NBA Power Rankings
Here are my NBA Power Rankings for Friday March 13, 2015. Enjoy!
#1. Golden State Warriors (51-12): They're not going to get 70+ wins, but they'll come very close. So long as they lock up home court advantage, I see no reason to pick against them.
#2. Atlanta Hawks (50-14): Everybody thinks it is a foregone conclusion that the Cavaliers are coming out of the Eastern Conference and that the Hawks will at some point roll over and die. Well, so far the Hawks are showing no signs of doing that. They're the first team in the NBA to clinch a playoff spot and they've won 7 of their last 10 games.
#3. Cleveland Cavaliers (42-25): Kyrie Irving dropping 57 points on the Spurs is nothing short of incredible. It's no wonder LeBron James left Miami when you see what Kyrie Irving can do. Still, this team has to find ways to use Kevin Love at the end of games. I know his defense isn't great, but you gotta have your money players on the floor during crunch time.
#4. Portland Trail Blazers (42-20): They've won six of their last seven games with wins over the Thunder, Spurs, Clippers, Mavericks, and Rockets. Oddly enough, their one loss during this stretch was at Minnesota, but that loss appears to be an anomaly and nothing more.
#5. Memphis Grizzlies (45-20): The Grizzlies' four-game road trip to New Orleans, Chicago, Boston, and Washington wasn't very kind to them, only picking up a win in Chicago. Their next two games at home against the Bucks and Nuggets will be crucial.
#6. Houston Rockets (43-22): They've hung in their really well without Dwight Howard, but all the same, they need him back.
#7. San Antonio Spurs (40-24): After appearing like zombies in February, the Spurs have really picked it up in March. As a matter of fact, Thursday's loss to the Cavaliers was their first loss in the month of March since 2013.
#8. Los Angeles Clippers (42-23): Getting Blake Griffin back will be a huge boost to this team. He could be back as soon as Sunday.
#9. Dallas Mavericks (41-25): The addition of Amar'e Stoudemire isn't doing much to boost their place in the standings and Rajon Rondo is creating friction. I don't see this team making a deep playoff run.
#10. Chicago Bulls (40-26): Treading water without Derrick Rose is what they do best.
#11. New Orleans Pelicans (36-29): The Pelicans have won 8 of their last 10 games and are currently the #8 seed in the Western Conference. They might prove me wrong after I said they had a 12% of making the playoffs back in January.
#12. Oklahoma City Thunder (35-29) : Kevin Durant is out for approximately 10 more days, and possibly longer. They could very well miss the playoffs.
#13. Phoenix Suns (34-32): The Suns appear to be fading, having gone just 5-5 in their last 10 games. They have three very important home games coming up against the Hawks, Knicks, and Pelicans. They have to win all three games.
#14. Milwaukee Bucks (34-31): They have started to cool off, going 3-7 in their last 10 games. Still, the turnaround of this team has been very impressive. Jason Kidd definitely deserves some Coach of the Year votes.
#15. Toronto Raptors (38-26): After getting off to such a hot start, the Raptors have cooled off substantially, losing 9 of their last 10 games going into Friday's game against the Heat.
#16. Washington Wizards (37-28): This team has been in a funk, but perhaps two straight wins against the Hornets and Grizzlies will jump start their battery.
#17. Indiana Pacers (30-34): Their record looks weak, but don't be deceived. They've won 9 of their last 10 games.
#18. Miami Heat (29-35): This team has been up and down all year, but I expect them to ultimately continue to trend downwards.
#19. Charlotte Hornets (28-35): With Kemba Walker back, they should be able to sneak in the playoffs. The only concern is the Celtics are nipping at their heels and the Pacers are starting to lock up the #7 seed.
#20. Utah Jazz (28-36): If Rudy Gobert keeps playing like he has been, then it was definitely a good thing that the Jazz traded Enes Kanter.
#21. Boston Celtics (27-36): The Celtics are heating up, having won 7 of their last 10 games. Isaiah Thomas has been a terrific fit so far.
#22. Brooklyn Nets (25-38): Mikhail Prokhorov botched his attempt to sell the Nets and they have lost 5 straight games. This team is a mess.
#23. Denver Nuggets (24-41): Melvin Hunt may be man for the job to coach this team. They're doing better since Brian Shaw got fired.
#24. Detroit Pistons (23-41): If Brandon Jennings wasn't out for the season, they would be the #8 seed in the Eastern Conference. It is really sad how they have fallen apart since he went down.
#25. Sacramento Kings (22-41): George Karl is a good hire at head coach, but they still have a lot of work to do.
#26. Orlando Magic (21-45): I think the most troubling part of this team's season is the lack of production they have gotten from Aaron Gordon, their number four overall pick.
#27. Los Angeles Lakers (17-47): I'm just going to say it now. Kobe Bryant needs to retire. This team will not move forward until he does.
#28. Minnesota Timberwolves (14-49): The return of Kevin Garnett is really cool and the fact that they have the best rookie in the NBA in Andrew Wiggins is also really comforting. Things are looking bright in Minnesota.
#29. Philadelphia 76ers (14-50): Joel Embiid is doing some cool dunks in pre-game warmups. There's something to make them optimistic.
#30. New York Knicks (13-51): This team is a walking accident waiting to happen every time they step on a basketball court.
---Ben Parker: follow me on twitter @nba_lord for NBA news