NBA Power Rankings: Week 21

By Bryan Power - Covers Expert

The Heat continue to look down on the rest of the NBA from the top of our rankings. The Sixers continue to languish in the basement, a place they have become accustomed to, and have no plans to move out of anytime soon. Memphis and Dallas were big movers this week, albeit in opposite directions.

NBA Power Rankings

Week 22 Rank Last Week Change Team W-L
(ATS)
Power Rating Team Comments
1 1 no change in rankings 46-19
(29-34-2)
-14.0 Miami
Thanks to a 25-point 1st quarter, LeBron James improved to 11-1 vs. his former team, the Cleveland Cavailiers. Playoff spot has been clinched.
2 3 move up in rankings1 48-21
(39-29-1)
-13.9 L.A. Clippers
I now have the Clips rated as the Best in the West. Their poor record in the second night of back to back games won't matter in the playoffs.
3 4 move up in rankings1 50-16
(34-32-0)
-13.8 San Antonio
Consistency counts. With a 10-game win streak, the Spurs have now won 50 games for the 15th straight season!
4 2 move down in rankings2 49-18
(37-29-1)
-13.7 Oklahoma City
Kevin Durant has now scored 25 or more points in 32 consecutive games. The only player in league history with a longer such streak? Michael Jordan, of course.
5 5 no change in rankings 45-22
(34-31-2)
-13.0 Houston
Don't put much stock into that three-game losing streak. Every game was on the road and two of them were against Miami and Oklahoma City.
6 6 no change in rankings 50-17
(34-32-1)
-12.5 Indiana
The Pacers were the first team to clinch a playoff berth. But they have been a disaster at the betting window in the second half, including 1-10 ATS L11.
7 7 no change in rankings 43-26
(33-33-3)
-11.5 Golden State
A come from behind win at Portland justifies this spot for the Warriors, who have won six games this season in which they trailed by at least 15 points (most in the league).
8 9 move up in rankings1 34-31
(35-30-0)
-9.5 Brooklyn
Who needs Kevin Garnett? The Nets are holding teams to 8.1 fewer points per game with him out of the lineup during their home win streak.
9 11 move up in rankings2 44-24
(36-32-0)
-9.4 Portland
Though they lead the league in both scoring and rebounding, needing overtime to beat the Bucks at home is just another bad sign for the Trail Blazers.
10 14 move up in rankings4 41-27
(38-30-0)
-9.0 Dallas
The Mavs are a season-high 14 games over .500 and are looking safer to nab one of the Western Conference's two playoff spots in question.
11 15 move up in rankings4 38-29
(43-23-1)
-8.5 Phoenix
Whether or not the Suns actually make the playoffs, Jeff Hornacek is a leading contender for Coach of the Year.
12 10 move down in rankings2 37-29
(39-26-1)
-8.4 Toronto
What has happened to the Raptors defense? They are 4-21 straight up when allowing 100 or more points this season (33-8 otherwise).
13 8 move down in rankings5 39-27
(31-33-2)
-8.3 Memphis
A friendly stretch of games for the Grizzlies comes to an end Friday with a trip to Miami.
14 13 move down in rankings1 37-30
(34-33-0)
-8.2 Chicago
With a pair of home and home's looming against Philadelphia and Indiana, sweeping the Sixers and splitting with the Pacers is a reasonable goal.
15 12 move down in rankings3 33-32
(32-33-0)
-8.1 Minnesota
Certain to be the best team that fails to make the playoffs. That should also eliminate Kevin Love from MVP consideration.
16 16 no change in rankings 35-32
(35-31-1)
-7.0 Washington
Competing with the likes of Chicago and Brooklyn for home court advantage in a first round series, the Wizards can't be losing to team like the Kings like they did Tuesday night.
17 19 move up in rankings2 31-35
(30-35-1)
-5.5 Atlanta
After losing 14 of 15 games, the Hawks seems to have righted the ship with five straight wins and are back in their usual spot (right in the middle).
18 18 no change in rankings 27-40
(29-38-0)
-5.3 New York
Put no stock into the Knicks six-game win streak as not one of those came against a playoff team. Oh, and Phil Jackson won't matter either.
19 17 move down in rankings2 33-35
(38-27-3)
-5.0 Charlotte
An 11th straight loss to the Hawks put an end to the Bobcats eight-game home win streak.
20 24 move up in rankings4 30-37
(30-37-0)
-4.5 Denver
They have beaten the top two teams in these rankings in the last seven days, but that can't change the fact they are missing the playoffs for the 1st time in 11 seasons.
21 20 move down in rankings1 27-39
(28-34-4)
-3.5 New Orleans
The Pelicans have come alive offensively of late, averaging 111.2 points the last six games.
22 22 no change in rankings 24-44
(31-35-2)
-3.4 Sacramento
Say what you will about Boogie Cousins, but the Kings are 0-10 this season with him out of the lineup.
23 21 move down in rankings2 25-41
(28-37-1)
-3.3 Detroit
Embarking on a four-game road trip late in the season is never fun, especially when you're the Pistons, losers of 10 in a row away from home.
24 23 move down in rankings1 26-42
(31-37-0)
-3.2 Cleveland
Being competitive during a West Coast swing and at home vs. Miami was nice, but the Kyrie Irving injury has effectively ended their season.
25 25 no change in rankings 22-46
(29-35-4)
-1.0 Utah
The Jazz have now lost five in a row and 10 of 11. If you missed last week's column, that lone win came against Philadelphia.
26 27 move up in rankings1 22-46
(34-33-1)
0.0 Boston
The parade of losing continues here with the Celtics now 3-12 their last 15 games. And we still have three teams to go....
27 26 move down in rankings1 22-44
(34-31-1)
0.5 L.A. Lakers
The Lakers have matched the Jazz by losing 10 of their last 11 as well. Even worse is that they are allowing nearly 125 PPG this month!
28 28 no change in rankings 19-49
(28-38-2)
1.2 Orlando
How about the Magic losing 20 of 21 road games and a league-worst 4-31 road record? The only win was against Philadelphia (still to come).
29 29 no change in rankings 13-55
(30-38-0)
1.5 Milwaukee
To put things in perspective here, the Sixers have lost 21 straight games and the Bucks still have a worse record..
30 30 no change in rankings 15-52
(25-42-0)
3.0 Philadelphia
Record pointspreads are in play as Philly may not win another game. They are six shy of setting a new league record for consecutive losses.
Return to the Current Week's rankings

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.