2011 NBA Power Rankings – Week 14

After a week in which a national television audience got to the see the good, the bad and the ugly of the 2011 Boston Celtics, the rankings.  As always, your methodology can be found here:

Rank Team W L Off Def Road SOS Rating
1 Spurs 40 7 104.302 (3) 96.384 (7) 1.489 2.131 (7) 11.538
2 Heat 34 14 103.592 (4) 95.416 (4) 1.823 1.173 (27) 11.172
3 Celtics 36 11 101.144 (10) 93.778 (2) 1.638 1.291 (25) 10.296
4 Lakers 33 15 104.333 (2) 97.552 (8) 1.677 0.929 (30) 9.387
5 Bulls 33 14 98.403 (19) 92.09 (1) 1.489 1.281 (26) 9.084
6 Magic 31 18 101.82 (9) 96.045 (6) 1.786 1.351 (23) 8.912
7 Hornets 31 18 98.509 (18) 94.636 (3) 1.786 2.298 (4) 7.957
8 Mavericks 32 15 101.129 (11) 97.961 (12) 1.489 2.488 (2) 7.145
9 Nuggets 28 20 104.597 (1) 102.292 (24) 1.677 1.755 (16) 5.738
10 Thunder 30 17 102.438 (7) 100.728 (18) 1.713 2.306 (3) 5.728
11 Knicks 25 22 102.908 (5) 101.281 (19) 1.862 1.695 (18) 5.184
12 Hawks 30 18 99.803 (14) 97.786 (10) 1.896 0.959 (29) 4.871
13 Rockets 22 27 101.957 (8) 101.666 (22) 1.857 2.026 (10) 4.173
14 Sixers 21 26 98.526 (17) 97.715 (9) 1.787 1.419 (22) 4.017
15 Jazz 29 20 100.554 (13) 100.182 (17) 1.714 1.634 (20) 3.72
16 Blazers 25 22 98.82 (15) 98.648 (15) 1.787 1.748 (17) 3.707
17 Grizzlies 25 24 98.067 (20) 98.211 (14) 1.929 1.632 (21) 3.416
18 Bucks 19 27 94.314 (29) 95.453 (5) 1.902 2.548 (1) 3.311
19 Suns 22 24 102.655 (6) 103.722 (28) 1.75 1.918 (15) 2.601
20 Pacers 18 27 95.912 (24) 97.854 (11) 1.711 2.008 (12) 1.778
21 Warriors 20 27 100.574 (12) 103.243 (27) 1.713 2.086 (8) 1.13
22 Bobcats 20 27 95.716 (25) 98.07 (13) 1.787 1.31 (24) 0.744
23 Clippers 19 28 98.541 (16) 101.326 (20) 1.34 2.086 (9) 0.642
24 Pistons 17 31 97.74 (22) 102.761 (26) 1.896 2.278 (6) -0.847
25 Timberwolves 11 36 97.416 (23) 102.397 (25) 1.787 2.016 (11) -1.178
26 Kings 12 33 95.38 (26) 100.048 (16) 1.633 1.138 (28) -1.897
27 Raptors 13 36 98.039 (21) 104.127 (29) 1.857 1.975 (14) -2.256
28 Nets 15 34 95.231 (27) 101.583 (21) 1.857 1.672 (19) -2.823
29 Wizards 13 34 95.044 (28) 101.812 (23) 1.787 1.995 (13) -2.986
30 Cavaliers 8 40 92.659 (30) 104.711 (30) 2.042 2.293 (5) -7.717

Last week, we explored the East playoff picture and the flotsam that had to occupy the last two slots – basically who gets the honor to get punched in the face by Miami or Boston – this week, consider the West standings:

  • The Spurs, at 40-7 have an 8 game lead in the loss column on anyone else.  Really, barring a health related catastrophe, it is foolhardy to discuss anyone else as the top seed.
  • The 2nd position becomes very interesting.  Right now, the Lakers, Jazz, Thunder, Mavericks and Hornets are ALL within 4.5 games.  The swooning Jazz have slipped to 15th in the rankings, 2.5 points behind the rest of our decision set.  So, with both the standings and the numbers shifting against them, we might have to strike them from consideration. (also consider their schedule at 20th ranked now, does not figure to get much easier).  The Lakers have the qualitative case.  Their metrics are the best, and certainly we all expect them to deliver.  However, noting their 30th ranked schedule – most of their tough games are coming – while the Hornets and Mavericks have had easier slates.  I’m not saying the Lakers won’t grab #2, but there is a very solid case to be made against it.  Dallas/New Orleans is a real toss-up.  Honestly, I just think Dallas has more answers and room for error than New Orleans, though the Hornets’ defense has been a bullwark all season.
  • So if the Top 5 are known (SA, LA, OKC, Dal, NO) and Utah seems to be sliding with their #15 rank, how far can the slide go?  Looking at the standings, Denver and Portland take up the 7 and 8 positions for now.  However, if Denver deal Carmelo Anthony, this could fade.  Portland is just trying to deal with their injury issues.  In the above rankings, Denver is #9 while the Blazers are #16, so there is a pretty good case for Denver passing Utah if Melo stays.  Otherwise, it is hard to envision the Jazz sliding out of the Top 8.  If Denver is out, Memphis seems to be clearly the team, despite Phoenix’ record – Memphis’ fundamentals are clearly better, though their schedule could get tougher soon.
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