All-Star Weekend is upon us. But, before we can kick back in the splendor of watching how bad Kyle Korver will sink the three-point competition, we have to take a look at how the NBA Power Rankings have looked halfway through the season. As has been the case for the past month-and-a-half, we see a lot of Hawks and Warriors at the top.
1. Atlanta Hawks – Two losses in the span of less than a week seems like an illusion in Atlanta nowadays. But, despite losses to Memphis and New Orleans, Atlanta proved against the Warriors who’s the top hawk.
2. Golden State Warriors – The duke-out for the first spot went to Atlanta. But, the Warriors are just a hair behind them in the overall standings and are now No.1 in offensive and defensive efficiency.
3. Memphis Grizzlies – Memphis is eyeing the top once more. A toppling of the almighty Atlanta Hawks certainly works in their favor.
4. Houston Rockets – Somehow (OK, not somehow, someone, as in, D-Mo), Houston continues to survive without Dwight Howard.
5. Toronto Raptors – Going 8-2 in the last 10, the Raptors are back to early season form. Yet, they continue to bungle highly winnable games.
6. San Antonio Spurs – The Spurs can’t seem to climb out of mediocrity which might be as telling as we’ve ever seen with this Spurs team.
7. Los Angeles Clippers – It was not a good time for the Clips to lose Griffin as they’re playing poorly and have a long haul of good competition coming up.
8. Dallas Mavericks – Without Rondo, the Mavs are getting it done, even against top West teams like Portland, finally.
9. Cleveland Cavaliers – The combo of LeBron and Mozgov has been scary defensively, which accounts for the major jump.
10. Portland Trailblazers – Aldridge continues to prove himself a star but Portland isn’t following suit.
11. Chicago Bulls – Three-straight for the Bulls who are top-three out East again. If Tony Snell can drop 20-plus, even a quarter of the rest of the way, this flawed squad can see a major turnaround.
12. Washington Wizards – 0-5 against the Raptors and Hawks. They better hope they play Chicago in all four rounds of the playoffs.
13. Milwaukee Bucks – Giannis has it all.
14. Phoenix Suns – The Suns just can’t close out one-play-deciding games and it could cost them the postseason before they even get there.
15. New Orleans Pelicans – The new streakbusters. Atlanta, take notice.
16. Oklahoma City Thunder – OKC is boxing with New Orleans as the two seesaw their way to Phoenix country.
17. Charlotte Hornets – They snatched eighth place back from Brooklyn…for now.
18. Indiana Pacers – Indy checked Cleveland. Can George Hill do for their season what he did against Charlotte?
19. Detroit Pistons – Without Jennings, the Pistons have taken a major hit on the defensive end. Not exactly expected results but worrisome no less.
20. Utah Jazz – Offense just isn’t a thing the Jazz can hang their hat on.
21. Miami Heat – No Wade, no good.
22. Boston Celtics – The small ball experiment is working in Boston where the C’s are a plus-30 when only one big takes to the hardwood at a time.
23. Brooklyn Nets – The Nets can still rack up impressive wins as seen against Toronto and the Clippers.
24. Sacramento Kings – George Karl has been known to have the magic touch but never the miracle touch.
25. Denver Nuggets – Losing 12 of 13 isn’t ugly enough to drop you below Philly but no one said it was pretty.
26. Philadelphia 76ers – Don’t look now but Philly won a game without MCW for the first time since before 2014 hit. That’s right: we’re well into 2015 now.
27. Orlando Magic – Not much can be expected from a team who just axed their coach. Yet, the Magic remain a team with potential…for next year.
28. Minnesota Timberwolves –A win against No. 3 Memphis was the high note for Minnesota’s week. But, can a team that is 11-41 fare just as well against the league’s No. 1 (Atlanta) and No. 2 (Golden State)?
29. New York Knicks – No Melo, no good.
30. Los Angeles Lakers – How the mighty fall.