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NBA Power Rankings: Spurs still riding along in top slot

Feb 4, 2013, 2:46 PM EDT

Tim Duncan, Tony Parker AP

Not a lot of changes at the very top, although we see the Knicks and Nuggets making climbs with winning streaks. At the bottom the Magic have lost 9 in a row, lost Big Baby for the season and are about to trade their best shooter in the next couple of weeks. Do they ever get out of the cellar?

source:  1. Spurs (38-11, last week ranked No. 1). They are the winners of 10 in a row overall and 18 in a row at home (the San Antonio record for consecutive home wins is 22, set two seasons ago). That was enough to make Gregg Popovich an All-Star Game coach. Hopefully the sprains to Tim Duncan‘s left knee and right ankle are not severe. Also, the league needs to #LetBonnerShoot.

source:  2. Thunder (35-12, LW 2). They had seven of their last eight on the road and went an unimpressive 3-4 in those games. Throw in a Russell Westbrook tantrum and you have what passes for a tough stretch for this team. Not sure it really matters much to them. Fun game this Wednesday against Golden State (hope everyone is healthy for GSW).

source:  3. Heat (29-14, LW 3). The Heat have coasted through this season and still have the best record in the East, so Erik Spoelstra gets to coach the All-Star Game. Things get interesting starting Friday with both Los Angeles teams coming to Miami, leading up to a Valentines night trip to OKC.

source:  4. Clippers (34-15 LW 4). They are out on their Grammy road trip and have opened it 1-2. Which is less than ideal because real tests start to come later this week with the Heat and Knicks. You are starting to see how much they are missing Chris Paul at the point.

source:  5. Knicks (30-15, LW 7). They have won four in a row and now four of their next five games are against teams playing under .500 (although Toronto and Detroit are no pushovers of late). Maybe they can make a run and get Mike Woodson to coach the All-Star… oh, too late. Sorry.

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6. Nuggets (30-18, LW 8). They have won six in a row, but we told you to watch as they climbed up the rankings with a string of home games. That ends Saturday in Cleveland and they will be on the road up to the All-Star break.

source:  7. Warriors (30-17, LW 10). They have won four in a row and with Andrew Bogut back they have a much better defensive presence in the paint. They need Stephen Curry and Harrison Barnes healthy because the schedule this week consists of Houston, Oklahoma City, Memphis and Dallas and all of those on the road.

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8. Nets (28-19, LW 6). They remain in a tough stretch of the schedule. While the next three teams (Lakers, Pistons, Wizards) are all under .500 all have played better of late, then it’s the Spurs, Pacers and Nuggets. Do you watch the Nets against these top teams and think, “That team is a contender.” Neither do I.

source:  9. Bulls (29-18, LW 5). They’ve started their road trip 2-1, with wins over the Bucks and Hawks (the loss is to the Nets). What’s more they have done it without Joakim Noah, and for part of it Carlos Boozer. Tom Thibodeau gets his guys to play.

source:  10. Grizzlies (30-16, LW 9). Rudy Gay is gone and some in the media reacted like Jerry Krause just broke up the ‘90s Bulls. I don’t think the Grizzlies were serious contenders (fourth best in their own conference) and I also don’t think they took a step back with this deal. I think people who don’t watch him a lot overvalue Gay.

source:  11. Pacers (28-19, LW 11). Every few games there is one where Roy Hibbert shows up and plays well, and when he does you think “there is the team that pushed the Heat last playoffs.” He remains the key to them doing anything like that again.

source:  12. Hawks (26-20, LW 12). If you’re thinking the Hawks will move Josh Smith at the deadline, you might want to reconsider. They want cap space this summer and if they trade his expiring deal they will have to take $13 million in salary back. That said, the Hawks have a lot of other expiring deals on the roster (Devin Harris, Kyle Korver, Anthony Morrow and more).

source:  13. Bucks (25-21, LW 13). Losses to the Bulls and Knicks last week show the Bucks to be what they are — a playoff team but a team on the third tier at best in the East. Tough games against Denver and Utah on the road this week.

source:  14. Rockets (26-23, LW 15). The Rockets are in that last playoff spot in the West, one game up on Utah and 3.5 up on the Lakers. They get a big test this week with the Warriors, at the Heat, then the Blazers on Friday.

