NBA POWER RANKINGS

NBA Basketball Power Rankings

Week 18 Power Rankings

Zac Jackson

WEEK#    
Posted February 22, 2011 11:22 AM EST

It's an extremely tough call at the top as three teams are deserving of the top spot and very, very little separates the top five teams. There's certainly a drop immediately after, and though the joke is currently on the Lakers, they have a way of getting the last laugh in the spring. The Carmelo Saga is finally over and the stretch run begins. Should be fun.

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+3

Chicago Bulls

-1

San Antonio Spurs

FOX SPORTS NBA POWER RANKINGS

RK Team RECORD CHANGE HIGH/LOW COMMENTS
1

38-16 3 1/10
No. 1? Really? Not by much, but really. Potential MVP Derrick Rose has been that good, the Bulls play top-shelf defense, just dumped San Antonio on the eve of the All-Star break and now are expecting Joakim Noah back Wednesday after missing the last 30 gExpand Description
No. 1? Really? Not by much, but really. Potential MVP Derrick Rose has been that good, the Bulls play top-shelf defense, just dumped San Antonio on the eve of the All-Star break and now are expecting Joakim Noah back Wednesday after missing the last 30 games. It's the next 50 or so that really count. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
2

46-10 1 1/10
The Spurs have the league's best record and didn't necessarily lose the top spot just because they lost at Chicago last week. They're still scoring and still have the pieces to win when it counts. Staying healthy is the biggest key, and everybody's exciteExpand Description
The Spurs have the league's best record and didn't necessarily lose the top spot just because they lost at Chicago last week. They're still scoring and still have the pieces to win when it counts. Staying healthy is the biggest key, and everybody's excited for two upcoming games with Miami. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
3

40-14 1 1/6
Searching for fortification for a banged-up roster is the order of the week. Whether or not that happens, the Celtics open the stretch run tied with Miami for the East's top spot and though they don't necessarily need home-court advantage to beat LeBron (Expand Description
Searching for fortification for a banged-up roster is the order of the week. Whether or not that happens, the Celtics open the stretch run tied with Miami for the East's top spot and though they don't necessarily need home-court advantage to beat LeBron (see last year), they'd prefer to have it. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
4

41-15 1 2/10
Dwyane Wade (ankle) is expected to be OK and play Tuesday night and, presumably, for the really big games ahead. The Heat are at Chicago Thursday, host the new-look Knicks Sunday then have a back-to-back with Orlando and San Antonio. Yep, we'll know a lotExpand Description
Dwyane Wade (ankle) is expected to be OK and play Tuesday night and, presumably, for the really big games ahead. The Heat are at Chicago Thursday, host the new-look Knicks Sunday then have a back-to-back with Orlando and San Antonio. Yep, we'll know a lot more about these guys (Chris Bosh, in particular) 10 days from now. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
5

40-16 - 1/10
Win at Phoenix in the NBA's last game before the All-Star break last Thursday night was big as it would have been easy for a veteran team to mentally start vacation early. These guys have plenty to prove in the postseason, but for now they've won 13 of 1Expand Description
Win at Phoenix in the NBA's last game before the All-Star break last Thursday night was big as it would have been easy for a veteran team to mentally start vacation early. These guys have plenty to prove in the postseason, but for now they've won 13 of 14 and are scoring as well as anybody. Dangerous, to say the least.Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
6

35-19 1 2/11
The Thunder have found a groove, winning seven of 10 and closing in on OKC's first division title. This team still looks to be a player and a year short of true title contention, but there's little doubt that Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook make it a dExpand Description
The Thunder have found a groove, winning seven of 10 and closing in on OKC's first division title. This team still looks to be a player and a year short of true title contention, but there's little doubt that Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook make it a dangerous one along the way. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
7

38-19 1 1/7
A long road trip can take its toll on anybody. But losing in Orlando, then Charlotte by 20 ... then Cleveland? Cleveland, in that situation? The Lakers are officially reeling and puzzling. But now they get back home and get a chance to redeem themselves. Expand Description
A long road trip can take its toll on anybody. But losing in Orlando, then Charlotte by 20 ... then Cleveland? Cleveland, in that situation? The Lakers are officially reeling and puzzling. But now they get back home and get a chance to redeem themselves. They're still the champs, but it's fair to wonder what they have left. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
8

32-24 - 6/16
The streak continues; six wins and counting with a stretch of home games ahead. Opponents continue to have no answer for LaMarcus Aldridge. The Blazers are one of the really interesting teams to watch at the trade deadline and as the season winds down.
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
9

36-21 - 3/11
The Carmelo Saga has folks wondering what's next, and Dwight Howard's situation comes to the forefront. For now, Howard's situation is this: He's unguardable, but his team has issues and appears to be a whole step behind the East's top trio. There's time Expand Description
The Carmelo Saga has folks wondering what's next, and Dwight Howard's situation comes to the forefront. For now, Howard's situation is this: He's unguardable, but his team has issues and appears to be a whole step behind the East's top trio. There's time to get it fixed, but it's going to take some serious work. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
10

