Throughout the rest of the NBA Season, Mike Aurigemma will give his weekly NBA Power Rankings every other Tuesday…
San Antonio Spurs(3) – Winners of their last ten games definitely puts this team at the top of the rankings. It seems like they have every player in their perfect role. And really is there any doubt of how great of a coach Popovich is at this point. Still not sure this team has the star power to win it all, but as of now it looks like that may not be a problem.
Oklahoma City Thunder (1) – A mini outburst by Russell Westbrook did not seem to slow down the Thunder at all as they just keep trucking along. You just have to wonder if there will be a time the Thunder lose a playoff game because Westbrook cannot control his emotions.
Miami Heat (4) – The fans in South Beach should be worried at this point as the Heat have looked far from immortal. If they continue to slip up from here on out they may be looking up at the Knicks in the standings. Still, there is no doubt this team is the clear favorite in the Eastern Conference.
New York Knicks (6) – Raymond Felton is a difference maker for this team. Carmelo Anthony still does not share the ball at all and Felton is the one who gets all those great shooters the ball in the spot they like. Having won their last five games they have a real shot to jump ahead of the Heat in these rankings.
Los Angeles Clippers (2) – The Clippers have really struggled of late and part of that has to do with Chris Paul being out, but still their bench has been slowed down and their defense looks extremely weak at this point. Maybe a trade for the defensive minded Kevin Garnett is what this team needs to get over the top.
Denver Nuggets (9) – The Nuggets have won their last six games and look to really be coming together as a team. But that horrid 10-15 record on the road will once again be what does this team in.
Golden State Warriors (7) – The Warriors continue to impress, which is pretty amazing as I thought they would have fallen off by now. This team definitely still needs some experience and would a player of Paul Pierce’s caliber help this team become an actual threat?
Chicago Bulls(10) – Injuries to both Noah and Boozer have to be worrisome, but this team still has a great defensive mindset even without Noah. Now we just have to wait for Rose to come back to see if this team will be the Heat’s biggest threat in getting back to the Finals.
Memphis Grizzlies (8) – Even without Rudy Gay, the Grizzlies will be a tough out come playoff time, but they can no longer compete for a title. It sucks to see a small market team have to cut salary and take back almost nothing for a star like Gay.
Indiana Pacers (11) – Danny Granger will be coming back soon for the Pacers and it will be interesting to see if he comes off the bench. I still think Hibbert will be the key to this team if they want to upset the Heat. They do match up pretty well with them and they could at least make the Heat work for it.
Brooklyn Nets (5) – The Nets are not falling so much because of their play recently, but more the play of other teams above them. I just do not know if this team will be able to grind out wins in the playoffs and if they have the mental toughness to face the adversity they surely will see come playoff time.
Utah Jazz (16) – The Jazz have won seven of their last ten, which has helped them create some breathing room for their seed in the playoffs. You still have to wonder if they will shake things up at the deadline to try to get out of mediocre land.
Portland Trail Blazers (12) – The Blazers desperately need some offensive firepower off the bench if they want to sneak into the playoffs. The problem is that they should really be looking towards the future as they cannot compete this year.
Houston Rockets (13) – The Rockets continue to look terrible defensively, but they show no signs of slowing down on the offensive side. I would have expected that Asik would have been able to bring some defensive toughness on the inside, but that clearly has not been the case.
Could Pierce be wearing a different jersey for the first time in his career?
Boston Celtics (15) – Firstly, Rondo is one tough player, but this team is not better without him. Yes, they won four straight, but this team should be way better than their record to begin with. Secondly, no one will be able to replicate what Rondo does for this team come playoff time.
Atlanta Hawks (14) – Things are going south in Hotlanta and this team really needs to do something to get out of mediocrity that they have been in for years. Maybe Dwight Howard will be the answer this offseason, but I doubt it.
Milwaukee Bucks (2o) – The Bucks have not let up as I would have expected them to at this point so you have to admire that. But this has to be the team the Heat want in the first round.
Los Angeles Lakers (18) – What I do no understand is why Kobe Bryant has to be a distributor for this team while Steve Nash is playing right alongside him. It has worked for them so you cannot deny that, but another shoulder injury to Howard has to be troublesome for this team and for their long-term plans as well.
Toronto Raptors (23) – The Raptors know they will not be able to sign any big time players to play in Canada so they had to trade for an overpaid star in Rudy Gay. Still, I like the trade for them and it could even help them sneak into the playoffs as the eighth seed.
Detroit Pistons (19) - Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe are a really good tandem for the future. The Pistons may be the team to capitalize if the Celtics trade away Pierce and Garnett, especially with the 76ers still struggling.
Philadelphia 76ers (21) – Andrew Bynum. Calling Andrew Bynum.
Minnesota Timberwolves (22) – Only two wins in their last ten games and it looks like this may be another lost season for the Timberwolves.
Dallas Mavericks (17) – I think the Mavericks have to really be pushing hard for Howard this offseason as this team is fading fast.
Sacramento Kings (26) – It seems like the trade talk surrounding Demarcus Cousins has cooled off, which to me is the right move. He is too talented to trade away because of attitude issues.
Orlando Magic (24) – Losing their last ten games, it is clear the Magic have gone into full on tank mode at this point, which is the smart move for them.
New Orleans Hornets (25) – Austin Rivers is looking more and more like a bad choice. And they already had Gordon locked up so I did not see why they wanted to go the route of Rivers.
Cleveland Cavaliers (27) – This team will need some low-post presence to help out Kyrie Irving in the future. If they get that player this team will surely be on the rise.
Washington Wizards (28) - I have to admit, I was wayyyy to high on this team for this season. It seems like they took a big step backwards.
Charlotte Bobcats (29) – Scary injury to Michal Kidd-Gilchrist was definitely not what this team needed to see.
Phoenix Suns (30) – There is just nothing to look at with this team and like at this point. They have no great, young talent and clearly no direction in their franchise.