NBA Power Rankings: January 6th
Note: These rankings consider both momentum and record. A hot team may get the nod over a squad with a better winning percentage.
Last Week's Hottest: Boston, Portland, Detroit, Dallas, New Jersey, Cleveland, and New Orleans
Last Week's Stinkers: Minnesota, New York, Miami, Seattle, and Orlando
Last Week's Most Noticeable: New Jersey Nets, winners of five straight
1. Boston Celtics (29-3)
Nine straight wins and a payback victory against Detroit give Boston the top spot once again.
The Celtics got their revenge Saturday night against the team that gave them their first home lost of the season.
Rookie Glen Davis came off the Celtics bench to score a career-high 20 points in the win against Detroit.
Paul Pierce backed Davis with a 19 point performance in the C's 92-85 victory.
2. Detroit Pistons (26-8)
The Pistons were riding an 11-game winning streak before their loss to Boston.
I'm ready to say that these two teams will meet in Eastern Conference Finals.
Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton led the way against Boston with 17 and 18 points, respectively.
3. Dallas Maverick (23-11)
The Mavs seem to have Golden State's number, after a 22-point win on Wednesday.
The Mavs are winners of four straight.
Erick Dampier has reached double figures in scoring and rebounded well when he's been healthy. Dallas sure could use more of that from him down the line.
The Mavs also need to get their lineup and rotations set—they learned their lesson by not doing that last season.
The Mavericks blew out the worst team in the league in Minnesota 101-78. The T-Wolves are now losers of eight straight.
Dirk Nowitzki scored a game-high 30 points, while Josh Howard backed him with 22.
Dirk has been the leading scorer the last nine games for Dallas.
Dampier missed his second straight game due to injury.
4. San Antonio Spurs (23-9)
The Spurs Big Three reunited last night, when Manu Ginobli returned to the lineup after missing the last five games with a sprained index finger.
Manu came off the bench to score 23 points.
San Antonio edged the Clippers 88-82 Sunday.
Tony Parker was the leading scorer for the Spurs with 26 points.
5. Phoenix Suns (23-10)
111—that's how many points the Suns averaged per game last week.
Amare Stoudemire was the man, scoring 27.3 PPG.
Of course, that doesn't mean he still doesn't play defense.
The Suns were stung by the New Orleans Hornets Sunday in a 118-113 loss.
Leandro Barbosa scored a game-high 28 off the bench.
Steve Nash dished out 11 assists to go along with 23 points.
6. Los Angeles Lakers (21-11)
The Lakers have won seven of their last ten. Are they for real?
I think so.
That said, I think they're no more than a second-round team in the playoffs.
The Lakers got off to a great start like this last season. But the difference this season is the play of Andrew Bynum, the addition to Derek Fisher, and the bench.
The acquisition of Trevor Ariza seems to be working out too.
The Lakers won for the sixth time in seven games, beating the Indiana Pacers Sunday.
Kobe Bryant led the way with 26 points. Bynum had 23 along with 13 rebounds.
Derek Fisher also chipped in 22 of his own.
7. Portland Trail Blazers (21-13)
Bologna or filet?
After their winning streak was snapped by the unlucky 13, the Blazers started another run: three straight wins, to make it 16 of their last 17.
The Blazers are now second in their division, trailing the Denver Nuggets.
Portland is a playoff team as of now, and I think it will remain that way the entire season.
The Blazers won their third straight game Saturday, against a suddenly struggling Utah Jazz team.
Martell Webster scored a career-high 26 points. 24 of them came in the third quarter.
Channing Frye and Travis Outlaw both scored double figures off the bench, with 12 and 14.
Brandon Roy left the game with a bruised tailbone, after only playing nine minutes.
8. New Orleans Hornets (23-11)
Health is a concern for this team. Now David West has been hit by the injury bug.
The Hornets need West, Chris Paul, and Peja Stojakovic to stay healthy if they expect to win.
A 3-1 record last week, including their last three in a row.
The Hornets rallied from a 11-point halftime deficit to defeat the Phoenix Suns 118-113.
All five starters scored at least 19 points.
Two of the league's best point guards in Chris Paul and Steve Nash went head-to-head. Paul had 28 points and 10 assists. He scored 14 in the fourth quarter.
9. Denver Nuggets (21-12)
Due to Utah's poor play, Denver is now on top of the Northwest Division.
The Nuggets have won three straight games.
Allen Iverson put up 38 against his old team as the Nuggets cruised past the 76ers in Philadelphia.
10. Orlando Magic (22-13)
The Magic are still one of the top teams on the road, with a 15-5 record away from Orlando.
However, they're losers of two straight by an average of a single point.
Stan Van Gundy has inserted Carlos Arroyo into the starting lineup, in place of Jameer Nelson.
Orlando lost 94-96 against a Tracy McGrady-less Houston Rockets team.
Jameer Nelson led the way with 20 points off the bench.
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