In the first NBA Power Rankings post of the new year at TWHS, the Oklahoma City Thunder return to the top spot, with the Los Angeles Clippers dropping to second place.
Rounding out the top five are the San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat and Memphis Grizzlies.
The Nets move up seven spots and earn the honor of being this week’s big winners, while the Timberwolves fall six 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: January 14, 2013
* Games and statistics include results up to 12pm on January 14, 2012
1. Oklahoma City Thunder (114 points) – Last Week: #2
In 37 games this season, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have combined to average more than fifty points per game.
2. Los Angeles Clippers (106 points) – Last Week: #1
With balanced scoring, Jamal Crawford, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are each averaging more than sixteen points per game this season.
3. San Antonio Spurs (97 points) – Last Week: #3
With Manu Ginobili out for a while, the Spurs will need to see a boost from both Tony Parker (19.5 ppg) and Tim Duncan (17.1 ppg).
4. Miami Heat (73 points) – Last Week: #5
The Heat have the best record in the East, but are just 2-4 versus the Central division.
5. Memphis Grizzlies (70 points) – Last Week: #8
Rudy Gay (17.8 ppg) has been the subject of some trade rumors, but there are also reports that indicate that the Grizzlies do not intend to move him.
6. New York Knicks (67 points) – Last Week: #4
The Knicks are 3-4 in January and have to hit the road for three of its next four games.
7. Brooklyn Nets (67 points) – Last Week: #14
The Nets are undefeated in the month of January, which includes a 17-point road victory against the Thunder on January 2nd.
8. Golden State Warriors (60 points) – Last Week: #7
The Warriors are 23-13 on the year, but just 10-11 versus the Western conference.
9. Indiana Pacers (56 points) – Last Week: #10
Over its last ten games, the Pacers are 7-0 at home and 0-3 on the road.
10. Denver Nuggets (53 points) – Last Week: #15
The Nuggets have eight players that average eight points or more per game.
11. Atlanta Hawks (53 points) – Last Week: #6
Louis Williams has only started nine games for the Hawks, yet is third on the team in scoring, averaging 14.9 points per game.
12. Chicago Bulls (52 points) – Last Week: #9
Joakim Noah is averaging a double-double this season (12.4 ppg and 10.5 rpg).
13. Boston Celtics (40 points) – Last Week: #18
A lifer in Boston, Paul Pierce (19.6 ppg) has been popping up in some NBA trade rumors.
14. Houston Rockets (38 points) – Last Week: #13
He doesn’t create the “Linsanity” that he did in New York, but Jeremy Lin is averaging 12.1 points and 6.3 assists in his first season with the Rockets.
15. Milwaukee Bucks (37 points) – Last Week: #11
The Bucks have won three of four and face teams with losing records over four of its next five games.
16. Portland Trail Blazers (33 points) – Last Week: #17
The Blazers have five players averaging in double figures, while no one else on the roster is even averaging five points per game.
17. Utah Jazz (25 points) – Last Week: #19
The Jazz have gotten off to a nice start in January, going 5-2, but each win has been against a team with a losing record.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves (16 points) – Last Week: #12
With Kevin Love out, the T’Wolves have had to rely on Nikola Pekovic to be the team’s leading scorer, and he’s averaging 16.3 points per game.
19. Los Angeles Lakers (11 points) – Last Week: #16
Arguably the streakiest team in the NBA, the Lakers lost four straight, then won six of seven games, only to lose six of seven.
20. Detroit Pistons (8 points) – Last Week: #23
The Pistons have won five out of seven, but one of the losses was an overtime defeat at the hands of the lowly Bobcats.
21. Toronto Raptors (4 points) – Last Week: #22
Dating back to December 29th, Toronto’s last four victories have been by 18 points or more.
22. Philadelphia 76ers (-4 points) – Last Week: #21
The Sixers have lost seven out of nine, but reports are coming out that Andrew Bynum could potentially be healthy and nearing a return.
23. Dallas Mavericks (-7 points) – Last Week: #25
Painfully for Dallas fans, the Mavs are 1-7 in overtime games this season.
24. New Orleans Hornets (-9 points) – Last Week: #27
The Hornets have been on a decent run lately, winning four of five and six of ten.
25. Orlando Magic (-13 points) – Last Week: #20
Arron Afflalo (17.8 ppg) is currently more than eight points above his career average (9.6 ppg).
26. Sacramento Kings (-15 points) – Last Week: #26
Think the Kings need to share the rock? John Salmons is the team’s assists leader, averaging just 3.3 per game.
27. Phoenix Suns (-28 points) – Last Week: #24
The Suns have won just two games since December 22nd and continue to fall in the poll.
28. Charlotte Bobcats (-38 points) – Last Week: #30
The Bobcats have just two wins since November 26th, but both are since December 31st, which helped push them out of the Power Rankings cellar.
29. Washington Wizards (-41 points) – Last Week: #29
Don’t look now, but the Wizards have won three in a row, with the third game being Monday night and not counting against this week’s ranking.
30. Cleveland Cavaliers (-45 points) – Last Week: #28
The Cavs have lost three straight road games, including two 20-plus-point defeats at the hands of the Lakers and Bulls.
* 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.