By Danny Dragin
It feels like the Rockets will never lose, but the Warriors are hanging tough. Here’s another edition of WEEI.com’s NBA Power Rankings, courtesy Danny Dragin. (All records through Friday, last week’s ranking in parentheses).
1. Houston Rockets (1): 51-13
James Harden continues his MVP pursuit as the Rockets look to push their win streak to 18 against the Raptors.
2. Golden State Warriors (2): 51-14
Steph Curry hurt his ankle in the first quarter against the Spurs but that didn’t stop the dubs from getting the win. Curry is currently listed as day-to-day.
3. Toronto Raptors (3): 47-17
DeMar DeRozan came out this week and said that James Harden has the MVP locked up. This comes right before the Raptors match up with the rolling Rockets.
4. Boston Celtics (4): 46-20
Jaylen Brown had a highlight play that turned into nightmare sequence against the Timberwolves. You’ve all seen the fall by now. Nasty.
5. Portland Trail Blazers (9): 39-26
Damian Lillard is putting on a show and having the best stretch of his career. Since the start of February he is averaging over 31 points a game, including 50 against the Kings.
6. Cleveland Cavaliers (5): 38-26
A sign was spotted in Los Angeles that read #LABron in an effort to copy a billboard in Philadelphia last week. The Cavs take on the Clippers and the Lakers at Staples Center this weekend, which gives LeBron a lot of free time between games.
7. Milwaukee Bucks (8): 34-31
The Bucks announced that they would be selling t-shirts with Giannis’ famous dunk over Tim Hardaway Jr.
8. Oklahoma City Thunder (6): 38-29
Terrance Ferguson had a scary moment against the Suns when he ran full speed into a brick wall named Steven Adams. Ferguson was knocked unconscious and left with a concussion.
9. Washington Wizards (12): 37-28
John Wall could be back as soon as this week for the Wizards, but many think he should take his time because the Wizards haven’t missed a beat in his absence.
10. Denver Nuggets (14): 35-30
The Nuggets figured that by trading away Emmanuel Mudiay they would solve their identity problem, which comes with young players trying to find their role. Paul Millsap recently shook up that debate by saying that Nikola Jokic is the focal point of the team after his 36-point performance against the Cavaliers.
11. San Antonio Spurs (7): 37-28
The Spurs lost a heartbreaker to the Warriors on Thursday night by three points. LaMarcus Aldridge was amazing, scoring 30 points with 17 rebounds.
12. Los Angeles Clippers (16): 34-29
As we near the end of the season many believe that Lou Williams is the clear Sixth Man of the Year favorite. He had 27 points and 11 assists against the Pelicans.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves (11): 38-29
Derrick Rose is the newest member of the Timberwolves, reuniting with coach Tom Thibodeau, Jimmy Butler, and Taj Gibson.
14. New Orleans Pelicans (18): 38-26
Draymond Green labeled the Pelicans’ 10-game winning streak more impressive than the Rockets 17-gamer. The Pelicans received a scare when Anthony Davis sprained his left ankle. He is now listed as day-to-day.
15. Detroit Pistons (10): 29-36
Stan Van Gundy finds himself on the hot seat as the Pistons continue their dismal push to the playoffs.
16. Indiana Pacers (13): 37-28
The Pacers had already been linked to Marcus Smart and Aaron Gordon in free agency. Now there’s another ex-Celtic reportedly on their radar — Isaiah Thomas.
17. Miami Heat (15): 35-31
The Heat won a potential playoff preview against the 76ers behind Hassan Whiteside, who had 26 points and eight rebounds.
18. Utah Jazz (17): 35-30
The Jazz have won their last nine road games against teams like the Trail Blazers and Pelicans.
19. Philadelphia 76ers (19): 35-29
The Sixers lost a potential playoff preview to the Miami Heat with dismal performances from Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. The Sixers have found themselves caught in this LeBron free agency story and for whatever reason some people think that would be a good fit.
20. Los Angeles Lakers (20): 29-35
See Cleveland at No. 6.
21. Brooklyn Nets (23): 21-45
After hitting six 3-pointers a 125-111 win over the Hornets; Allen Crabbe improves his total to 159 for the season. That’s the third most in team history, behind Deron Williams’ 169 and Joe Johnson’s 162.
22. Charlotte Hornets (21): 28-38
The Hornets have lost their last five games and many are thinking that major changes are about to come to Charlotte.
23. New York Knicks (22): 24-41
With March Madness coming up many believe that the answer to the Knicks’ problems is Oklahoma State’s Trae Young.
24. Chicago Bulls (24): 22-42
Bobby Portis came up with an extremely creative name for the Timberwolves, who just acquired ex-Chicago MVP Derrick Rose — The Timberbulls.
25. Phoenix Suns (25): 19-48
Devin Booker is in need of help to take the Suns to the next level. They are a team that should be paying a lot of attention to the NCAA tournament.
26. Sacramento Kings (27): 20-45
De’Aaron Fox and Willie Cauley-Stein are both facing back injuries and are both listed as day to day.
27. Atlanta Hawks (29): 20-45
Fans were asked at the Hawks game against the Suns whether they were rooting for wins or a better lottery pick. Many said the lottery pick was more important.
28. Orlando Magic (28): 20-45
A shot clock malfunction screwed up the end of the game for the Magic. Aaron Gordon said he felt cheated.
29. Memphis Grizzlies (26): 18-46
Reports came out this week that the Grizzlies might be interested in signing Becky Hammon as their next head coach, which would make her the first female head coach in the NBA.
30. Dallas Mavericks (30): 20-45
A bad year for the Mavericks continued with allegations that in 2011 a drunken Mark Cuban assaulted a woman while posing for a picture.
Full article @ NBA Power Rankings: Rampaging Rockets the class of the NBA for another week
Source: GreenStreet Blog