Chemistry takes on greater importance in the All-Star break edition of NBA power rankings as the grind of the regular season begins to expose the rough edges on teams across the league.
That's no surprise.
At this point, we know who's got the most talent. But as that talent gets depleted by injuries or compromised by infighting, we're learning more and more about which squads are tied tightly together. We see signs in how teams fight through adversity and accept changing responsibilities.
The teams pulling through tough times are surviving—even moving up in some cases. Those that aren't operating collectively for whatever reason (personal agendas, dissatisfaction with coaching, lapses in effort) are heading the other way.
Team harmony is the great elevator. If you don't have it at this point in the season, you're only going down.
As always, we'll use stats and schedules along with gut instinct to organize all 30 teams in order of how well they're playing at present. Last week's rankings are here for comparison.