Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers continued their winning ways, not losing a game since November 26th. As a result of the hot streak, the Clippers jump to the top spot in the latest edition of NBA Power Rankings at The Wife Hates Sports.
Last week’s top team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, fall one spot to second place, while the New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat round out the top five.
The Houston Rockets move up seven spots and earn the honor of being this week’s big winners, while the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers each fall four spots and have the distinction of being this edition’s biggest losers.
The full set of rankings is as follows, featuring some quick stats and thoughts for all thirty teams.
KP’s NBA Power Rankings: December 24, 2012
* Games and statistics include results up to 12pm on December 24, 2012
1. Los Angeles Clippers (109 points) – Last Week: #2
The Clippers have won 13 straight games and own the best point differential (+9.6) in the NBA.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder (104 points) – Last Week: #1
The Thunder’s win streak ended with a loss to the Timberwolves last Thursday. Still, OKC owns the best record in the NBA (21-5).
3. New York Knicks (86 points) – Last Week: #3
Surprisingly, the Knicks rank 28th in the NBA in rebounds per game (39.5) and 27th in assists (19.8 apg).
4. San Antonio Spurs (85 points) – Last Week: #4
No one shares the rock more efficiently than the Spurs. In fact, San Antonio is first in the NBA in assists per game (25.8).
5. Miami Heat (81 points) – Last Week: #6
The streaking Heat host the Thunder on Christmas Day, then hit the road for four straight, three of which are against teams with a losing record (Bobcats, Pistons and Magic).
6. Memphis Grizzlies (70 points) – Last Week: #5
The Grizzlies are second in the NBA in points allowed, holding opponents to just 90.5 points per game.
7. Atlanta Hawks (63 points) – Last Week: #7
The Hawks are 9-2 against teams with a record below .500 and 7-7 against teams with a winning record.
8. Golden State Warriors (60 points) – Last Week: #8
The Warriors are just 8-6 against teams with a record below .500.
9. Chicago Bulls (58 points) – Last Week: #9
The Bulls have scored 100 points or more just three times this month.
10. Indiana Pacers (50 points) – Last Week: #12
Roy Hibbert (2.86 blocks per game – third in the NBA) continues to be a defensive force for the Pacers.
11. Minnesota Timberwolves (39 points) – Last Week: #10
The T’Wolves finished a brutal three-game stretch with an 11-point loss to the Heat, a six-point victory over the Thunder and a three-point loss to the Knicks.
12. Houston Rockets (39 points) – Last Week: #19
The Rockets jumped seven spots in the rankings, mostly thanks to last week’s three double-digit wins over the Knicks, 76ers and Grizzlies.
13. Milwaukee Bucks (39 points) – Last Week: #13
Brandon Jennings is averaging 2.19 steals per game, which is the third most in the NBA.
14. Denver Nuggets (37 points) – Last Week: #16
JaVale McGee’s .601 shooting percentage is currently the second best in the NBA.
15. Brooklyn Nets (36 points) – Last Week: #11
The Nets are just 3-8 in the month of December.
16. Los Angeles Lakers (31 points) – Last Week: #18
The Lakers have rebounded to win four straight games, and next face the Knicks on Christmas Day.
17. Utah Jazz (29 points) – Last Week: #14
Utah has struggled against quality opponents, going 4-10 versus those with a record of .500 or above.
18. Boston Celtics (28 points) – Last Week: #15
Boston’s biggest challenge has been crashing the boards and the Celtics are currently last in the NBA in rebounds per game (38.5).
19. Portland Trail Blazers (26 points) – Last Week: #21
The Blazers have played in four overtime games this season, winning all of them.
20. Orlando Magic (19 points) – Last Week: #20
Orlando is 8-3 against teams with a record below .500 and 4-12 against teams with a winning record.
21. Philadelphia 76ers (12 points) – Last Week: #17
The Sixers have lost six of seven and are winless on the road in the month of December.
22. Dallas Mavericks (3 points) – Last Week: #22
Dirk Nowitzki returned to the lineup on Sunday, playing 20 minutes and scoring 8 points.
23. Phoenix Suns (-1 point) – Last Week: #23
The Suns are 27th in the NBA in rebounds per game (39.8) and 26th in points allowed (100.9).
24. Detroit Pistons (-9 points) – Last Week: #25
The Pistons are just 2-13 against teams with a record of .500 or above.
25. Toronto Raptors (-11 points) – Last Week: #29
Don’t look now, but the Raptors have won five straight games.
26. Sacramento Kings (-16 points) – Last Week: #24
The Kings are dead last in the NBA in assists per game, averaging 18.9 per contest.
27. Charlotte Bobcats (-32 points) – Last Week: #27
Remember when the Bobcats were one of the biggest surprises at 7-5? Fifteen straight losses later, the Bobcats are 7-20.
28. Cleveland Cavaliers (-32 points) – Last Week: #30
Anderson Varejao (14.4 rebounds per game) continues to lead the NBA in crashing the boards.
29. New Orleans Hornets (-38 points) – Last Week: #26
Greivis Vasquez is fifth in the NBA in assists per game, averaging 8.7 per contest.
30. Washington Wizards (-41 points) – Last Week: #28
Washington’s 2-10 record at home is the worst in the NBA.
* 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.