NBA Power Rankings: Latest Standings for All 30 Teams

Adam Fromal@fromal09National NBA Featured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2013

NBA Power Rankings: Latest Standings for All 30 Teams

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    No matter where you are in the NBA Power Rankings, LeBron James sees you, and he's ready to embarrass you on the basketball court. 

    But have his Miami Heat managed to elevate into the No. 1 spot? I won't give that away, though you can rest assured that there are quite a few changes in the top 10 since the last edition back on Jan. 25. 

    So, is your team one of the risers or one of the fallers?

30. Charlotte Bobcats (Previous Ranking: No. 30)

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    Record: 11-37

    Last Five Games: 0-5

    Last 10 Games: 2-8

    If it wasn't for a Gerald Henderson three-pointer with 4.6 seconds left in regulation against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Charlotte Bobcats would be winless in their past nine games. We're a long way from the point of the season at which these Cats were 7-5. 

    Kemba Walker's breakout season is also slipping away as he continues to rack up the missed shots. Over his past five games, the young point guard is scoring just 14.8 points per game on 38.4 percent shooting. 

    That's simply not a recipe for success, seeing as Walker has easily been Charlotte's best player. 

29. Orlando Magic (Previous Ranking: No. 28)

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    Record: 14-35

    Last Five Games: 0-5

    Last 10 Games: 0-10

    Things aren't looking so good for the Orlando Magic, and unless Rob Hennigan can turn J.J. Redick into a few intriguing young players and picks, that won't change for the duration of the 2012-13 season. 

    It's overwhelmingly clear that this roster just doesn't have talent. The 12-13 start to the season really wasn't anything but a convenient mirage that helped soothe the pain of losing Dwight Howard

    At least Nikola Vucevic has looked impressive on the boards, as he's quickly moving up the ranks of professional centers. 

28. Sacramento Kings (Previous Ranking: No. 23)

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    Record: 17-33

    Last Five Games: 1-4

    Last 10 Games: 2-8

    As good as Tyreke Evans and his improved jumper have been recently, the Sacramento Kings just aren't managing to win games. 

    Since the start of the new year, Sacramento hasn't managed to beat a single competitive team. The Kings' last six wins have come against the Cleveland Cavaliers (twice), Toronto Raptors, Charlotte Bobcats and Washington Wizards (twice). 

    It's time for a move to be made, and I'm not referring to the franchise as a whole. 

27. Minnesota Timberwolves (Previous Ranking: No. 27)

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    Record: 18-28

    Last Five Games: 1-4

    Last 10 Games: 2-8

    The Minnesota Timberwolves aren't trending upward as effects of the myriad injuries continue to pile up, but Ricky Rubio is rounding into form slowly but surely. 

    His return from ACL surgery didn't look so promising at first, but the talented and flashy Spaniard is starting to find his stride. Over his past five games, Rubio has averaged 10.2 points and 8.6 assists per game on 40 percent shooting. The first and last numbers might not sound so impressive, but they're both significant improvements. 

    Rubio makes things happen for this team, and that will be even more beneficial when he's surrounded by the more talented members of the roster on a more consistent basis. 

26. Phoenix Suns (Previous Ranking: No. 26)

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    Record: 17-33

    Last Five Games: 2-3

    Last 10 Games: 4-6

    The Phoenix Suns have looked significantly better since Lindsey Hunter took over and started pacing the sidelines in the desert. 

    Hunter led his team to back-to-back wins to open his reign as the head coach, and his record sits at 4-5 through the first two weeks of his tenure. 

    Despite this reason for optimism, the ceiling isn't so high for Phoenix. Unless Michael Beasley's hair can provide a surprising amount of enthusiasm, it's hard to envision them staying anywhere near .500 under their new head coach. 

25. Detroit Pistons (Previous Ranking: No. 21)

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    Record: 18-32

    Last Five Games: 1-4

    Last 10 Games: 3-7

    While the Detroit Pistons haven't won a game since trading away Tayshaun Prince and acquiring Jose Calderon, they eventually will. Their new point guard has averaged 11.5 points, 1.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 0.5 steals per game in his first two contests with the Pistons. 

    Once his terrific distributing skills mesh with his new teammates, good things will happen. There's a significant amount of talent on the Pistons just waiting to be put together. 

    Speaking of waiting to put things together, I'd be remiss not to mention Andre Drummond's free-throw shooting. How he is shooting 36.5 percent from what's supposed to be the charity stripe is just beyond me.

