A topsy-turvy NBA season continues. The Celtics are falling. The Thunder is rising. The Warriors keep splashing. And here to break it all down is WEEI.com’s Danny Dragin, who presents this week’s power rankings (last week’s ranking in parentheses, followed by record).
1. Golden State Warriors (1): 39-10
Say hello to the best team in the world, which made 21 3’s in a win over Minnesota. The Dubs take on the Celtics on Saturday in a rematch of a wild game the C’s won earlier this year.
2. Houston Rockets (3): 34-12
Houston was able to calm down after its game with the Clippers and notch two wins against the Heat and Mavs.
3. Boston Celtics (2): 35-14
The Celtics split two games at Staples Center. They let Kyle Kuzma and the Lakers hold them off, but they responded by ending their four-game losing streak against the Clippers the next night.
4. Oklahoma City Thunder (5): 28-20
The Thunder are on a six-game win streak. Russell Westbrook is the only Thunder player named to the All-Star team, although many think Paul George was snubbed.
5. Toronto Raptors (4): 32-14
Toronto couldn’t quite match up with the Timberwolves on Saturday night despite despite Kyle Lowry’s 40-point performance. They beat the Hawks with ease on the back of Fred Van Vleet, who outscored DeMar DeRozan.
6. San Antonio Spurs (7): 32-18
The Spurs went 2-1, beating the Cavs and then manhandling the Grizzlies. They did end up losing to the Pacers, but managed to hold every player under 20 points.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves (6): 31-20
The Timberwolves dropped two to the Warriors and the Trail Blazers, but they beat the Clippers. Jimmy Butler sat out in the game against the Warriors.
8. Portland Trail Blazers (10): 26-22
Portland had an odd week but still managed to move into the top 10 with a big win over the Timberwolves. Damian Lillard was also finally named an All-Star again after a three-year hiatus.
9. New Orleans Pelicans (12): 26-21
The Pelicans had a great week, with big wins over the Bulls and the Hornets. Twin towers Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins were also named All-Star starters on Team LeBron.
10. Indiana Pacers (13): 26-22
Indiana had two big games against the Spurs and the Suns on the backs of Victor Oladipo and Thaddeus Young. Victor Oladipo was finally named an All-Star this week landing on Team LeBron.
11. Miami Heat (8): 27-21
The Heat lost to the Rockets and the Kings. The loss of Dion Waiters hasn’t proven crushing, but it has definitely made an impact.
12. Milwaukee Bucks (11): 24-22
Milwaukee fired coach Jason Kidd despite Giannis Antetokounmpo asking if there was anything he could say or do to keep him on board. The firing preceded a win against the Suns and a loss to the 76ers.
13. Philadelphia 76ers (14): 23-21
The Sixers beat both the Bucks and the Bulls, but couldn’t figure it out against the Grizzlies. Joel Embiid will start for Team Curry at the All-Star Game.
14. Denver Nuggets (20): 25-23
Denver managed to take down both the Knicks and the Trail Blazers on the backs of Gary Harris and Jamal Murray, who scored 38 against the Blazers.
15. Cleveland Cavaliers (15): 27-19
The Cavs continue to struggle, with a 24-point loss to the Thunder and another loss to the Spurs. LeBron and Kevin Love will make another appearance in this year’s All-Star Game.
16. Washington Wizards (17): 26-22
The Wizards dropped games to the Thunder and Mavericks. The Mavs only let them score 75 points, and they surrendered 46 to Russell Westbrook when they faced Oklahoma City.
17. Los Angeles Clippers (9): 23-24
The Clippers could have a had a very telling week, with games against Boston and Minnesota, but they weren’t able to win either. The Clippers continue their difficulties with not one player on their roster making the All-Star team.
18. Detroit Pistons (16): 22-24
The Pistons have lost six straight and the schedule only gets tougher. Morale is low due to Andre Drummond’s All-Star snub.
19. Charlotte Hornets (18): 19-27
Kemba Walker has been prominently featured in the rumor mill since Michael Jordan said he would entertain offers for the point guard.
20. New York Knicks (21): 21-28
Kristaps Porzingis caught some heat for sitting out a loss versus Golden State.
21. Utah Jazz (22): 20-28
High-flying rookie Donovan Mitchell continues to make a case as centerpiece while Rudy Gobert keeps up his dismal season.
22. Los Angeles Lakers (24): 18-29
The Lakers are coming off a big week with an easy win over the Knicks and a one-pointer over the Celtics. Lonzo Ball remains out of the lineup, but he will most likely return soon.
23. Brooklyn Nets (23): 18-30
Brooklyn keeps showing extreme resilience. The return of D’Angelo Russell led to a split of one-point games — a win over the Pistons and a loss to the Thunder.
24. Phoenix Suns (19): 17-31
The Suns remain deep in their rebuilding process and many believe that Devin Booker should have been an All-Star.
25. Orlando Magic (26): 14-33
Orlando managed to move up one spot because of its win against the Celtics, before losing to the Kings. Evan Fournier continues to be the most consistent scorer on the team night in and night out.
26. Dallas Mavericks (27): 16-32
Dallas absolutely destroyed the Wizards, but fell to the Rockets.
27. Memphis Grizzlies (25): 17-30
Front office distractions remain a problem on a team continuously circled with trade rumors.
28. Atlanta Hawks (28): 14-33
Not even great defense on DeMar DeRozan and Lowry (fewer than 15 points each) could lead to a win over the Raptors.
29. Sacramento Kings (30): 15-33
Forget about the Lakers pick if you’re a Celtics fans. Next year’s Kings pick could be worth waiting for, as long as it’s not No. 1 overall.
30. Chicago Bulls (29): 18-30
Chicago continues to lack efficiency, pushing Zach LaVine as a serious superstar.
Full article @ NBA Power Rankings: Celtics fall, but Cavaliers plummet
Source: GreenStreet Blog