The Chicago Bulls have hit a bit of a rough patch, losing three of its last four games.  On top of that, the Bulls’ offense hasn’t broken the 100-point barrier since March 24th (in its overtime victory over the Toronto Raptors).

But even through Chicago’s recent struggles, the Bulls still own the NBA’s best record, and for weeks had built a comfortable lead in KP’s NBA Power Rankings at The Wife Hates Sports.  As a result, the Bulls still hold a slight lead, and this time over a new second place team, the San Antonio Spurs, winners of eleven straight games.

Considered by many to be an “over the hill” team, Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and the Spurs have proven that there’s plenty of gas left in the tank.

In the latest edition of NBA Power Rankings, the aforementioned Bulls and Spurs are battling for first place, while the Thunder sit in third place and the Heat in fourth.  The Indiana Pacers have once again managed to crack the top five.

Here’s how each team fell into place, with the “Movers and Shakers” featuring an explanation for its rise or fall:

tim duncan and tony parker spurs NBA Power Rankings: Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs Battle with the Bulls for First

Don’t look now, but Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs have the best record in the West

KP’s NBA Power Rankings: April 9, 2012

* Games, statistics and rankings include results up to Sunday April 8, 2012

1. Chicago Bulls – 43-14 (121 points) – Last Week: #1

2. San Antonio Spurs – 40-14 (119 points) – Last Week: #4

3. Oklahoma City Thunder – 41-15 (109 points) – Last Week: #2

4. Miami Heat – 40-15 (109 points) – Last Week: #3

5. Indiana Pacers – 34-22 (69 points) – Last Week: #6

6. Los Angeles Clippers – 34-22 (69 points) – Last Week: #7

7. Atlanta Hawks – 34-23 (68 points) – Last Week: #10

The Hawks have won four of five, leapfrogging the Magic in the division standings.  Three straight 100-point performances, coupled with two blowout wins over the hapless Bobcats have helped boost Atlanta’s standing.

8. Los Angeles Lakers – 35-22 (62 points) – Last Week: #5

kobe bryant los angeles lakers 0 NBA Power Rankings: Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs Battle with the Bulls for First

Kobe Bryant is currently battling a shin injury

Kobe Bryant’s shin injury has forced the star to have to sit out a few games, and as a result, the Lakers have recently struggled, managing just a two-point win over the lowly Hornets, plus a loss to the Rockets and a 20-point blowout loss to the Suns.

9. Orlando Magic – 33-23 (58 points) – Last Week: #8

10. Boston Celtics – 32-24 (57 points) – Last Week: #9

11. Memphis Grizzlies – 32-23 (54 points) – Last Week: #15

The Grizzlies are again on a hot streak, winning six of seven, including three straight victories over quality opponents – the Heat, Mavericks and Clippers.

12. Houston Rockets – 31-25 (47 points) – Last Week: #16

The Rockets saw a boost this week after winning three straight road games, which included two key victories over the Bulls and Lakers.

13. Denver Nuggets – 30-26 (44 points) – Last Week: #13

14. New York Knicks – 29-27 (44 points) – Last Week: #14

15. Dallas Mavericks – 31-26 (40 points) – Last Week: #11

The Mavs are back on a downturn, dropping three of four games, including a blowout loss at the hands of the Clippers and a tough overtime loss to the Blazers.

16. Milwaukee Bucks – 28-28 (39 points) – Last Week: #17

17. Philadelphia 76ers – 29-27 (34 points) – Last Week: #12

The Philadelphia freefall continues, as the Sixers now are fighting for a playoff spot in the East.  Four straight losses, including a blowout loss to the struggling Raptors is not a good sign.

18. Phoenix Suns – 29-27 (32 points) – Last Week: #19

19. Utah Jazz – 29-28 (18 points) – Last Week: #18

20. Portland Trail Blazers – 27-30 (13 points) – Last Week: #21

21. Minnesota Timberwolves – 25-32 (4 points) – Last Week: #20

22. Golden State Warriors – 22-33 (-6 points) – Last Week: #22

23. New Jersey Nets – 21-37 (-14 points) – Last Week: #23

24. Toronto Raptors – 20-37 (-16 points) – Last Week: #24

25. Detroit Pistons – 21-35 (-26 points) – Last Week: #25

26. New Orleans Hornets – 15-41 (-36 points) – Last Week: #28

27. Sacramento Kings – 19-38 (-39 points) – Last Week: #26

28. Cleveland Cavaliers – 18-36 (-40 points) – Last Week: #27

29. Washington Wizards – 12-44 (-73 points) – Last Week: #29

30. Charlotte Bobcats – 7-47 (-106 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.

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