24. Washington Wizards (Previous Ranking: No. 24)

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    Record: 13-35

    Last Five Games: 2-3

    Last 10 Games: 5-5

    The Washington Wizards are a much-improved team with John Wall running the show. 

    Wall is averaging 14.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, 6.9 assists, 0.7 blocks and 0.7 steals per game with a 17.16 PER—by no means unimpressive numbers for a young point guard coming off a prolonged injury. However, Wall's true value lies in what he allows his teammates to do. 

    The floor general spaces the court out and gives his comrades some much easier opportunities, which has proved to have a drastically positive effect on Washington's chances of success. 

    With Wall in the lineup during the 2012-13 season, the Wizards are 8-7 with wins over the Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets and Atlanta Hawks, among others. 

23. Toronto Raptors (Previous Ranking: No. 20)

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    Record: 17-32

    Last Five Games: 1-4

    Last 10 Games: 3-7

    Even though Rudy Gay's shot has disappeared in Canada—5-of-18 from downtown since he was acquired by the Toronto Raptors—he's still managed to score at a high level. The small forward has averaged 24.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game on 27-of-63 shooting from the field. 

    The Raptors were able to take down the Los Angeles Clippers immediately following their big trade, but that success hasn't continued. 

    Building chemistry with a new star in the lineup will take time. That's just inevitable. 

    Don't expect the Raptors continue their descent in the future. 

22. Cleveland Cavaliers (Previous Ranking: No. 29)

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    Record: 15-34

    Last Five Games: 3-2

    Last 10 Games: 6-4

    Making a big jump in the rankings are the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have been led by an absolutely sensational young point guard in Kyrie Irving. 

    The fans in the picture might be taking it to an extreme, but there are nights during which Kyrie looks like he could be the third-best player in the league, trailing only LeBron James and Kevin Durant. He outdueled the latter down the stretch, dropping 35 points in a surprising victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

    Dion Waiters has been looking better and better lately as well, which is another big reason for the Cavs' leap forward. 

21. New Orleans Hornets (Previous Ranking: No. 16)

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    Record: 16-33

    Last Five Games: 1-4

    Last 10 Games: 3-7

    Perhaps moving the New Orleans Hornets up to No. 16 in the last batch of power rankings was a bit premature. Once the league got the scouting report on the Eric Gordon-led version of the future Pelicans, the wins started coming with less frequency. 

    That doesn't mean you should feel any worse about the long-term potential of this squad, though. After all, they still have Anthony Davis. 

    Davis' excellence is starting to be overlooked, which is somewhat surprising considering the amount of hype he generated before the start of the 2012-13 campaign. 

    In his past 16 games, the Unibrow has missed more shots than he's made only twice, as he continues to show off an arsenal of moves that he shouldn't have at this stage of his career. Davis still has a 21.03 PER, and he should start getting some Rookie of the Year love fairly soon if he keeps up this level of multifaceted production.

20. Philadelphia 76ers (Previous Ranking: No. 22)

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    Record: 21-27

    Last Five Games: 3-2

    Last 10 Games: 5-5

    If you want to talk about a young player making a name for himself in a big way, look no further than Jrue Holiday, who has just been balling out for the Philadelphia 76ers. 

    On the season, Holiday is averaging 19.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 8.9 assists per game with an 18.72 PER. Those are insane numbers for a player who has simply become almost the sole source of offensive production for the Sixers. 

    At least Spencer Hawes has started to help him out a little more. 

19. Los Angeles Lakers (Previous Ranking: No. 25)

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    Record: 23-27

    Last Five Games: 3-2

    Last 10 Games: 6-4

    The Los Angeles Lakers are finally starting to trend upward, even if their record still sits below .500. You know it's been a bad season when a 6-4 record over the past 10 games looks absolutely sensational for the men who wear purple and gold. 

    At the forefront of this turnaround has been Kobe Bryant—surprise, surprise. The Mamba is making a more concerted effort to serve in a facilitating role, and it's paid dividends for the Lakers. 

    Until his goose egg in the assist column in a shellacking at the hands of the Boston Celtics, Kobe had been dealing out dimes like they were candy on Halloween. It's not just a coincidence that this correlated with a string of Lakers wins.

