The demise of the World Champion Los Angeles Lakers has been greatly exaggerated. The Champs have won eight in a row – including a 99-83 pounding of the San Antonio Spurs, a game which the Lakers held a 30+ point lead.
The Lakers are the top team in my NBA Power Rankings for this week - here are the rest.
2. Chicago Bulls - The Bulls are winners of four straight and looking to wrestle the top spot in the East from the Celtics.
3. Boston Celtics – If the C’s lose the top spot, expect the skeptics to really surface regarding the Perkins trade.
4. San Antonio Spurs – Trying to understand what happened to this team between Friday and Sunday of last week.
5. Dallas Mavericks – The Mavs have won 8 of 10, that hiccup in New Orleans won’t hurt them too much.
6. Oklahoma City Thunder – The Thunder’s week included road wins in Atlanta and Philly although they let one get away against the Grizzlies.
7. Orlando Magic – Stan van Gundy should be expecting a hefty fine from David Stern for speaking ill of his “minions”.
8. Denver Nuggets – The Nuggets are playing good ball and have rewarded George Karl with an extension.
9. Miami Heat – I won’t drop the Heat too far down, they’ve been through enough this week.
10. Portland Trailblazers – Winners of four straight the Blazers have the fifth seed well in their sights.
11. New York Knicks – Huge victories over the Hawks and Grizzlies – good thing the Cleveland Cavaliers are out of the playoff race.
12. Memphis Grizzlies – The Grizzlies have to be wary of a Suns team that is looking to overtake them for the eighth and final spot.
13. Philadelphia 76′ers – The Sixers gutted out tough wins over the Timberwolves and Warriors and nearly knocked of the Thunder last night.
14. New Orleans Hornets – Victories over the Grizzlies and Mavs have given the Monty Williams crew some life
15. Atlanta Hawks - The Hawks are going to give up that 5th seed without a fight – for real!
16. Phoenix Suns – A small part of me is pulling for the Suns to make it in.
17. Houston Rockets – Hard to believe that the Rockets are only three games out of the eighth seed.
18. Utah Jazz – They may turn it around sooner than we think.
19. Golden State Warriors – Monta Ellis is superhuman, the best performance by a visiting player I’ve seen in person this season.
20. Los Angeles Clippers - The Clippers took out the Nuggets, Hornets and Celtics this week and are on a four game winning streak.
21. Indiana Pacers
22. Charlotte Bobcats
23. Milwaukee Bucks
24. Detroit Pistons
25. New Jersey Nets
26. Minnesota Timberwolves
28. Sacremento Kings
29. Washington Wizards
30. Cleveland Cavaliers