NBA POWER RANKINGS

NBA Basketball Power Rankings

Week 22 Power Rankings

Zac Jackson

WEEK#    
Posted March 22, 2011 01:53 PM EDT

The Lakers have earned the No. 1 spot with an impressive run and championship defense. The Thunder have earned the right to be considered contenders, too, and things are still tight in the East with the Bulls and Celtics neck-and-neck and the Heat staring at an extremely winnable remaining schedule. The Spurs remain the standings leader but a question mark, especially given Tim Duncan's exit Monday night with an ankle injury.

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+4

San Antonio Spurs

-5

Minnesota Timberwolves

FOX SPORTS NBA POWER RANKINGS

RK Team RECORD CHANGE HIGH/LOW COMMENTS
1

50-20 1 1/7
The champs are officially back to playing like their old selves. The defense has been especially good, and Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom keep showing up and showing opponents that the Lakers just have a little more in the tank than most. It remains crowded Expand Description
The champs are officially back to playing like their old selves. The defense has been especially good, and Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom keep showing up and showing opponents that the Lakers just have a little more in the tank than most. It remains crowded at the top and this team has flaws, but they've earned this spot. Collapse Description
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2

57-13 4 1/10
Tim Duncan limping off with an ankle injury Monday is the worst thing that's happened to this team in a long while, and his status going forward is obviously a big story. The Spurs topped the Mavs last week, are 57-13 through 70 games and cruising to the Expand Description
Tim Duncan limping off with an ankle injury Monday is the worst thing that's happened to this team in a long while, and his status going forward is obviously a big story. The Spurs topped the Mavs last week, are 57-13 through 70 games and cruising to the top seed, but can they win when the games really count? Collapse Description
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3

50-19 2 1/10
Derrick Rose blames himself for a tough-to-explain overtime loss to Indiana. The Bulls haven't had many slips but are dealing with nicks and bruises and need to be at full strength as they're tied for the East's top spot with Boston. Rose and the defense Expand Description
Derrick Rose blames himself for a tough-to-explain overtime loss to Indiana. The Bulls haven't had many slips but are dealing with nicks and bruises and need to be at full strength as they're tied for the East's top spot with Boston. Rose and the defense continue to deliver and give the Bulls a chance when the games really count. Collapse Description
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4

50-19 - 1/6
Things got bloody in New York on Monday night as Ray Allen needed stitches, but Rajon Rondo got back to playing like Rajon Rondo and help came from lots of places in a come-from-behind win over the Knicks. Boston has had to work a little harder than it's Expand Description
Things got bloody in New York on Monday night as Ray Allen needed stitches, but Rajon Rondo got back to playing like Rajon Rondo and help came from lots of places in a come-from-behind win over the Knicks. Boston has had to work a little harder than it's wanted to for wins lately, but still nobody wants to play these guys in May.Collapse Description
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5

49-21 2 1/10
Prolonged hot streak has been followed by a 5-5 stretch against really good competition, and now Mavs have slipped a game behind the Lakers. Could they win a series against L.A. without home-court advantage? The answer is still yes, but only if they contiExpand Description
Prolonged hot streak has been followed by a 5-5 stretch against really good competition, and now Mavs have slipped a game behind the Lakers. Could they win a series against L.A. without home-court advantage? The answer is still yes, but only if they continue to play top-level defense and Dirk Nowitzki leads the way.Collapse Description
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6

45-24 1 2/11
Win streak was inexplicably stopped by the Raptors at home over the weekend, but win in Miami showed that there really is a seventh team polished enough to have legitimate title hopes this season. The time might not be now in OKC, but the Thunder will proExpand Description
Win streak was inexplicably stopped by the Raptors at home over the weekend, but win in Miami showed that there really is a seventh team polished enough to have legitimate title hopes this season. The time might not be now in OKC, but the Thunder will proceed like it is and will be a very tough out in the playoffs.Collapse Description
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7

48-22 2 2/10
Survived an extremely tough schedule stretch at 5-6 and stand two games behind the East's leaders. Catching them is possible, but more important is continuing to find ways to score in the fourth quarter and staying healthy. The talent is scary, but the maExpand Description
Survived an extremely tough schedule stretch at 5-6 and stand two games behind the East's leaders. Catching them is possible, but more important is continuing to find ways to score in the fourth quarter and staying healthy. The talent is scary, but the margin of error against good teams is paper-thin. Collapse Description
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8

45-26 - 3/11
Story remains the same as the Magic keep winning the games they're supposed to win and continue to play well defensively, which bodes well for the postseason. It looks like they'll get the limping Hawks in the first round, then hope Dwight Howard and the Expand Description
Story remains the same as the Magic keep winning the games they're supposed to win and continue to play well defensively, which bodes well for the postseason. It looks like they'll get the limping Hawks in the first round, then hope Dwight Howard and the 3-ball can be enough to out-sprint whomever is the No. 1 seed. Collapse Description
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9

42-29 - 6/16
They're 10-4 since trading Carmelo, and two of those losses came last week in Florida. The Nuggets are thinking nothing but positive thoughts as they continue to share the ball and rack up wins. Ray Felton is resting for now, and a possible first-rounder Expand Description
They're 10-4 since trading Carmelo, and two of those losses came last week in Florida. The Nuggets are thinking nothing but positive thoughts as they continue to share the ball and rack up wins. Ray Felton is resting for now, and a possible first-rounder with OKC seems like must-see TV. Collapse Description
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10