18. Dallas Mavericks (Previous Ranking: No. 15)

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    Record: 21-28

    Last Five Games: 2-3

    Last 10 Games: 5-5

    Dirk Nowitzki started to look like a larger shadow of his old self against the Portland Trail Blazers, putting up 16 points, eight rebounds and two assists in the six-point win by the Dallas Mavericks. It's hard to even call what he was before a shadow, considering just how talented his pre-injury self had been. 

    Until Dirk starts playing like a superstar and opening things up for O.J. Mayo and company, it's going to be rather difficult for Dallas to vault up the standings in the difficult Western Conference. 

    If they're going to do that, the Mavs will also have to start playing better against the elite teams in the Association.

17. Portland Trail Blazers (Previous Ranking: No. 18)

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    Record: 25-24

    Last Five Games: 3-2

    Last 10 Games: 5-5

    It's safe to call LaMarcus Aldridge a superstar at this point, even if the Portland Trail Blazers aren't truly one of the best teams in the NBA. 

    The power forward has had an incredible season, averaging 20.7 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game, but he's stepped up his game recently. In his last five contests, Aldridge has put up 23.0 points, 11.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game on 52.1 percent shooting from the field. 

    Remember, the Blazers don't have much in the way of a bench. If starters like Aldridge can't step up on a consistent basis, Portland will sink out of playoff convention. 

16. Milwaukee Bucks (Previous Ranking: No. 13)

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    Record: 25-23

    Last Five Games: 1-4

    Last 10 Games: 5-5

    Can we just stop for a second and talk about how awesome this jersey Brandon Jennings is wearing is? 

    I would "Fear the Deer" significantly more if the Milwaukee Bucks put on these '90s throwbacks more often. That purple-and-green color combination, as well as the asymmetric deer on the side, just looks amazingly slick when a player is soaring through the air. 

    Jennings hasn't needed the jersey to look good for the Bucks, though. They could stand for the lefty point guard's shot selection to improve rather dramatically, but he's still been one of the standouts on this squad. 

15. Atlanta Hawks (Previous Ranking: No. 14)

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    Record: 27-21

    Last Five Games: 2-3

    Last 10 Games: 5-5

    The Atlanta Hawks experienced a big loss when Lou Williams went down for the season. The combo guard was one of the few players on the roster capable of both creating his own shot and getting to the free-throw line with anything even resembling consistency. 

    However, it hasn't been too large a problem thus far, as Jeff Teague has filled the role admirably. 

    Highlighted by his 22-point, 13-assist effort against the Memphis Grizzlies, the former Wake Forest floor general has averaged 19.6 points and 7.6 assists per game over his past five contests. He's also gotten to the line 5.2 times per game and made 92.3 percent of his freebies over that same stretch. 

    If the Hawks wish to remain in the hunt for a solid seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, Teague will have to keep this up.

14. Houston Rockets (Previous Ranking: No. 19)

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    Record: 27-24

    Last Five Games: 3-2

    Last 10 Games: 6-4

    The Houston Rockets are here to stay, especially if the younger players on the roster begin to develop both their skills and their chemistry with the other members of the squad. 

    And, of course, a certain bearded shooting guard still roams the court of the Toyota Center. Even though James Harden isn't much of a defensive presence—understandable given his workload on the other side of the floor—he's undeniably a valuable player for the Rockets. 

    Now that he's crashing the boards with ferocity (two double-digit efforts in his last three games), he's even more dangerous. 

13. Boston Celtics (Previous Ranking: No. 17)

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    Record: 26-23

    Last Five Games: 5-0

    Last 10 Games: 6-4

    Well, this isn't exactly what was supposed to happen. 

    When Rajon Rondo tore his ACL, all hope was supposed to be lost during the 2012-13 season. Instead, the Boston Celtics have gone on a tear of their own, winning all six games since the injury. 

    Is this the Ewing Theory in effect? Is Rondo simply not as valuable as we had thought? Does the league just not have an accurate scouting report as to how Doc Rivers' squad is going to play without the superstar point guard?

    Regardless of the answer, the C's have proved that they're still worth worrying about. Just ask the Los Angeles Lakers, who couldn't use the motivation that comes with a rivalry game to avoid a complete beatdown at the hands of the gang in green.

12. Memphis Grizzlies (Previous Ranking: No. 8)

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    Record: 30-18

    Last Five Games: 2-3

    Last 10 Games: 5-5

    It's going to take some time for the Memphis Grizzlies to adjust to having Tayshaun Prince and Ed Davis instead of Rudy Gay, but it will help them out in the long run. 

