Ron Glover’s NBA Power Rankings: Michael Jordan’s words will only fuel LeBron James’ second-half dominance
LeBron James has made witnesses of us all.
Is there a superlative to describe the play of LeBron James heading into the All-Star break? The Miami Heat have won seven-games in a row behind James’ annihilation of man and rim. Michael Jordan throwing salt in James’ game didn’t help matters. With Dwyane Wade healthy and Chris Bosh quietly having one of his best seasons, the Heat are ready to make another title run.
1. San Antonio Spurs (42-14) – Cancel all plans Thursday night. The Spurs and Clippers meet at the Staples Center.
2. Miami Heat (36-14) – The Heat are 7-1 in division games. Their 7-game win streak is on the line against the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday.
3. LA. Clippers (39-14) – The Clippers current 4-game winning streak gives them a nice cushion over the struggling Golden State Warriors.
4. Oklahoma City Thunder (39-17) – After last Thursday’s defeat, the Thunder have lost six in succession to the Miami Heat.
5. Denver Nuggets (33-21) – The Nuggets have worked hard to get back into the Western Conference race.
6. Memphis Grizzlies (33-18) – It looked like Memphis was headed for the exit after the Rudy Gay trade. Three consecutive wins have given Grizzlies fans hope.
7. New York Knicks (32-18) – The second half will tell us exactly what we need to know about the Knicks.
8. Indiana Pacers (33-21) – Danny Granger in a Pacers uniform this season may be better than any trade deadline acquisition.
9. Brooklyn Nets (31-22) – The Nets are prepared to battle the Knicks and Celtics for the Atlantic Division crown.
10. Chicago Bulls (30-22) – The Bulls must continue to play as if Derrick Rose is not coming back.
11. Golden State Warriors (30-22) – Stewing in a five-game losing streak, I want to see the energy level of the Warriors in the next week or so.
12. Atlanta Hawks (29-22) – Unless it’s another big, the Hawks better ride it out with Josh Smith.
13. Utah Jazz (30-24) – The Jazz will lose either Al Jefferson or Paul Milsap at the trade deadline.
14. Houston Rockets (29-26) – The Rockets have to prove they can win on the road before anyone takes them seriously.
15. Boston Celtics (28-24) – The Celtics don’t need an earth-shattering move to stay afloat. Doc Rivers isn’t one of the top 10 coaches in sports for nothing.
16. Milwaukee Bucks (26-25) – This is the team the Bucks will ride the season out with. No deals here.
17. Portland Trail Blazers (25-28) – The Blazers have dropped five straight. Can Damian Lillard play through the rookie wall?
18. LA. Lakers (25-29) – Lakers meet the Celtics on Wednesday. How ironic.
19. Dallas Mavericks (23-29) – The Mavs are solid when they’re at full strength. Can they make a run at the postseason?
20. Philadelphia 76ers (22-29) – Does anyone drive to the basket on this team?
21. Toronto Raptors (21-32) – Can the Raptors push for an eighth seed?
22. Detroit Pistons (21-33) – Expect better numbers from Jose Calderon in the second half.
23. Minnesota Timberwolves (19-31) – Will the Wolves move Derrick Williams?
24. New Orleans Hornets (19-34) – I like the fight in this team. Word is Eric Gordon will not be dealt until the offseason.
25. Sacramento Kings (19-35) – Would the Kings consider trading DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans?
26. Phoenix Suns (17-36) – The Suns are losers of four straight.
27. Washington Wizards (15-36) – The Wizards are showing steady improvement with John Wall back in the lineup.
28. Cleveland Cavaliers (16-37) – The loss of Anderson Varejao took the fight out of this team.
29. Orlando Magic (15-37) – J.J. Redick may be dealt. Break up Moe Harkless.
30. Charlotte Bobcats (12-40) – The Bobcats are after Kris Humphries.