34-21 - 9/16
Here's where we find out how serious the Hawks are about this season, and that doesn't just mean a potential trade in the hours leading up to the deadline. They're at the desperate and reeling Lakers, then on to Phoenix, Golden State, Portland and Denver.Expand Description
Here's where we find out how serious the Hawks are about this season, and that doesn't just mean a potential trade in the hours leading up to the deadline. They're at the desperate and reeling Lakers, then on to Phoenix, Golden State, Portland and Denver. All of those games have meaning, and every one counts in Atlanta's push.Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
11

31-26 - 8/19
Winners of four straight have found a groove and now have a clear path to the playoffs, but Rudy Gay is expected to miss a month and decisions surrounding possible trades loom. Try to win now? Play it smart and safe and point to the future? This team is cExpand Description
Winners of four straight have found a groove and now have a clear path to the playoffs, but Rudy Gay is expected to miss a month and decisions surrounding possible trades loom. Try to win now? Play it smart and safe and point to the future? This team is certainly worth watching. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
12

33-25 - 3/17
Losers of seven of their last eight, the Hornets certainly welcomed the All-Star break and aren't just hoping to get Emeka Okafor back soon; the results prove they need him. Here comes an important and winnable stretch with the Clippers, at Minnesota, HouExpand Description
Losers of seven of their last eight, the Hornets certainly welcomed the All-Star break and aren't just hoping to get Emeka Okafor back soon; the results prove they need him. Here comes an important and winnable stretch with the Clippers, at Minnesota, Houston and at Toronto all on deck. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
13

31-26 - 4/26
The tailspin is under way and it just might end with the Jazz in the lottery. Because it seems the inmates are running the asylum, the focus is about to shift toward just what will eventually happen with Deron Williams. Forget that he's under contract andExpand Description
The tailspin is under way and it just might end with the Jazz in the lottery. Because it seems the inmates are running the asylum, the focus is about to shift toward just what will eventually happen with Deron Williams. Forget that he's under contract and has some pieces around him. The game has officially changed. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
14

28-26 2 10/25
Slight climb based on the big trade, obviously, but don't expect Carmelo's on-court transition to be easy. That said, the Knicks have holes but they now have two of the league's top 10 players in a wide-open system that will dare opponents to keep up. If Expand Description
Slight climb based on the big trade, obviously, but don't expect Carmelo's on-court transition to be easy. That said, the Knicks have holes but they now have two of the league's top 10 players in a wide-open system that will dare opponents to keep up. If nothing else, it's going to be really fun to watch. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
15

26-31 1 10/25
Still on the edge of the playoff picture, still not consistent enough to think they'll actually get there. Expect the Rockets to be active at this week's deadline as they have several attractive pieces, an aggressive GM and some flexibility. This spot is Expand Description
Still on the edge of the playoff picture, still not consistent enough to think they'll actually get there. Expect the Rockets to be active at this week's deadline as they have several attractive pieces, an aggressive GM and some flexibility. This spot is certainly subject to dramatic change in the coming weeks. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
16

32-25 1 6/16
On the surface, they robbed the Knicks. Now, they'll certainly miss Carmelo and Chauncey Billups and probably are headed for the lottery. But more moves might be coming, and of all the teams that would claim they have a rebuilding plan, the Nuggets have sExpand Description
On the surface, they robbed the Knicks. Now, they'll certainly miss Carmelo and Chauncey Billups and probably are headed for the lottery. But more moves might be coming, and of all the teams that would claim they have a rebuilding plan, the Nuggets have some pieces and some serious potential. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
17

27-29 - 12/29
Still lurking just behind the Knicks and playing well enough to think they've got a playoff spot sealed. Well, the terrible teams at the bottom of the East assure that more than anything, but the Sixers are inching towards relevance whether or not they maExpand Description
Still lurking just behind the Knicks and playing well enough to think they've got a playoff spot sealed. Well, the terrible teams at the bottom of the East assure that more than anything, but the Sixers are inching towards relevance whether or not they make a move at Thursday's deadline. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
18

27-27 1 10/20
Winners of seven of their last 10 are sitting squarely at .500 and find themselves back in the playoff race thanks to improved play and turmoil involving the teams they're chasing. Phoenix would be wise to win Wednesday's home game with Atlanta as a long Expand Description
Winners of seven of their last 10 are sitting squarely at .500 and find themselves back in the playoff race thanks to improved play and turmoil involving the teams they're chasing. Phoenix would be wise to win Wednesday's home game with Atlanta as a long trip East follows. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
19

24-30 1 12/25
Still playing well, especially offensively, in the wake of a coaching change. Still can't beat Miami, though, and still aren't where some in the organization hoped they'd be by now. The Pacers figure to look, but eventually stand pat when it comes to tradExpand Description
Still playing well, especially offensively, in the wake of a coaching change. Still can't beat Miami, though, and still aren't where some in the organization hoped they'd be by now. The Pacers figure to look, but eventually stand pat when it comes to trades until summer. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
20

