I’m tired of the Patriots always winning. Good luck to the Patriots in the Super Bowl and especially good luck to the Philadelphia Eagles who are looking for their first Lombardi trophy. That city will likely be burned down no matter what! Now to the NBA, here are the Power Rankings for week 15 of the regular season.
1.Golden State Warriors 37-10 Prev:1
*Despite the loss to Houston, the Warriors are number one on the power ranking for the third week in a row.
*The Houston Rockets have bested the Warriors in two of three matchups this season. Very likely these two teams will face each other in the Western Conference Finals.
2.Houston Rockets 33-12 Prev:5
*James Harden came back from his hamstring injury and his impact showed as Houston won all three of their games last week.
*The two man combo of Harden and Chris Paul is lethal and capable of preventing GSW from reaching their fourth straight Finals appearance.
3.Boston Celtics 34-13 Prev:2
*With three losses last week, the Celtics are on their first three game losing streak since Jan.18- Jan.25 of 2017.
*Celtics fans might be concerned about their loss last Thursday to the 76ers. With Kyrie out, the Celtics scored a season-low 80 points. A Kyrie injury would be deadly for the Celtics.
4.Toronto Raptors 31-14 Prev:4
*Demar Derozan deserves to be making his second consecutive All Star start. His improved three-point shot has been the most impressive part of his game. After making just 9 threes in his first two seasons, Derozan has a career-high in three-point percentage at .350%.
5.Minnesota Timberwolves 31-18 Prev:3
*In their win Monday night over the LA Clippers, Andrew Wiggins scored a season-high 40 points. This was the most he has scored in a game since he had 41 last April against the LA Lakers.
*Jeff Teague also had a season-high against the Clippers, putting up 30 points.
6.Oklahoma City Thunder 26-20 Prev:8
*Oklahoma City’s outburst of 148 was super-impressive. It’s the most points that the Cleveland Cavaliers have given up since they gave up 148 to Philadelphia in 1972. It’s also the most points given up by a Lebron team.
*Despite the impressive outburst, it is a little concerning that the bench only contributed 27 of those points.
7.San Antonio Spurs 30-18 Prev:6
*After struggling for much of the season, Tony Parker was demoted to the bench in favor of Dejounte Murray. Until Sunday, Parker has started in every game he played since the 2009-10 season.
*Murray underwhelmed Sunday with four turnovers but the the organization is showing faith in his talents by promoting him on a consistent basis.
8.Washington Wizards 26-21 Prev:10
*Washington had a tough week, losing big to Dallas and Charlotte.
*The East is very close, so Washington could be as high as 3 or as low as 8 in the East by next Tuesday.
9.Miami Heat 27-20 Prev:9
*Miami couldn’t pull off the upset Monday against the Rockets. In the last two minutes of the game, they were outscored 6-0 by Houston.
*Tyler Johnson remains out and Miami needs his production in the tight Eastern Conference.
10.Cleveland Cavaliers 27-18 Prev:7
*It’s been a major collapse for Cleveland. Since Christmas, the Cavs are 3-9. Saturday was their worst defensive effort so far.
*There is still time to bounce back but panic has to be kicking in for Cleveland.
11.Philadelphia 76ers 22-21 Prev:15
*With J.J. Redick out, the Sixers had a good week, beating Boston and Milwaukee before losing to Memphis.
*In his first two starts of the season, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot had two of his three season-high scores with 16 and 20 points.
12.Portland Trail Blazers 25-22 Prev:16
*En route to winning Western Conference player of the week, Damian Lillard led the Trail Blazers to a 3-1 record in week 14.
*Lillard is lethal when healthy. Since his return from injury, he hasn’t failed once to record 20 points.
13.Indiana Pacers 25-22 Prev:11
*Victor Oladipo should definitely be an All Star in the backcourt. He ranks only behind Jimmy Butler on ESPN’s real plus minus and has taken an Indiana team with low expectations back into the playoff picture.
14.Los Angeles Clippers 23-23 Prev:14
*Lou Williams continues to light up the stat sheet. In January, he averages 29.2 ppg, third in the NBA.
*Despite being in the playoff picture, the Clippers might want to sell high on Williams now.
