NBA Power Rankings: March 1, 2016

steph-curry-thunderAs great as Golden State has been, they still have detractors. And last week was marred by comments from Oscar Robertson and Isiah Thomas, who claim that Steph Curry’s incredible success is due to poor perimeter defense these days. For his part, Curry doesn’t seem to phased as his team marches on to the best record in NBA history. And we don’t seem too phased either since they once again top our power rankings. See where everybody else ranks below, and take a look at last week’s power rankings here.

1. Golden State Warriors (53-5); same spot – As if the Warriors needed to further convince anybody else how great they are (apparently they do), they just beat Oklahoma City on the road again…thanks to Curry’s game-winning 35-footer.

2. San Antonio Spurs (50-9); same spot – The Spurs remain the one team that looks like they could possibly stop Golden State. But even that seems like a stretch now.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder (42-18); up 1 spot – OKC somewhat redeemed a loss to the Pelicans by almost beating Golden State. The Clippers are gaining on them for the third spot in the West.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers (42-17); down 1 spot – Kyrie Irving won’t admit that he’s unhappy in Cleveland. But whether or not it’s true, this isn’t an ideal time for such a report to surface.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Dallas Mavericks5. Toronto Raptors (39-19); same spot – The Raptors still remain 2.5 games behind the Cavaliers. But a recent home win over Cleveland shows that Toronto is definitely a threat to win the East.

6. Boston Celtics (36-25); same spot – Boston got a solid 12-point win over Miami on Saturday to keep a firm grip on the number-three seed. They’d make an interesting opponent for Toronto in the playoffs.

7. LA Clippers (39-20); same spot – The Clippers continue to play their best basketball of the year with Blake Griffin sidelined.

8. Miami Heat (34-26); up 1 spot – Chris Bosh still faces an uncertain future. But the Heat are rallying around his absence and have posted a 4-2 record since the All-Star break.

9. Memphis Grizzlies (35-24); down 1 spot – Marc Gasol will miss the rest of the year with a foot injury. Hard to see the Grizzlies doing much better than this with Gasol missing.

10. Portland Trail Blazers (33-28); up 4 spots – There’s no question that Portland is the surprise team of the year after losing LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Robin Lopez and Wesley Matthews in the offseason.

11. Atlanta Hawks (33-27); down 1 spot – Atlanta continues struggling to find last season’s magic. They still have 26 games to try and find it before the postseason.

Orlando Magic v Charlotte Hornets12. Charlotte Hornets (31-28); same spot – The Hornets are streaking up the standings now that their team is healthy. They could be even better as their chemistry improves with Al Jefferson back in the lineup.

13. Indiana Pacers (31-29); down 2 spots – Indiana looked like they had last night’s contest won against the Cavaliers. Then officials took away a late three by Paul George after determining that the shot clock had expired.

14. Dallas Mavericks (32-28); down 1 spot – The Mavericks were a bit of a surprise at the beginning of the season. But lately, they’ve cooled off and will need some good play just to stay in the postseason.

15. Detroit Pistons (31-29); up 3 spots – Detroit played terrible leading up to the All-Star break. But with four straight wins, they’re now looking like a dangerous low-seed playoff team.

16. Houston Rockets (29-31); same spot – Houston’s disappointing season leaves plenty of questions as we inch towards the offseason.

17. Chicago Bulls (30-29); down 2 spots – For the first time this season, Chicago is suddenly out of a playoff spot.

john-wall18. Washington Wizards (29-30); up 1 spot – Washington has used two wins over the Sixers and a victory over the LeBron-less Cavaliers to put themselves in the postseason hunt.

19. Utah Jazz (28-31); down 2 spots – Utah’s downfall this year has been their road play since they’re just 9-19 away from home.

20. Orlando Magic (26-32); same spot – Despite Orlando’s January/February collapse, this is still a young team that’s playing close to .500 basketball.

21. Milwaukee Bucks (25-35); up 4 spots – Interesting to hear that Dwight Howard “likes Milwaukee,” even though he wouldn’t opt into their trade due to contract extension reasons.

22. New Orleans Pelicans (23-35); up 2 spots – This has been a lost season for New Orleans, but at least they’re playing decent now.

23. New York Knicks (25-37); down 2 spots – The Knicks have gotten more attention for controversy than their play. The latest involves Carmelo Anthony and ex-Knick Amar’e Stoudemire.

24. Sacramento Kings (24-34); down 1 spot – Every time Sacramento shows some promise, they go on a losing streak; this time it’s three games.

danillo-gallinari25. Denver Nuggets (23-37); down 3 spots – Danilo Gallinari will unfortunately have to miss some time due to torn ligaments in his foot.

26. Minnesota Timberwolves (19-41); same spot – Minnesota’s young nucleus still has a long way to go. But they’ve split their last 10 games and have shown some promise.

27. Brooklyn Nets (17-43); same spot – Joe Johnson is gone and Brooklyn is officially on their way to a rebuild.

28. Phoenix Suns (15-45); same spot – Only the Sixers have a worse road record than the Suns this season (4-29).

29. L.A. Lakers (11-49); same spot – Kobe Bryant probably wishes his last season was over right now in the midst of an eight-game losing streak.

30. Philadelphia 76ers (8-52); same spot – Philadelphia is still hunting for that ninth win that will at least tie them for the worst record ever.

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