Monday, March 30, 2015

2014-15 NBA Power Rankings Week 22

Three teams have double-digit winning streaks this season -- Atlanta Hawks (19), Golden State Warriors (16) and Cleveland Cavaliers (12).

Both the Hawks and Warriors have had nine-game winning streaks as well, but the Warriors' nine-game winning streak is currently active as we head into Week 22.

In Steve Kerr's first year as head coach, he has already set a franchise record with 60 wins (and counting), which breaks the previous record of Al Attles and the 1975-76 Warriors that finished with a 59-23 record. Of those 60 wins, 43 of them have been by double digits, which leads the NBA by a wide margin.

Despite playing less than 33 minutes per game, Stephen Curry is having a career season.

Curry is averaging 26.0 points, 8.6 assists and 4.0 rebounds with 2.3 steals per 36 minutes, all of which are career highs for him. Leading the league in free-throw percentage (91.6 percent), Curry is shooting 43.1 percent from three-point range and a career-high 52.9 percent on two-point attempts.

While Houston's James Harden leads the NBA in Win Shares (14.6) -- Curry is second (14.2), no player has more Win Shares Per 48 Minutes than Curry (.292). Harden (.265) is third as he trails both Curry and Anthony Davis (.278).

Meanwhile, Draymond Green currently leads the NBA in Defensive Win Shares (4.9).

Green is averaging nearly 10 minutes more per game this year (31.6/G) than last season (21.9/G) and stuffs the stat sheet across the board -- 11.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. On a per-36 basis, he's averaging a career high in all of those categories except for steals.

Clips continue to beat up East; real test vs. dubs next

The Clippers have the league's second-longest active winning streak of seven games.

Many of those wins have been against the league's bottom-feeder Eastern Conference teams with the three most recent wins against the Knicks, 76ers and Celtics last night.

The Clippers face the Warriors and Blazers on back-to-back nights (Tuesday and Wednesday), but then four of their final six games will be against the Lakers (twice) and Nuggets (twice).

Based on Western Conference seeding, the Clippers are currently the No. 4 seed, but they are within 1.5 games of the No. 2 seed (Rockets). On the other hand, they are only 1.5 games within the No. 6 seed (Spurs).

KD out 4-6 months

It's been a lost season for Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant.

With Jones fracture surgery in his right foot delaying the start of his season by 17 games, Durant will now miss the next four to six months as he recovers from a bone-graft procedure.

Playing a total of only 27 games this season, Durant has also missed multiple games three different times between Game 1 and 27 for him this season.

Only five of those 27 games were in February, but the Thunder have won 19 of their 26 games in February and March.

Of course, Russell Westbrook has carried the team by averaging more than 30 points and 10 assists in both February and March.

Here are Westbrook's monthly per-game splits (since December -- played only three games before then):
  • December: 28. 3 points, 7.4 assists, 6.1 rebounds, 2.4 steals
  • January: 21.1 points, 7.6 assists, 6.4 rebounds, 2.1 steals
  • February: 31.2 points, 10.3 assists, 9.1 rebounds, 1.6 steals
  • March: 30.9 points, 10.2 assists, 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 steals
Since February, Westbrook has eight triple-doubles. The rest of the league combined has a total of 12 triple-doubles during that span.

NYK: From Worse to Worst

Obviously, the New York Knicks have struggled all season and Carmelo Anthony was shut down following the All-Star Game.

As bad as things have been, things are getting even worse with the potentially season-ending rib injury to Alexey Schved. Excluding his final game this season when he played only 17 minutes, Schved averaged 19.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.4 steals in previous eight games.

In the three games he has missed since the injury, the Knicks have lost all three games by a combined margin of 56 points. The Knicks now have four losses by 30-plus points; only the Sixers have more (five).

With eight games to go, the Knicks have just 14 wins and currently own the league's worst record. The team has never won fewer than 21 games in a season and both of those seasons were in the early sixties, but there is no chance that they win seven of eight games to avoid setting a franchise-low for wins.

Here are my Week 22 NBA Power Rankings:

RankTeamRecordLast WeekChange
1Golden State Warriors60-131-
2Atlanta Hawks55-182-
3Cleveland Cavaliers48-273-
4Houston Rockets50-235+1
5Memphis Grizzlies50-244-1
6Los Angeles Clippers49-257+1
7San Antonio Spurs47-266-1
8Portland Trail Blazers47-258-
9Chicago Bulls45-2912+3
10Dallas Mavericks45-299-1
11Washington Wizards41-3310-1
12Oklahoma City Thunder42-3211-1
13Toronto Raptors43-3013-
14New Orleans Pelicans39-3415+1
15Phoenix Suns38-3614-1
16Utah Jazz32-4117+1
17Indiana Pacers32-4116-1
18Charlotte Hornets31-4118-
19Miami Heat34-3919-
20Milwaukee Bucks36-3720-
21Boston Celtics32-4121-
22Brooklyn Nets32-4022-
23Detroit Pistons28-4526+3
24Denver Nuggets28-4623-1
25Sacramento Kings26-4624-1
26Orlando Magic22-5225-1
27Philadelphia 76ers18-5627-
28Los Angeles Lakers19-5328-
29Minnesota Timberwolves16-5729-
30New York Knicks14-6030-

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