    This isn't much of a secret if you've been paying attention to things other than just names and reputations, but Gay hasn't been a great offensive player during the 2012-13 season. Defense is a different story, but Memphis is a team full of great point-preventers. 

    Additionally, Marc Gasol is fully capable of taking on a larger role in the Grizzlies offense, something he's done over the past few games. 

11. Utah Jazz (Previous Ranking: No. 12)

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    Record: 28-22

    Last Five Games: 4-1

    Last 10 Games: 7-3

    The Utah Jazz prominently feature some great players like Al Jefferson, who's quickly becoming one of the more underrated players in the NBA, but the success of this squad is due more to depth than anything else. 

    It's the frontcourt in particular that is full of quality players. 

    Besides Jefferson (20.5 PER) and Paul Millsap (20.5 as well), the Jazz lay claim to Derrick Favors (18.0) and Enes Kanter (16.5). That will come in handy if there's any action at the trading deadline. 

    Much of the Jazz's success has gone unnoticed, though, simply because they're the Jazz. That 13-5 record since the start of 2013 is awfully impressive. 

10. Chicago Bulls (Previous Ranking: No. 10)

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    Record: 29-20

    Last Five Games: 2-3

    Last 10 Games: 6-4

    The Chicago Bulls just keep finding new toys to play with. 

    First it was Jimmy Butler who emerged for Tom Thibodeau, becoming what Grantland's Zach Lowe called the team's "surprising Swiss army knife." 

    Now it's Taj Gibson who's elevating his level of play for the Derrick Rose-less Bulls. While Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah were injured, the athletic big man took advantage of his opportunity and is averaging 13.0 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 2.6 blocks and 0.6 steals per game over his last five contests. 

    Chicago has been struggling with injuries, a tough slate of games and a lot of time away from the United Center, but they'll turn it around soon enough.

9. Golden State Warriors (Previous Ranking: No. 7)

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    Record: 30-19

    Last Five Games: 3-2

    Last 10 Games: 6-4

    I can't help but move the Golden State Warriors down a little bit after they allowed the Houston Rockets to make an NBA-record-tying 23 three-pointers and score 140 points without the benefit of even a single overtime period. 

    Despite that, the Dubs are still rolling, losing only to teams ranked in the top half of these power rankings. You have to go back to Dec. 22, when Golden State fell to the Los Angeles Lakers, to find a loss against a bottom-half team. 

    You can credit Stephen Curry for this, as his shooting has simply been off-the-charts good. David Lee and a few other players may have had a say in it as well. 

8. Los Angeles Clippers (Previous Ranking: No. 3)

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    Record: 35-16

    Last Five Games: 2-3

    Last 10 Games: 3-7

    I have no choice but to drop the Los Angeles Clippers in the power rankings, even though the team is still one of the better squads in the NBA. They have, after all, lost seven of their past 10 games. 

    It's excusable, though, because Chris Paul hasn't been in the lineup. This is one of those cases of proving value through subtraction. 

    As good as Eric Bledsoe may be, he's no CP3, and that's been apparent during recent weeks. 

    Have no doubt that the Clippers will rise back up once Paul returns to the lineup.

7. Brooklyn Nets (Previous Ranking: No. 5)

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    Record: 29-20

    Last Five Games: 3-2

    Last 10 Games: 6-4

    The honeymoon period under P.J. Carlesimo has come to an end, but the Brooklyn Nets are still an elite team with their newly installed head coach pacing the sidelines. 

    Deron Williams has made the biggest difference, as he continues to enjoy his new-found offensive freedom in the system. He's learning to exert some control even with that freedom, and it's been highly beneficial. 

    That said, D-Will hasn't been the best player on the Nets. That would be Brook Lopez, who continues to improve on defense while playing incredible offensive basketball. He's developing into a more unstoppable scorer by the day.

6. Indiana Pacers (Previous Ranking: No. 11)

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    Record: 31-19

    Last Five Games: 5-0

    Last 10 Games: 7-3

    There's no disrespect meant to David West here, but let's focus on Paul George for a second. 

    How good is this 22-year-old swingman going to get? Even during weeks like this past one, when his shot was a bit off, he still manages to contribute in a positive manner. Over his last five games, George has only shot 39.7 percent from the field, but he's hit two three-pointers per game and gotten to the free-throw line quite often en route to his 18 points per contest. 

    He's also added 6.6 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.8 steals per game while anchoring the perimeter of this stifling Indiana defense. 

