NBA Power Rankings: Miami Heat and Orlando Magic Climbing The Ladder

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NBA Power Rankings: Miami Heat and Orlando Magic Climbing The Ladder
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

When the 2010-11 season began, it appeared that LeBron James and the Miami Heat were not going to be the powerhouse everyone expected them to be. Dwight Howard was surrounded by aging veterans on the Orlando Magic, and the only competitive team in the Eastern Conference was the Boston Celtics.

On the other hand, the Western Conference came out of the gates roaring and ready. The usual suspects of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks were winning, but other Western Conference teams surprised us all.

The New Orleans Hornets got off to a terrific start. The San Antonio Spurs, who some expected to step back a bit this year, still possess the best record in the NBA. Even the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors were playing better than expected.

The tides, however, have turned.

The Los Angeles Lakers hit a funk including a Christmas Day blowout by the Heat. The Dallas Mavericks have lost Caron Butler for the season and are clearly not the same team without Dirk Nowitzki for the last couple of games. Even the Spurs, who we thought were untouchable, are on a two-game slide.

The Eastern Conference is a different story. The Magic and the Heat are both on seven-game winning streaks. Miami has won a cool 19 of their last 20 games. Boston has Rajon Rondo back, and he is looking like a dark-horse MVP candidate.

So with the balance of power shifting, here are updated power ranking for the first week of 2011.

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