Basketball

NBA: Power rankings heading into February

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

These power rankings are ranked from the last couple of weeks not the whole season all though it does add extra weighting in comparing some teams.

Warning: These are all my opinion and interpretation of how a team has performed recently, so it may be a little bias.

30th Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns have won just 3 of their last 23 games, Markieff Morris has fought with any coach who comes near him. When he doesn’t play he gets angry and sooks, when he does play he throws up career-high numbers of 3 point attempts on a career low shooting percentage and does little else. Phoenix is in a horrible situation and I don’t see it getting any better.

29th Orlando Magic

Things are going downhill in Orlando (losing 12 of their last 13 games), albeit 9 of these losses were on the road. Orlando had a great start to the season due to their improved defence under Scott Skiles. However, recently, they have conceded an average of 105 points per game in their last 12 losses. A change of defence and fewer injuries is needed rapidly.

 

28th LA lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers have had an abysmal season currently sitting last in the saddle Western Conference. LA has lost 13 of their 14 games and are currently enjoying the Kobe Bryant retirement brigade so it doesn’t look like its gonna get any better.

 

27th Brooklyn Nets

Sitting 14th in the East with a roster that’s supposed to win now, Brooklyn doesn’t deserve to be any higher and by the look of their future picks, this might be the highest spot Brooklyn will sit in the rankings for the foreseeable future.

 

26th Minnesota Timberwolves

Losing 8 of their last 10, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been a little competitive in their recent games. They have some good future pieces and are just trying to develop their young players

 

25th Philadelphia 76ers

Philly is flying! Probably the highest they’ve been in the rankings in years. This is all thanks to one man and this effect can be called the Ish Smith effect! Since the arrival of Ish Smith, Philly has been playing a lot better, scoring more, playing better D. There is hope down in Philly.

 

24th Indiana pacers

Indiana, you ask? The same Indiana that is currently the 8th seed in a stacked eastern conference. Indiana has been poor recently and that shown in their last 10 games going 3-7. This is just a poor patch for Indiana they’ll heat up to make their playoffs run.

 

23rd Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta has won 4 of their last 10 but with their wins coming over Brooklyn, Orlando, Portland and Denver with three of these at home theirs, not much to write home about.

 

22nd Chicago Bulls

Yes, another powerhouse in the east low in the rankings. Due to the competitiveness of the East this year teams like Chicago get beaten by teams around them meaning they don’t perform well some weeks, this was one of them.

 

21st New York Knicks

Winning 4 of their last 10, the New York Knicks have been playing good competitive basketball with no result. Injuries to Carmelo, Porzingis and Calderon have affected their last couple of games but with them back the Knicks could make a push for playoffs this year.

 

20th Milwaukee Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks have improved recently but are still low in the rankings because they have been so poor this season. Greg Monroe is dominating for the bucks and there the realisation of how good he could be and most importantly improved the team’s play.

 

19th Miami Heat

Missing Dwyane Wade, Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside whilst still winning a couple of games kept the Heat up the rankings, they’ve won 3 straight and are starting to push for playoffs.

 

18th Detroit Pistons

The Detroit Pistons were a lot higher up in the rankings but they have dropped recently due to a few bad performances coming from Andre Drummond leading to losses.

 

17th Washington Wizards

After having a good run of games, Washington has dropped three straight including a loss to Denver that could have gone their way if they had executed down the stretch which leaves them on their losing streak and a drop in the rankings

16th Charlotte Hornets

This Charlotte team is very inconsistent and one of the reasons why is that the injuries keep piling up. They have played some good games this year and were 4 of their past 5 games before this  2-game losing streak

 

15th Sacramento Kings

With an 8-3 run in January plus with DeMarcus Cousins dominating and Rajon Rondo back to his best, it was thought that the Sacramento Kings have turned things around…  However, the Sacramento we all now appeared and they suffered 3 straight losses to push them down the rankings.

 

14th Denver Nuggets

The only team in the league to have 10+ wins under 4 points, playing competitive basketball and are sitting at .500 over their last 10 games. Probably out of playoff contention at this stage but you never know.

 

13th Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz have been doing what Utah do best, play average basketball under the radar. Winning 3 out of their last 4 with the 3 wins coming with a combined win margin of 64 points. The Jazz are starting to heat up and with a very easy run to finish the season, their push for the playoffs is just beginning.

 

12th Houston Rockets

King Smoove has returned! Josh Smith has somehow ignited the Rockets since his return initially going on a 3 win streak before they were hit with some tough losses. It is very likely the Rockets will return to playoffs even though this season has been tumultuous, to say the least.

 

11th Dallas Mavericks

Dallas, who have won 4 of their last 7, are consistently above .500. Coach Carlisle has got the Mavs to buy in and almost made Zaza Pachulia an All-Star.

 

10th New Orleans Pelicans

After a dreadful start to the season, Anthony Davis has come back and vastly improved the Pelicans. Winning 7 of their last 9, the Pelicans are looking up. Month Williams is starting to make his mark on this team and it shows, Pels are thinking playoffs this season.

 

9th Portland Trail Blazers

Another team who has won 7 of their last 9… Some big wins in these include a win over OKC and their other 6 wins coming with a combined winning margin of 91 points. Pushing hard for playoffs, Portland has vaulted up in the rankings.

 

8th Cleveland Cavaliers

With all of the attention on the sacking of David Blatt, the Cavs have been playing good basketball under new head coach Tyronn Lue. 6 wins in their last 8 is decent for the Cavaliers and if they continue with this they will probably finish top of the East.

 

7th Memphis Grizzlies

Winning 8 of their last 9, the Grizzlies are grinding as they always do. The always present Grizzlies are playing good ball as they always do. Playoffs are calling for the Grizzlies and they want it at the grind house.

 

6th LA Clippers

A lot of the news currently about the Clippers and Blake Griffin, however, they still know how to win and they’re doing just that. Chris Paul is firing on all cylinders and taking the Clippers on his back with him.

 

5th Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics are playing fantastic… Brad Stevens has got them playing his type of basketball and their record is benefitting from it. With an 8-2 record in their last 10 games, the Celtics are going to be a tough team to beat come playoff time.

 

4th OKC Thunder

Durant and Westbrook are doing their best to win a championship in Oklahoma. Together they are putting up half of OKC’s points every night with other people chipping in. A 10-1 record in their last 11 games have the Thunder sitting pretty up in 3rd in the West.

 

3rd San Antonio Spurs

A loss to the Golden State Warriors wasn’t going to stop the Spurs from coming in 3rd in the rankings. The Spurs had 14 wins straight before that loss and so it’s pretty stiff to come 3rd.

 

2nd Golden State Warriors

What can be said about the Golden State Warriors apart from the fact this is the first time they probably haven’t been first in the rankings this season. With 13 wins in their last 15 should probably be third but for a record team, they get a slight advantage.

 

1st Toronto Raptors

Toronto has won a franchise record of 10 straight games. So in honour of their franchise record, they get the number 1 spot. All-star Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan led the way for them night in and night out. The Cavs better look in the rear-view mirror because the Raptors are coming up fast.

 

All stats are current as of January 29.

Follow me on Twitter @tdelia96 and let me know what you think of these power rankings and where you think your team should be!

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