source:  15. Jazz (26-22, LW 14). The Jazz are the seven seed in the West, 1.5 games ahead of nine-seed Portland and four up on the 10 seed Lakers. They have a stretch of home games this week where they need to rack up some wins and build a cushion in case a team does make a charge.

 
source:  16. Trail Blazers (24-23, LW 16). They are just a game out of the playoffs in the West but with a key seven of their next eight are on the road — the Blazers can’t fall back now, especially with the Lakers seeming to make a charge from below.

 
source:  17. Celtics (24-23, LW 17). They won four in a row last week – and their offense looked great against the Clippers — but the loss of Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger for the season still stings. They can hold on to that last playoff spot if they can keep playing like this, keep moving the ball and getting key shots from Paul Pierce.

 
source:  18. Lakers (22-26, LW 19). They have opened the Grammy road trip 2-1, but the bigger concern is Dwight Howard’s shoulder. Lakers say they want to strengthen the area to reduce chance of future injury there… can you make Dwight Howard’s shoulders stronger?

 
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19. 76ers (20-26, LW 20). It’s fun to say the Sixers can make a run at the Celtics for the 8th playoff spot in the east once Andrew Bynum returns, but the reality is they have 3.5 games to make up and as Boston has shown this week they are not coming back to the pack. Can Philly get that hot?

 
source:  20. Mavericks (20-27, LW 18). Two gut-shot close losses last week. You look at games like those, and how Dallas is five games out of a playoff spot with team above them surging, and you think this is going to be the end of their 12-year playoff streak. And that’s a little sad.

 
source:  21. Pistons (18-30, LW 21). They went 1-2 at home last week and now this week have to face the Knicks, Nets, Spurs and Bucks. Not an easy landing spot for Jose Calderon but I think he helps them if they move Brandon Knight to the two spot for him.

 
source:  22. Raptors (17-31, LW 22). They have gone 1-1 since the arrival of Rudy Gay, with a win over the Clippers and a close loss to the Heat. Good signs. Still, while I get he makes them more athletic and Gay is their best player, I’m still not sure Toronto what kind of team Toronto is building.

 
source:  23. Cavaliers (14-34, LW 25). I’ve been saying that after all their trades Memphis upgraded sending Marreese Speights to Cleveland and replacing him with Ed Davis off the bench. But since getting to Cleveland Speights has averaged 15.4 points and 6.8 rebounds a game. He has played well.

 
source:  24. Timberwolves (18-26, LW 26). They snapped their six-game losing streak against the Hornets in a game where Ricky Rubio found space to operate and looked a little like his old self. We missed that Rubio.

 
source:  25. Hornets (15-33, LW 23). The Super Bowl kicked them out of town for a while and they went 1-4 on the road trip because as it has all season their defense seems to fall apart on the road. Which means this isn’t good news for the future Pelicans —three of their five before the All-Star break on the road.

 
source:  26. Wizards (11-36, LW 24). Another winless week where their pathetic offense could not help out some solid defensive efforts. That was quite a scare when John Wall went down in the second quarter Friday; big sighs of relief throughout the District when he returned for the second half. That was scary.

 
source:  27. Kings (17-32, LW 27). With a lame-duck GM and an ownership in flux, don’t expect any deadline trades. Nor is Keith Smart going to get fired if he keeps asking DeMarcus Cousins to act like an adult. All eyes in Sacramento will be on New Orleans All-Star weekend to see what the leanings of David Stern and the owners are about the sale and proposed move to Seattle.

 
source:  28. Suns (16-32, LW 28). They got a quality come-from-behind win over the Lakers when Dwight Howard went out and the Lakers defense opened up a toll-free highway to the basket on drives. But Beasley is Beasley, the next night he was 2-of-13.

 
source:  29. Bobcats (11-35, LW 29). Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s jumpshot may need more work than the Superdome circuit breakers, but the kid brings real energy, defense and effort every night. Hate to see him down with a concussion.

 
source:  30. Magic (14-33, LW 39). They have lost nine in a row and this week had the painful loss of Glen Davis (likely for the season), he was having his best season as a pro. Be ready for the J.J. Redick trade rumors to really catch fire in the coming weeks (and he will get moved).

  1. fruitcovejag - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    http://www.keepjj.com

    Keep him in Orlando Rob!

