NBA Basketball Power Rankings – Power Ratings: February 2nd 2008
NBA BASKETBALL POWER RANKINGS – NBA BASKETBALL POWER RATINGS
(CURRENT) (TEAM) (W/L OVERALL & W/L FOR WEEK) (ATS RECORD) (LAST WEEKS RANK)
1) Boston Celtics (35-8/2-1) (26-16-1 ATS) (LW: 1) The Celtics had a rough go of it early on in the week when they barely escaped Minnesota at home (87-86), and then lost at Orlando for the second time this season when Hedo Turkoglu nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer. However, they got down and dirty against Miami and blew them off their home floor by a 117-87 final count. They still boast the best record in the league, but it will be tested this week when they square off against Dallas at home and on the road against King James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
2) Dallas Mavericks (31-13/3-0) (19-22-3 ATS) (LW: 2) Very solid week for Dirk and company who won all three games including a 103-84 trouncing at Memphis on back-to-back nights. However, the injury bug came up and bit Guard Devin Harris on the ankle and he’ll now be out till mid February. This club enters the month of February on a roll winning 8 of their L/10, but they’ll be put to the test this week with three big time Eastern Conference road match-ups against Boston, Detroit, and Orlando before returning home to host the Milwaukee Bucks.
3) Detroit Pistons (32-13/2-0) (27-17-1 ATS) (LW: 4) The Pistons turned the page on their uncharacteristic 1-3 SU mark last week and proceeded to pick up two wins this week against Indiana and Orlando. They now get the pleasure of playing five of their next six at home before the All Star break, so it’s almost guaranteed that they’ll go into the break atop the Central Division. They’ll welcome in two of the better Western Conference teams this week in the Lakers and Mavericks before hosting the worst the NBA has to offer in the Miami Heat.
4) New Orleans Hornets (32-13/3-1) (29-15-1 ATS) (LW: 5) The Hornets are currently the HOTTEST team in the NBA right now. Sure, they just had their 9-game winning streak snapped at home by the Golden State Warriors, but this club has been playing some sick ball and made their backers a ton of money in the process. Throughout their L/20 overall games, Chris Paul and the Hornets are an insane 17-3 SU and ATS. That being said, a tough 3-game road trip is scheduled this week against the likes of Sacramento, Utah, and Phoenix before returning home to host the Grizzlies.
5) Phoenix Suns (33-13/3-0) (22-23-1 ATS) (LW: 6) Including last weeks 4-1 SU and ATS effort, the Suns are now 7-1 SU & ATS their L/8 contests and currently sit atop the Pacific Division with a 3.5-game lead over the Lakers. Offensively, the Suns have been scorching the nets by averaging a shade under 109 PPG their L/5, while the defense has stepped up limiting their L/5 opponents to 100 PPG. Six of their next seven games come in the comfy confines of US Airways Center including three this week against San Antonio, Charlotte, and New Orleans.
6) LA Lakers (28-15/1-2) (24-17-1 ATS) (LW: 3) The Lakers injury woes really played a role in this clubs momentum this past week. Kobe accounted for 73 points combined in their two games against Dallas and Cleveland, but it wasn’t enough for them to secure the victories. The loss of Andrew Bynum has allowed opponents to dominate the paint, and now they’ll lose some more athleticism with Luke Walton’s hip injury. Their five games in seven-night Eastern Conference road trip will test this bunch mightily, and it looks as if a swift decline is in store for this group until they get 100% healthy.
7) Golden State (28-19/3-1) (21-26 ATS) (LW: 9) The Warriors put forth a very successful week by winning three of their four games SU, but they killed their backers by only managing one cover ATS. That cover was a big one against New Orleans in their gym, which tells me this Warriors club is indeed the real deal this season. The Warriors only have one game this week at home against Charlotte, and four more home games after that before the All Star break.
8 ) Cleveland Cavaliers (25-19/2-1) (21-23 ATS) (LW: 11) Lebron and company improved upon last weeks unblemished mark and took 2 of 3 both SU and ATS. The lone loss came against the Suns at home by a bucket. However, their wins at the Lakers and at Portland signal to me that this club’s back to playing the type of ball that earned them a ticket to the NBA Finals last season. The injury bug still has its hold on this club, but it should be back to full strength after the All Star break. The Cavs will finish out their 3-game Western Conference road trip tonight in Seattle before returning home to take on the Clippers and Boston next Tuesday night.
9) Utah Jazz (28-18/4-0) (23-23 ATS) (LW: 13) The Jazz put forth a very impressive 4-0 SU and ATS mark this past week , and they’re currently the NBA’s hottest team with six wins in a row. The home wins over NY, San Antonio, and Sacramento were nice, but the road win at Houston was huge and it could end up being the game that gets them into the second season. In order to keep their hot streak alive, the Jazz will have to do it on the road at Washington and Denver before returning home to host New Orleans.
10) Portland Trailblazers (26-19/1-2) (26-19 ATS) (LW: 7) The Blazers have cooled off tremendously since their insane December run, and only managed one win in three tries last week. In all actuality, they would have put forth a goose egg this past week if not for an incredible second half comeback against Atlanta. They’ll close out their six-game home stand this week against New York, Denver, and Chicago. Another losing week in this spot will see the Blazers plummet in this poll.
11) San Antonio Spurs (28-16/1-3) (19-24-1 ATS) (LW: 8 ) You knew it was going to be a rough week for the Spurs when they barely managed to escape from Miami with a victory, and that’s exactly how it played out. They went on to drop their next three games against New Orleans at home in blow-out fashion, on the road at Utah, and at Seattle allowing the Sonics to snatch their first victory of 2008. Injuries have played a major role for the defending champs this season, but age might be catching up with this club as well. They’re currently 0-2 SU and ATS on the rodeo trip with seven more to go before the All Star break.
12) Denver Nuggets (27-18/2-2) (23-22 ATS) (LW: 10) Wins against New Jersey and Memphis bookend losses at New Orleans and Dallas this week, but the Nuggets managed to cover 3 of their 4 games without the services of injured superstar Carmelo Anthony. They did however get passed over by Utah in the standings, which tells me Mr. Anthony should be back in the starting line-up sooner rather than later.
13) Washington (24-20/2-2) (27-17 ATS) (LW: 12) The Wizards managed a 2-2 SU and ATS mark this past week with wins and covers at home against Toronto and Memphis and road losses against Milwaukee and Toronto. The Verizon Center has treated the Wizards nicely this season, but their road show has been bothersome and they’ve now lost four in a row since knocking off the Celtics in the Garden. Their lone road game this week is at Philly, but they’ll be extremely tested at home with Utah, LA Lakers, and San Antonio paying them a visit.
14) Toronto Raptors (25-20/2-1) (25-19-1 ATS) (LW: 14) A 2-1 SU & ATS mark for the Raptors this week with a win at home against Milwaukee and a home and home split with Washington. Five of their next seven come north of the border, so I expect the Dinos to keep pace with Boston in the Atlantic Division and try to shave off a couple more games before the break.
15) Houston Rockets (25-20/2-1) (22-22-1 ATS) (LW: 15) The Rockets started off the week with a huge win at Portland who only dropped 3 games prior at the Rose Garden, but they followed that up with a terrible loss at home against Utah that could come back to bite them come playoff time. They should come out very determined this week with three games on the road against lesser competition (Indiana, Milwaukee, & Minnesota).
16) Orlando Magic (29-18/2-1) (30-16-1 ATS) (LW: 16) The Magic followed up a perfect 3-0 mark last week with a 2-1 SU and ATS mark this week with wins against Miami and Boston and a loss in the Motor City. Six of their next eight come in their own arena, which presents them with an excellent opportunity to put more space between them and Washington before the All Star break.
17) Sacramento Kings (20-24/2-1) (24-20 ATS) (LW: 17) The Kings continued its upward movement this past week by picking up wins against Charlotte and Seattle, but succumbing to a white hot Utah team in SLC. With a healthy cast of characters, the Kings boast one of the better offenses in the league but they’ll have to work on its defense that’s slipped mightily the last couple weeks.
18) Philadelphia 76ers (18-28/2-1) (21-23-2 ATS) (LW: 24) A rare winning week for the Sixers who have split their last four games after dropping their first seven January contests. Look for them to try and close out the first half of the season on a high with six of their next seven in the Wachovia Center.
19) Indiana Pacers (19-27/0-3) (22-24 ATS) (LW: 18) The Pacers continue to plummet in the rankings after putting forth another clunker this past week. They even allowed the Miami Heat, losers of 15 straight, to knock them off and one has to start questioning the moves upper management has made the last couple seasons to turn this once proud franchise into a very mediocre outfit.
20) Charlotte Bobcats (18-28/2-2) (20-26 ATS) (LW: 19) A ho-hum 2-2 SU and ATS mark for MJ’s kitties this past week with wins against Chicago and the Clippers and losses against the Sixers and Kings. The only really good news out of Bobcats camp is that Raymond Felton is back in the starting line-up.
21) New Jersey (19-26/1-3) (17-27-1 ATS) (LW: 21) It doesn’t seem this veteran Nets bunch will be together for much longer with the constant petitioning out of the J Kidd camp. It could be a blessing in disguise though because this outfit grew stale a couple seasons ago.
22) Atlanta Hawks (19-24/1-3) (21-22 ATS) (LW: 22) At least these guys were able to pick up a win against Seattle for their first road victory in 5 weeks. These guys are much better at home, and they should be thrilled by the fact that 5 of their next 7 are in the Phillips Arena before the All Star break.
23) Chicago Bulls (18-27/1-3) (16-29 ATS) (LW: 20) Being a Chicago Bulls fan and Kansas alum, it pains me to watch this team flat out suck every single night. What kills me more is that Jayhawk Kirk Hinrich is taking the brunt of it all, and his name is constantly being mentioned in trade talks. That being said, the Bulls are bad and the roster seems to be filled with guys that just don’t give a you know what….
24) NY Knicks (14-31/1-3) (21-24 ATS) (LW: 25) The Knicks dropped 3 of 4 this week, but they made their backers happy by putting forth a 3-1 ATS mark. It would have been 4-0 ATS had they not folded like cheap suits in the later stages of the 4th quarter against the Lakers.
25) Milwaukee Bucks (18-29/2-3) (20-26 ATS) (LW: 23) The Bucks continued its home/road dichotomy this week by winning both games in the Bradley Center and getting killed in all three games on the road. Their latest loss at Philadelphia by 43 points was downright embarrassing and has to have upper management up in arms considering the beat the Sixers in Philly by four in early January.
26) Minnesota Timberwolves (9-36/2-2) (21-24 ATS) (LW: 27) Back-to-back 2-2 SU marks and a 3-1 ATS mark to boot….I must be in Timberwolves heaven. All kidding aside, the Wolves have been playing much better of late, but they should be ashamed for allowing the schizophrenic Bulls to cost them their first three game winning streak of the year.
27) LA Clippers (14-28/1-3) (19-23 ATS) (LW: 26) They didn’t prove to me that they can put together back-to-back winning weeks, so the “Clipjoint” must accept the fact that they’re still final 5 material….
28) Memphis Grizzles (13-33/1-3) (21-24-1 ATS) (LW: 28) The Grizzlies avoided another 0-4 SU mark this past week by stealing one in OT against the hapless Clippers. With all the lottery picks this club has gotten over the years, you’d think they’d be past being the doormats of the NBA.
29) Seattle Supersonics (10-35/1-2) (21-23-1 ATS) (LW: 29) With their miraculous win against San Antonio, the Sonics are now 1-13 SU in the month of January….break out the Crystal!!!
30) Miami Heat (9-36/1-3) (16-28-1 ATS) (LW: 30) Hoooooray!!!! They won a game!!! Then they played again and got killed….As Vince Neil violently yells in one of my favorite Motley Crue songs…”It’s the same old…same old situation!!!!!!”
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