NBA Power Rankings: Week 18By Power Sports - Covers Expert
The top three teams in our weekly NBA Power Rankings have really separated themselves from the pack as the Warriors, Rockets, and Raptors have opened up a significant lead in the Power Rating column over the rest of the field. The top mover this week is the Cleveland Cavaliers who jumped three spots from No. 19 to No. 16 after a successful week following their trade deadline antics.
NBA Power Rankings
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Virtually all that was lost in the actual rating last week was gained back in the last seven days thanks to three straight double digit wins, one of them by 46 points.
While not quite as close to the Dubs as they were in last week's rankings, the Rockets increased their own rating too as they've now won nine straight.
The Raptors also make gains in the actual rating as everyone in the top three strengthen their lead on "the field." They've won six straight and five of those victories have been by 15+ points.
Meanwhile, Boston drops as the last eight days have seen them lose to Toronto and Cleveland by a combined 42 pts. Not a good sign for the playoffs.
Aside from winning at Golden State, it's not been a good February for OKC. They are 2-5 SU/ATS this month.
Speaking of bad months, the Spurs are 1-5 (SU) in February. Neither Leonard nor Aldridge was in the lineup Tuesday night and Ginobili left with an injury.
"The Process" is working! Four straight wins and covers (albeit all at home) have the Sixers rated as the third best team in the East. Not team you'd want to face in the 1st round of the playoffs.
Their lone win over the last week came at home vs. Sacramento. Defense is an issue and they're only 12-18 SU on the road.
The Paul George-Victor Oladipo trade has been a clear win for the Pacers, something no one thought they'd be saying.
The hottest team in basketball. The Jazz have won 10 in a row, but they're still only in 10th place in the West. Will they still be able to push themselves into playoff position?
The Wiz are 6-2 SU without John Wall and have had 26+ more assists in seven of those games. So just how much do they miss him?
The defensive resurgence here continues to astound me. In eight of their last 10 games, the Bucks have allowed fewer than 100 pts. The Under is 9-1 during that time.
Another Under team of late. Eight straight and counting to be precise.
The Pelicans lost five of their first six games without Boogie Cousins, but Nikola Mirotic looks like a solid addition.
Somewhat surprising is the Blazers' performance as a road favorite. They have gone 9-2 SU/8-3 ATS, winning by an average of more than 10 PPG.
I've got a giant HOLD on the Cavs right now. These rankings are likely to have them underrated the next several games, but let's see how the new players shake out beyond just two games.
The Nuggets have already beaten the Thunder, Warriors and Spurs this month (all at home). Yet they are by no means a "safe" playoff bet.
Speaking about "not a safe playoff bet," expect the final spot in the East to come down to the Pistons or Heat.
I'd include Charlotte in the mix as they have a better rating than the Heat, but they are also 6.5 games back.
I knew a market correction was forthcoming and it has with the Heat losing six of seven. They still are not as good as their record.
Because the bottom of the West is so bad, the Lakers are actually ahead of four teams. But this is still the line of demarcation for non-contenders.
The Mavs are better than their record, which is faint praise, I know. But by season's end, look for them to finish ahead of the Grizzlies and certainly Suns and Kings.
Everyone knew the Porizingis injury would be a killer. But the "death" has been quick as in seven straight ugly losses.
Another winless team in February and the Grizzlies are not a "good watch" for those of you that have NBA League Pass.
The Magic continue to be competitive of late as they've now covered 12 of the last 15 games.
They were actually road favorites at Orlando (lost), hence the drop was a no-brainer.
The Nets need only one more win to match last year's total of 20. But they've failed six straight times to do that.
Over the last 10 games, the Bulls have two wins and they are by a total of five points. All year long, this has been my choice as the "least" of the East.
The Suns are setting fast and are making it a "race to the bottom" with Sacramento. They've lost 11 of the last 12 games including all six this month.
They're actually 5-5 SU the L10 games. That should tell you how bad they were playing previous, given they remain in the basement.
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.