Who needs Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire?
Without both of their "superstars," the Knicks have continued to win behind their new superstar Jeremy Lin. Nearly cut by the Knicks themselves, Lin has taken the NBA world by storm.
It has led to words like Linsanity, Lincredible, Linning, etc.
No player has scored more points in his first four starts than Lin, who has scored 20-plus points in five straight games including a career-high 38 points against Kobe and Lakers on Friday night.
From getting MVP chants at Madison Square Garden and "overrated" chants on the road in places like Minnesota, how could you not root for a guy that is sleeping on his brother's couch and was an unknown about a week ago? (And this is coming from a Sixers' fan, i.e., I hate the Knicks.)
The Knicks have moved up a couple of spots in our power rankings to No. 18 from No. 20 (tied with Milwaukee) in last week's rankings.
Like last week, the top three teams all have No. 1 ranks from at least one of our four rankers, but the Thunder and Bulls are tied for the No. 1 spot. On the other hand, the bottom three teams were unanimous choices with the Wizards, Hornets and Bobcats as the worst three teams in the league.
Here are some more stats about this week's NBA Consensus Power Rankings:
- Biggest jump from last week: New York Knicks and San Antonio Spurs (+2.50)
- Biggest drop from last week: Denver Nuggets (-3.75)
- Team with widest difference between high and low ranker: Indiana Pacers (7)
[See our full NBA Consensus Power Rankings.]
Each week, we respond to one roundtable question and here's this week's question: Who will win the Southwest Division this season?
John (follow on Twitter): San Antonio Spurs
The Southwest Division is one of the toughest in the league, with four of the five teams above .500, and the top three teams within 2.5 games of one another. I like the Spurs to remain atop the division. While they have been left off most people's lists as being a legitimate contender, I think the Spurs have a real shot this year. They have fallen off from what they were a few years ago, and I think most people think they're just too old now. It's tough to argue, though, that the Spurs are playing great ball. They have a 13-1 home record and have experience over most other teams in the West come playoff time. If the Lakers fail to make a big splash before the trade deadline (i.e., get Dwight Howard), I think that Oklahoma City is the clear favorite in the West, with few other teams being able to challenge them. With the Clippers losing Billups and Dirk not playing like the MVP he played like last year, I think the Spurs are the closest real contender, and I expect them challenge to represent the West. Right now, I have them in the Western Conference Finals, with a sporting chance against the KD and the Thunder.
Sean (follow on Twitter): Dallas Mavericks
I think the defending champion Mavericks win the Southwest division this year. I think they are going to make some moves towards the trade deadline to improve their team. The short season is definitely hurting them thus far since they have the oldest starting five in the NBA, but I think they will overtake the Spurs at some point this season, and never let up.
Dan (follow on Twitter): San Antonio Spurs
In what has been the most competitve divison in the league this year, the Southwest Divison will most certainly come down to the wire. I have the San Antonio Spurs coming out on top, as even in this compressed schedule I love thier veteran poise. The Spurs have also been the hottest team lately as they have won seven in a row, and are an impressive 13-1 at home. I love the Spurs to take this divison down even over the defending champs.
Kevin (follow on Twitter): Dallas Mavericks
Going into the playoffs last season, the Dallas Mavericks were widely considered to be a team ripe for an early-round exit from the postseason. Instead they kept disproving their doubters along the way to winning the NBA title. The Mavs had some key losses in the offseason like Tyson Chandler and J.J. Barea last year, but they added Lamar Odom, arguably the league's best sixth man. Although Dirk Nowitzki is averaging only 18.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, his lowest averages since the 1990's, I expect him and the Mavs to get on a roll and win the Southwest Division. That said, I expect half of the West's playoff teams to come from this division.
To see where all 30 teams fall in our power rankings going through Week 7, click here.
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Related: Our End-of-season NFL Consensus Power Rankings