NBA Power Rankings: Where Every Team Stands on Final Day of Season

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IApril 17, 2013

DENVER, CO - MARCH 01:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives to the basket against Danilo Gallinari #8 of the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on March 1, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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The 2012-13 NBA regular season will come to a close on Wednesday night, setting the stage for another epic postseason.

So, where does your team rank after 80-plus regular-season games?

Below we'll break down where all 30 teams stand on the final day of the regular season heading into the playoffs, which begin Saturday.

*Teams to watch this postseason are italicized.


No. 1. Miami Heat (65-16)

The defending NBA champions are once again the team to beat heading into the postseason.

Proud owners of the second-longest winning streak in NBA history at 27 games, the Heat have looked flat-out unbeatable at times this year and will be nearly impossible to upend this summer, as they carry home-court advantage throughout the playoffs as long as they keep winning.

Barring a serious injury to LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh, this team is almost a lock to repeat as NBA champion.


No. 2. Oklahoma City Thunder (60-21)

If there's a team capable of knocking off the Miami Heat in these playoffs, it's the reigning Western Conference champions Oklahoma City Thunder. Led by Kevin Durant, OKC has won four straight coming into Wednesday's regular-season finale.


No. 3. Los Angeles Clippers (55-26)

Don't look now, but the L.A. Clippers boast the second-longest current winning streak in the NBA at six games. L.A. has been flying under the radar lately, but the Clippers are a legitimate contender, sporting the fourth-best scoring differential in the league this season.


No. 4. Memphis Grizzlies (55-26)

Another underrated championship contender, the Memphis Grizzlies are playing great basketball as the regular season comes to a close. They've won eight of their last 10 games overall and are defending better than anyone in the league.


No. 5. New York Knicks (53-28)

In addition to having won 15 of their last 17 games, what makes the Knicks so deadly is their ability to stretch the floor with so many talented three-point shooters. New York attempts more threes than any other team in the NBA.

With Carmelo Anthony playing the best basketball of his career and New York shining on the defensive end under Mike Woodson, this team could make a solid run and win its first playoff series in over a decade this spring.

The Knicks will face off against the Celtics in the first round this year, a series that promises to go back and forth and produce plenty of fireworks.


No. 6. San Antonio Spurs (58-23)

Injuries have hampered the Spurs this season and have San Antonio playing lackluster basketball at the wrong time. Unless Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili can get healthy quick and return to form, this team could be set for an early postseason exit.


No. 7. Denver Nuggets (56-25)

Like San Antonio, injuries have plagued the Denver Nuggets. Fortunately, Denver is nearly impossible to defeat at home this season and features a handful of players who can score the ball.


No. 8. Indiana Pacers (49-31)

A dominant home team, the Pacers will need to show that they can win on the road this spring if they hope to advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2004.


No. 9. Los Angeles Lakers (44-37)

With a win over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, the Kobe Bryant-less L.A. Lakers will clinch the No. 7 seed out West and avoid a first-round showdown with the Thunder. If the Lakers lose, they'll need the Jazz to lose as well, which would propel them into the postseason as the No. 8 seed.

If L.A. can clinch the No. 7 spot, it definitely isn’t difficult to imagine the Lakers knocking off the Spurs in the opening round, even without the Black Mamba.

Otherwise, if the Lakers head into the playoffs with a loss, then they will likely be set for an early exit, as they'll be facing off against a young, explosive Thunder team that bounced them from the playoffs a year ago.


No. 10. Houston Rockets (45-36)

While the Rockets are one of the most potent offensive teams in the NBA, their inability to stop opponents on the defensive end of the floor could doom them this postseason.

Only Sacramento and Charlotte are giving up more points than Houston this year.


No. 11. Brooklyn Nets (48-33)

Brooklyn seems to play well at home and on the road. Unfortunately, the Nets aren’t talented enough on the offensive side of the ball to challenge a team like Miami in a seven-game series.

Despite making the playoffs for the first time in six years, the Nets look poised for an early exit.


No. 12. Golden State Warriors (46-35)

The Warriors are a dangerous team on the offensive end and have Western Conference finals potential if they can land the No. 6 seed out West. That way, Golden State would avoid top seed Oklahoma City through the first two rounds. 


No. 13. Chicago Bulls (44-37)

Unless Derrick Rose makes a shocking return this spring, the Chicago Bulls will likely be headed home in the first round. This team has been playing inconsistent basketball recently and struggles to score far too often.


