Week 16 Power Rankings
1). Warriors- Many said that Saturday’s tilt with the Thunder in OKC would be a challenge. The Warriors won by 16 and scored a season high, 43 points in the 2nd quarter.
2). Cavaliers (+3) – Cleveland reminded everyone this week that they’re still top dogs in the East ending Washington’s 17 home game winning streak, and Indiana’s seven-game winning streak.
3). Celtics- Say what you want, but Brad Stevens has to be the top candidate for Coach of the Year. Isaiah Thomas is worthy of every praise he’s received.
4). Spurs- As they continue their 9-game road trip, the Spurs may lose some games they shouldn’t. But they will be okay. They’re clearly the 2nd best team in the West.
5). Wizards (-3) – After a tough loss against the Cavs, Washington was put to the test against Brooklyn and Indiana. They came out victorious, though, and that is all that matters.
6). Rockets (+1)- The Rockets 4 game winning streak is now the longest winning streak in the NBA. Although Kevin Durant may be a cupcake for leaving OKC for the Warriors, the schedule placed in front of Houston is even more of a cupcake.
7). Grizzlies (+3)- The Grizzlies will never die. The Grizzlies will never go away. This team is by far the most overlooked team every season, and I can’t wait to see them play spoiler in the Playoffs.
8). Jazz- They didn’t have their strongest week of the season, but they lost to two hot teams. Utah could use the last few games before the All-Star Break to build some momentum.
9). Hawks (-3)- We have seen the Hawks be back and forth all season. They are currently 5th in the East, and despite earlier rumors of them blowing it up, I think many fans are glad Atlanta decided to ride the remainder of the season out.
10). Pacers (-1)- The Pacers 7 game winning streak was countered by a 3-game losing streak. Indiana’s lack of depth at power forward is showing with starter Thaddeus Young dealing with a wrist injury. Indiana looks to get back on the winning track, but the month of March is an incredibly tough schedule for them.
11). Thunder- Although they didn’t win their big game against the Warriors, they did beat the Cavaliers, Blazers, and Grizzlies in 3 of their last five games. They are a team that’s only going to get better.
12). Raptors (+2)- The Raptors are actively shopping for a starting power forward. Preferably, Serge Ibaka. If the Raptors want to get back to 2nd in the East, they are going to have to make a move fast.
13). Clippers (-1)- LA’s five game road trip is coming to an end in Utah. The Clippers went 2-2 during their visit to the East coast and struggled against two struggling teams. It is hard to love this team right now.
14). Mavericks (+1)- Is Yogi Ferrell the answer for the Mavericks? It appears to be that way. The Mavs have won 7 of 10 and look to be pushing for the 8th spot in the playoffs.
15). Heat (-2)- While they did win 12 games in a row, the 76ers snapped the hottest winning streak going in the league. As Miami only sits a handful games out of the 7th seed, don’t be shocked if Pat Riley is a buyer before the deadline instead of a seller like it seemed was the case a month or two ago.
16). Nuggets- Today, the Nuggets acquired an athletic center, Mason Plumlee. While Jokic is the starter at center, adding an athletic, mobile, defensive-minded big man to back him up is a very good idea. Let’s see what this move does for the Nuggets going forward.
17). Bulls- The Bulls have neither improved or regressed the past few weeks. The most average team in the NBA.
18). Kings (+2)- The Kings have beaten the Warriors, Celtics, and Hawks in the last week, but they lost to Chicago. There is just something interesting about these Kings, and I cannot figure out what it is.
19). Trailblazers (-2)- The Blazers recently made a trade to get a more offensive minded center from the Nuggets. This trade to me means the Blazers are looking to rebuild through the loaded draft of 2017, as they obtained another pick in the draft. They’ll have three total.
20). Pistons (-1)- While the Hornets are struggling, the Pistons are still holding onto the 8th seed. However, the Heat are breathing down their necks. Detroit plays 4 of their next six at home. They HAVE to win those.
21). Bucks (+2)- I was able to watch the Greek Freak in person this week and my word he is as good as they say. He can’t shoot worth a lick, but he dunked the basketball after his first step was just inside the 3-point line. The Bucks as a team aren’t that good, but this young fella can ball.
22). Timberwolves (+2)- The Wolves have encountered a pretty tough schedule, and they have been on the wrong end of things far too often. The lack of depth this roster has is pretty noticeable as well. Minnesota is fun to watch, but expecting more than a handful of wins here and there is expecting too much.
23). 76ers (-2)- Okafor is official the guy that will be dealt and what Philly can bring in for him will be interesting. The 76ers defeated the hot Miami Heat’s 12-game winning streak Saturday and are hoping to build off that.
24). Pelicans (-2) – losing 5 of their last 7, the Pelicans just can’t seem to get over the hump. I am a believer in Anthony Davis, but the combo of Evans and Holliday just hasn’t worked here in NOLA.
25). Lakers (+3)- Recently, we have seen Luke Walton starting a younger group of guys and bringing his veterans off the bench. I am a fan of this, as it allows the young core time to grow chemistry with each other as they build the roster over the next few seasons.
26). Hornets (-1) – This team has lost 9 of their last ten games. They are incredibly disappointing this season and if the low ranking doesn’t indicate how bad they have been, look at their recent schedule. They have only beaten the Nets (twice).
27). Knicks (-1) – From Carmelo Anthony trade rumors to Charles Oakley and owner James Dolan going at it in a game this week, the Knicks are a dumpster fire. Oh, and as far as the basketball play goes, New York has lost 20 of its last 26.
28). Magic (-1) – As the season is over the halfway mark, fans in Orlando are more than halfway done with this team. What is there to cheer for? A possible trade to get them someone who can score from outside? Things aren’t so magical here.
29). Suns- With the upcoming draft full of point guards I wouldn’t be surprised to see Phoenix deal Bledsoe during the draft. I don’t think they will make that move before then, but you never know what someone might offer. As Bender recovers from his injury, Chriss has shown some real potential.
30). Nets- Poor Brooklyn. Things are bad here but not all so bad. The Nets first round pick from this season Caris LeVert has showed me that he is a gamer. I don’t know if he is starter material, but he has the game. As other general managers call for coveted center Brooke Lopez, I expect the Nets to make any deal they can to acquire a 1st round NBA Draft pick. (remember, Boston still owns picks from Brooklyn after acquiring Pierce and Garnett)