  2. Mr. Wright 212 - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Love the shot at the Knicks (or the attempt at one), and how you have the Heat ahead of them. Whatever. The Heat still have to figure out how to beat the Knicks four out of seven. With their personnel, it doesn’t look likely. You can have your All Star coaching gig, Spoelstra and Heat fans.

    • thenmoveback - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      You are an absolute fool. The Heat have to figure out how to beat the Knicks 4 out of 7? You obviously haven’t been watching basketball the last few season where the bulls celtics and pacers have out played the heat in the regular season only to be put out of their misery by the Heat in the playoffs. The Knicks have beat the heat twice this year big deal, when the pressure is on and push comes to shove the Heat will eliminate the knicks again this year. The heat dont have to prove a damn thing they r the champs not the Knicks

      • nycalldayz - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:54 PM

        @thenmoveback

        You Heat bandwagon fans have all the responses in the world. I wouldn’t exactly call going 6 and 7 games putting out BOS or INDY out their misery. With or without Bosh, Heat almost lost both series. As far as the BOS/MIA series that was more of BOS crumbling. The fact is BOS could of and should of won that series despite their lack-luster bench. So If I were u, I wouldn’t brag. As far as the Knicks going to the finals, C’mon! I think the Knicks caught a break with Rondo now out for the season. Rose, Granger and Bynum still out.

        Anything can happen in ’13 playoffs with Rondo now out, and the uncertainty of Rose, Granger and Bynum return. But I would be shocked if NYK beat MIA.

      • thenmoveback - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:42 PM

        Been attending heat games since 94 no bandwagon here pal. All I was trying to say was that knick fans come on here and act like they already won a championship because they beat the heat in 2 regular season games, when in fact the Knicks have been absolutely irrealvant in the NBA since I can remember. Miami is built for the playoffs and in 2 seasons have made the finals both years. Not trying to be cocky myself but the only teams capable of beating the heat in a sereis are the thunder, spurs, and a healthy bulls team, I’d even put the pacers ahead of the Knicks. Melo is a great player 2nd best scorer behind KD IMO, just not a team player with a bad attitude.

      • him247 - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:03 PM

        If u were a heat fan since 94 yo ass would know that as a franchise the heat only beat the knicks one time in there playoff history and they’ve met four including that seriries where not only beat on the court with a basketball but we trashed yall niggas when yall tried to put yall hands up… all knick haters should keep hating but if u ever played ball before and know the game, not only are the knicks looking the scariest team in the league( with amare getting better everyday and the heat r just to small) but the knicks do have the best bench in the league… melo is the best scorer in the game and lebron in my opinion isnt even the best player in the league… cp3 is but thats another subkect for another day…. the pacers and celtics didnt even have a prayer to beat the heat last year. And the only reason they were even in that series is because like always, lebron shrinks in pressure situations… last but not least lebron is scared to gaurd melo, because 3 out of 7 games against mia, he dropped 40 against them and averages 36 points against them… this knick is not the team from last year, they have upgraded at point, bench, and coach… see u later mia, bring ur gloves next time or well beat yall worst

      • nycalldayz - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:22 PM

        @thenmoveback

        Maybe a bit harsh with the bandwagon comment. I do agree with u as far as Knicks fans. They tend to get carried away when things are in their favor, but take into consideration the Knicks aren’t used to winning. So now that they’re winning Knicks fans can’t help, but act foolish. I guess u gotta feel happy for Knicks fans, because their team as has been a laughing stock.

      • thenmoveback - Feb 5, 2013 at 8:15 AM

        @him247

        Typical homer you are. Carmelo is the best? U can only bring up the past, we’ll how about last years playoff 4-1 vs the Knicks, easy series. LBJ chocked check his numbers those games 40 pts 18 rebounds 9 assist! Does melo even know what an assist is? Knicks are no threat to the heat but think what U want cuz u homers always do. I’ll bet all I have come playoff time you aren’t posting here anymore just crying in ur room.

    • eventhorizon04 - Feb 4, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      By your logic..

      The Bulls have beaten the Knicks twice – both times without Derrick Rose – so the Bulls should be ahead of the Knicks. The Knicks have to figure out how to beat the Bulls in four out of seven, and with the Knicks’ personnel, it doesn’t look likely since they can’t stop the Bulls even with the Bulls missing their most dynamic player.

