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kArSoN RyDaH
04-07-2010, 01:12 AM
http://espn.go.com/nba/powerrankings


By Marc Stein
ESPN.com
Monday, April 5


Most of the significant shuffling in this season's penultimate edition of ESPN.com's weekly NBA Power Rankings can be found in the 4-to-15 range.

With the Cavaliers, Magic and Lakers still occupying the top three spots, this week's most notable movers are Phoenix (No. 5 to No. 4), San Antonio (No. 9 to No. 6) and Oklahoma City (No. 11 to No. 7) with the Spurs reaching their highest position since the first week of the regular season.

Dallas and Denver, meanwhile, have fallen to No. 10 and No. 11, respectively, with Milwaukee dropping to No. 15 after the sickening elbow injury suffered Saturday night by center Andrew Bogut.

In the bottom half of the rankings, Indiana has unexpectedly jumped from No. 21 to No. 18 even though the Pacers have long since fallen out of playoff contention. And New Jersey has managed to rise out of the bottom two for the first time since Week 7, inching to No. 28 and dropping Detroit (thanks to a 2-18 funk) down to No. 29.


2009-10 Power Rankings: Week 23

RK (LW) TEAM REC COMMENT
1 (1) Cavaliers 60-17 We repeat: Cleveland is one of just 12 teams in history to post consecutive 60-win seasons. And nine of its 11 predecessors won at least one championship; Dallas and Utah are the only exceptions.
2 (2) Magic 54-23 The Magic are on a quiet 15-3 roll and rank as the only team in the league to beat the other 29 teams. Even more unique: Stan Van Gundy actually sounded satisfied (pleased, even) when someone gave him that stat.
3 (3) Lakers 55-22 You'd think a contract extension for Kobe worth some $90 million -- the story of NBA Green Week -- would bring a little calm to Lakerland. The calm lasted about 48 hours thanks to a panic-inducing home loss to the Spurs.
4 (5) Suns 50-27 The Suns just completed a stretch where eight of 11 opponents were sub-.500 teams, so it was a good time to let Robin Lopez rest his back. Check the schedule: Lopez will be missed a lot more in the final five games.
5 (4) Jazz 50-27 Q: Does finishing the season as strongly as anyone make up for last season's April meltdown? A: Can't answer until we see what happens in the playoffs, since anyone could win or lose a Round 1 series in this West.
6 (9) Spurs 47-29 They are starting to look like the Spurs again, with Manu-inspired wins over the Cavs, Celtics, Magic and Lakers in a span of just 10 days, but there's always an asterisk for this group. This time? George Hill's twisted ankle.
7 (11) Thunder 48-28 Imagine how much trouble the OKC kids are going to cause if they ever acquire or develop a front-line center and get some actual, you know, experience. As it is, they're going to win 50 and could still win their division.
8 (10) Hawks 49-27 The one decent race we had in the East was the jockeying between the Hawks and Celtics to avoid a first-round matchup against Milwaukee. We don't even get to enjoy that much now after Andrew Bogut's misfortune.
9 (6) Trail Blazers 47-30 If this is Pritchard's last trade in Portland -- which I still find hard to believe -- he's signing off with a good one. The Blazers were 32-24 pre-Camby. With Camby, they're 15-6 ... and a team you want to avoid in Round 1.
10 (7) Mavericks 50-27 No one's suggesting that a 13-game win streak is ever a bad thing. In the Mavs' case, though, winning 13 straight pitched expectations to a level they don't look ready for, judging by a 5-6 funk and serious slippage on D.
11 (8) Nuggets 50-27 The news is only getting worse. On top of all the uncertainty surrounding the playoff availability of Karl and K-Mart, Andersen has a freshly sprained ankle and Denver doesn't have a sub-.500 team left on the schedule.
12 (13) Celtics 48-28 Is there such a thing as a heartbreaking victory? Sunday's near fold against the Cavs definitely makes you wonder. The Celts' consolation: Don't think they still have to Fear The Deer (or anyone else) in the first round.
13 (14) Heat 43-34 On March 1? The D-Wades were ninth in the East. On April 1? They were up to sixth ... and soon headed for No. 5 thanks to Bogut's injury. An easy schedule is easy in real life only if you capitalize. And Miami has.
14 (15) Bobcats 40-36 As if the longer-term uncertainty surrounding Larry Brown's future wasn't unsettling enough, here's some short-term cause for panic: Bobcats warrior Stephen Jackson is dealing with a bad hammy, ankle, hand and elbow.
15 (12) Bucks 42-34 It all comes crashing down for the second-half darlings in one brutal week: heartbreaking loss in Cleveland, OT loss in Charlotte and then the sickening loss of Bogut for the rest of the season to a gruesome elbow injury.
