NBA News: NBA Power Rankings As Of 2/16/15
NBA Power Rankings
February 16, 2015
The Line: See the Latest Odds
With the NBA All-Star Game wrapped up and the second half ready to begin Thursday, let’s take a look at your latest power rankings.
1. Golden State Warriors - No team in the league is better than the Warriors when those shots are falling. With five double-digit scorers, Golden State remains the team to beat.
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2. Atlanta Hawks - Who would have thought the Atlanta Hawks would win the East? Not done yet but they’re proving that team basketball is still the way to go.
3. Memphis Grizzlies - The Memphis Grizzlies are back to playing the best defense in the league and have improved offensively since the addition of Jeff Green. Watch out for those Grizzlies.
4. Toronto Raptors - I really like the Toronto Raptors and think they could be a team that wins the East. The Raps just have to be more consistent defensively.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers - Forget the first couple of months and just focus on what the Cavs are doing right now. The Cavaliers have clearly fixed their issues and look like a true title contender.
6. Portland Trail Blazers - The Portland Trail Blazers finished the first half strong with four wins in their last five games, and they’ve won 15 of their last 18 games when topping 100 points.
7. San Antonio Spurs - The San Antonio Spurs are 10-3 since the return of Kawhi Leonard. I think it’s safe to say that the Spurs aren’t going anywhere.
8. Houston Rockets - The Houston Rockets need a healthy Dwight Howard to do anything special, but James Harden is shooting 52.2 percent from the field in his last five games.
9. Dallas Mavericks - The Dallas Mavericks have been brutal against the top teams in the West and their lack of defense is troubling. However, few teams can keep up with the Mavs when those shots are falling.
10. Chicago Bulls - Are we ready to give up on the Chicago Bulls just yet? I’m not. Although we need to see Derrick Rose return to form.
11. New Orleans Pelicans - Is this a little too high to place the Pelicans? I don’t care. I really like what New Orleans is doing, and don’t be surprised if Anthony Davis is in MVP conversations if this team sneaks into the playoffs.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder - I keep waiting for the Oklahoma City Thunder to make that push we’re all expecting. It’s likely going to begin this week.
13. Los Angeles Clippers - Without Blake Griffin, the Los Angeles Clippers are all but screwed. Chris Paul really has to take his game to another level.
14. Milwaukee Bucks - The Milwaukee Bucks are that team to watch in the second half, as they’re an elite defensive group when they want to be. Also, Brandon Knight may be the most underrated player in the league.
15. Washington Wizards - I think the Washington Wizards have what it takes to win the East but a lack of consistency is a big issue with me.
16. Phoenix Suns - While the Phoenix Suns are a nice story and fun to watch, I just don’t trust them defensively and they’re too guard heavy. The Suns will likely be at home come postseason.
17. Charlotte Hornets - The Charlotte Hornets have scored 86 or less points in four of their last eight games. Kemba Walker can’t come back soon enough.
18. Miami Heat - Say what you want about the Miami Heat, but they have yet to play a consistent stretch healthy. Expect a decent run with a healthy Dwyane Wade back in the mix.
19. Detroit Pistons - The Detroit Pistons are still in the playoff race but it’s going to be awfully tough without leading scorer Brandon Jennings.
20. Boston Celtics - Just when you think the Boston Celtics are dead, they string together some wins and compete night in and night out. The Celtics have a lot of heart and will be a team to watch in a year or two.
21. Indiana Pacers - The Indiana Pacers are only two games out of the last playoff spot, and word is Paul George could return next month. Interesting..
22. Brooklyn Nets - Although still in the playoff hunt, the Brooklyn Nets are still shopping many of their key players to anyone who will listen. Don’t be surprised if Brook Lopez and company are gone within a week.
23. Utah Jazz - I like what the Utah Jazz are working with, but being young and in the West isn’t a combination that’s going to work.
24. Sacramento Kings - The Sacramento Kings are another team to watch in a couple of years and could be interesting down the stretch with George Karl leading the way.
25. Philadelphia 76ers - The Philadelphia 76ers were expected to be the worst team in the league, but they continue to fight and have split their last eight games.
26. Denver Nuggets - The Denver Nuggets are one of the more disappointing stories in the league this season. There’s enough talent for them to be better than what they are.
27. Minnesota Timberwolves - The Minnesota Timberwolves have been beat up by the injury bug but could make some noise next season with all the young talent they have currently.
28. Orlando Magic - The Orlando Magic will have their chance to get back in the spotlight once they figure out a coach and their youth begins to blossom.
29. Los Angeles Lakers - The Lakers have their work cut out for them before they come anywhere close to sniffing the playoffs.
30. New York Knicks - For the New York Knicks, it’s all about tanking for Jahlil Okafor.