Thanks to 13-straight wins, the Warriors have taken the throne away from the Grzzlies who were last week’s power ranking royals.
1. Golden State Warriors – Winners of 13-straight, the Warriors seem to have forgotten how to lose. It’s easy to see why as they’re ranked No. 1 in field-goal percentage defense, defensive efficiency and, as they proved to the Bulls, fast-break points per game. They’re also ranked second in field-goal percentage and, as you’d expect, 3-point shooting. They seem untouchable right now…
2. San Antonio Spurs – …that is, unless you ask the Spurs. They have taken down the league’s two established powerhouses, the Grizzlies and Warriors, along with the Clippers, Hawks, and Blazers to go 9-1 in the past 10 bouts.
3. Memphis Grizzlies – Tied with Houston and Portland with a 16-4 record out West seems like a far cry from where the Grizz were to start the season. Still, no one wants to see them healthy in the playoffs.
4. Portland Trail Blazers – Talk has centered around the stacked Warriors, the resilient Spurs, the offense-heavy Mavericks, but everyone forgets about Portland. And they’re not to be forgotten with how they’re playing.
5. Los Angeles Clippers – Being flawless (11-0) against bad teams has helped their steady rise but you can’t fault the Clips for doing what they’re supposed to: amassing W’s.
6. Dallas Mavericks – With their out-of-this-arena offense and Monta Ball, the Mavs are a verified threat even if ranked seventh in Western Conference standings.
7. Toronto Raptors – They’ve slipped with DeRozan out but they earn their keep by remaining the East’s top cohort.
8. Houston Rockets – Sans just about everyone, the Rockets are still winning.
9. Chicago Bulls – Yes, they’re struggling, but this team has the makings of something special. Just look at their Golden State game. Despite 20-something turnovers and questionable passing and decision making, they kept the game close against the league’s hottest and most decorated group.
10. Atlanta Hawks – They’re making noise but is any one going to hear them?
11. Washington Wizards – They’re a reverse Chicago. If they could get it together on the road (4-4) they’d be heaps of scary.
12. Cleveland Cavaliers – Don’t look now, Eastern Conference, but the Cavs are seven-game streakers.
13. Phoenix Suns – The Thomas-Dragic-Bledsoe experiment isn’t exactly failing but it’s also not making them much better than they were last season.
14. Sacramento Kings – The Kings continue to not get it done without Boogie on the floor.
15. Milwaukee Bucks – The Bucks, despite a hard few days, are still proving themselves to the world, and, well, themselves.
16. New Orleans Pelicans –Anthony Davis, something something, Anthony Davis.
17. Orlando Magic – 3-3 out West. OUT WEST. The Magic just went 3-3 out West.
18. Miami Heat – The Heat just aren’t bringing it on D.
19. Denver Nuggets – The Nuggets are living up to their landscape, the Rockies, as they’ve had major ups and downs all season.
20. Oklahoma City Thunder – Chalk it up to the resiliency of Kevin Durant, or what have you, but OKC now has the firepower to contest in the West.
21. Boston Celtics – Behind Rondo, the C’s have strung together some nice wins.
22. Brooklyn Nets – New York is hurting right now.
23. Indiana Pacers – Once playoff hopefuls, the Pacers have stumbled some as of late.
24. Los Angeles Lakers – Kobe is making a run at the record books. Oh, right, the Lakers are a team…
25. Charlotte Hornets – Their 10-game skid is over but Jordan must surely be having some regrets right about now.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves – Owners of the West’s worst record. That is all.
27. Utah Jazz – The worst record in the West is owned by the Wolves but the current longest losing streak has found residence in scenic Utah. Really, there’s not much else worth seeing there than the view.
28. New York Knicks –Phil Jackson, once a man who drew up championship-winning plays, is now drawing up plans for the draft.
29. Philadelphia 76ers – You never thought you’d see the day but the 76ers are no longer the league’s worst. Leave that up to the…
30. Detroit Pistons – For a team once actively competing for a playoff spot, Detroit’s drop to the very bottom is heaps more tragic than Philly ever being here.