15.New Orleans Pelicans 25-21 Prev:17
*Boogie had a night to remember against the Bulls with 44 points and 24 rebounds in their double-overtime win.
*Anthony Davis and Cousins are stepping up for the Pelicans; both have scored 40 or more points on an occasion this month.
16.Denver Nuggets 24-23 Prev:13
*Denver lost to Phoenix and the Clippers but won a close game Monday night over the Trail Blazers.
*They have a balanced attack; Denver is ranked 12th in ppg and 14th points allowed per game.
17.Milwaukee Bucks 24-22 Prev:12
*Poor Jason Kidd! Giannis tried to save him but it wasn’t enough.
*To be fair, a team with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Eric Bledsoe should be better than two games over .500%.
18.Detroit Pistons 22-23 Prev:18
*After a great start, Detroit has collapsed, going 8-18 since the start of December and losing five straight.
*The more recent struggles can be blamed on the absence of Reggie Jackson. With him out of the lineup, Detroit is 3-9.
19.Charlotte Hornets 19-26 Prev:20
*Charlotte is finally starting to look like the team that was expected to compete going into the season. They are 6-4 in their last 10.
*Their road struggles will hold them back; they are 6-13 this season on the road.
20.Chicago Bulls 18-29 Prev:19
*Chicago couldn’t pull out the victory, losing in double-overtime to the Pelicans.
*Starting center, Robin Lopez, only averages 4.8 rpg and Chicago gave up 15 offensive rebounds to New Orleans.
21.Utah Jazz 19-28 Prev:22
*Utah went 2-2 in week 14, highlighted by wins over the Clippers and Kings. Thankfully for the Jazz, Rudy Gobert is back from injury.
*However, the Jazz have built a big hole to climb out of: they are five games behind the eighth spot in the west.
22.Los Angeles Lakers 17-29 Prev:25
*Without Lonzo Ball, the Lakers were able to win, beating the Pacers and Knicks last week.
*Kyle Kuzma will have to lead the Lakers in week 15 if Ball remains out with a nagging knee injury.
23.Brooklyn Nets 18-29 Prev:24
*Spencer Dinwiddie was the hero once again for the Nets, scoring the go-ahead bucket with less than a second remaining to beat the Pistons.
*While inconsistent at times, Dinwiddie is solid at point guard for a team with two injured point guards: D’angelo Russell and Jeremy Lin.
24.New York Knicks 21-26 Prev:21
*New York’s collapse continued with losses to Memphis and the Lakers last week.
*If New wants to compete for a playoff position this year, they have to upgrade their backcourt. A trade for Lou Williams seems logical.
25.Phoenix Suns 17-30 Prev:26
*The Suns couldn’t take advantage of the Jason Kidd-less Bucks as they lost on Monday night.
*Their defense has ineffective all season; they are last in points allowed per game.
26.Memphis Grizzlies 17-29 Prev:27
*Despite not being good all season, Memphis is headed in the right direction, winning 6 out of their last 10.
*Dillon Brooks has helped the Grizzlies. The 45th pick in the 2017 draft is averaging 11.7 ppg in January.
27.Dallas Mavericks 16-31 Prev:23
*Dallas had a very strong defensive showing, holding the Wizards to just 75 points in the win.
*Over their past three games, Dallas has averaged 9.3 steals per game, which is an improvement from their season stat of 6.8 spg.
28.Atlanta Hawks 14-32 Prev:28
*John Collins has a lot of potential going forward. The problem for Collins is his over-aggressiveness on the defensive end. In 22.2 mpg, Collins averages over 3 fouls per game.
29.Orlando Magic 14-32 Prev:30
*It has been a struggle for Orlando, although they defeated Boston and Minnesota last week.
*Unfortunately for Orlando, Jonathan Isaac’s rehab isn’t going as well as they wanted; the rookie could be out of action for a while.
30.Sacramento Kings 13-33 Prev:29
*Sacramento has been unlucky during their eight game loss streak. Seven of the games were within twenty points.
*The bottom two teams on this list face off Tuesday night when Orlando plays Sacramento, so maybe the Kings can buy a win.