(Photo: Sam Forencich/NBAE/Getty Images)
NBA action has returned following the week long hiatus for NBA All-Star weekend. In addition, the NBA trading deadline has passed which included a flurry of trade activity from numerous teams looking to improve and prepare for the stretch run to the playoffs.
We are now in week 16 of the NBA season and we take a look at the updated NBA power rankings for the league which had minimal movement in positioning.
NBA Power Rankings: Week 16
NBA Team, Statistical Standing Avg. (Prev. Rank & Avg.)
*Prepared prior to trade deadline & games played on Thursday, February 19th, 2015
1. Golden State Warriors, 6.368 (1, 6.105)
- Golden State may have ONLY won 7 of their last 10 games, but they lead the NBA in almost half of the statistical categories (8 of 18) and finish in the top 5 or top 10 in almost all of the categories. Led by The Splash Bros, Bogut (leading the team in rebounds and blocks, as many would imagine/expect ).
2. Atlanta Hawks, 8.368 (2, 7.737)
- Although the Atlanta Hawks are the 3rd worst rebounding team, they too have won 7 of their last 10 and are atop the Eastern Conference. They’re also the 1st team to have their starters recognized by the league as Eastern Conference ‘Player of the
Week’ before the AllStar break.
3. Portland Trailblazers, 8.632 (3, 8.474)
- Portland continues to lead the way in the Northwest Division, sharing the 4th best record in the league (winning roughly 68% of their games, 3617). Lillard & Aldridge have struck a scoring balance while the team is 2nd in rebounding & shot blocks (per game).
4. Memphis Grizzlies, 10.105 (5, 9.947)
- Memphis is quietly leading the way in the toughest Division (Southwest: w/ all teams above .500) Could it be due to Zach Randolph’s 3pt shooting percent being above .500 as well? Probably not, but it can’t hurt. They’re tops in the league at holding teams under 100 (pts, currently holding teams to about 95 points).
5. Chicago Bulls, 10.421 (8, 11.263)
- Chicago leads the Central Division and maintain the 3rd best record in the East while winning 4 straight, including their final game before the (AllStar) break against the Cavs, putting them 1 ½ games ahead as Cleveland finds it’s own continuity. The Bulls are the 3rd best rebounding team in the league thus far and have found a flow with Pau Gasol & Noah (seemingly) healthier than ever.
6. San Antonio Spurs, 10.579 (4, 10.474)
- Something is awry w/ the Spurs as a visiting team. They’ve relocated a rhythm with Kawhi Leonard returning from injury, but they’re 14 & 12 on the road while 20 & 7 at The Alamo. San Antonio is 3rd best at holding teams under 100points. It should also be noted that they’re 6th best at spreading the ball around (24 assists/game) & when shooting from behind the arc.
7. Milwaukee Bucks, 10.842 (9, 11.737)
- Right behind the Spurs w/ dishing the ball are the Bucks, and they’ve won 8 of their last 10 games. They’ve recently returned an injured Kendall Marshall to the Suns as part of the trade to acquire Brandon Knight. The (self proclaimed) ‘Greek Freak’, Giannis Antekounmpo has garnered much of the attention, however Coach Kidd has
Milwaukee 2games behind Cleveland, 3 ½ (games) behind Chicago and here’s how: 2nd best in steals, 5th best FG% & 6th best in points allowed.
8. Washington Wizards, 11.421 (7, 11.211)
- Currently 4th best record in the East, 2nd best in Southeast (10 games behind Atlanta); John Wall & Marcin Gortat are leading the way for the Wizards. Unfortunately, Bradley Beal will undergo an MRI for a nagging injury. Beal’s their 2nd leading scorer (15ppg, behind Wall @ 17.4 ppg). Anticipate further contributions from Paul Pierce & supporting cast that’s as anxious as anyone for the playoffs.
9. Dallas Mavericks, 11.526 (10, 11.947)
- Dallas has called upon Monta Ellis for scoring, and he continues to deliver. The Mavs are 3rd in scoring & 8th in assists. Adding Stoudemire may vault Dallas past Houston in the Southwest Division (1 ½ games back, 4 ½ behind Memphis) and improve their (6thplace)
position in the Western Conference.
10. Los Angeles Clippers, 11.579 (4, 9.737)
- Lob City has fallen apart against Eastern Conference opponents, but they’re essentially tied w/ Dallas (games back-wise) and have their sights set on surpassing Houston & Portland. They’re 2nd best in scoring (106 ppg), FG%, taking care of the ball (turnovers) and 3rd in assists.
11. Toronto Raptors, 11.789 (11, 12.053)
- Toronto’s atop the Atlantic Division & 2nd overall in the East (6 ½ games behind Atlanta). Kyle Lowry is still making it happen for the Raptors. As are 2nd yr. Lithuanian Jonas Valanciunas (leading in rebounds & blocked shots) & DeMar DeRozan (~18ppg).
12. Oklahoma City Thunder, 13.316 (15, 14.263)
- The Thunder have finally broken through and entered the playoff picture by overtaking the Phoenix Suns for 8th place. The Thunder might be ranked 12th in this list at the moment but look for them to shoot up the rankings over the course of the next few weeks and end near the top of the NBA. The Thunder are 27-13 since Westbrook returned from injury on 11/28/14 which ranks 5th in the NBA in that span. Even without Kevin Durant during much of that span the Thunder have not missed a beat, primarily due to Westbrook who is putting together an MVP caliber season. Westbrook is averaging 26.4 points, 8.1 assists, 6.6 rebounds, 2.1 steals since he returned from injury (11/28/14); this offensive explosion has propelled Westbrook to 2nd on the scoring list only behind James Harden, and the Thunder in the Western Conference rankings.
13. Phoenix Suns, 13.579 (14, 13.474)
14. Houston Rockets, 13.789 (13, 13.421)
15. New Orleans Pelicans, 14.526 (12, 13.368)
16. Cleveland Cavaliers, 14.684 (16, 15.789)
17. Indiana Pacers, 15.579 (16, 15.789)
18. Boston Celtics, 16.947 (19, 17.105)
19. Denver Nuggets, 17.263 (21, 17.737)
20. Miami Heat, 17.895 (18, 16.947)
21. Detroit Pistons, 17.947 (20, 17.579)
22. Charlotte Hornets, 18.105 (24, 18.579)
23. Utah Jazz, 18.579 (23, 18.474)
24. Brooklyn Nets, 19.421 (25, 19.053)
25. Sacramento Kings, 19.842 (22, 18.421 )
26. New York Knicks, 20.158 (26, 20.579)
27. Los Angeles Lakers, 20.789 (28, 20.632)
28. Philadelphia 76ers, 21.632 (29, 22.368)
29. Orlando Magic, 21.684 (26, 20.579)
30. Minnesota Timberwolves, 21.842 (30, 22.474)
Power Rankings are based upon Conference position & 18 statistical
categories spanning Offense (Points, Assists, Field Goals, Free Throws & 3Pt FG’s) , Defense (Opp Pts, Assists, FG’s, FT’s, 3’s, Rebounds, Blocks, Steals, Turnovers) & Point Differential’s (Point, FG, FT & 3Pt FG Differentials) . Each category is weighted the same, irrespective of how a Fan, Player, Trainer, Agent, Coach, G.M. or Owner may revere a stat category, injury or current streak. Scoring, handling the ball, (or not turning it over), rebounding, and blocking a shot is just as important/relevant as Free throw Shooting Percentage, Points/Field Goal Differentials, stealing the ball or holding the opposition to fewest points per game.