Here are my NBA Power Rankings. I rank the top 10 teams in the NBA. Again, the Western Conference shows its strength, with eight out of the 10 teams...
1. Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers have arguably the most talent in the NBA. Look at this starting five (with Andrew Bynum coming back later; don't forget about him): Kobe, Derek Fisher, Lamar Odom, Radmanovic (or Luke Walton), and Pau Gasol. Then the bench: Jordan Farmar, Vujacic, Ariza, Turiaf, and Walton (or Radmanovic).
Gasol is an excellent low post scorer, and will get lots of opportunities when Kobe gets doubled. If you double Gasol, then Vujacic, Fisher, or Odom will make the open jumper. When Bynum gets back, there will be 3 players on the court that need to be double teamed. That will leave other players open. The offense will have an extreme amount of firepower, and no one can stop all of their offense threats. Plus, Kobe, Odom, Bynum, Fisher, and Gasol would be a total shut-down defensive group. That is an excellent group of defensive players.
And don't forget this either: They're 9-1 in their last 10 games.
2. Utah Jazz
The Jazz are 19-3 in their last 22 games, and 9-1 in their last 10 games. They are 23-3 at home. Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams are in rhythm and on a roll. The addition of Kyle Korver has helped a lot.
3. New Orleans Hornets
The Hornets are led by the great play of Chris Paul. He can absolutely take over a game. Tyson Chandler is a rebounding monster. David West and Peja Stojakovic provide more offense.
Also, the Hornets have won five games in a row.
4. Boston Celtics
The Celtics are extremely talented, but have stumbled slightly on their West Coast trip. They are showing slight vunerability, but Kevin Garnett is getting healthy. Questions remain about Rajon Rondo's ability to be the right point guard for this team.
This team should breeze through the first two rounds of the East playoffs (possible match ups: 76ers and Raptors...76ers and Raptors!?) before battling Detriot in the Conference Finals.
5. Detroit Pistons
The Pistons had won 10 games in a row before losing their last two games. The Pistons have an excellent starting five, and all have NBA Finals experience. The bench is improving rapidly. The Pistons have shown stretches of great basketball, and will be a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs.
They also will breeze through the first two rounds and meet the Celtics in the Conference Finals.
6. Phoenix Suns
We'll have to wait and see how the Shaq trade works, but no matter what, the Suns can score in bunches. Shaq may provide a defensive presence. Nash and Stoudemire run the pick-and-roll with perfection.
Depth and the bench will be a question.
7. Dallas Mavericks
The Jason Kidd trade should improve the Mavericks' toughness. The Mavericks are still very talented. They have Dirk Nowitzki, Josh Howard, Jason Terry, and Jerry Stackhouse to go with Kidd. The team may have issue on the defensive end, and they may lack confidence.
This team is an enigma; they could win the Championship, or they could lose in the first round.
8. San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs are showing their age. Duncan is getting banged up. Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli have been hurt at times this year. Michael Finley and Robert "Big Shot Bob" Horry are aging fast.
The Spurs' window is closing, but the Spurs do have a lot of experience and playoff success, so it would be foolish to count them out. They have a chance, but the question is if they can still get it done.
9. Houston Rockets
The Rockets are on a roll. They are 13-1 in their last 14 games. Yao Ming is healthy and putting up good numbers. Yao and Tracy McGrady are healthy. The team is getting solid contributions from Rafer Alston and Luis Scola.
Houston is a good team, and is showing it now.
10. Golden State Warriors
The Warriors have great leadership and clutch ability in Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson. Monta Ellis and Andris Biendrins are developing and improving rapidly. Oracle Arena is arguably the best home-court advantage in the NBA. The Warriors are extremely streakly.
When on a good streak, the Warriors are deadly and can beat anyone.
Just Missed: Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic