NBA Power Rankings: Los Angeles Lakers Are Heating Up

Michael BurkeContributor IIIMarch 1, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22:  (L-R) Lamar Odom #7, Shannon Brown #12 and Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrate after Brown made a basket while being fouled against the Atlanta Hawks in the second half at Staples Center on February 22, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defeated the Hawks 104-80. 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 Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The All-Star Weekend is behind us, and we have entered the home stretch of the NBA season. You can expect the elite teams to really heat up as they look to make a push for good playoff seeding.

Here is this week’s edition of the NBA Power Rankings:

1. San Antonio Spurs (49-10, first in Southwest)

The Spurs have won three in a row, including wins over the Thunder and Grizzlies.

San Antonio just continues to win games at an amazing rate, and are having their best regular season in team history.

2. Dallas Mavericks (43-16, second in Southwest)

The Mavericks have won six in a row, and are easily the hottest team in the NBA. This team can be a serious threat in the Western Conference.

3. Los Angeles Lakers (42-19, first in Pacific)

Not surprisingly, the Lakers are playing great basketball coming out of the All-Star break. They have won four in a row, with wins over the Thunder and Hawks in that stretch.

You can expect the Lakers to continue to play good basketball as they look to get ready to defend their title.

4. Boston Celtics (42-15, first in Atlantic)

The Celtics have won three of four of their last games, but had a bad, double-digit loss to the Nuggets in their one loss.

5. Miami Heat (43-17, first in Southeast)

The Heat have won 4 of their last 6 games, but their two losses were to good Eastern Conference teams; the Knicks and Bulls.

Miami needs to show that they can beat the elite teams.

6. Chicago Bulls (40-17, first in Central)

The Bulls have won four of five, including big wins over the Spurs and Heat, as they continue to prove they are a title contender.

7. Orlando Magic (38-22, second in Southeast)

The Magic have won three of four, and had a blowout, 23-point win over the Thunder on Friday night.

8. Oklahoma City Thunder (36-22, first in Northwest)

The Thunder stay in the eighth spot almost by default.  After blowing out the Clippers, they have lost three in a row to the Spurs, Magic, and Lakers.

9. Atlanta Hawks (36-23, third in Southeast)

The Hawks snapped their three-game losing streak with a win over the Warriors on Friday, and went on to beat the Trail Blazers on Sunday night as they look to build up a winning streak.

10. Portland Trail Blazers (33-26, second in Northwest)

The Trail Blazers have won two of four, with wins over the playoff contending Hornets and Nuggets.

11. New Orleans Hornets (35-26, third in Southwest)

The Hornets have won two of three, but those wins came over the lowly Clippers and Timberwolves.

12. Denver Nuggets (34-26, second in Northwest)

The Nuggets lost Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony, but they still have won two of three since the All-Star break, with double-digit wins over the Grizzlies and Celtics.

13. New York Knicks (30-27, second in Atlantic)

The Knicks might only be 13th right now, but with the additions of Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony, they could skyrocket up this list.  They have won two of three since the trade, including a thrilling win over the Heat.

14. Philadelphia 76ers (30-29, third in Atlantic)

The Sixers have won four in a row, and even though they were all against sub-.500 teams, a win is still a win.

Philadelphia is over .500, and Doug Collins has done a great job with this team.

15. Memphis Grizzlies (33-28, fourth in Pacific)

The Grizzlies drop five spots from the last rankings, having lost two of four, with their two wins coming over the Kings and Timberwolves.

16. Phoenix Suns (30-27, second in Pacific)

The Suns have won three in a row, and will look to continue this winning streak and make a playoff push.

17. Utah Jazz (32-28, fourth in Northwest)

The Jazz traded Deron Williams, and have lost three of four.  You can expect them to quickly go down in these rankings.

18. Houston Rockets (30-31, fifth in Southwest)

The Rockets have won four in a row, and with an easy upcoming schedule, will look to get over the .500 mark.

19. Indiana Pacers (26-32, second in Central)

The Pacers have won two of four, and in the weak Eastern Conference, they are still clinging to the eighth spot.

20. Charlotte Bobcats (26-33, fourth in Southeast)

Despite trading Gerald Wallace, the Bobcats have won two of their last three, and are also looking to make a push for the eighth and final playoff spot.

21. Golden State Warriors (26-32, third in Pacific)

The Warriors drop a spot in these rankings, having lost three in a row.  They did have nice wins over the Hornets and Jazz, though.

22. Detroit Pistons (22-39, fourth in Central)

Things have been a mess in Detroit with the alleged “player protest”, but they were able to get a good win over the Jazz on Saturday to snap their 3 game losing streak.

23. Milwaukee Bucks (22-36, third in Central)

The Bucks’ bad season is continuing, as they have lost three of four. To their credit, all those losses were against teams with winning records, and they stayed competitive.

24. Los Angeles Clippers (21-39, fourth in Pacific)

The Clippers were able to defeat the Timberwolves on the 16th, but since then have lost 4 in a row, as their dreadful season continues.

25. Toronto Raptors (16-44, fifth in Atlantic)

The Raptors have lost  4 of 5, and 2 in a row, but did have a good win over the Bulls on Wednesday.

26. Minnesota Timberwolves (14-46, fifth in Northwest)

The T-Wolves were able to snap out of their losing streak with a thrilling win over the Warriors on Sunday, and will hope to build off the win.

27. Cleveland Cavaliers (11-48, fifth in Central)

What? The Cavaliers aren’t last?  Nope, they aren’t. Having won two of four, with big wins over the Lakers and Knicks, the Cavaliers have earned themselves a higher spot than the cellar. The addition of Baron Davis doesn’t hurt their prospects, either.

28. Sacramento Kings (14-43, fifth in Pacific)

The Kings have lost five of six, but did have a good win over the Eastern-elite Orlando Magic.

29. New Jersey Nets (17-42, fourth in Atlantic)

The Nets have lost five in a row, and they aren’t even staying competitive.  All of those losses were by double digits.

30. Washington Wizards (15-43, fifth in Southeast)

Like the Nets, the Wizards have also lost five in a row, and their nightmare season isn’t showing any signs of getting better.


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