    With him leading the charge, it should come as no surprise that Indiana has won five games in a row. 

5. New York Knicks (Previous Ranking: No. 9)

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    Record: 31-16

    Last Five Games: 4-1

    Last 10 Games: 7-3

    Sparked by the returns of Raymond Felton, Amar'e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert, the New York Knicks are moving back up the ranks of the Eastern Conference. And as they continue to prove that they're elite, they're also convincing the world that they're around to stay. 

    However, the work of Tyson Chandler simply can't be overlooked. 

    Chandler has continued to play his trademark interior defense at a high level while finishing alley-oops with remarkable proficiency, and he's elevated his performance on the boards rather dramatically. 

    And that's saying something, seeing as he was already one of the league's best rebounders. 

    Now averaging 11.3 boards per game for the season, Chandler actually managed to record 20 rebounds in three straight games. According to Basketball-Reference's Player Streak Finder, that's a streak that only Kevin Love and Dwight Howard (twice) have matched since the start of the 2007-08 campaign. 

4. Denver Nuggets (Previous Ranking: No. 6)

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    Record: 32-18

    Last Five Games: 5-0

    Last 10 Games: 8-2

    Currently on an eight-game winning streak, the Denver Nuggets are shooting up the ranks of the Western Conference. It's impossible to point to a single catalyst simply because so many players on the roster are stepping up. 

    Andre Iguodala is playing suffocating perimeter defense and finding both his scoring touch and his teammates to rack up the assists. Kenneth Faried is doing Kenneth Faried things, overpowering everyone through his sheer physicality and unstoppable motor. 

    Ty Lawson is reminding us why we thought he'd be an elite player before the start of the 2012-13 season. Danilo Gallinari is quickly becoming a top-tier small forward with his inside-outside offensive game. 

    This is a team that's both complete and deep. That's a dangerous combination, as the rest of the league is finding out.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder (Previous Ranking: No. 2)

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    Record: 37-12

    Last Five Games: 3-2

    Last 10 Games: 6-4

    In order to remain in the top two of these power rankings, you simply can't afford to lose four games in a 10-game stretch. And since the Oklahoma City Thunder have lost in overtime to the Denver Nuggets and in regulation to the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers, they drop to No. 3. 

    There hasn't been a consistent problem for OKC, other than the fact that the squad always has the metaphorical bull's-eye squarely affixed to its back. The Thunder always get everyone's best shot. 

    Kyrie Irving, for example, wasn't going to be disinterested against Kevin Durant and the defending Western Conference champs. Instead, he was going to drop 35 points, including several incredibly impressive buckets down the stretch. 

2. Miami Heat (Previous Ranking: No. 4)

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    Record: 32-14

    Last Five Games: 4-1

    Last 10 Games: 8-2

    Despite their cavalier attitude—am I allowed to use that phrase to describe LeBron James' team?—about the regular season, the Miami Heat are sitting pretty at 32-14 with an 8-2 record over their past 10 games. 

    That's good enough for them to move up to No. 2 in the power rankings, especially since the only two losses came in a tight game against the Indiana Pacers and in overtime to the Boston Celtics. 

    LeBron, in particular, has just been playing otherworldly basketball. If everyone else in the world plays basketball, we might need to invent a new word to describe what LeBron is doing because at times it just seems like he's playing a different sport. 

    We should be far more impressed by performances like his 13-of-14 outing against the Charlotte Bobcats when he recorded 31 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Yes, that was against the Bobcats, but it's still ridiculously impressive. 

    And it's becoming more and more like the norm for the reigning MVP and his supporting cast. 

1. San Antonio Spurs (Previous Ranking: No. 1)

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    Record: 39-11

    Last Five Games: 5-0

    Last 10 Games: 10-0

    The world in general might refuse to acknowledge the greatness of the San Antonio Spurs on a regular basis, but I refuse to be just another sheep in that herd. 

    This team is absolutely incredible, and it's only getting stronger as the season progresses. 

    Gregg Popovich's squad is on an 11-game winning streak, and the schedule isn't too bad from this point forward. After the brutal nine-game road trip that began with a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, it's relatively smooth sailing for the Spurs. 

    San Antonio could seriously challenge 65 wins this season, a mark that only 15 teams in NBA history have reached. 

    As long as Tony Parker continues to assert himself in the offense, the sky is the limit for the Spurs. They're already up in the clouds at this point.