The Chicago Bulls continue to have the NBA’s best record heading into this week, but have some company in the Oklahoma City Thunder, who on Sunday, knocked off the Bulls 92-78, climbing within one game of Chicago for the league’s best record. In the latest edition of NBA Power Rankings at The Wife Hates Sports, Kevin Durant and the aforementioned Thunder are charging, jumping into second place, and cutting into Chicago’s lead.
Meanwhile, Miami has fallen to third place and owns the tiebreaker against the San Antonio Spurs.
Like last week, ten teams land as “Movers and Shakers”, either making significant jumps or major falls in the ratings. Here’s how each of the teams fell into place, with the “Movers and Shakers” featuring an explanation for its rise or fall:
KP’s NBA Power Rankings: April 2, 2012
* Games, statistics and rankings include results up to Sunday April 1, 2012
1. Chicago Bulls – 42-12 (132 points) – Last Week: #1
2. Oklahoma City Thunder – 40-12 (119 points) – Last Week: #3
3. Miami Heat – 37-14 (106 points) – Last Week: #2
4. San Antonio Spurs – 36-14 (106 points) – Last Week: #4
5. Los Angeles Lakers – 33-20 (67 points) – Last Week: #7
6. Indiana Pacers – 31-21 (63 points) – Last Week: #8
7. Los Angeles Clippers – 31-21 (62 points) – Last Week: #11
The Clippers are back on track, going 5-0 on its miniature home stand, including victories over the Grizzlies and Jazz. Even with the solid stretch, the Clippers still trail its crosstown rivals, and will face off against those Lakers mid-week.
8. Orlando Magic – 32-21 (60 points) – Last Week: #5
Orlando has dropped three straight games, to the Knicks, Mavs and Nuggets. In each of these three contests, opponents scored 100-plus points on the Magic. The bigger concern for Orlando is that Dwight Howard missed the team’s last game, due to back spasms.
9. Boston Celtics – 30-22 (57 points) – Last Week: #12
Don’t look now, but the Celtics have won five straight and seven of eight, taking over the division lead and climbing into the top ten. The most impressive of Boston’s wins during the streak is Sunday’s 19-point blowout victory over the Heat.
10. Atlanta Hawks – 31-23 (57 points) – Last Week: #6
The Hawks continue to be one of the streakier teams in the NBA this season. Atlanta has dropped three of four, including a 21-point loss to the Bulls and road losses to both the Bucks and Sixers.
11. Dallas Mavericks – 30-23 (54 points) – Last Week: #10
12. Philadelphia 76ers – 29-23 (49 points) – Last Week: #9
The Sixers continue to fall down the rankings in recent weeks, while also dropping out of first place in its division. A brutal 21-point road loss to the Wizards didn’t help the team’s standing either.
13. Denver Nuggets – 29-24 (47 points) – Last Week: #16
Over the last week, the Nuggets have posted huge road victories against the Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls. The win over Orlando will have an asterisk by it, however, considering that Dwight Howard missed the game due to back spasms.
14. New York Knicks – 27-26 (45 points) – Last Week: #14
15. Memphis Grizzlies – 28-22 (40 points) – Last Week: #13
16. Houston Rockets – 28-25 (33 points) – Last Week: #17
17. Milwaukee Bucks – 24-28 (26 points) – Last Week: #19
18. Utah Jazz – 27-26 (24 points) – Last Week: #15
Utah’s six-game win streak (in mid-March) feels like ages ago, especially now that the team has dropped four of five games. The loss to the Kings on Friday was a bad one, but road losses to both the Clippers and Celtics were to be expected.
19. Phoenix Suns – 26-26 (24 points) – Last Week: #18
20. Minnesota Timberwolves – 25-29 (16 points) – Last Week: #20
21. Portland Trail Blazers – 25-28 (12 points) – Last Week: #21
22. Golden State Warriors – 20-31 (-9 points) – Last Week: #22
23. New Jersey Nets – 19-35 (-19 points) – Last Week: #26
The Nets are arguably on its best stretch of the season, winning three straight games and four of five. The 16-point home win over the Pacers was a solid effort, but the other three victories were against sub-par opponents in Charlotte, Golden State and Sacramento.
24. Toronto Raptors – 18-35 (-22 points) – Last Week: #25
25. Detroit Pistons – 19-33 (-26 points) – Last Week: #28
Much like the Nets, the Pistons have gone on a nice streak, winning three of four games, but all against sub-par competition. Over its last four games, Detroit managed victories over the likes of Washington, Charlotte and Cleveland.
26. Sacramento Kings – 18-34 (-27 points) – Last Week: #24
27. Cleveland Cavaliers – 17-33 (-35 points) – Last Week: #23
The Cavs have lost seven straight games and 10 of 11 overall. In fact, Cleveland’s only win over the last three weeks was a five-point victory at the Nets on March 19th.
28. New Orleans Hornets – 13-40 (-40 points) – Last Week: #27
29. Washington Wizards – 12-40 (-63 points) – Last Week: #29
30. Charlotte Bobcats – 7-43 (-93 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.
Yeah, it was pretty amazing when I was there in ’92. I really want to get back… hopefully will be able to get tickets for next year.
So you would have put Denver, Philadelphia, Dallas, or New York ahead of them and in the top ten? Quite honestly, I run these ranks against some various statistics, and how solid Orlando has been on defense over the course of the season has helped keep them up there… the calculations still kept them there this week, albeit a spot further down.
I also botched a Kobe line and some guy called me out and said he’d never read the site again. The drama – ha ha.
Augusta was incredible, dude.
Swing by the site for Parts 1 through 3 of 4 that will be posted.
Missed ya’, bra.
I’ll give twenty bucks to anybody who can explain to me why (besides Dwight Howard) the Magic are in the top ten?