NBA Power Rankings: Spurs, Heat, Thunder battle at top

LeBron James and the Heat are running away with the East ... but they aren't ready to assume the No. 1 spot in our weekly rankings.
LeBron James and the Heat are running away with the East … but they aren’t ready to assume the No. 1 spot in our weekly rankings.

Records through Feb. 24:

1. San Antonio Spurs (45-13, previous No. 1) – The Spurs finished their nine-game road trip with a 7-2 record, and continue to win games despite fighting the injury bug. Health seems to be the only roadblock for this team come postseason.

2. Miami Heat (40-14, previous No. 3) – Eleven wins in a row, seven of which have come by double-digits. Is that good? Not for the rest of the NBA. The Heat are pulling away from the East with relative ease.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder (41-15, previous No. 2) – A 30-point beat-down of the Bulls is comforting. Not comforting? Signing Derek Fisher a few hours later. Do they really need him?

4. Los Angeles Clippers (40-18, previous No. 4) – Would Kevin Garnett put them over the top? We’ll never know. But the Clippers still have as good of a chance as any team to win a title.

5. Memphis Grizzlies (37-18 previous No. 6) – It’s not the strongest seven-game winning streak around (two wins over playoff contenders), but it’s a streak nonetheless. Still, it’s hard to include them with the elite right now.

6. Indiana Pacers (35-21, previous No. 8) – The Pacers are the team keeping somewhat of a “pace” with the Heat over the last 11 games, going 9-2 in that span. And they just got Danny Granger back. Fun times.

7. Denver Nuggets (35-22, previous No. 5) – Can we just bottle up everything about Kenneth Faried and give it to every NBA player? It would make for some pretty intense and amazing games.

8. Golden State Warriors (33-23, previous No. 9) – It looked like the wheels fell off for the Warriors after six straight losses. But a comeback, overtime win over the Spurs on Friday has them living up to their team name.

9. Brooklyn Nets (33-24, previous No. 11) – Went into and out of the break strong – two wins each – but have since lost to the Rockets and Griz. Joe Johnson can only hit so many game-winners, ya know?

10. Chicago Bulls (32-24, previous No. 7) – Sunday’s loss to the Thunder was ugly. Here’s some salt for that wound: According to Elias, it was Chicago’s eighth-straight game in which none of its players scored more than 20 points, the longest such streak in franchise history.

11. New York Knicks (33-20, previous No. 10) – The Knicks have just one win against a playoff team (the Bucks) in February. They are fading, and fading fast. Is anybody that surprised?

12. Atlanta Hawks (31-23, previous No. 13) – It almost seemed like a guarantee that Josh Smith would say buh-bye to ATL at the deadline. Instead, it’s a guarantee that the Smith-led Hawks are first or second round playoff exits.

13. Houston Rockets (31-27, previous No. 14) – With the position Houston has put itself in since last offseason, it’s easy to picture the Rockets as a top dog in the West next season. Not this season though.

14. Boston Celtics (29-27, previous No. 12) – Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will live to see another full season in Green. That may have not been the case if it was a seller’s market at the deadline.

15. Utah Jazz (31-25, previous No. 16) – The Jazz have both Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap ready to hit free agency. They aren’t good enough with them, can’t re-sign both, but didn’t trade either. Figure that one out.

16. Milwaukee Bucks (26-28, previous No. 15) – A round of applause for the Bucks who tried as hard as possible to land Josh Smith. Now, a moment of silence.

17. Los Angeles Lakers (28-29, previous No. 19) – The Lakers are 11-4 in their last 15 games, which can only mean one thing: they’ve finally tuned out Mike D’Antoni.

18. Toronto Raptors (23-33 previous No. – ) – The Raptors are 6-1 over their last seven games, including wins over the Pacers, Nuggets, and Knicks (twice). Playoffs?!

19. Dallas Mavericks (25-30, previous No. 18) – Mark Cuban loves hypotheticals (“Amnesty Kobe”), so here’s one: “Let’s just say the Mavericks make the playoffs this season…”

20. Portland Trail Blazers (26-30, previous No. 17) – The problem with Portland is that they need lots of production from their starters because their bench is extremely weak. No offense, Sasha Pavlovic.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Bloomberg: Going green will grant you longer life…

Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg tells Metro that cities are where fighting global warming can make a difference, and increase people’s lifespan.

International

Ban Ki Moon: "Climate change is an issue…

My message to you is: make your voice heard and your actions count. Change is in the air. Solutions exist. The race is on. It’s time to lead.

Local

Earth Day New York food toolkits to help…

Hundreds of classrooms across New York City already have indoor container gardens that allow students to grow food right where they learn. But Earth Day…

Local

NYPD announces street closures for United Nations General…

The United Nations representatives are in town, and multiple city streets will be closed to traffic through Saturday, Sept. 26. The NYPD is urging those…

Television

10 Facts you won’t learn about Frankie Grande…

Frankie Grande is the worst and/or the best. Whether or not you're a fan, you'll want to know these facts about the polarizing player from "Big Brother 16."

Movies

Antoine Fuqua can kill someone with just a…

It's amazing what you can get done with the right tools. In designing the climactic battle in "the Equalizer," in which Denzel Washington's retired special…

Movies

Guess Ben Kingsley's worst filmmaking experience

Here's a fun game: Sir Ben Kingsley has made a lot of films since "Gandhi" in 1982, but at least one of them was a…

Books

Does Lena Dunham have any secrets left?

Get a sneak peek at her new book to determine if it’s worth the read.

NFL

3 things that went wrong in Jets loss…

The Jets have very little room for error with a far-from-explosive offense.

NFL

Eli Manning finally feeling good in West Coast…

The Giants have very little time before their next game, but they still took a moment to relish the team’s biggest offensive outburst since Week 1 of 2013.

College

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close…

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close in on FSU

NFL

Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.

Wellbeing

5 gadgets to protect you from sharks, concussions,…

The medical industry is inundated with devices looking after all aspects of your wellbeing, from monitoring your sleep patterns to warding off shark attacks. We…

Wellbeing

Are you a narcissist? We look at the…

I have a friend who constantly talks about herself and rarely asks any questions about my life. She is constantly preening, obsessed with her body,…

Wellbeing

Lacking new ideas, Apple Watch disappoints health experts

Technology pundits were quick to predict the demise of most fitness wristbands and smartwatches when the Apple Watch was announced. But health care professionals and…

Style

Sarah Doukas on social media, models and diversity

The maker of Kate Moss tells Metro how social media can drive the diversity change in the fashion industry.