Derrick Rose is set to miss his seventh consecutive game, and is listed as day to day, therefore signaling that a return to the Chicago Bulls could happen soon. But while Rose remains hobbled, the Chicago Bulls continue to cruise in the last edition of NBA Power Rankings at The Wife Hates Sports. Chicago’s first place lead is significant, while the Miami Heat continue to sit in second place, fending off the third place Oklahoma City Thunder.
Ten teams land as “Movers and Shakers” this week, either making significant jumps or major falls in the ratings. The Atlanta Hawks and Utah Jazz are amongst the teams that jumped up the charts while the Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets have struggled.
Here’s how the teams fall into place for the latest NBA Power Rankings, with the “Movers and Shakers” featuring an explanation for its rise and fall. I also include the upcoming schedule for the top five teams, and how each is lined up over the next seven days.
The Wife Hates NBA Power Rankings: March 26, 2012
* Games, statistics and rankings include results up to Sunday March 25, 2012
1. Chicago Bulls – 40-10 (135 points) – Last Week: #1
Upcoming Week: vs DEN, @ ATL, vs DET @ OKC
2. Miami Heat – 35-12 (112 points) – Last Week: #2
Upcoming Week: @ IND, vs DAL @ TOR, @ BOS
3. Oklahoma City Thunder – 37-12 (104 points) – Last Week: #3
Upcoming Week: @ POR, @ LAL, vs CHI
4. San Antonio Spurs – 33-14 (96 points) – Last Week: #4
Upcoming Week: @ PHO, @ SAC, vs IND
5. Orlando Magic – 31-18 (68 points) – Last Week: #5
Upcoming Week: @ TOR, @ NYK, vs DAL, vs DEN
6. Atlanta Hawks – 30-20 (65 points) – Last Week: #10
The Hawks are on the move after winning six of seven games, with its only loss being a three-point defeat at the hands of the Celtics. It’s also important to note that the team’s current win streak includes wins over the struggling Cavs, Wizards and Nets.
7. Los Angeles Lakers – 30-19 (64 points) – Last Week: #6
8. Indiana Pacers – 28-19 (63 points) – Last Week: #12
The streaky Pacers are back on the uptick, winning three of four games, including a 21-point road win over the Bucks and a 13-point victory over the Clippers. Danny Granger (17.9 ppg) and Roy Hibbert (9.0 rebounds per game) have been carrying the team, especially lately.
9. Philadelphia 76ers – 27-22 (56 points) – Last Week: #11
10. Dallas Mavericks – 28-22 (46 points) – Last Week: #13
The Mavs suffered double-digit losses to the Lakers and Spurs last week, but those two defeats were the only setbacks over the team’s last seven games – a stretch that also included quality road victories over the Nuggets and Rockets, plus a home win over San Antonio.
11. Los Angeles Clippers – 27-21 (44 points) – Last Week: #7
There has been some recent unrest and controversy in the Clippers’ clubhouse, especially considering the team’s recent struggles. The Clippers tumbled out of the top ten this week, mostly due to three straight losses on the road to the likes of the Pacers, Thunder and Hornets.
12. Boston Celtics – 26-22 (41 points) – Last Week: #14
13. Memphis Grizzlies – 26-21 (38 points) – Last Week: #8
Memphis has hit a cold spell, losing five of seven games. Included in this stretch were three straight road losses to the Kings, Blazers and Clippers. Saturday’s win over the Lakers gave the team a boost, but the freefall could not be avoided.
14. New York Knicks – 24-25 (37 points) – Last Week: #16
15. Utah Jazz – 26-23 (35 points) – Last Week: #19
Sunday’s 4-OT loss to the Hawks snapped a six-game win streak for the Jazz. During Utah’s hot streak, the Jazz posted quality wins over the Lakers, Thunder and Nuggets. Utah also has scored 100 or more points in seven of its last nine games.
16. Denver Nuggets – 26-23 (34 points) – Last Week: #9
The Nuggets are the biggest free faller this week, dropping seven spots and well out of the top ten. Denver has lost four of six, in which each loss was by 13 or more points.
17. Houston Rockets – 26-23 (34 points) – Last Week: #18
18. Phoenix Suns – 25-24 (31 points) – Last Week: #15
Phoenix’s drop this week is more due to the tight race in this portion of the rankings, and not the team’s overall performance. Two road losses didn’t help the Suns’ ranking, but it’s important to note that Phoenix hung tight during these games, which were against the Heat and Magic.
19. Milwaukee Bucks – 22-26 (28 points) – Last Week: #20
20. Minnesota Timberwolves – 24-26 (19 points) – Last Week: #17
Minnesota’s fall continues since Rubio’s injury. The Timberwolves have now lost seven of ten games, but continue to still hang within reach of the .500 mark.
21. Portland Trail Blazers – 23-26 (11 points) – Last Week: #21
22. Golden State Warriors – 20-27 (6 points) – Last Week: #22
23. Cleveland Cavaliers – 17-29 (-13 points) – Last Week: #23
24. Sacramento Kings – 17-31 (-23 points) – Last Week: #27
25. Toronto Raptors – 16-33 (-23 points) – Last Week: #24
26. New Jersey Nets – 16-34 (-28 points) – Last Week: #26
27. New Orleans Hornets – 12-36 (-31 points) – Last Week: #28
28. Detroit Pistons – 16-32 (-33 points) – Last Week: #25
The Pistons have lost five straight games, including four straight on the road. Detroit’s last two games included a 15-point loss to the Heat and a 22-point blowout loss to the Knicks.
29. Washington Wizards – 11-37 (-59 points) – Last Week: #29
30. Charlotte Bobcats – 7-39 (-82 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.