Derrick Rose may be battling through injuries and missing playing time, but the Chicago Bulls lost no ground this week and continue to maintain a safe distance from the Miami Heat in KP’s latest edition of NBA Power Rankings at The Wife Hates Sports.
With the numbers and statistics tallied as of Monday morning, the top five teams remained unchanged, with the aforementioned Bulls in first, followed by the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and Orlando Magic.
After Monday night’s beatdown at the hands of the Bulls, it’s a good possibility that the Magic will fall out of the top five by next week.
This edition’s high risers and freefallers – and there are a lot of them – feature a stat line that further supports why each team is moving in the direction that it’s currently moving in.
KP’s NBA Power Rankings: March 19, 2012
* Games, statistics and rankings include results up to Sunday March 18, 2012
1. Chicago Bulls – 37-10 (132 points) – Last Week: #1
2. Miami Heat – 33-11 (114 points) – Last Week: #2
3. Oklahoma City Thunder – 34-11 (104 points) – Last Week: #3
4. San Antonio Spurs – 29-14 (80 points) – Last Week: #4
5. Orlando Magic – 29-17 (68 points) – Last Week: #5
6. Los Angeles Lakers – 28-17 (65 points) – Last Week: #9
The Lakers received a bump over the last few weeks for many reasons, one being the fact that it took away the division lead from the Clippers. On top of that, a five-game win streak highlighted by three road victories, helped push the Lakers up the charts.
7. Los Angeles Clippers – 26-18 (56 points) – Last Week: #10
The Clippers have been a .500 team throughout the month of March, while also relinquishing its division lead to the inner-city rival Lakers. However, a decent week highlighted by a 14-point win over the Hawks, coupled with some struggles from others teams in the league, and Los Angeles was able to climb up three spots and into seventh place.
8. Memphis Grizzlies – 25-18 (55 points) – Last Week: #7
9. Denver Nuggets – 25-20 (55 points) – Last Week: #12
Like the Clippers, the Nuggets benefited some from teams like the Pacers and Sixers faltering. Last week, Denver took a 13-point loss at the hands of the mighty Thunder, but did also manage to notch victories against both the Celtics and the Hawks.
10. Atlanta Hawks – 26-19 (54 points) – Last Week: #11
11. Philadelphia 76ers – 25-20 (54 points) – Last Week: #6
Last week, the Sixers lost a road game to the Pacers by 17, a home game to the Heat by six points and a road game against the Bulls by nine. Philadelphia also fell to 10-11 on the road.
12. Indiana Pacers – 25-18 (52 points) – Last Week: #8
Since cracking the top five two weeks ago, the Pacers have been in a freefall, now losing six of its last eight games. Included in that mix are four consecutive road losses, albeit all to playoff contending teams, specifically the Bulls, Heat, Magic and Knicks.
13. Dallas Mavericks – 26-20 (46 points) – Last Week: #17
It’s been a rollercoaster ride for the defending champs this season. The most recent surge for Dallas is due to three straight victories, where the Mavs scored 100-plus points in each of the games, while also posting a quality win against the Spurs.
14. Boston Celtics – 23-21 (37 points) – Last Week: #13
15. Phoenix Suns – 23-22 (33 points) – Last Week: #18
The Suns are one of the hottest teams in the NBA (pun not intended), winning four straight games and six of seven. A few performances of 120-plus points also boosted the team’s offensive stats, and Phoenix also notched recent quality wins over Memphis and the Clippers.
16. New York Knicks – 21-24 (29 points) – Last Week: #20
The Knicks have seen a surge under new interim coach Mike Woodson, winning three straight games, while scoring 102 points or more in each of those contests. New York also notched two consecutive wins over the Pacers.
17. Minnesota Timberwolves – 22-24 (27 points) – Last Week: #14
As expected, the T’Wolves are fading since Ricky Rubio injured his knee. Minnesota has now lost five of six games, including three straight on the road. The struggling Sacramento Kings also beat Minnesota by 16 points on Sunday night.
18. Houston Rockets – 24-22 (24 points) – Last Week: #16
19. Utah Jazz – 23-22 (23 points) – Last Week: #21
20. Milwaukee Bucks – 20-24 (17 points) – Last Week: #22
21. Portland Trail Blazers – 21-24 (13 points) – Last Week: #15
The Blazers have just three wins in the month of March and if you want proof for the recent freefall, just look at the schedule: 16-point road loss to the Thunder, 42-point road loss to the Knicks, 17-point road loss to the Pacers and an 18-point road loss against the Celtics. Friday’s road victory against the Bulls is the only lone bright spot in recent weeks.
22. Golden State Warriors – 18-24 (13 points) – Last Week: #19
Since losing its leading scorer Monta Ellis in a deal to the Bucks, the Warriors have struggled. Golden State has lost three straight, including a blowout loss at the hands of the aforementioned Bucks. The Warriors do have Minnesota, New Orleans, Sacramento and Portland on the upcoming schedule, so there will be chances to get back on track.
23. Cleveland Cavaliers – 16-26 (-12 points) – Last Week: #23
24. Toronto Raptors – 15-30 (-14 points) – Last Week: #25
25. Detroit Pistons – 16-29 (-21 points) – Last Week: #24
26. New Jersey Nets – 15-31 (-23 points) – Last Week: #26
27. Sacramento Kings – 16-29 (-28 points) – Last Week: #27
28. New Orleans Hornets – 11-34 (-31 points) – Last Week: #28
29. Washington Wizards – 10-34 (-55 points) – Last Week: #29
30. Charlotte Bobcats – 7-36 (-73 points) – Last Week: #30
* All stats per NBA.com
Note: RED = Falling 3+ spots from last week, GREEN = Rising 3+ spots from last week
The Wife Hates Sports’ NBA Power Rankings system has a method to its madness, attempting to be different and not just rank by popularity and record. It mixes a secret formula of six completely different categories, meshed into a points system. The categories don’t just include team results regarding record, but how each team has performed recently, as well as incorporating some statistics on both a team’s offense and defense, too.