NBA Power Rankings: March 7, 2016

lakers-vs-warriorsIn the biggest upset of the year, Golden State lost to the L.A. Lakers by a score of 102-85. It was no doubt an amazing win for Los Angeles, and a very forgettable night for the Warriors…especially since they went 4-for-30 from the three-point line. Despite the loss, Golden State remains firmly entrenched in our top spot, with L.A. moving up a place thanks to the big victory. See how everybody else ranks below, and here are last week’s power rankings.

1. Golden State Warriors (55-6); same spot – The Warriors look to get back on track with upcoming games against mediocre Orlando, Utah and Portland. Oh yeah…and they’re still on pace to beat Chicago’s 72-10 mark.

2. San Antonio Spurs (53-9); same spot – San Antonio is riding an 8-game win streak, but it doesn’t seem like they can catch Golden State for the top seed with just 20 games left.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers (44-17); up 1 spot – Blowout wins against Washington and Boston have quieted the drama in Cleveland.

4. Oklahoma City Thunder (43-20); down 1 spot – The Thunder have lost 5 of their last 8, but they’ve at least avoided the constant media speculation that Cleveland is under.

5. Toronto Raptors (41-20); same spot
 – Tough loss for the Raptors in Houston; it drops them back 3 games behind Cleveland for the East’s top seed.

6. LA Clippers (40-21); up 1 spot – The Clippers have played well against top competition, recently notching a win over the Thunder.

hassan-whiteside-miami7. Miami Heat (37-26); up 1 spot – Miami’s young trio of Hassan Whiteside, Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson are playing some excellent D for Miami lately.

8. Boston Celtics (36-26); down 2 spots – The jury is out on how far Boston will get in the playoffs, but they’ve definitely exceeded expectations with their young squad.

9. Memphis Grizzlies (37-25); same spot – Memphis won’t be expected to make it out of the first round with Marc Gasol done for the year. But don’t count this scrappy team out.

10. Atlanta Hawks (35-28); up 1 spot – Nobody is talking about Atlanta now that the trade deadline is over with. And that works to the advantage of this veteran team.

11. Charlotte Hornets (33-28); up 1 spot
 – Much of Charlotte’s recent rise can be attributed to the late-career surge of Marvin Williams.

12. Portland Trail Blazers (33-31); down 2 spots – Portland had a rough close to their road trip, losing three straight to Boston, Toronto and Detroit.

13. Indiana Pacers (33-30); same spot – It’ll be interesting to see what kind of help Ty Lawson can bring to the Pacers while backing up George Hill.

14. Dallas Mavericks (33-30); same spot – Dallas has had lots of difficulty with their own division, going just 5-8 against Southwest teams.

15. Detroit Pistons (32-31); same spot – It looks to be a battle between Chicago and Detroit for the last playoff spot in the East.

Andrew Wiggins, Jimmy Butler16. Chicago Bulls (31-30); up 1 spot – Jimmy Butler was very Jimmy Butler in his first game back, scoring 24 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing 6 assists against Houston.

17. Houston Rockets (31-32); down 1 spot – The Rockets would be in the postseason if it started today. However, this already seems like a lost year for a team with bigger expectations.

18. Washington Wizards (30-32); same spot
 – Washington’s late-season run was cooled off by losses to the Cavs and Pacers.

19. Utah Jazz (29-33); same spot – Quinn Snyder has done a good job with this team, but it would be a great job if Utah can make the playoffs.

20. Orlando Magic (27-34); same spot – Scott Skiles questioned the Magic’s heart, which makes one wonder if changes are coming to the team this offseason.

21. Milwaukee Bucks (26-37); same spot – Milwaukee got bad news that Michael Carter-Williams will undergo season-ending surgery to his hip.

22. New York Knicks (26-38); up 1 spot – After what’s obviously been a failed season, there’s speculation that Carmelo Anthony will be asked to waive his no-trade clause.

23. Sacramento Kings (25-36); down 1 spot – Sacramento isn’t completely out of the playoff hunt, but they have to play very well to catch Houston.

24. Denver Nuggets (25-38); down 1 spot
 – The Nuggets earned a nice victory over the Dallas Mavericks last night.

25. New Orleans Pelicans (23-38); down 2 spots – Any postseason talk for the Pelicans has died down thanks to a four-game losing streak.

karl-anthony-towns26. Minnesota Timberwolves (20-43); same spot – Karl-Anthony Towns definitely seems like the type of future star that Minnesota can build around.

27. Brooklyn Nets (18-45); same spot – Brooklyn has actually played decent lately, winning 3 of their last 6 contests.

28. L.A. Lakers (13-51); up 1 spot – Maybe L.A. doesn’t deserve to be here record-wise. However, you definitely have to give them some credit for being one of six teams to beat Golden State.

29. Phoenix Suns (17-46); down 1 spot – Wins in two out of their last three games show that Phoenix may have some hope for next year.

30. Philadelphia 76ers (8-55); same spot – Philadelphia may be playing better, but they are now mired in a 12-game losing streak.