2013 NBA Power Rankings Week 7: Hottest Team in Basketball Takes No. 1 Spot
2013 NBA Power Rankings Week 7: Hottest Team in Basketball Takes No. 1 Spot
The past week in the NBA has been yet another entertaining one for the fans. Depending on which franchise you call 'yours,' the last week revealed a few things about certain teams that may signal they are here to stay. Others, well, they might not be here come the postseason even after an impressive start to the year.
Week seven in the NBA saw a couple of the longest streaks in the league get extended, thus switching up our list a bit. There is currently both a 6-game winning streak and 6-game losing streak being kept alive in one conference apiece, and the impact it has on those teams' respective positions in the rankings may surprise you.
What a week it has been. I think I speak for all of us when I say that Damian Lillard's game-winner in overtime Sunday night was a phenomenal way to cap it off. Though it took that kind of game and shot to put away the Detroit Pistons, I think Lillard and his Portland Trail Blazers will take it; keeping quite the fantastic season alive.
Have the Chicago Bulls reached an all-time low this season after losing to both the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors? The loss of Derrick Rose is beginning to truly reveal how powerful of an effect it has on this Chicago team, and I'm not sure they can recover.
How would the Brooklyn Nets fare after being ranked at their lowest point in the season a week ago? Could Jason Kidd and company respond to all of the negative publicity and finally get some wins?
What about the Phoenix Suns? These guys are quietly becoming one of the better teams out West and have surprised us all. The guard play has been absolutely outstanding this season, as both Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe have combined to offer what I believe is by far one of the best back courts in all of basketball.
As usual, this week's rankings have a few teams dipping compared to just seven days ago. However, there must be movement in the opposite direction for a handful of franchises then, right? Without any further prolonging, here are your week seven NBA Power Rankings.
30. Milwaukee Bucks (5-19) Last Week: 30
Seeing as though the Bucks are last in the Eastern Conference, still, and the East is by far worse than the West yet again, it's tough to argue with giving Milwaukee the bottom spot once more.
29. Utah Jazz (6-20) Last Week: 29
The Utah Jazz didn't do much to keep themselves out of the 29th ranking like they obtained a week ago. Ranking in the bottom half in almost every major statistical category isn't going to get you far.
28. Philadelphia 76ers (7-18) Last Week: 25
Like I said a week ago, that hot start for the Philadelphia 76ers is long gone. Not only are they sitting near the bottom of the league, but they have reached the point where they thought they'd be all season long: Tanking time. Is it time to finally trade Evan Turner?
27. Orlando Magic (7-17) Last Week: 27
Having gone 2-8 in their last 10 games, the Orlando Magic did nothing to propel them higher than 27. I guess the only good news is that they haven't been worse enough to sink any lower.
26. New York Knicks (7-16) Last Week: 26
As you can see, the bottom of the league hasn't done a whole lot to establish itself in the past week. The New York Knicks are yet another example of a team that doesn't look to be going anywhere soon, thus earning them the same rank they had a week ago. At 10th in the East, things are looking bleak for Mike Woodson.
25. Sacramento Kings (7-15) Last Week: 21
Well, for now I was wrong. The two trades that went down prior to last week haven't done a lot just yet to get the Sacramento Kings to where they see themselves. Rudy Gay and Derrick Williams continue to get familiar, but the Kings just aren't winning games.
24. Brooklyn Nets (8-15) Last Week: 28
Here's our first example of a team in the pits a week ago that is finally, possibly, maybe just a little bit, almost seeing the light. Going 2-1 in the past week with wins over two current playoff teams has Brooklyn's outlook just a bit more optimistic.
23. Charlotte Bobcats: (10-14) Last Week: 22
Sure, the Charlotte Bobcats are still a playoff team. But, three straight losses and seven losses out of their last 10 won't help keep them there. Actually, this is the East, so maybe it just might.
22. Cleveland Cavaliers (9-14) Last Week: 23
The Cleveland Cavaliers went 2-1 last week with their only loss coming at the hand of that team down in South Beach. I'd say that's a pretty good week, but still not enough to get them out of the early 20's.
21. Washington Wizards (9-13) Last Week: 18
Losers of four straight, the Washington Wizards are suddenly reeling after a previous record of 4-1 in their five games prior to this losing streak.
20. Chicago Bulls: (9-13) Last Week: 20
The Bulls are lucky that the teams behind them are still worse off at the moment. But, as stated previously, losses to both the Bucks and Raptors will put this team much further down in a hurry if they don't get it together.
