NBA Power Rankings
NBA power rankings, rating the entire league from top to bottom. Our NBA power rankings are based mostly on how good teams really are, with recent performances taken into partial consideration. Updated regularly during the regular season, InsideHoops.com's NBA power rankings focus on the big, season-long picture.
2015 NBA POWER RANKINGS
Updated March 23, 2015
John Schuhmann of NBA.com writes: "Hero Team of the Week: Phoenix (3-0) -- The Suns stayed alive by beating the Rockets (on the road) and Mavs over the weekend... Zero Team of the Week: Indiana (0-4) -- The Pacers went down to the wire in Cleveland (where the Cavs have won 15 straight) on Friday, but lost their other three games by an average of 16 points."
Here's John Schuhmann of NBA.com writing about the league's best:
1) Golden State Warriors (56-13)
Pace: 100.7 (1) OffRtg: 109.3 (1) DefRtg: 97.7 (1) NetRtg: +11.7 (1)
The Warriors have kept rolling through Klay Thompson's ankle injury, picking up three wins over teams -- Atlanta, New Orleans and Utah -- that have been playing well. Justin Holiday has started, but Andre Iguodala has increased his production, scoring in double-figures in three straight games for just the second time in his two seasons with Golden State.
2) Cleveland Cavaliers (46-26)
Pace: 94.8 (24) OffRtg: 108.2 (3) DefRtg: 104.2 (21) NetRtg: +4.0 (7)
The first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs doesn't look all that exciting, unless we get a Cavs-Heat matchup. Miami is now 2-1 in the season series with one more meeting next week in Cleveland, where the Cavs are 15-0 (outscoring opponents by almost 17 points per 100 possessions) since LeBron James returned from his holiday-time hiatus.
3) Atlanta Hawks (53-17)
Pace: 96.3 (14) OffRtg: 106.2 (6) DefRtg: 100.8 (9) NetRtg: +5.4 (3)
Kyle Korver was missed on offense at Golden State on Wednesday, but the Hawks' first three-game losing streak has been their worst three-game defensive stretch. Part of that has been the quality of the opposition (the Warriors, Thunder and Spurs), which is about to change. Their next six opponents are all below .500 and below-average offensively.
4) Memphis Grizzlies (49-21)
Pace: 94.4 (26) OffRtg: 103.3 (14) DefRtg: 100.0 (3) NetRtg: +3.2 (9)
The Grizzlies finally made the starting lineup change (Jeff Green out, Tony Allen in) that the numbers have been calling for, and the result was a big win in Dallas on Friday. Saturday's win over the struggling Blazers gave them the season sweep, a two-game lead in the loss column for the 2 seed, and a 5-2 record against the West's top 10 since the All-Star break.
5) San Antonio Spurs (44-25)
Pace: 95.9 (17) OffRtg: 105.2 (8) DefRtg: 100.3 (6) NetRtg: +4.9 (4)
Tuesday's loss in New York was rather embarrassing, but Sunday's win in Atlanta more than made up for it and the Spurs still haven't lost in regulation in almost a month, a stretch that coincides with Tiago Splitter moving back into the starting lineup. The starters have outscored their opponents by 41 points per 100 possessions in 133 minutes since then.
6) L.A. Clippers (46-25)
Pace: 96.8 (11) OffRtg: 109.3 (2) DefRtg: 103.5 (19) NetRtg: +5.8 (2)
The Clippers have taken advantage of their schedule to win four straight (with Chris Paul averaging 26.0 points and 11.3 assists) and remain in the conversation for the No. 3 or 4 seed in the West. But Jamal Crawford's calf injury is a major concern and the idea of Austin Rivers being the first guy off the bench in the playoffs is a real, scary thing.
7) Houston Rockets (46-23)
Pace: 99.3 (2) OffRtg: 103.3 (13) DefRtg: 100.0 (4) NetRtg: +3.3 (8)
James Harden broke out of a mini-slump by dropping 50 on the Nuggets on Thursday, but the Rockets have been treading water in March and added two more frontline injuries (a partially collapsed lung for Terrence Jones and a strained calf for Josh Smith) last week. They play seven of their next nine games on the road, where their defense really falls off.
And here's Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
8) Portland Trail Blazers (Record: 44-24; last week: 4): Struggling of late, Portland got some good news as LaMarcus Aldridge told Yahoo Sports he believes his latest hand injury is of the day-to-day variety.
9) Oklahoma City Thunder (Record: 40-30; last week: 10): Move over Stephen Curry and James Harden, Russell Westbrook has forced his way into the NBA MVP race.
10) Dallas Mavericks (Record: 44-27; last week: 8): All-Star Dirk Nowitzi’s scoring average is down more than four points from the 18.3 points per game he averaged before the All-Star break.
11) Toronto Raptors (Record: 42-28; last week: 13): Kyle Lowry has regressed since playing in the All-Star Game, averaging 15.6 points and 5.8 assists in the second half of the season, down from 18.6 and 7.2 in the first.
12) Chicago Bulls (Record: 42-29; last week: 11): The backcourt could be back soon as Jimmy Butler (elbow) is nearing a return and a source told Yahoo Sports that Derrick Rose (knee) is progressing well.
13) Washington Wizards (Record: 40-30; last week: 12): The Wizards are 6-4 in their last 10 games, including a 23-point loss at lowly Sacramento on Sunday.
Here's Marc Stein of ESPN.com rankings the league's worst:
25) Denver Nugggets: A rough road trip brought the Nuggets back to earth under interim coach Melvin Hunt, except for Danilo Gallinari. Gallo's 40 points in Orlando left him just one point shy of the single-game NBA best for an Italian-born player: Andrea Bargnani's 41-point outburst in December 2010.
26) Philadelphia 76ers: Maybe Nerlens Noel has a late charge planned to join Elfrid Payton and Nikola Mirotic in trying to inject some drama into this Andrew Wiggins-led ROY race. Noel just became the youngest player in league history to post a game with at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, 5 steals and 3 blocks.
27) Orlando Magic: Maybe this season's ROY race still has some life. Elfrid Payton just became only the seventh rookie in league history to post triple-doubles in consecutive games ... and the first since our man Antoine Walker in 1996-97. (Oscar Robertson, in case you're curious, had seven in a row in 1960-61.)
28) New York Knicks: The Knicks have suffered enough. So we're going to focus more on one of the shocks of the season, San Antonio's ill-fated visit to MSG, as opposed to making too much of the recent revelation from Spike Lee that he has never attended fewer games as a Knicks season-ticket holder.
29) Minnesota Timberwolves: Kevin Garnett has missed seven straight games, which has essentially extinguished our interest in watching this season's Wolves, but there's still time for KG to crack 50,000 minutes for his career (only 138 away) and break a tie with Kevin Willis for the fifth-most games played ever (1,424).
30) Los Angeles Lakers: What sort of season has it been in Lakerland? Here's one way to gauge it: Not until this past week, amazingly, did another Laker finally pass Kobe Bryant for the team lead in total points. Kobe scored 782 points in 35 games this season; Carlos Boozer is up to 805 after totaling 29 in three games last week.