Monday, February 6, 2012

NBA Consensus Power Rankings, Week 6

For the first time this year, we have a tie at the top of our NBA Consensus Power Rankings.

Although the Miami Heat had one of our four first-place votes (and three third-place votes), the Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder are tied for first. However, all three teams are within one game of each other in the NBA standings and are in a different tier from the rest of the NBA.

At the other end, the Bobcats are a consensus choice for last in our power rankings, but the Pistons, Hornets and Wizards are all bad, really bad, as well.

Fortunately for the teams at the bottom, the potential rookie class is stronger in 2012 than last year's rookie crop.

[In our NBA mock drafts, which we released over the weekend, both Brendan Donahue (see his mock) and I (see my mock) had Kentucky power forward Anthony Davis going first overall.]

Here are some more stats about this week's NBA Consensus Power Rankings:

- Biggest jump from last week: Los Angeles Clippers (+4.75)
- Biggest drop from last week: Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets (-2.75)
- Team with widest difference between high and low ranker: Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks and Houston Rockets (5)

[See our full NBA Consensus Power Rankings.]

Each week, we respond to one roundtable question and here's this week's question: Who is the NBA MVP so far this season?

John (follow on Twitter): There are a few solid candidates for MVP through this point in the season. It's mostly the usual suspects, with some of the favorites being Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, or even Kevin Love. However, in my opinion, the MVP through this point of the season is LeBron James. Although Miami is pretty stacked, Dwyane Wade has had a nagging injury that has kept him out for much of the season. Still, LeBron has the Heat just a game out of the No. 1 seed in the East behind on the Bulls. In their one meeting this season, the Heat were able to eek out the win behind a 35-point effort from LeBron. In addition to being the best player on what I feel is the best team in the league, Lebron's statistics are incredible. He's averaging over 29 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 7 assists per game. He's not far off from averaging a triple-double, which is pretty amazing. There's still plenty of season left, but I have a feeling LeBron will continue playing at a high level and lock up the MVP at the end of the season. The bigger question is going to be if he can shrug off last season's Finals and lead the Heat to a title.

Sean (follow on Twitter): My No. 1 team has the league's MVP on it, and that is the Bulls Derrick Rose. In terms of value, Rose is the No. 1 player in the league. The Bulls would not be where they are without Rose.

Dan (follow on Twitter): So far the MVP of the season has to go to the old warhorse in Kobe Bryant. Byrant is maintaining an unbelievable pace right now, as he is averaging 38 minutes per game, and also leading the league with 29.4 points per game. Kobe is doing all of this after losing Lamar Odom, Phil Jackson, and playing with a pulled ligament in his wrist. It has been impressive to watch Kobe develop his game, and the return of the mamba as he is fueled by all the slights this year.

Kevin (follow on Twitter): In the history of the NBA, only three players have averaged at least 29 points, eight rebounds and seven assists: Oscar Robertson (four times during the '60's), Michael Jordan (1988-89 season) and LeBron James (so far this year). Plus, he's tied for 10th in the NBA in steals per game (1.7). With the Heat also one of the top three teams in the NBA, there is absolutely no doubt that LeBron is the clear frontrunner for the award so far this year.

To see where all 30 teams fall in our power rankings going through Week 6, click here.

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