NBA Power Rankings
Here are my NBA Power Rankings for Friday, February 27, 2015. These are my first power rankings after the All-Star break.
#1. Golden State Warriors (44-11): It feels as though the Warriors are falling apart a bit after losing two out of their last three @Indiana and @Cleveland, but in truth, they've won 7 of their last 10 games and still are playing the best basketball in the league. It should be noted that Stephen Curry was out for the Indiana game.
#2. Atlanta Hawks (45-12): The Hawks have won only 6 of their last 10 games, so they definitely are cooling off. Still, I see no way they don't walk away with the #1 seed in the East. Part of the challenge for them will be to stay focused until playoff time.
#3. Memphis Grizzlies (41-15): Weird loss at Sacramento. Look for them to bounce back at home tonight against the Clippers.
#4. Houston Rockets (39-18): It is hard for me to see this team vaulting the Grizzlies or the Warriors to win the West, but if they can keep James Harden healthy and get Dwight Howard back healthy for the playoffs, they'll be in the conversation.
#5. Portland Trail Blazers (37-19): Arron Afflalo could be a great addition given that they need some scoring off the bench. It'll be interesting to see how he fits in.
#6. Cleveland Cavaliers (37-22): LeBron James dropped 42 points on the Warriors on Thursday for the Cavaliers' 18th win in their last 20 games. They are really cooking with gas now and looking like the favorites to win the East.
#7. Dallas Mavericks (39-21): Rajon Rondo, their big acquisition of the season, is looking like a headache because of his recent altercations with Rick Carlisle. The Mavericks definitely have to be concerned.
#8. Toronto Raptors (37-20): They've lost three straight games and it's not going to get any easier with the Warriors coming to town tonight.
#9. Los Angeles Clippers (37-21): They've now lost 7 of their last 11 games, and with a trip to Memphis tonight, expect it to be 8 losses in their last 12. The Clippers are in some trouble.
#10. Chicago Bulls (36-22): Derrick Rose going down is obviously really disturbing, but the good news is that he should be back in time for the playoffs (See my daily dunks page for more details).
#11. San Antonio Spurs (34-23): Given their history, I'm tempted to say that their recent swoon of losing 6 out of their last 10 games is just due to the dog-days of the NBA season, but I actually think there is something more to their struggles than just that. Their odds at repeating as NBA champions look really slim at the moment.
#12. Washington Wizards (33-25): They need Bradley Beal back. Period.
#13. Milwaukee Bucks (32-25): It'll be interesting to see how Michael Carter-Williams fits in. They certainly made a space for him by shipping Brandon Knight to Phoenix.
#14. Oklahoma City Thunder (32-26): It's looking like they'll make the playoffs, but if Kevin Durant is out a lot longer than expected, there could be trouble.
#15. Phoenix Suns (31-28): Their remaining schedule is difficult, but there is no reason for them to not believe they can still make the playoffs. Getting rid of Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas was actually a good thing since they got Brandon Knight in return.
#16. New Orleans Pelicans (30-27): Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson going down is not a good thing for this team. Not good at all.
#17. Miami Heat (25-31): Even if they make the playoffs, no Chris Bosh means that this team is going nowhere.
#18. Brooklyn Nets (23-32): This teams is seriously one of the saddest franchises in the league. So much hype with the whole "Return to Brooklyn" thing and this team has instead gotten progressively worse.
#19. Charlotte Hornets (23-32): This team needs Kemba Walker back. Until he returns they're going to continue to struggle.
#20. Detroit Pistons (23-34): It's amazing this team is back in the conversation for a playoff spot. Simply amazing.
#21. Indiana Pacers (23-34): If Paul George can return and be at full strength, these guys are going to be scary for where they'll be seeded in the playoffs.
#22. Boston Celtics (22-33): Getting Isaiah Thomas means this team is gunning for a playoff spot and not the lottery. Good for them.
#23. Utah Jazz (21-35): Getting rid of Enes Kanter will be a good thing if Rudy Gobert steps it up. There is definitely a lot of pressure on Gobert to become the player Utah hopes he will become.
#24. Sacramento Kings (20-35): If I was a Kings fan, talk of George Karl bringing in Ty Lawson and getting rid of DeMarcus Cousins would really worry me.
#25. Denver Nuggets (20-37): They've won just 1 game in their last 10 games. Ouch.
#26. Orlando Magic (19-40): Here's a fun question: Can you name the Magic's interim head coach? Yeah, I can't remember his name, either.
#27. Los Angeles Lakers (15-41): "When they going gets tough, the tough gets going"---Billy Ocean.
#28. Minnesota Timberwolves (13-43): The return of Kevin Garnett is injecting a lot of life into this team. I like it.
#29. Philadelphia 76ers (12-45): Either Sam Hinkie really knows what he's doing by trading Michael Carter-Williams or he's just throwing darts at a dart board. Maybe it's both.
#30. New York Knicks (10-46): The Knicks are garbage and Phil Jackson is a MORON for calling out his players. It's not their fault they were so poorly assembled.
---Ben Parker: follow me on twitter @nba_lord