NBA Power Rankings: Western Conference

Casey Womack@caseywomackCorrespondent IFebruary 24, 2010

ATLANTA - JANUARY 18:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on January 18, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  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 Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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With the second half of the season in full swing, every team will start to make their playoff push.  In the Western Conference, the bottom four spots of the playoffs look wide open. Let's take a look at the latest power rankings for the Western Conference.

1. Lakers 43-14 - Kobe Bryant recently returned to the line up and will help boost a great team and takes the team to another level with his clutch shooting abilities.  Just for the record, Shannon Brown is turning into one of my favorite players.  And where did he come from? I'm still confused on that.

2. Jazz 36-20 -Utah is on a roll lately and is still playing well despite Deron Williams being injured.  Boozer has been on a roll lately and notching up the quietest double-doubles in the league.

3. Nuggets 37-19 - The Nuggets are performing like themselves.  But for some reason I still think they're hiding an extra gear that hopefully shows soon during this playoff push.  On a side note, is this the most tatted up team in all sports? Just wondering.

4. Thunder 35-22 - Possibly the league's hottest team right now.  After losing a heart breaker to Phoenix, the Thunder will try and right the ship and start another streak. Expect Durant and company to stay on track.

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5. Suns 35-23 - The Suns should be thanking the basketball gods that they still have Amare Stoudemire.  I was fortunate enough to see this physical monster last night and he an absolute beast around the basket.  Even with Nash injured, they are still a huge offensive threat

6. Spurs 31-23 - The veteran team of the league looks to have lost a step or two this season.  However, this is the time of the year when they take their game to another level for a good playoff seed.  But how far can they go with some of their star players battling injuries?

7. Mavericks 36-21 - Dallas will move up this list very fast once the new team gels.  They are going to make a strong playoff push on account of their awesome trade deal.  Brendan Haywood was an awesome addition to this team and will help ole Dirk out a lot.

8. Trail Blazers 33-26 - No words can really describe how sorry I feel for this team.  You started out the season great because you had your actual true starters on the floor. Unfortunately, they lose injury prone Greg Oden for the season then lose Brandon Roy for a long period of time.  Although, they are still a strong team and are still showing a lot of fight.

9. Hornets 30-27 - The Hornets are my biggest surprise thus far in the second half of the season.  I thought for sure they would slip towards the bottom of the West with the other four bucket teams but they have actually fought and are in playoff contention.  They have a lot of great young players and will be on another level once CP3 comes back.

10. Rockets 28-27 - In my opinion, I think letting Carl Landry go was a big mistake. But maybe that was just me.  I also wonder if they regret letting Tracy McGrady go based off his playing performance in New York.  Although, Kevin Martin is a solid player and hopefully will help the team with his scoring abilities.

11 . Grizzlies 28-27 - It's tough to see this team in such a bad slump when they have such a great lineup.  Although, even though they're having a tough go, they will bounce back.  They HAVE to bounce back.  Memphis has too much talent not too. Marc Gasol and Rudy Gay should carry this team to the 8th spot come the end of the regular season.


Follow Casey on Twitter: @CaseyWomack


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