Monday, February 2, 2015

2014-15 NBA Power Rankings Week 15

Here are my NBA Power Rankings heading into Week 15:

1. Atlanta Hawks (Record 40-8, Last Week 1): Another week and three more wins as the Hawks extend their winning streak to 19 games. They have already won more games than they have all of last season (38). Keeping their win streak in tact for one more week will be tough with matchups against the Pelicans, Wizards, Warriors and Grizzlies this week.

2. Golden State Warriors (Record 37-8, Last Week 2): No team has a greater point differential than the Warriors (+11.2/G) -- the Hawks rank second (+7.3).

3. Memphis Grizzlies (Record 35-12, Last Week 3): Zach Randolph has extended his streak of games with a double-double to 12 and he has 17 of them in his past 18 games played.

4. Portland Trail Blazers (Record 32-16, Last Week 4): An All-Star "snub," Damian Lillard is one of just three players to average at least 21 points, four rebounds, six assists, two three-pointers made and one steal per game. The other two are James Harden and Stephen Curry.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers (Record 29-20, Last Week 9): Kyrie Irving scored a career-high 55 points and knocked down a franchise-record 11 (of 19) three-pointers on Wednesday. The Cavs have now won 10 games in a row and will host the lowly Sixers on Monday.

6. San Antonio Spurs (Record 30-18, Last Week 5): It's not too often that a player (in this case, Boris Diaw) hits his coach with a half-court shot attempt. Amazingly, it generated almost no response from Gregg Popovich [via Tom Ziller]:

7. Los Angeles Clippers (Record 33-15, Last Week 6): DeAndre Jordan, who leads the league in field goal percentage (73.1%) and rebounding (13.5/G), has blocked at least three shots in five consecutive games. It's the second-longest streak of his career; the longest (seven games) happened earlier this season.

8. Toronto Raptors (Record 33-15, Last Week 11): After a 6-for-34 shooting slump and scoring a total of 14 points over a three-game stretch, DeMar DeRozan has averaged 20.4 points over his past five games.

9. Houston Rockets (Record 33-15, Last Week 7): The Rockets will be without center Dwight Howard for "at least a month" as he battles a right knee injury.

10. Dallas Mavericks (Record 32-17, Last Week 12): Rajon Rondo will miss at least the next three games with an orbital fracture to his left eye and a nasal fracture.

11. Chicago Bulls (Record 30-19, Last Week 10): Pau Gasol now has nine consecutive double-doubles with an average of 15.44 points and 14.67 rebounds as well as 2.33 blocks per game during that span. No player has more double-doubles this season than Gasol (30).

12. Phoenix Suns (Record 28-21, Last Week 14): Goran Dragic (5.5) currently ranks fourth in the NBA in fast-break points behind Russell Westbrook (6.9), James Harden (6.0) and Stephen Curry (6.0).

13. Washington Wizards (Record 31-17, Last Week 8): It's been a rough stretch for the Wizards as they have lost four of their past six games.

14. New Orleans Pelicans (Record 25-22, Last Week 15): Tyreke Evans is one of 13 players to average at least 10 points per game in the paint. The only other guard with that distinction is Westbrook.

15. Oklahoma City Thunder (Record 23-24, Last Week 13): Although they were without Kevin Durant for two of the games, the Thunder lost four of their past five games and are currently four games out of the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.

16. Charlotte Hornets (Record 20-27, Last Week 16): Even without Kemba Walker (knee surgery), the Hornets have won two of their past three games. For the month of January, they have a 10-4 record.

17. Milwaukee Bucks (Record 25-22, Last Week 17): If you play NBA DFS, O.J. Mayo and consistency are two things typically not put in the same sentence. Over his past 11 games, however, Mayo has 20-plus fantasy points (DraftKings scoring) in every game. His longest such streak before that this season was just four games.

18. Detroit Pistons (Record 18-30, Last Week 18): Andre Drummond leads the NBA in 2nd-chance points (4.8 per game) and Greg Monroe ranks sixth (3.6/G) in that category.

19. Miami Heat (Record 21-26, Last Week 19): After posting a triple-double (with blocks) last Sunday, it was another strong week for Hassan Whiteside. Although he was one rebound shy of going three-for-three in double-doubles, he averaged 17.3 points and 16.3 rebounds this past week.

20. Utah Jazz (Record 17-30, Last Week 25): The Jazz (18.6/G) rank third in the NBA in field goals made within five feet behind only the Pelicans (20.1) and Pistons (19.0).

21. Sacramento Kings (Record 17-29, Last Week 23): DeMarcus Cousins was selected as the All-Star replacement for Kobe Bryant and he becomes the team's first All-Star since 2004.

22. Indiana Pacers (Record 17-32, Last Week 21): David West is averaging 12.8 points per game, a team high among qualified leaders, yet he ranks only 78th in the NBA in scoring.

23. New York Knicks (Record 10-38, Last Week 29): After winning only five of their first 41 games, the Knicks have started the "second half" of the season by winning five of their past seven games.

24. Brooklyn Nets (Record 18-28, Last Week 20): The Nets have lost four in a row and 12 of their past 14 games, but Jarrett Jack has a total of 49 points, 26 assists, 13 rebounds and three steals in his past two games.

25. Denver Nuggets (Record 19-29, Last Week 22): In the middle of last week, the Nuggets lost by 30 points to the Grizzlies. It was their third loss of 30-plus points (only the Sixers have more, five).

26. Boston Celtics (Record 16-30, Last Week 26): One year after posting a .305 winning percentage, the Celtics winning percentage stands at .348. If they finish this season with a sub-.350 winning percentage, that will mean that two of their worst five seasons in franchise history will have occurred in back-to-back seasons.

27. Philadelphia 76ers (Record 10-38, Last Week 27): On Friday night, Nerlens Noel finished with six blocks and four steals. Over his past 12 games, he's averaging 2.33 blocks and 1.91 steals per game.

28. Los Angeles Lakers (Record 13-35, Last Week 28): In three games last week, rookie starting point guard Jordan Clarkson scored at least 18 points in each game.

29. Orlando Magic (Record 15-35, Last Week 24): The Magic have lost eight consecutive games and head coach Jacque Vaughn is on the verge of being fired according to media reports.

30. Minnesota Timberwolves (Record 8-39, Last Week 30): After recently getting Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic back from injury, they are on the verge of finally getting starting point guard Ricky Rubio back.

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