No. 14. Atlanta Hawks (44-37)

Like Chicago, Atlanta has been mediocre as of late, looking like a conference semifinalist at best. The Hawks are playoff-bound for the sixth straight year, but a deep run looks unlikely.


No. 15. Utah Jazz (43-38)

The Jazz may not make the postseason in 2013, but they've certainly fought hard down the stretch. Think about this: If Utah was in the East, it would be battling for a No. 5 seed. 


No. 16. Boston Celtics (41-39)

Boston is just 5-5 over its last 10 games this season, and although the Celtics aren't playing their best basketball heading into the playoffs, they have two things in their favor: They play excellent team defense and have Doc Rivers calling the shots on the sideline.

This is a team capable of making a deep run this postseason, regardless of who's healthy. 

A year ago the Celtics came within one win of reaching the 2012 NBA Finals, so don't be surprised if the Rajon Rondo-less C's stun the NBA world again in 2013. When expectations are low, this team seems to play its best basketball.


No. 17. Dallas Mavericks (40-41)

Kudos to the Mavericks for getting back to .500 this season and being allowed to shave their beards.

Unfortunately, Dallas will miss the playoffs for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.


No. 18. Milwaukee Bucks (37-44)

Milwaukee is the only team in the league with a losing record and a negative scoring differential that's headed to the playoffs this spring. That doesn't bode well for the Bucks against the defending champion Miami Heat in the first round.

Can you say sweep?


No. 19. Toronto Raptors (33-48)

A winner of four straight games, Toronto looks determined to begin the offseason on a high note. With Rudy Gay on board and an entire offseason of moves to be made, the Raptors will be in the mix for a playoff spot next season.


No. 20. Detroit Pistons (29-52)

Like the Raptors, the Detroit Pistons have won four straight games coming into Wednesday’s season finale and look like a team with the potential to earn a playoff berth in 2013-14. With Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond dominating the paint, the Pistons have a strong foundation to build on with the upcoming draft.


No. 21. Philadelphia 76ers (33-48)

One year after taking out the No. 1-seeded Chicago Bulls in the playoffs and pushing the Boston Celtics to the brink in the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Philadelphia 76ers will miss the playoffs after an incredibly disappointing season.


No. 22. Minnesota Timberwolves (30-51)

Injuries crushed Minnesota’s hopes from the start this season. A team with plenty of promise, the Timberwolves must stay healthy in order to challenge for a playoff spot next year.

The T-Wolves have not made the postseason since 2003-04 when Kevin Garnett was leading them.


No. 23. Portland Trail Blazers (33-48)

The Blazers have dropped 12 straight games and are in serious danger of carrying a 13-game losing streak into the offseason. What's more, Portland has lost seven straight home games during its skid.


No. 24. Washington Wizards (29-52)

If you consider the fact that the Washington Wizards were 4-28 on Jan. 6, then their 29-52 mark doesn’t seem all that bad. The Wiz have dropped five straight, however.


No. 25. Sacramento Kings (28-53)

Sacramento’s playoff drought continues. For the seventh straight year, the Kings will watch the NBA playoffs from home.


No. 26. New Orleans Hornets (27-54)

The Hornets have lost four straight games and will be looking for a fresh start as the Pelicans in 2013-14. With Anthony Davis only getting better, the future looks bright in the Big Easy.


No. 27. Cleveland Cavaliers (24-57)

The future looks very promising in Cleveland with so many young, talented players gaining crucial NBA experience. Still, this team has tons of work to do. The Cavs have lost five in a row and eight of their last 10 overall coming into the final day of the regular season.


No. 28. Phoenix Suns (25-56)

Oh what a difference Steve Nash makes. This time last year the Phoenix Suns were battling for a playoff spot. Now, they’re well out of the playoff race and headed for the lottery once again, this time likely picking in the top five.


No. 29. Charlotte Bobcats (20-61)

Despite all of Charlotte’s struggles in 2012-13, the Bobcats could actually head into the offseason on a three-game winning streak if they can beat the Cleveland Cavaliers at home in their regular season finale on Wednesday night.


No. 30. Orlando Magic (20-61)

With a loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday, the Orlando Magic would secure the worst record in the NBA at 20-62. The Bobcats own the tiebreaker over the Magic, having defeated them three out of four times this season.


Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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