NBA Power Rankings: Vinsanity Is Back!
Remember the days when Vince Carter was "Half-Man, Half-Amazing?" Well, though Carter's days in the league are now completely numbered, he is finally starting to return to form.
The Magic have brought in Carter to replace the likes of Hedo Turkoglu. Carter may finally be on his way.
Now, on to this weeks NBA Power Rankings.
1. Cleveland. (41-11)
Despite injuries to LeBron James' sidekick Maurice Williams, the Cavaliers just keep on rolling. Of course, it's thanks to James and it helps that he's been absolutely on fire from the three point line as of late, hitting shots from the teams' Logo at center court.
2. LA Lakers. (40-13)
No Kobe, no problem. The last two games Bryant hasn't played while he rests his back, ankle, and fingers. As of right now, reserve Shannon Brown has picked up the slack and the team has finally started to grow and show some toughness.
3. Denver. (34-17)
The Nuggets have played without Carmelo Anthony, the leagues leading scorer. They even put up a good fight against Utah without Anthony and point guard Chauncey Billups, hopefully both will return for the last two games before the All-Star break.
4. Orlando. (35-17)
They dispatched the Celtics for the third time this season, and Carter seems to have finally returned to form after a completely dreadful January. With the break just around the Corner, the Magic might have finally begun to hit their stride just in time.
5. Utah. (31-18)
After an eight-game winning streak, the Jazz prepare for their last big game before the break. Against the Lakers, hopefully Andrei Kirilenko keeps dropping three's like he has during the surge (57 of 79).
6. Atlanta. (32-17)
A first-time sweep over the Celtics seemed to be a far off dream not to long ago. Now it's become a reality. Say hello to Joe Johnson everyone, the most underrated star in the league, who quietly puts up numbers after numbers. Maybe this postseason he'll finally get some respect.
7. Dallas (32-19)
A very talented team, the Mavs just haven't played as well lately. They still, however, have a chance at either making a move before the the trade deadline, or even pulling it all together and finishing strong.
8. Boston. (32-17)
It's time for the Celtics to set off the alarms. An 11-point third quarter against the Magic on Sunday proves that something is just wrong. Reserve Tony Allen has been a solid spark off the bench thanks to not only his defensive ability but his finishing at the rim. Maybe they can use him to their advantage.
9. Phoenix. (31-21)
A five-game winning streak led by Amar'e Stoudemire is exactly what the Suns needed to regain some swagger. Maybe Steve Nash and company can get back to the winning ways that they had at the beginning of the season.
10. Oklahoma City. (29-21)
Russell Westbrook has picked up the slack, averaging a near double-double as of late. Plus, MVP candidate Kevin Durant has elevated his defense to the point where he can be a factor and be completely unstoppable offensively.
11. Toronto. (28-23)
Mr. Double-double himself, Chris Bosh has continued to do what he's done all season. Plus, they've even decided to play a little defense. Finally some chemistry has begun to occur for the Raptors.
12. San Antonio. (29-21)
The Spurs haven't found the right system to use for Richard Jefferson to be truly effective in. Mr. Reliable Tim Duncan just keeps on pluggin' along while the Spurs look to figure out how they can fit Jefferson in with the Big Three.
13. Portland. (30-23)
The Blazers could not have asked for any worse luck. They have been injury ravaged all season and really haven't hit a steady stride. Yet, they keep finding ways to win and stay alive in a tight Western Conference. Luckily Brandon Roy returns next week, now Portland can finally breathe a sigh of relief.
14. Houston. (27-23)
After exiling Tracy McGrady, the Rockets have yet to find a legitimate trade offer for him. Plus, they haven't played well against the Eastern Conference, which hurts their rankings in the west.
15. Chicago. (24-25)
Derrick Rose is still the only thing really holding up the Bulls season. All the Bulls need to do now is learn how to shoot the ball consistently. You wouldn't think it'd be hard with Kirk Hinrich, John Salmons, and Jannero Pargo.
16. New Orleans. (27-25)
No Chris Paul for a while after knee surgery. Rookie Darren Collison though has stepped up in his absence providing some much needed depth to the Hornets. Once Paul returns they may still have an outside shot at the playoffs.
17. Memphis. (26-24)
The Grizzlies may have ruined Kobe's night when he finally passed Jerry West to become the Lakers all time leading scorer, but its not just that. They have completely forgotten how to score as they dropped five of their last six.
18. Charlotte. (24-25)
Gerald Wallace continues to have one of the best seasons in his career. Not to mention that the addition of Stephon Jackson has given the Bobcats someone who they can finally look toward when they needed a bucket.
19. Milwaukee. (23-16)
Rookie Brandon Jennings continues his solid campaign for Rookie of the Year honors. They've managed to play some great defense even without Andrew Bogut against the Knicks.
20. Miami. (24-27)
Without Dwayne Wade, the Heat would be stuck in the NBA cellar for a long time. Thankfully, they still have him for now, but with a huge free agent class this offseason, they might not have him much longer.
21. LA Clippers. (21-29)
And the Clippers jinx continues after losing Blake Griffin for the season. When will anything go right for the Clippers?
22. Philadelphia. (19-31)
Allen Iverson hasn't lifted any burden at the point guard spot this season, and it looks as if the Sixers might not even make the playoffs. Maybe the improvement on defense lately is a sign of things to come for the Sixers.
23. New York (19-31)
The Knicks have played up and down most of the season, and for a majority of it, Nate Robinson hasn't been apart of anything. Lately that's begun to change, as Robinson started their last game and looks poised to keep that position.
24. Indiana. (18-33)
Welcome back, Mr. Danny Granger, the face of the Pacer franchise has finally returned after a nagging injury and looks to regain his previous form quickly. All they need is some offensive consistency and maybe they have a shot at the playoffs.
25. Sacramento. (16-34)
The Kings have a tough decision to make. Either they live through the adoption of Kevin Martin into the new system, or they seek to trade him.
26. Detroit. (17-33)
The second heaviest injury rattled roster the season, the Pistons have yet to really gain any perspective on their new head coaches' run and gun system. Time to either make a move with Hamilton and Prince or not.
27. Washington. (17-32)
Caron Bulter is the only bright spot on the Wizards roster, not only pouring in 31 points, but hitting the game winner as well, that's pretty ridiculous.
28. Minnesota. (13-38)
The Timberwolves have started to dig there way out of the leagues basement. Mainly because of how well they've shot the ball as of late, hopefully they'll keep it up if they want any shot at the playoffs.
29. Golden State. (13-37)
Monte Ellis did everything possible to be an All-Star this season, too bad the best way to do that is be the leader on your team and to have a winning record. If only he had that, he might be replacing Brandon Roy at this part.
30. New Jersey. (4-46)
On pace to be the worst team in the history of professional sports? Maybe they've been close to a slaughtered season, but Devin Harris will give all his heart in an effort to completely pull a Drew Brees and bring home an NBA title.
The Bleacher Report NBA Power Rankings are done by averaging individual feature columnist's tallies. Weekly contributors are: Alex McVeigh (Dallas), Rich Kurtzman (Denver), Denton Ramsey (Houston Rockets), Jose Salviati (LA Clippers), Keith Schlosser (NY Knicks), Curtis Finchum (Oklahoma City), Bryant Toporek (Philadelphia 76ers), Jared Wright (Portland Trial Blazers), Shaun Ahmad (Washington Wizards) and DeMarco Williams (NBA Lead).
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