24-32 - 18/29
The Bobcats have played much better basketball over the last four weeks and can look at the All-Star break as a fresh start. First up are must-win home games with Toronto and Sacramento, then a possible playoff push. It's still all about the future as theExpand Description
The Bobcats have played much better basketball over the last four weeks and can look at the All-Star break as a fresh start. First up are must-win home games with Toronto and Sacramento, then a possible playoff push. It's still all about the future as the Bobcats have to shave some salary and pick a direction. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
21

26-29 - 17/26
Golden State has been playing winning basketball over the last six weeks, especially at home, and has proven that this roster at full strength can win some games. Can it win enough to be in the playoffs a year from now and start scaring some of the West'sExpand Description
Golden State has been playing winning basketball over the last six weeks, especially at home, and has proven that this roster at full strength can win some games. Can it win enough to be in the playoffs a year from now and start scaring some of the West's big boys? Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
22

21-34 - 12/25
Another stretch of tough losses and tough luck has the Bucks looking like a longshot to score the East's 8 seed, even if they would get hot over the next month. The pressing question is can they move Corey Maggette and/or Michael Redd's expiring contract Expand Description
Another stretch of tough losses and tough luck has the Bucks looking like a longshot to score the East's 8 seed, even if they would get hot over the next month. The pressing question is can they move Corey Maggette and/or Michael Redd's expiring contract before Thursday's deadline? Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
23

21-35 1 15/29
If Eric Gordon comes back soon and if the Clippers ever get to play another home game, they'll climb the rankings and set themselves up for an interesting season next year. Blake Griffin leaping over a Kia was cool, but the goal is for the Clippers to eveExpand Description
If Eric Gordon comes back soon and if the Clippers ever get to play another home game, they'll climb the rankings and set themselves up for an interesting season next year. Blake Griffin leaping over a Kia was cool, but the goal is for the Clippers to eventually leap their Western Conference opponents. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
24

13-40 1 19/30
In the short term, Tyreke Evans is still hurting and a game without him at Miami isn't exactly the best way to get back in the basketball groove. In the big picture, rumors abound of a franchise move and there's still a bunch of uncertainty to match the yExpand Description
In the short term, Tyreke Evans is still hurting and a game without him at Miami isn't exactly the best way to get back in the basketball groove. In the big picture, rumors abound of a franchise move and there's still a bunch of uncertainty to match the young talent currently on hand. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
25

21-36 - 19/30
Can they move Richard Hamilton before Thursday? What about Tayshaun Prince? What, exactly, is the direction going to be? With a new owner supposedly coming and lots of moves to make, it's all about the future in the Motor City.
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
26

17-40 - 21/29
Well, the Carmelo Saga ended with the Nets merely watching. Maybe the Knicks overpaid and the Nets see that as victory. Maybe Plan B or Plan C involves the Nets getting a star of their own sooner than most of us think. Maybe the Nets already have a move sExpand Description
Well, the Carmelo Saga ended with the Nets merely watching. Maybe the Knicks overpaid and the Nets see that as victory. Maybe Plan B or Plan C involves the Nets getting a star of their own sooner than most of us think. Maybe the Nets already have a move sized up. Or, maybe, they'll just continue to be the Nets. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
27

13-43 1 23/30
Managed to get themselves in the Knicks-Denver trade, picking up Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry's expiring contract. And still, no one's quite sure what the plan or direction is in building the roster. Things are still awfully lonely at the bottom of theExpand Description
Managed to get themselves in the Knicks-Denver trade, picking up Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry's expiring contract. And still, no one's quite sure what the plan or direction is in building the roster. Things are still awfully lonely at the bottom of the West. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
28

15-41 1 22/30
Now that DeMar Derozan's appearance in the dunk contest is over, what is there to say about the Raptors? Like the Cavs and Wizards, they're 2-8 in their last 10. Like the Cavs and Wizards, they're occupying the bottom of the East now and for the forseeablExpand Description
Now that DeMar Derozan's appearance in the dunk contest is over, what is there to say about the Raptors? Like the Cavs and Wizards, they're 2-8 in their last 10. Like the Cavs and Wizards, they're occupying the bottom of the East now and for the forseeable future. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
29

15-39 - 18/30
John Wall was brilliant in the Rookie-Sophomore Game. It doesn't mean anything to the Wizards right now, but if Wall can stay healthy and on an upward climb, they've got a building block in what's going to be a long and complicated building project. But WExpand Description
John Wall was brilliant in the Rookie-Sophomore Game. It doesn't mean anything to the Wizards right now, but if Wall can stay healthy and on an upward climb, they've got a building block in what's going to be a long and complicated building project. But Wall might be really, really special. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
30

10-46 - 19/30
Not a misprint: Cleveland owns L.A. The Cavaliers stopped their record losing streak by beating the Clippers, then stunned the Lakers in what goes down as the biggest upset of the season (and probably longer). Where do the Cavs go from here? Probably not Expand Description
Not a misprint: Cleveland owns L.A. The Cavaliers stopped their record losing streak by beating the Clippers, then stunned the Lakers in what goes down as the biggest upset of the season (and probably longer). Where do the Cavs go from here? Probably not to the top of the highlight shows until May's NBA draft lottery. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets

 

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