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NBA News: NBA Power Rankings As Of 3/12/16

NBA Power Rankings

March 12, 2016

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We’re heading down the home stretch with about a month left in the NBA regular season. At this point we have a great idea of where teams are at in terms of contenders and pretenders, but there’s still plenty of squads fighting for playoff positioning.

Here are your latest NBA power rankings.

NBA News: NBA Power Rankings As Of 3/12/16

USA TODAY Sports

1. Golden State Warriors - With most of the Golden State Warriors games taking place at home, it’s safe to say they’re breaking the Chicago Bulls regular season record.

2. San Antonio Spurs - The media has kind of treated the San Antonio Spurs like an afterthought, but they’ve still lost just four game since January. That’s pretty good, eh?

3. Oklahoma City Thunder - The Oklahoma City Thunder were my pick to win the NBA Finals, and with Russell Westbrook back on his triple double tear, it’s still not out of the question.

4. Toronto Raptors - I still say that the Toronto Raptors are the best team in the East. Despite the Cavs having the better record, the Raptors are 2-1 against them at the moment.

5. Los Angeles Clippers - Blake Griffin will have his hand reevaluated soon, which means the Clippers could be getting their leading scorer back before the playoffs. Keep in mind the Clippers have lost just nine games since Christmas.

6. Cleveland Cavaliers - I’ve said all season that I’m not as high on the Cleveland Cavaliers as most people have, penning them into the Finals before the season even started. Although the Cavs will be tough to beat with J.R. Smith making 14 threes in his last five games.

7. Miami Heat - The Miami Heat have won 15 of their last 21 games, and there’s hope that Chris Bosh will return at some point. The Heat are the sneaky dark horse to watch the rest of the way.

8. Boston Celtics - Besides the Warriors and the Spurs, there’s not many teams that show up night in and night out like the Boston Celtics. Not flashy at all, but the Celtics are stone cold tough and make you work for everything.

9. Portland Trail Blazers - The Portland Trail Blazers have been my favorite team to watch this season, and I think they’re capable of a first round upset. That 1-2 punch of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum is downright deadly.

10. Charlotte Hornets - Surprise, surprise! The Charlotte Hornets have lost just three games since February and still have a shot to get home in the first round of the playoffs.

11. Detroit Pistons - The Detroit Pistons are far better than what they’ve shown as of late, and I still have more confidence in them than any of the other teams below them in these power rankings. Tobias Harris was the steal of the NBA trade deadline.

12. Atlanta Hawks - I have little confidence in the Atlanta Hawks, a team that’s split its last 14 games. The same roster that won 60 games last season is struggling to string consistent wins together.

13. Indiana Pacers - The Indiana Pacers are another inconsistent team. However, a trio of Monta Ellis, Paul George and George Hill is something no team in the East wants to see in the first round of the playoffs.

14. Houston Rockets - No team in the NBA pisses me off more than the Houston Rockets. With all the talent they have, there’s no reason why the Rockets are like a box of chocolates.

15. Memphis Grizzlies - The Memphis Grizzlies have lost just seven games since January 14, but players are dropping like flies. It’s going to be tough for the Grizzlies to do anything come playoff time to do so many injuries.

16. Chicago Bulls - Speaking of injuries, the Chicago Bulls are a downright mess at the moment due to Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler being in and out of the lineup. However, how cool would it be for a healthy Bulls team to play the Cavs in the first round? We can only hope.

17. Dallas Mavericks - Still not sure how the Mavs have a winning record, but they do. Dirk Nowitzki is shooting 53 percent from the field in his last five games.

18. Utah Jazz - The Utah Jazz need to make up their mind in terms of being good or not. The tease with the Jazz has been frustrating all season, but a lot of that has to do with lousy point guard play.

19. Denver Nuggets - The Denver Nuggets are a young team that’s on the rise. Gary Harris has all-star potential if he’s ever able to play starting minutes over the course of a season.

20. Milwaukee Bucks - The Bucks may be the most disappointing team in the East after what we saw in the playoffs last season. Well, at least Giannis Antetokounmpo is fun to watch.

21. Washington Wizards - It sucks seeing an incredible season from John Wall being wasted. If only Bradley Beal could stay healthy for the first time in his career and Nene could actually do something positive when on the court.

22. Sacramento Kings - The Sacramento Kings are a fun team to watch but simply aren’t there yet. DeMarcus Cousins needs that one guy he can count on consistently, and then the Kings are cooking with gas.

23. New Orleans Pelicans - You have to wonder if Anthony Davis is starting to regret signing that long-term deal. Hard to imagine a key guy coming to New Orleans, and Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon are likely gone at the end of the season. Yikes.

24. Orlando Magic - The Orlando Magic fell off like Big Mac toppings, as they were on a roll to start the season. The good news is that the Magic have a lot of young talent and a ton of cap space to work with.

25. New York Knicks - The only way the New York Knicks are going to improve quickly is by trading Carmelo Anthony for assets and building around Kristaps Porzingis. Wait, did I just say that?

26. Brooklyn Nets - You wouldn’t know it, but Brook Lopez has topped 20 points in eight of his last 11 games and shooting 58.5 percent in the month of March. That’s about the only good thing going on for the Brooklyn Nets.

27. Minnesota Timberwolves - Minnesota Timberwolves’ fans can’t even be upset. Unlike the other teams on this list, Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns is a duo that is going to win a ton of games in a couple of years.

28. Los Angeles Lakers - Not sure why it’s taken Jordan Clarkson and D'Angelo Russell this long to show and prove, but it’s not helping the Lakers now. Lakers need a top-two pick in order to snag Brandon Ingram or Ben Simmons.

29. Phoenix Suns - The Phoenix Suns have won just nine games since December. And to think the Suns have been a game or two out of the playoff race the last couple of seasons.

30. Philadelphia 76ers - The Philadelphia 76ers have won a combined 46 games the last three seasons. Forget NBA, the 76ers may be the worst run franchise in all of American sports.

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