NBA News: NBA Power Rankings As of 2/14/16
NBA Power Rankings
February 14, 2106
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As we enter the second half of the NBA season, it’s time to take a look at how all the teams stack up. We’re quickly entering that playoff stretch, so this is where teams will start to show and prove.
Here are your latest NBA power rankings.
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1. Golden State Warriors - Barring injury, the Golden State Warriors are poised to beat the Chicago Bulls record for best regular season record ever.
2. San Antonio Spurs - The San Antonio Spurs are still the league’s best defensive team and probably the best bet to take down the Warriors. Well, if that’s even possible.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder - The Oklahoma City Thunder were my pick to win the title before the season started, and they’ve quietly won 14 of their last 16 games. It’s nice to have two of the top five players in the league, eh?
4. Toronto Raptors - I’m going to say it right now. The Toronto Raptors are the best team in the East. Don’t believe the hype of that other team.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers - I’m just not a big believer of the Cleveland Cavaliers, as they consistently struggle against subpar teams. Still, a duo of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving should not be disrespected too much.
6. Los Angeles Clippers - The Los Angeles Clippers have won 19 of their last 24 games without Blake Griffin. Could this finally be the year Doc and company turn the corner. Buy Clippers stock while you still can.
7. Boston Celtics - The Boston Celtics have won 10 of their last 12 games and are one trade away from becoming a serious sleeper in a wide open Eastern Conference. Dwight Howard, anyone?
8. Memphis Grizzlies - The Memphis Grizzlies have all of a sudden become a balanced team, scoring more than 100 points in 12 of their last 13 games. The Grit and Grind is starting to look a lot more dangerous when the ball goes through the hoop.
9. Utah Jazz - The Utah Jazz have crawled their way back to a .500 record thanks to the third-best defense in the NBA, and Rodney Hood really coming into his own his sophomore season.
10. Miami Heat - The Miami Heat continue to play inconsistent ball and make lineup changes. Still, from a talent standpoint, the Heat is the team with the most upside heading down the stretch.
11. Portland Trail Blazers - The Portland Trail Blazers are becoming one of my favorite teams to watch, and they’re going to make the playoffs. Keep in mind, Portland lost four of its five starters from a year ago.
12. Atlanta Hawks - The Atlanta Hawks are still a respected team in the East that could make some noise, but all that could change if they blow things up before the trade deadline. Teague, Millsap and Horford are reportedly all on the trading block.
13. Indiana Pacers - The Indiana Pacers have too talented of a roster to be as up-and-down as they’ve been the past couple of weeks. Paul George is averaging 22 points and shooting 42.1 percent from deep in the month of February.
14. Dallas Mavericks - Rick Carlisle may be the most underappreciated coach in the NBA. The Mavs are a lot like the Spurs in that they continue to hang around no matter what happens to their roster.
15. Chicago Bulls - The Chicago Bulls are in a nasty slump and constant injuries to key players aren’t helping. However, I’m not writing the Bulls off yet, as they still have the pieces to give any team in the East a run for its money.
16. Detroit Pistons - The Detroit Pistons have a solid core to build around and are probably that team in the East that nobody would want to face in the first round. The Pistons are a team to watch closely during the second half of the season.
17. Houston Rockets - The Houston Rockets are as bipolar of a team as I ever remember seeing. One day the Rockets look like championship contenders, the next they’re getting blown out and yelling at each other. Houston is frustrating.
18. Charlotte Hornets - The Charlotte Hornets lost Michael Kidd-Gilchrist once again to a shoulder injury (massive blow). Depending on how Kemba Walker plays night in and night out, the Hornets will continue to be a hit or miss.
19. Denver Nuggets - The Denver Nuggets are still a year or two away, but a trio of Will Barton, Emmanuel Mudiay and Danilo Gallinari makes them fairly competitive for a below average Western team. I like the direction the Nuggets are moving.
20. Sacramento Kings - The Sacramento Kings are one of many teams fighting for the final two playoff spots in the West. Getting to see a playoff DeMarcus Cousins would be a treat for all NBA fans.
21. Orlando Magic - You guys know how I feel about the Orlando Magic, as this team is loaded with talent and will be a contender in the East in a couple of years. I’m not giving up on the Magic this season, either.
22. New Orleans Pelicans - The New Orleans Pelicans aren’t nearly the same team they were last season, but injuries certainly don’t help. Still, seeing a Anthony Davis-led team struggle this much is kind of heartbreaking.
23. New York Knicks - The New York Knicks are better than expected, but that’s certainly not saying much. Getting rid of Carmelo Anthony’s insane contract would certainly be another step in the right direction.
24. Washington Wizards - The Washington Wizards may be my most disappointing team this season, as there’s enough talent for them to be a playoff team. Unfortunately, coaching issues and injuries have doomed the Wizards.
25. Minnesota Timberwolves - The Minnesota Timberwolves aren’t much now, but a dio of Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns has them moving forward quite quickly.
26. Milwaukee Bucks - The signing of Greg Monroe has absolutely destroyed the Milwaukee Bucks defense, a unit that was one of the most frustrating to play against. The Bucks have fallen off like Big Mac toppings.
27. Philadelphia 76ers - Who would have thought the signing of Ish Smith would turn the 76ers into a team that at least competes? Don’t get me wrong, the 76ers are still awful, but they at least show glimpses of potential at times.
28. Brooklyn Nets - I’m just waiting for the Brooklyn Nets to blow things up. You can’t hold onto aging vets forever, especially when you can’t even compete at home.
29. Los Angeles Lakers - The worst thing to happen to the Los Angeles Lakers is Kobe Bryant getting hot and winning a few games by himself. The Lakers need to lose out and increase their odds of getting Ben Simmons.
30. Phoenix Suns - The Phoenix Suns management is an absolute joke, and now you have players choking their teammates. I’m sure Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight are glad they don’t have to play the rest of the season out.