16 (16) Bulls 37-39 The Bulls have hit a 6-2 stride since a 10-game losing streak -- translation: since getting healthy -- and should relish this week's trip to Canada now after seeing what just happened to Toronto at home against Golden State.
17 (17) Grizzlies 39-37 It's not just the 1-8 start that cost the Griz their playoff ending to this Cinderella season. They've lost after leading by 10 or more 15 times, tops in the league ahead of 13 blown leads by Boston, Golden State, Houston.
18 (21) Pacers 29-48 The good news: This 7-2 run with nothing to play for has to hush some of those rumbles about players bailing on Jim O'Brien. The bad news: This 7-2 run with nothing to play for ain't exactly improving Indy's lottery odds.
19 (19) Rockets 38-38 It's a successful season even without a playoff berth for the injury-ravaged Rockets. Quite the style transformation, too. This is how vital running is to them now: Houston is 0-16 when it scores less than 95 points.
20 (20) Raptors 38-38 If you had an inkling that the Raptors' playoff credentials were a bit suspect -- and Sunday's home loss to Golden State didn't confirm those suspicions -- this should do it: Toronto is 12-31 against teams .500 or better.
21 (18) Hornets 35-43 The Hornets have dropped 11 of 14, they've lost five of seven since Chris Paul's comeback and the playoffs are long gone. So we beg of thee, CP3: Shut it down for the rest of the season. Playing any more is a needless risk.
22 (25) Warriors 23-53 More evidence that the Curry-Monta backcourt will eventually be broken up? The Dubs sure don't play worse when Monta's out, improving to a decent 6-9 when Ellis sits this season with Nellie's record-tying W in Toronto.
23 (22) Knicks 27-49 Our Elias data isn't any more upbeat for the Knicks than it is for the Clips. Elias says N.Y. will be the league's only team with an active streak of at least five straight losing seasons as soon as Charlotte wins twice more.
24 (24) 76ers 26-50 The Phillies are back to work just in time to allow the beaten-down Sixers to complete this season of underachievement (and proceed with their expected coaching change) with the spotlight mercifully pointed elsewhere.
25 (23) Clippers 27-50 Our friends at Elias have unearthed a category that finds the Clips in the league lead. The problem? The category is games lost after leading by 20 points or more. Saturday's L in Denver was L.A.'s third such collapse.
26 (26) Kings 24-53 I'm afraid that the ROY race will be closer than you think for Reke. Blame Curry's second-half numbers and his popularity/stature and Jennings' quality contributions to a playoff-bound team despite his statistical decline.
27 (28) Wizards 23-53 A consistently torturous season rolls on: The Wiz win for just the second time in 19 games since Feb. 28 ... on the same night that the Redskins trade for Donovan McNabb to render everything else in town a non-story.
28 (29) Nets 11-66 These are the kinds of fun hypotheticals we get to throw around about the Nets now that they've passed the nine-win mark: What if Prokhorov just decides to keep raising his offer until he gets a "yes" from Coach K?
29 (27) Pistons 23-53 The Pistons just fell 30 games under .500 for the first time since 1993-94, but Charlie V. is still trying to keep it positive on Twitter: "These are some tough times in Detroit, but we need to continue to hang in there."
30 (30) Timberwolves 15-62 Sota is stuck down in the No. 30 basement for a second successive week -- with only one more Monday to get out -- even though its record isn't worse than New Jersey's. That's pretty much the worst of both worlds.

Raph12
04-07-2010, 01:44 AM
Cleveland is one of just 12 teams in history to post consecutive 60-win seasons. And nine of its 11 predecessors won at least one championship; Dallas and Utah are the only exceptions... Cleveland will be the third.

GO MAGIC! :p

kArSoN RyDaH
04-07-2010, 01:45 AM
^^ lmaooo.

PHX2daDEATH
04-07-2010, 02:15 AM
Is it possible as we enter the playoffs that Lakers, Dallas and Denver, the top three seeds much of the season are looking up at teams like San Antonio, Phoenix and Utah? if you think the playoffs are going to be wild.. i think these last 5games for seeds 2-8 are going to be insane and i think Utah and Oklahoma City only showed a glimpse.

Raph12
04-07-2010, 02:21 AM
Is it possible as we enter the playoffs that Lakers, Dallas and Denver, the top three seeds much of the season are looking up at teams like San Antonio, Phoenix and Utah? if you think the playoffs are going to be wild.. i think these last 5games for seeds 2-8 are going to be insane and i think Utah and Oklahoma City only showed a glimpse.

Dallas and Denver maybe, doubt LA loses every game to let the rest of the West catch up.

G-Funk
04-07-2010, 10:10 AM
lol @ RAph12