NBA Power Rankings (February 27th, 2013)
Updated February 27, 2013 – Next Update: March 6, 2013
Tony Parker deserves some MVP recognition for what he’s done this year. (Photo: Mark Runyon, Basketball Schedule).
The NBA Power Rankings are updated every Wednesday throughout the season and can be found here! We go through all 30 NBA teams, with a short update on the team, their ranking from the previous week and their record!
Previous week rank in parentheses.
1. (1) San Antonio Spurs (45-13) - The Spurs are doing everything they need to do to position themselves as favorites. Tony Parker is playing at an MVP level, with 26.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 8.4 assists over his last 10 games. Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard have stepped up as well.
2. (2) Miami Heat (41-14) - If the All-Star break couldn’t stop the Heat, then nothing can. LeBron James is taking this MVP race seriously. He’s averaged 29.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 8.4 assists and 1.9 steals over his last 10. Oh, and he’s only shooting 62.9/43.6/80.5. Also of note is that Dwyane Wade seems to be healthy and motivated.
3. (3) Oklahoma City Thunder (41-15) - They had a minor setback at Houston, before crushing the Wolves and Bulls. Turnovers are an issue, but if they’re brutally efficient during the other possessions, who cares? Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant have turned it over 7.6 times per game over their last 10.
4. (4) Los Angeles Clippers (41-18) - They were embarrassed at home on national TV against the Spurs last Thursday. They travel to the Indiana Pacers on this Thursday. Can Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and company shake it off and pick up a big win over an Eastern Conference contender?
5. (7) Indiana Pacers (36-21) - When we talk about taking the fight to a team, we don’t mean literally. Roy Hibbert will now miss the showdown against the Clippers on Thursday night after their scrum with the Warriors. This team is really good, very angry and extremely hungry for success. Plenty of time for Danny Granger to get up to speed and pair with Paul George on the wing.
6. (5) Denver Nuggets (36-22) - Another week and another strange set of performances for the Nuggets. They really need their defense to tighten up. Andre Iguodala and JaVale McGee were supposed to help with that. At least Ty Lawson woke up and Wilson Chandler looks healthy.
7. (8) Memphis Grizzlies (37-18) - Of course they went on a long winning streak after trading their star. Their defense has been stifling. They gave up 82, 82 and 72 points in their three games this week. Zach Randolph and Mike Conley have taken the lion’s share of the offensive burden, with Tony Allen even chipping in.
8. (6) New York Knicks (33-20) - This group went 16 days without a win. Do championship teams ever do that? Numbers are down across the board for the Knicks, who suddenly can’t seem to stop anyone. They gave up 125, 100 and 93 to poor offenses this week. Remember when Raymond Felton looked rejuvenated and Carmelo Anthony looked like an MVP candidate? Seems so long ago.
9. (9) Brooklyn Nets (34-24) – The Nets are just plugging along, winning two out of three on a regular basis. It’s the way they’re winning that has us confused. They win at Milwaukee and New Orleans, only to lose at home to Houston and Memphis. Deron Williams has taken it upon himself to start scoring. That’s a good thing.
10. (12) Golden State Warriors (33-24) - Jarrett Jack didn’t appear to be a huge signing at first. Boy, were we wrong. He’s been the stabilizing force late in games for this team and is doing wonders for the Warriors. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson can spot up and Jack is finding them.
11. (10) Chicago Bulls (32-25) - Getting demolished by the Heat and Thunder isn’t something to cry about. Losing at home to the Cavaliers without Kyrie Irving is. Who are these guys? Can they be trusted in a series? In our opinion, Derrick Rose should just wait it out and come back 100 percent next year because this team won’t win a championship without him at full strength.
12. (11) Utah Jazz (31-26) - Fake word has it the Utah Jazz staff was out late the night before the deadline and overslept. Seriously though, what are they doing? They badly need backcourt help and had a two valuable players with expiring contracts to trade. Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap could just walk for nothing this summer. Bad move by the Jazz.
13. (13) Atlanta Hawks (32-23) - Al Horford is balling right now. Over his last 10, he’s averaging 20.2 points, 10.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.5 blocks with a shooting line of 61.9/50.0/59.4. Unreal. Still can’t believe they didn’t trade Josh Smith, though.
14. (14) Boston Celtics (30-27) - Can management be TOO loyal to the players in Boston? They can’t reasonably believe they can compete with the Eastern Conference elite, especially without Rajon Rondo. So why not move some bigger pieces around? I love the Jordan Crawford trade, but it’s not enough. Should have tried to move Paul Pierce or talk Kevin Garnett into something.
