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NBA Power Rankings: Week 22

Monday, March 12, 2018


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1. Houston Rockets
2017-18 record: 52–14
The Rockets finally had their 17-game winning streak snapped in Toronto on Friday night. Then, on Sunday, there were forced to play Dallas without presumptive 2017-18 NBA MVP James Harden due to a sore knee. However, Houston was able to beat the Mavs without Harden, and The Beard is expected to return to the lineup on Monday night when Houston hosts San Antonio.


2. Toronto Raptors
2017-18 record: 49–17
The Raptors sent a message to the rest of the league last Friday when they beat Houston at home. The Raps are for real. Toronto is now riding an eight-game win streak of their own and is a franchise-best 32 games above .500. They’ve also won eight games by at least 25 points this season, which is the most such victories in the NBA.


3. Golden State Warriors
2017-18 record: 51–16
Stephen Curry injured his ankle in Thursday’s win over the Spurs and missed Golden State’s next two games. The Dubs lost both contests; however, those defeats can’t be pinned on Kevin Durant. KD averaged 39.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 5.5 treys and 2.5 blocks.

 

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4. Portland Trail Blazers
2017-18 record: 40–26
The NBA’s longest current win streak belongs to the Blazers, who have won nine consecutive contests. Portland now has a two-game cushion over the four seed in the Western Conference, as they look to secure home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.


5. Boston Celtics
2017-18 record: 46–21
Some concerning quotes from Kyrie Irving over the weekend, regarding his left knee. “I think that will probably be the best thing, just instead of kind of hoping it gets better over the two or three days that it usually does," Irving said. "It’s aching a little bit more than I wanted it to now, so I’m taking the necessary time." Kyrie is expected to sit out all three games the Celtics play this week.


6. Indiana Pacers
2017-18 record: 39–28
Imagine hopping into a time machine and trying to convince someone on the day that Paul George was traded for Victor Oladipo, that the Pacers would have a better record than both the Thunder and the Cavaliers with a month left in the regular season. Welp, just 30 days remain in the 2017-18 campaign, and here we are.


7. Minnesota Timberwolves
2017-18 record: 39–29
The Timberwolves were badly in need of a win when they hosted the Warriors on Sunday afternoon. Karl-Anthony Towns put the Wolves on his back and powered Minny to the victory, snapping their three-game losing streak. Towns scored 14 points in the fourth quarter alone and finished with 31 points and 16 rebounds.

 

Editor's Note: The crew at TeamRankings.com stayed up all night crunching the March Madness numbers. Want the biggest edge in your pool? Get data-driven predictions for any possible NCAA matchup.


8. Cleveland Cavaliers
2017-18 record: 38–28
After an initial jolt following the trade deadline, Cleveland has come back down to earth. The Cavs, who have lost four of their last six games, still have major issues on the defensive end of the floor. However, Clevelanders got some encouraging news on Monday when it was reported that Kevin Love’s broken hand is “healing well” and that Love could return to the lineup in 2-3 weeks.


9. Washington Wizards
2017-18 record: 38–29
Dating back to January 25th, since John Wall was sidelined by knee surgery, the Wizards have dished out at least 25 assists in a game 16 times. That’s the most 25-dime games in the NBA over that stretch (two more than the Warriors, who rank second).

 

10. Philadelphia 76ers
2017-18 record: 36–29
The Sixers smashed the Nets on Sunday, 120-97. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Philadelphia hadn’t won a road game by 20-or-more points since a 105–80 victory at Charlotte on March 19, 2012. The Sixers’ run of 251 consecutive away games without a 20-point win more than doubled the both longest such streak in franchise history and the second-longest active streak in the NBA.


11. San Antonio Spurs
2017-18 record: 37–29
The Spurs lost in Oklahoma City on Saturday night. They are just 2-8 over their last ten games. And, per Elias Sports research, the defeat in OKC was their 21st road loss of the season, which clinched their first losing road record in a season since 1996-97. San Antonio’s incredible 20-season streak of winning road records was the longest in NBA history. However, Spurs fans got some great news over the weekend, as Kawhi Leonard is reportedly on track to return to the Spurs lineup Thursday vs. New Orleans. They’ll need him in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.


12. Oklahoma City Thunder
2017-18 record: 39–29
Carmelo Anthony has shot below 48 percent from the floor in each of the Thunder’s last 19 games. Per Basketball-Reference, that’s the longest such streak in the NBA this season. Over this current 19-game stretch, Anthony is averaging 13.8 points, while shooting 35.9 percent from the field.


13. Utah Jazz
2017-18 record: 37-30
Utah’s backcourt was flat-out dominant in their win over the Pelicans on Sunday. Ricky Rubio scored 30 points, grabbed ten rebounds, dished out seven assists and knocked down four 3-pointers. Donovan Mitchell tallied 27 points (including 18 straight during the second half), four assists, three rebounds, three treys and one steal


14. New Orleans Pelicans
2017-18 record: 38–28
Anthony Davis has broken a few records and posted some epic stat lines this season, but he did something on Sunday he’d never done before. Anthony Davis recorded his first career triple-double. AD scored 25 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and blocked ten shots. He also chipped in three assists and three steals.


15. Denver Nuggets
2017-18 record: 37-30
In the first three games after Paul Millsap returned to the starting lineup, Jokic averaged just 7.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists, while shooting 31.8 percent from the floor, 14.3 percent from distance, and 63.6 percent from the stripe. There was some slight concern about Jokic finding his offensive rhythm next to Millsap. Yeah, about that… Over the Nuggets three games since then, Jokic is averaging 25.7 points, 10.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists, while shooting 73.7 percent from the field, 70.0 percent from 3-point territory, and 93.3 percent from the free-throw line.


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