19. Memphis Grizzlies (10-13) Last Week: 17
The Memphis Grizzlies are going to have to get things organized in a hurry if they want to remain in the playoff picture out West. Losers of three straight and seven of their last 10, Memphis is not a happy place to be at the moment.
18. Toronto Raptors (9-13) Last Week: 24
The Raptors went 2-1 last week with their wins coming over teams with losing records and the loss coming to the reigning Western Conference champs. Still, that's enough to get them going and propel themselves ahead of the teams falling behind.
17. Detroit Pistons (11-14) Last Week: 13
The Pistons went 1-3 a week ago with their only win coming over the Nets. Take that win how you want, but Detroit had themselves an off week without a doubt.
16. Boston Celtics (11-14) Last Week: 16
The Boston Celtics are fortunate that going 1-2 a week ago didn't drop them further than they were a week ago. Looking at the big picture, though, they have gone 6-4 over their last 10 and still sit in the fourth spot out East.
15. Los Angeles Lakers (11-12) Last Week: 12
Kobe Bryant may be back, but it will take some time to adjust for the rest of the guys who were playing quite well without him. The Los Angeles Lakers have lost three of their last four with Kobe back in the lineup -- not good.
14. Atlanta Hawks (12-12) Last Week: 14
The number three seed in the Eastern Conference is sitting at .500. Yes, that is correct. The Entire Eastern Conference -- aside from just two teams -- has been bad lately. The Atlanta Hawks have gone 4-6 in their last 10, including going 1-2 last week, yet still sit high up on the Eastern totem pole.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves (12-12) Last Week: 15
The Minnesota Timberwolves are currently in the top 10 in points, rebounds and assists. So, what's the problem? They rank 24th in points allowed. Still sitting on the outside looking in at the playoff picture, Minnesota is going to have to start playing some defense.
12. New Orleans Pelicans (11-11) Last Week: 19
The New Orleans Pelicans went 2-1 last week and continue to play well as a team without star forward Anthony Davis. Can they get over the hump and into the playoff picture?
11. Golden State Warriors (13-12) Last Week: 10
Going 1-2 last week and 4-6 in their last 10, the Golden State Warriors have fallen out of the playoff race at the moment. Like a couple of other teams, they can score the lights out. But, can they play consistent defense? That's the issue here.
10. Dallas Mavericks (14-10) Last Week: 9
The Dallas Mavericks have also gone 1-2 in their last week, so fortunately for them, the couple of teams right around them aren't outplaying them just yet. It's awfully close, though, as they could find themselves out of the top 10 real quickly.
9. Houston Rockets (16-9) Last Week: 6
Is there a theme here? 1-2 last week for yet another Western Conference franchise hovering around the top-10 mark. The Houston Rockets may be the fifth seed in the West at the moment, but they can't play defense to save their lives. That must change.
8. Denver Nuggets (14-9) Last Week: 8
After a 7-game winning streak, the Denver Nuggets have gone just 3-3. Still, they have gone 7-3 in their past 10 and continue to dominate the boards, ranking 3rd in the NBA.
7. Los Angeles Clippers (16-9) Last Week: 7
After a 3-1 week, the Los Angeles Clippers still sit at number seven. Why? Because the teams ahead of them are simply playing better basketball.
6. Phoenix Suns: (14-9) Last Week: 11
A 5-game winning streak has the Suns in the highest position they've held all year long. What has been the difference? A healthy Bledsoe to go along with a red-hot Dragic has been the catalyst for a pretty impressive run for Phoenix.
5. Miami Heat (17-6) Last Week: 5
If the Miami Heat aren't careful, this 3-3 stretch they're on could turn into 5-5, which could turn into 7-7, which could eventually sink them further down the rankings. How will they cope with a less-than-healthy Dwyane Wade for the rest of the year?
4. San Antonio Spurs (19-4) Last Week: 4
After a 4-0 week, the San Antonio Spurs still sit at number four overall. It simply wasn't enough to take over three of the hottest teams in the NBA.
3. Portland Trail Blazers (21-4) Last Week: 3
Wait, the first-place Blazers still can't get any love? Why the number three ranking? It just so happens that the two squads ahead of them are even hotter at this very moment.
2. Indiana Pacers (20-3) Last Week: 1
The league's best defensive team continues to batter its opponents. Unfortunately for the Indiana Pacers, they don't get a chance to slow down the league's best team at this very second any time soon.
1. Oklahoma City Thunder (19-4) Last Week: 2
This week, the top spot belongs to the Oklahoma City Thunder who are winners of nine of their last 10 games, including six straight -- the longest active streak in the NBA. The Thunder lead the league in rebounds and are third in scoring. That may be the recipe to eventually score some rings when it's all said and done.