NBA Power Rankings, Final: If You Believe In Momentum, Post-Break Rankings May Surprise

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There are those who believe in the concept of going into the postseason with momentum, that what a team has done lately is more indicative of how they will do now that the playoffs have arrived. So the HoopsHabit NBA Power Rankings has decided to test that theory.

Using the same formula used to derive the rankings that follow, what all 30 NBA teams did after the All-Star break was put through the blender. What was poured out might surprise some.

  • 1. San Antonio (24-5)
  • 2. L.A. Clippers (20-7)
  • 3. Golden State (20-9)
  • 4. Charlotte (20-9)
  • 5. Memphis (21-9)
  • 6. Chicago (21-9)
  • 7. Toronto (20-10)
  • 8. Houston (18-11)
  • 9. Portland (18-11)
  • 10. Washington (19-11)
  • 11. Dallas (17-11)
  • 12. Oklahoma City (16-11)
  • 13. Brooklyn (20-11)
  • 14. Phoenix (18-13)
  • 15. Miami (17-14)
  • 16. New York (17-13)
  • 17. Minnesota (15-14)
  • 18. Indiana (16-14)
  • 19. Cleveland (13-16)
  • 20. Atlanta (13-18)
  • 21. Denver (12-19)
  • 22. New Orleans (11-19)
  • 23. Sacramento (10-19)
  • 24. L.A. Lakers (9-20)
  • 25. Orlando (7-21)
  • 26. Detroit (7-23)
  • 27. Milwaukee (6-24)
  • 28. Boston (6-22)
  • 29. Utah (6-24)
  • 30. Philadelphia (4-24)

There were some of these results I was ready for—obviously, San Antonio was the best team in the NBA in the second half.

But the best team in the East was … the Charlotte Bobcats?

The Charlotte Bobcats.

Once more, just so I can process this: The. Charlotte. Bobcats.

Not surprisingly, the Atlanta Hawks had the weakest second half of any of the 16 playoff teams, but the Indiana Pacers were second-worst. That doesn’t bode well for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

And there at third-worst among playoff teams … the Miami Heat, the two-time defending champions, the team that’s gone to three straight NBA Finals.

Probably just as surprising is that Oklahoma City, the second seed in the West, was the worst of the eight playoff teams in the Western Conference.

The amount of separation between the Spurs and the Clippers at the top was only slightly less, however, than the separation between third-place Golden State and 13th-ranked Brooklyn, so it’s one of those cases where those San Antonio and L.A. were head and shoulders above the rest after the break.

And just think—in a couple of months, we’ll know whether any of it mattered at all.

With that, on to the final NBA Power Rankings for 2013-14 (all statistical information via nba.com/Stats):

 

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