The biggest matchup from this past week involved the Cleveland Cavaliers taking on the San Antonio Spurs. Cleveland, which recently underwent controversy after firing David Blatt, proved they can play with the league’s elite by knocking off San Antonio 117-103. See if this affects our NBA power rankings this week, and check out last week’s rankings here.
1. Golden State Warriors (44-4); same spot – Golden State doesn’t always need Steph Curry to be on. The Warriors blew out the Knicks thanks to 34 points from Klay Thompson and Draymond Green’s triple-double.
2. San Antonio Spurs (39-8); same spot – The Spurs were easily handled by Golden State and Cleveland last week. But they were also on the road both times without Tim Duncan.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers (34-12); up 1 spot – Kevin Love is playing miles better and the Cavs crushed San Antonio. The players (notably LeBron James) are responding really well to new coach Tyronn Lue.
4. Oklahoma City Thunder (36-13); down 1 spot – The Thunder should be fired up when they play Golden State on Feb.6 since Steph Curry guaranteed a victory over them.
5. Toronto Raptors (32-15); same spot – Cleveland is no longer a shoo-in to win the East, especially with the Raptors riding an 11-game winning streak.
6. LA Clippers (32-16); same spot – The Clippers’ outstanding play without Blake Griffin has been overshadowed by the latter punching an equipment manager. Griffin will be out another 4-6 weeks – will he also serve a suspension on top of that?
7. Memphis Grizzlies (28-20); up 1 spot – Memphis continues quietly climbing the standings and our power rankings after putting together an excellent January.
8. Chicago Bulls (26-20); up 1 spot – First Jimmy Butler called the Bulls soft, now we have Pau Gasol saying the team lacks discipline. But through it all, Chicago keeps winning thanks to their high talent level.
9. Miami Heat (27-21); up 6 spots – Last week, the Heat were hanging onto the East’s last playoff slot. This week, thanks to a 4-game win streak, they’re now holding the fourth seed.
10. Boston Celtics (27-22); up 1 spot – The Celtics are showing tremendous improvement under coach Brad Stevens. Don’t be surprised if they get first-round home-court advantage before the regular seasons ends.
11. Dallas Mavericks (28-22); up 2 spots – Will this be another Dallas-like season? In other words, a solid regular-season record coupled with a quick first-round playoff exit?
12. Atlanta Hawks (27-22); down 5 spots – Atlanta might not be playing as well as last year. But is it really time to start trading away their star players already?
14. Detroit Pistons (25-23); down 4 spots – Detroit just can’t seem to string together consistent play, and it all begins with their limited bench.
15. Houston Rockets (25-25); down 1 spot – The Rockets are victims of a three-game losing streak, but two of these losses were to OKC and the Spurs, and they dropped a 1-point contest against Washington.
16. Washington Wizards (21-24); same spot – Washington snapped a three-game losing streak against Houston. They face the ultimate test against Golden State on Wednesday.
17. Charlotte Hornets (23-25); up 2 spots – Charlotte has Michael Kidd-Gilchrist back and they’re looking like a new team. But are they a playoff team?
18. New York Knicks (23-27); down 1 spot – The Knicks just can’t seem to get over the hump whenever they get close to .500.
19. Portland Trailblazers (23-26); up 2 spots – Portland has now won four straight games to take over the West’s eighth seed. But it won’t be easy holding it with Sacramento and Utah closely trailing.
20. Orlando Magic (21-25); same spot – The road has been Orlando’s Achilles’ heel since they’re only 8-14 away from Amway Center.
21. Utah Jazz (21-25); up 1 spot – Utah is winners of three of their last four games. But now they go on an East-Coast road trip that will really test them.
22. Sacramento Kings (20-27); down 5 spots – The West has been unkind to Sacramento since they’re just 10-20 against their own conference.
23. Milwaukee Bucks (20-29); same spot – Looking at the talent and depth that Milwaukee has, it’s hard to see how they’re sitting at 9 games below .500.
25. Denver Nuggets (18-30); down 1 spot – Denver has had major trouble holding home court, going just 9-15 at Pepsi Center.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves (14-35); same spot – After going 2-14 in January, Minnesota probably can’t wait for a new month to begin.
27. Phoenix Suns (14-35); same spot – Despite facing an impossible situation due to injuries and his assistants being fired, Jeff Hornacek himself was fired this week.
28. Brooklyn Nets (12-36); same spot – Brooklyn could unfortunately be in for plenty of seasons like this in the future since they traded away so many first-round picks.
29. L.A. Lakers (9-41); same spot – The Lakers have hit a new low after dropping 10 straight games. They are now flirting with the league’s worst record.
30. Philadelphia 76ers (7-41); same spot – Philadelphia gave the Warriors a definite scare last night, proving just how far they’ve come with Ish Smith now at point guard.