15. (15) Houston Rockets (31-27) - If the Rockets continue to shoot the three with such efficiency, they can beat anyone on any given night. Unfortunately, the old adage “live by the three, die by the three” often comes into play once the playoffs arrive. Still, James Harden is averaging 29.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.9 steals over his last 10. Those are top-five numbers.
16. (16) Los Angeles Lakers (28-30) - The loss to the Denver Nuggets is excusable. On a back-to-back against a more athletic team in Denver was a tough situation anyway. But, the Lakers still don’t fare well against the elite teams. Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard are playing well, but they have to beat the good teams to succeed in the playoffs.
17. (17) Toronto Raptors (23-34) - Just when it looked like the Raptors might be getting back into it, Rudy Gay throws up a stinkbomb at home and they lose to the Grizzlies and Wizards. Without an inside presence, it’s not going to matter what Gay does.
18. (18) Milwaukee Bucks (27-28) - Picking up J.J. Redick will certainly help spread the floor. What are they going to do when Brandon Jennings gets a max offer and Monta Ellis opts-out? They’re going to be stuck committing big dollars to Jennings because they don’t have a better option.
19. (19) Dallas Mavericks (25-31) - Yes, Dirk Nowitzki is still awfully good. Unfortunately, he can’t do it all. The Mavs lost close games at home to the Lakers and Bucks (both winnable games) and don’t look like they have enough to get back into the Western Conference race. Vince Carter looks motivated, but he’s not going to get a chance to play in the playoffs.
20. (20) Portland Trail Blazers (26-30) - The starters are studs, the bench is horrific. Everyone saw this coming, with the starters playing too many minutes. They’re burning out and are falling off because of it. Damian Lillard is your Rookie of the Year and Nicolas Batum is a Most Improved candidate.
21. (22) Detroit Pistons (22-37) - Heading into the offseason, the biggest decision will be whether they can afford to re-sign Jose Calderon. He’d be a great mentor to Brandon Knight. This team has significant young talent but they need a “glue guy” to keep it all together.
22. (27) Washington Wizards (18-37) - Three straight wins has us wondering what could have been if not for John Wall‘s injury at the beginning of the year. They play very good defense and Emeka Okafor is having a fine season. Even Bradley Beal has shaken off the rust and is shooting well again.
23. (23) New Orleans Hornets (20-38) - Can a team led by Greivis Vasquez, Al-Farouq Aminu and Ryan Anderson win? No, but when you add in a healthy Eric Gordon and Anthony Davis, they become formidable. Next year should be fun if you’re a Hornet…er…Pelicans’ fan.
24. (24) Minnesota Timberwolves (20-34) - The Wolves scored 83 points in Phoenix on Tuesday night. In an overtime game. Woof. Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic and Derrick Williams are performing well, but they need their star back. Kevin Love is on his way, but they’ve dug too deep of a hole for it to matter.
25. (28) Cleveland Cavaliers (19-38) - An awesome win at Chicago without Kyrie Irving shows that the Cavs are closer to respectability than many are giving them credit for. Tristan Thompson is breaking out and Dion Waiters is starting to look comfortable. With Anderson Varejao, this is a decent squad.
26. (25) Phoenix Suns (19-39) - They show signs of life behind Goran Dragic, Luis Scola and Marcin Gortat, but then they falter down the stretch without a dependable No. 1 option. They almost blew a big lead against the Wolves because they couldn’t execute down the stretch.
27. (21) Philadelphia 76ers (22-33) - Doug Collins ran his team over with the bus, then rolled back over them to make sure they’re dead. It’s that kind of act that pushes guys like Andrew Bynum away. How will Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner and company react? Our bet is they fold like origami.
28. (26) Sacramento Kings (19-39) - If the Kings find a way to stay in Sacramento, will they rename them the “Whales”? Money talks, and the businessmen are throwing it around to keep the team. Put a good product on the floor and the city will support them. Giving Thomas Robinson away won’t help.
29. (29) Orlando Magic (16-41) - Will Nikola Vucevic finish strong enough to win the Most Improved Player award? Probably not, but he deserves consideration. He’s averaging 12.3 points, 11.5 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 32.6 minutes per game this year.
30. (30) Charlotte Bobcats (13-44) - They are who we thought they were! NBA teams need stars and the Bobcats have none. It’s not that they aren’t trying to win, it’s that the talent development and scouting has been really bad.
I wear many hats. I will become a father for the first time in July 2013. My work career started as an umpire, evolved to a blackjack dealer and has settled as a sportswriter. You could say I'm used to getting yelled at. I love me some Minnesota Timberwolves but currently call Phoenix home. I'm an eight handicap and a terrible leaper.