      Are the Knicks supposed to play better against the Bulls once Derrick Rose comes back? Very unlikely.

      So Knicks fans might as well give up on championship aspirations for this season since the Bulls’ regular-season success against the Knicks means the Knicks have no chance of winning in the playoffs.

      That’s based on Mr. Wright 212’s logic, of course.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - Feb 5, 2013 at 11:20 AM

        I love when people think that getting Rose back will make them better. They are more efficient both offensively and defensively when he’s NOT in the lineup. But don’t let facts get in the way. You inferiority complex types make me laugh.

  3. goraidersgospurs - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Perfect list!!!

  4. themagicfanguy - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    @fruitcove Are you insane?!? Why would we keep JJ? So we can have yet ANOTHER overpaid player? A player that is going to be 31ish by the time we’re competitive again? To rebuild you have to get picks and/or prospects. To get picks and prospects you HAVE to trade assets! He is one of our most valuable assets that also happens to be expendable. So I guess you WANT us to be horrible for even longer than necessary? Stop being a fan of certain players and be a fan of the TEAM! There is NO WAY that the Magic re-sign JJ after the season, so he’s gone one way or another. Accept it.

  5. jhuck92 - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    Not for nothing, I’m surprised the Bulls manage to consistently crack the top ten in spite of being riddled with Orlando Magic-like injuries. That’s a real testament to Thibs’ coaching and the bench. Developing 3rd and 4th string PGs to push the offense and Butler blossoming while filling in for Deng makes this team all the more dangerous going into the playoffs.

  6. wwttww - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    ATL Hawks, a mediocre act for all of eternity.

  7. wborstiii - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    The Magic were 39th last week? Damn they are pretty bad

    • zacksdad - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:48 PM

      That means 9 teams in the D league are better than them. Good thing the West opted out of joining Dallas’ D league, they might have dropped to 40.

  8. timb12 - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    How do the celtics not even go up one spot after winning 4 in a row? I know they’re without Rondo and Sullinger, but it still doesn’t make sense. They’re playing better than they were when they lost 6 straight.

  9. beardown2489 - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    Not that it matters, but these power rankings are just plain aweful

  10. shanelsweet - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Wizards up to 26th. Nice!

  11. reasonablemindsays - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    Celtics fans are barely hanging onto the edge of the cliff right now. When wWilt Chamberlain 2.0 AKA Andrew Bynum returns for the Sixers, the Cs playoff hopes will be all but gone

    • nycalldayz - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:25 PM

      @reasonablemindsays

      “When wWilt Chamberlain 2.0 AKA Andrew Bynum returns for the Sixers, the Cs playoff hopes will be all but gone”. I hope you’re being sarcastic, because your comment is nuts. LOL

  12. themagicfanguy - Feb 4, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    A Knicks fan calling out bandwagoners? That’s cute. Y’all are the same thing. Nobodies, then you sign Anthony/Amare/Chandler and suddenly everybody is a fan. At least Miami already had Wade and a fairly recent ring, so there were a SOME legit fans. The only real fan the Knicks have is Spike Lee.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Feb 5, 2013 at 11:23 AM

      Been right here since 1985, through thick and thin — unlike 95% of people who call themselves fans of teams. Especially the types who are under the age of 25, switching teams when players go elsewhere.

      And yes, Knicks fans call Heat bandwagoners out, because that’s precisely what 90% of you are. There are people who have jumped on the Knicks bandwagon in the past year, but they are easily spotted and despised more by the most knowledgeable fans in the league (longtime REAL Knicks fans) than any of you outta town yokels with your anti-New York inferiority complexes ever could.

  13. kavika6 - Feb 5, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    The Heat are the “best in the east” by default. The sixth best team in the west is only 2.5 games behind them and could be ahead of them by the all-star break. Given the weak schedule the Heat have they aren’t doing as well as they’re given credit for. The rest of their division is a combined 63-125, including the 3 worst teams in the league. Atlanta is the only other team above .500.

  14. ljl2 - Feb 5, 2013 at 4:04 AM

    Is there a reason this site completely ignored the Cavs-Thunder game Saturday? Kyrie score 13 points in final 2 minutes. Ice in his veins.

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