NBA Power Rankings: Week 26By Power Sports - Covers Expert
The top of the rankings remaining mostly unchanged, aside from #1 and #2 swapping places. With the playoff picture taking shape, the mid tier teams saw the most movement this week. Be sure to check in to see where your team stands in the playoff race!
NBA Power Rankings
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After no change at the top for the first 23 weeks of these rankings, the last three saw the Rockets and Warriors flip flop each time. Houston ends up on top and is our favorite to win the NBA Finals.
This is the first time in the Steve Kerr era that Golden State will not have the homecourt edge going into the playoffs. Their regular season ended with their worst ever loss under Kerr (by 40 to Utah).
The Raptors seem like a weak favorite in the East, but they have won and covered four straight going into Wednesday's regular season finale.
"Trust the process" was a joke for many years, but no one is laughing now. The Sixers have won 15 straight and could be the three seed in the East.
While they must win at Portland Wednesday night to officially clinch the third seed in the West, these rankings say the Jazz are the West's third best team regardless.
With Kyrie Irving done for the year, the Celtics seem like a very vulnerable seed. Will they even make it out of the first round?
For a 21st consecutive season, the Spurs are in the playoffs. But out of those 21 years, it's tough to think of many where their chances of making the NBA Finals seemed so small.
Depending on their draw, the Thunder could be a real darkhorse in the West. They can finish anywhere from 4th to 6th.
Missing the playoffs once seemed unfathomable. Now the T'wolves must win their final regular season game to avoid that fate
An 0-4 (SU) road trip really has put a damper on things in Portland. It will obviously depend on the draw, but I don't like their chances in the playoffs that much.
It's tough to handicap the playoff field without knowing the 1st round matchups, but the Pelicans will have the weakest point differential of the eight teams in the West.
Something to make note of for the playoffs - the Pacers were 22-4 SU and 18-8 ATS as home favorites in the regular season. But, as the fifth seed in the East, that role may not happen much in the playoffs (especially if Cleveland finishes fourth).
Though they aren't even in the Top 10 of these rankings, the Cavs are more than capable of winning their second NBA Title in three years, simply due to having LeBron.
The Bucks were very bad as home favorites in the regular season, going 9-22-3 ATS.
The Nuggets have won six in a row, but they need to extend that streak to seven (play at Minnesota Wednesday) in order to make playoffs.
They can finish anywhere from sixth to eighth in the East depending on what happens Wednesday. But the Wiz definitely staggered to the finish by dropping 13 of 20 games.
The Heat are battling Milwaukee and Washington for those sixth through eighth spots. Given Boston's current state, finishing 7th might be the best landing spot.
The Clips wilted late, but a win in their regular season finale would send them Over their preseason win projection.
Despite being below 20 games below .500 the last two seasons (36-46 SU both years), the Hornets have actually outscored their opponents during that time, which is somewhat insane.
Teams that go 13-27 SU on the road (they play at Chicago Weds) don't make the playoffs.
Despite the losing record, this year was a step in the right direction for the Lakers. Can't remember the last time I was able to say that.
Expect to see the Mavs improve their record next season. They went 2-9 SU in games decided by three points or less.
The Nets go into the regular season finale vs. Boston on their first three-game win streak of the season.
This is the fourth consecutive season that the Knicks have lost 50+ games. Nice work, Phil.
I was shocked that people considered the Magic are darkhorse playoff contender before the season started.
Believe it or not, but this is the first time in a decade the Hawks won't be in the playoffs.
The Grizzlies will finish with the second worst record in the league, but a high draft pick and better health will have them poised to bounce back next season.
Having dropped 10 of their last 13 games going into the regular season finale, the Bulls might as well keep tanking Wednesday vs. Detroit
There are a number of teams towards the bottom of these rankings that I can make a case for to bounce back next year. The Kings aren't one of them.
Having already wrapped up the worst record in the league, the Suns turned in their best performance of the year in the regular season finale, beating Dallas by 27.
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.