
-14 Indiana
What if the Pacers relinquish home court advantage to Miami? I feel that having it would be their only way to a win a seven-game series against their rival.
4 4 same 39-15
-12.5 San Antonio
Not sure which stat to put more stock into: A 2-11 SU record versus .600 or better competition (both wins vs. the Clippers) or an 16-6 SU record without Tony Parker the last two seasons.
5 5 same 37-19
-12 L.A. Clippers
The Clips had a great chance at moving up a spot, but Chris Paul picked a bad time to have a bad game Tuesday vs. San Antonio. He was just 1 for 10 from the field. The team had averaged 122.5 PPG his first two games back from injury.
6 6 same 36-17
-11.5 Houston
No team was hotter heading into the All-Star Break and the Rockets are 6-1 SU their last seven road games, thanks to some remarkable three-point shooting (36.8 percent).
7 7 same 31-22
-11 Golden State
I continue to be astounded that a team this good could be so close to missing the playoffs (currently tied for eighth place in the Western Conference).
8 8 same 36-17
-10.5 Portland
With LaMarcus Aldridge injured, Portland's injury luck has run out. They had the same starting lineup for each of their first 53 games.
9 9 same 29-24
-8.5 Toronto
Offense is clicking as the team is averaging over 102 PPG its last 10 games. If they keep Kyle Lowry, the Raptors should win the Atlantic.
10 10 same 32-23
-8.4 Dallas
The defense-less Mavs need Vince Carter to shoot 45 percent or better. They're a strong 14-6 when he does so.
11 11 same 31-21
-8.3 Phoenix
This is the proud owner of the league's best ATS record at 34-17 ATS. I'd probably start to go against them when favored.
12 12 same 30-23
-8.1 Memphis
They continue to get even healthier as PG Mike Conley is back and delivered a 22-point effort in his return Tuesday vs. the Knicks.
13 13 same 25-28
-8 Minnesota
After spending much of the 1st half saying the Twolves were better than their record, I'm beginning to be unsure about that. Being six games out of the playoff picture is the reality that awaits them.
14 18 up 4 27-25
-7 Chicago
Already yielding the second fewest points per game in the league, the Bulls have been even better their last 10 games, giving up just 82.3 per game.
15 17 up 2 25-28
-6.9 Washington
Can they ever get over the hump? After finally climbing over .500, the Wizards have come back to Earth with losses in five of their last six games, several of them close.
16 14 down 2 24-27
-6.8 Brooklyn
Still 14-6 straight up in 2014, but they have averaged a weak 89 points per game the last three on the road, all losses.
17 16 down 1 25-27
-6 Atlanta
A 10-point loss to Indiana Tuesday was the Hawks' sixth in a row, one shy of their longest such streak in seven seasons.
18 15 down 3 24-28
-5 Denver
A playoff team last year, the Nuggets' postseason chances are all but done in 2014 as they've lost four in a row. They ended the first half with four straight road losses by an average of 27.5 PPG.
19 20 up 1 24-30
-4.5 Charlotte
Unlike many of their disappointing counterparts, the Bobcats actually look like a team that wants to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. They allow just 94.4 PPG at home.
20 21 up 1 23-29
-4.4 New Orleans
It was nice to see the Pelicans get some recognition as New Orleans hosted the All-Star Game. But I don't think we will hear much from this team in the second half.
21 25 up 4 18-35
-4 Sacramento
An eighth straight losing season is a lock and it certainly doesn't help to be starting the second half without the services of Boogie Cousins.
22 19 down 3 20-33
-3.9 New York
No team has been worse in crunch time (1-6 SU in games decided on final possession). Then again, the Knicks are pretty bad no matter what the score is.
23 24 up 1 21-33
-3.8 Cleveland
Whoa. Fire the GM and all of a sudden Cleveland has won and covered five in a row. This is their longest win streak since LeBron made his "Decision."
24 22 down 2 22-31
-3.7 Detroit
The coaching change hasn't really worked, so what now? Paging Joe Dumars - proceed to the unemployment line.
25 23 down 2 19-33
-3.6 Utah
This team is genuinely better than its record and its per game point differential. But the best news is that they could have two lottery picks in June.
26 26 same 19-35
-1.5 Boston
If Rajon Rondo is dealt, things go from bad to worse. Or maybe its "worse to worser"
27 27 same 16-39
0.5 Orlando
The last time the Magic won a road game was December 16th. I'm not joking. And guess what five of their next six games are away from home.
28 28 same 18-35
1 L.A. Lakers
I'm still waiting for someone to justify that Kobe Bryant contract to me?
29 29 same 15-40
1.5 Philadelphia
Words cannot describe how truly awful this team is. Of course, we knew that before the season. On the bright side, they are a lock to surpass their projected win total (only need two wins).
30 30 same 10-43
2 Milwaukee
Thursday brings the Bucks latest opportunity to win back to back games for the first time all season.
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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.