The latest NBA Power Rankings results are in at The Wife Hates Sports, and this week’s tallies feature a very close battle at the top of the professional hoops world.
The top three teams – the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers – are separated by a total of five ratings points. The Thunder landed in the very top slot after an impressive twelve-point road victory over the third place Clippers.
Rounding out the top five are the Miami Heat and New York Knicks.
The Chicago Bulls move up five spots and earn the honor of being this week’s big winners, while the Philadelphia 76ers 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: January 23, 2013
* Games and statistics include results up to 5pm on January 23, 2012
1. Oklahoma City Thunder (116 points) – Last Week: #1
Kevin Durant (29.5 points per game) leads the NBA in scoring and holds a slight edge over both Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony.
2. San Antonio Spurs (112 points) – Last Week: #3
San Antonio remains fueled by its big men, as Tiago Splitter is third in the NBA in field goal percentage (59.1%) and Tim Duncan is fourth in the league in blocks (2.74 per game).
3. Los Angeles Clippers (111 points) – Last Week: #2
Chris Paul continues to lead the Western Conference in assists, averaging 9.7 per game.
4. Miami Heat (82 points) – Last Week: #4
Miami’s “Big 3” of Bosh, Wade and James are each currently averaging more than 17.5 points per game.
5. New York Knicks (73 points) – Last Week: #6
Tyson Chandler is averaging 11 boards per game, including 4 ½ on the offensive glass.
6. Brooklyn Nets (73 points) – Last Week: #7
Brook Lopez is averaging 30.1 points per 48 minutes, which cracks the league’s top ten.
7. Chicago Bulls (67 points) – Last Week: #12
The Bulls have been road warriors, going 12-5 away from home and just 12-11 in front of its fans.
8. Memphis Grizzlies (66 points) – Last Week: #5
Zach Randolph’s 26 double doubles is more than any other player this season.
9. Indiana Pacers (60 points) – Last Week: #9
Indiana’s 16-3 record at home is tied for the best mark in the Eastern Conference.
10. Golden State Warriors (55 points) – Last Week: #8
Not surprisingly, Stephen Curry averages 3.2 three-pointers made per contest, more than any other player in the NBA this season.
11. Denver Nuggets (48 points) – Last Week: #10
After Wednesday night’s road game against the Rockets, Denver will head home for six straight.
12. Milwaukee Bucks (46 points) – Last Week: #15
The Bucks have won six out of eight, scoring 98 points or more in each of the victories.
13. Atlanta Hawks (43 points) – Last Week: #11
The Hawks have five players averaging between 10.7 and 16.3 points per game.
14. Utah Jazz (41 points) – Last Week: #17
The Jazz are 7-2 in the month of January, with its only losses being on the road, at the hands of the Nuggets and Hawks.
15. Boston Celtics (30 points) – Last Week: #13
The Celtics have just two players averaging more than thirty minutes per game (Rajon Rondo, 37.2 and Paul Pierce 33.3).
16. Houston Rockets (24 points) – Last Week: #14
In his first season with the Rockets, James Harden is averaging 25.9 points, 38.5 minutes, 4.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game.
17. Portland Trail Blazers (15 points) – Last Week: #16
When it comes to three-point field goals, the Blazers have two players that crack the league’s top five in total attempts (Nicolas Batum, 277 and Damian Lillard, 262).
18. Detroit Pistons (11 points) – Last Week: #20
The Pistons hit the road for four of the next five, drawing mostly tough matchups against the Bulls, Heat, Pacers and Bucks.
19. Minnesota Timberwolves (4 points) – Last Week: #18
With numerous injuries, the Timberwolves have only had three players (Nikola Pekovic, Andrei Kirilenko and Luke Ridnour) start in twenty or more games.
20. Dallas Mavericks (2 points) – Last Week: #23
The Mavericks have been on a bit of a hot streak, winning five out of six, with the only loss coming at the hands of the Thunder (in overtime).
21. Los Angeles Lakers (1 point) – Last Week: #19
The Lakers are the only team with a losing record to have a positive point differential (+1.1).
22. New Orleans Hornets (-2 points) – Last Week: #24
Ryan Anderson’s 317 three-point field goal attempts is 38 more than any other player in the NBA.
23. Toronto Raptors (-7 points) – Last Week: #21
The Raptors ended a four-game losing streak with a win over the Lakers on January 20th.
24. Sacramento Kings (-15 points) – Last Week: #26
Marcus Thornton is averaging just 24.9 minutes and started in only seven games, yet is averaging 12.1 points per contest, the third most on the team.
25. Orlando Magic (-15 points) – Last Week: #25
J.J. Redick is shooting 89.7% from the free throw line, currently better than any other player in the Eastern Conference.
26. Philadelphia 76ers (-15 points) – Last Week: #22
Jrue Holiday leads the team in both points (19.0 ppg) and assists (9.0 apg).
27. Phoenix Suns (-30 points) – Last Week: #27
The struggling Suns have won just two games dating back to December 22nd.
28. Washington Wizards (-34 points) – Last Week: #29
The Wizards have won five out of seven, with three of the victories including a home triumph over the Thunder, plus two road wins over the Blazers and Nuggets.
29. Cleveland Cavaliers (-38 points) – Last Week: #30
Kyrie Irving leads the team in points (23.7 ppg), assists (5.7 apg) and steals (1.8 spg).
30. Charlotte Bobcats (-43 points) – Last Week: #28
Like Kyrie Irving of the Cavs, Kemba Walker leads his team in points (17.9 ppg), assists (5.7 apg) and steals (1.9 spg).
* 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.