JD's WEEKLY NBA POWER RANKINGS

Warriors back on top thanks to 5-game winning streak.

John Dickinson
March 24, 2017 - 3:11 pm
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1.   Warriors (57-14) – Have won 5 straight to reclaim top spot since Steve Kerr rested Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala in San Antonio.

2.   Spurs (55-16) – Door was wide open for the Spurs to beat out the Warriors for the #1 seed and home court advantage before consecutive losses to Portland and Memphis.

3.   Rockets (49-22) – Houston has won 5-of-6 and 7-of-10 with James Harden continuing to make his case for league MVP.

4. Cavaliers (46-24) – Cleveland is 29th of 30 teams in defensive efficiency in March which has led to just a one game lead over Boston for top spot in the Eastern Conference

 

5. Celtics (46-26) – Boston has won two straight since Isaiah Thomas returned from a knee injury, which sidelined him 2 games.

 

6. Jazz (44-28) – The Jazz have found themselves in a battle with the Clippers for home court advantage in a potential 1st Round playoff series between the two having already locked up their first playoff berth since 2012

 

7. Wizards (43-28) – The Wizards have likely cost themselves home court advantage in any 2nd Round playoff series by losing 4-of-6 w/losses to lowly Minnesota, Dallas & Charlotte among them.

 

8. Clippers (43-30) – The Clippers could finish anywhere between 4th and 7th in a Western Conference where it appeared they could do no worse than 3rd when the season started.

 

9. Raptors (43-29) – Toronto has won 4 straight to improve to 15-16 since their 28-13 beginning to the season as of January 17. The Raptors are locked into a top 4 spot in the East.

 

10. Thunder (41-30) – Russell Westbrook was right back to getting triple-doubles with ease Wednesday after Warriors throttled OKC for their lone loss in the last 7 games.

 

11. Grizzlies (40-32) – No team in the NBA has more quality wins (GSW, SA and HOU twice each + a win over CLE) coupled with bad losses (BKN, NOP twice, at LAL, SAC, at ORL, at MIN).

 

12. Hawks (37-34) – Atlanta will have their hands full holding on to 5th in the East with just two games separating 5-8 and the Hawks trending in the wrong direction by losing 5 straight

 

13. Bucks (36-35) -- Giannis Antetokounmpo is on a tear and so are the Bucks who just completed a 4-2 road trip and are 10-2 since March 3.

 

14.  Pacers (36-35) – Nothing says .500 like alternating wins and losses, which the Pacers have done in each of their last 15 games.

 

15. Heat (35-37) – The Heat are currently 1 game clear of the final playoff sport in the Eastern Conference with a chance to get as high as 5th, making the most of their 24-7 second half after going 11-30 in the first.

 

16. Nuggets (34-37) – Every time Denver has needed to come up with a big win to stave off Portland they’ve been able to do it. The latest, being a 126-113 win over the Cavs where they scored 73 1st half points and tallied 101 after three quarters.

 

17. Blazers (33-38) – The Blazers are surging in March with an 9-3 record and have the schedule advantage over the Nuggets down the stretch for the right to likely play the Warriors in the playoffs.

 

18. Pistons (34-38) – As an up and down season heads toward a non-playoff finish, you’d think Stan Van Gundy will look to make wholesale roster changes this offseason.

 

19. Bulls (34-38) – The Bulls were a bad mix with Dwayne Wade and not having him for the remainder of the season hurts their already slim chances of nabbing one of the final playoff spots in the East.

 

20. Hornets (32-39) – Charlotte on track to miss the playoffs a year after making them for a second time under head coach Steve Clifford in four seasons.

 

21. Mavericks (31-40) – While Dallas will almost certainly come up short in playoff race, Rick Carlisle was able to cobble together enough around Harrison Barnes & Dirk Nowitzki to be 25-20 after their 6-20 start.

 

22. Pelicans (30-41) – The Pelicans have won 3 straight and 5-of-6 to improve to 7-7 since the DeMarcus Cousins trade. That improvement is just enough to make it all but a lock they’ll be sending their 1st Round pick to Sacramento for the effort.

 

23. T-Wolves (28-42) – Minnesota is coming on strong late in the season for a second consecutive year but will have to show it can carry over to the beginning of 2017-18, which failed to happen in transition from Sam Mitchell to Tom Thibodeau.

 

24. 76ers (26-45) – Even with Embiid out and Ben Simmons never seeing the floor, Brett Brown’s squad continues to compete night in and night out vs. more talented opponents. They have the effort level of a playoff team.

 

25. Knicks (27-45) – Remember when the Knicks were 12-9? Neither do I.

 

26.  Kings (27-44) – The current Kings roster post DeMarcus Cousins trade (3-11 since the move) might struggle to win 20 games over a full season though Buddy Hield & Skal Labissiere have shown flashes of a bright future.

 

27.Magic (26-46) – It’s a struggle to identify Orlando’s best player and even if you settle on Elfrid Payon it leads to only one conclusion: The Magic are setup to be bad for quite some time.

 

28. Nets (15-56) – Incredible to think a team this bad will be giving up their 1st round pick to a team that will finish number 1 or 2 in the Conference. Nevertheless, Brooklyn has won two straight for the first time this season to move out of the cellar.

 

29.  Lakers (20-51) – Injuries & horrific defense have put the Lakers in full tank more in an attempt to keep their top 3 protected pick from heading to Philadelphia.

 

30.  Suns (22-50) – The Suns lost to both the Cousinsless Kings and 27th ranked Magic in back-to-back home games after shutting down Eric Bledsoe for the season last week and then got beat by 28 against lowly Brooklyn

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