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 andgive 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.

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