39-32 - 8/19
Terrible news that Rudy Gay is done for the season, but Grizz continue to play well and hold a two-game lead over ninth-place Houston in the West; they're also just a game and a half behind the sixth seed. Memphis looks like a dangerous first-round opponeExpand Description
Terrible news that Rudy Gay is done for the season, but Grizz continue to play well and hold a two-game lead over ninth-place Houston in the West; they're also just a game and a half behind the sixth seed. Memphis looks like a dangerous first-round opponent and gets to prove itself this week with visits to Boston and Chicago and a home game vs. the Spurs.Collapse Description
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11

40-30 - 6/16
Gerald Wallace continues to play well and looks like a great pickup. Tough home loss to the Lakers on Sunday stings, but the week included a win over the Mavs, and it looks like Dallas could be the first-round opponent. Blazers have already matched last yExpand Description
Gerald Wallace continues to play well and looks like a great pickup. Tough home loss to the Lakers on Sunday stings, but the week included a win over the Mavs, and it looks like Dallas could be the first-round opponent. Blazers have already matched last year's win total and get a home game with the Spurs on Friday. Collapse Description
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12

37-34 1 10/25
Streaking Rockets have won four straight and seven of their last 10 to close within two games of the playoff race. They're playing good basketball at both ends and need to keep it going as the immediate schedule includes Golden State, at Miami and at New Expand Description
Streaking Rockets have won four straight and seven of their last 10 to close within two games of the playoff race. They're playing good basketball at both ends and need to keep it going as the immediate schedule includes Golden State, at Miami and at New Jersey. They need to win two of three and hope Memphis slips during its tough stretch. Collapse Description
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13

40-30 1 9/16
Al Horford called a players-only meeting after a very rough stretch, and the Hawks responded by beating the Pistons. Will things be any better when they face a real team? We'll see. For now, it just doesn't look like this bunch has enough left in the tankExpand Description
Al Horford called a players-only meeting after a very rough stretch, and the Hawks responded by beating the Pistons. Will things be any better when they face a real team? We'll see. For now, it just doesn't look like this bunch has enough left in the tank to avoid an early playoff exit. Collapse Description
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14

36-34 1 12/29
Got beat up in Portland without Andre Iguodala, and the Sixers need him healthy if they're going to be any kind of threat going forward. The good news is they close with eight of 12 in Philadelphia, giving them a chance to get their legs and confidence baExpand Description
Got beat up in Portland without Andre Iguodala, and the Sixers need him healthy if they're going to be any kind of threat going forward. The good news is they close with eight of 12 in Philadelphia, giving them a chance to get their legs and confidence back before they go upset-hunting in four weeks. Collapse Description
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15

40-31 1 3/17
Just when it looked like this team was fully back on track, the Hornets let a lead slip away in Boston. They're in the playoffs as of today but their grip isn't solid, and now they face a dangerous road stretch as they'll play at the Jazz, Suns and LakersExpand Description
Just when it looked like this team was fully back on track, the Hornets let a lead slip away in Boston. They're in the playoffs as of today but their grip isn't solid, and now they face a dangerous road stretch as they'll play at the Jazz, Suns and Lakers next weekend. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
16

35-35 4 10/25
Blew a lead and lost a physical game to the Celtics on Monday as the offense totally disappeared late. The Knicks are 7-9 since acquiring Carmelo and have slipped to seventh in the Eastern Conference standings. They probably don't play enough defense to bExpand Description
Blew a lead and lost a physical game to the Celtics on Monday as the offense totally disappeared late. The Knicks are 7-9 since acquiring Carmelo and have slipped to seventh in the Eastern Conference standings. They probably don't play enough defense to be a real threat, but Chauncey Billups and those two "name" guys could provide quite a scare.Collapse Description
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17

35-33 - 10/20
Steve Nash returned, and it's no coincidence the Suns are a much better team with him than they are without. They're going to need a hot streak and a little luck to make the playoffs, but it's not out of the question as a three-game homestand follows a trExpand Description
Steve Nash returned, and it's no coincidence the Suns are a much better team with him than they are without. They're going to need a hot streak and a little luck to make the playoffs, but it's not out of the question as a three-game homestand follows a trip to play the Lakers. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
18

36-35 - 4/26
Last week, their playoff hopes were barely alive. This week they're totally dead -- and that's just fine as the best thing for the Jazz is to see this tumultuous season end and prepare to move forward. Two lottery picks in June should help, but the Jazz hExpand Description
Last week, their playoff hopes were barely alive. This week they're totally dead -- and that's just fine as the best thing for the Jazz is to see this tumultuous season end and prepare to move forward. Two lottery picks in June should help, but the Jazz have reshaping to do on many levels. Collapse Description
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19

27-44 - 15/29
That some crazed man would run on the court pregame with a knife and be detained by police is no laughing matter, but it happened before Cavs-Clippers. It's been a typically long and strange season for the Clippers, who are playing like their old selves rExpand Description
That some crazed man would run on the court pregame with a knife and be detained by police is no laughing matter, but it happened before Cavs-Clippers. It's been a typically long and strange season for the Clippers, who are playing like their old selves recently but do appear to have a bright future. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
20

31-40 4 12/25
Beating Chicago was a miracle, but it was an important win for a team that's now opened a two-game lead for the East's final playoff spot. The Pacers are still playing very bad basketball, they're just playing slightly better than the Bobcats and Bucks.
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
21

28-41 4 12/25
New week, same story as the offense is offensive -- but back-to-back wins over the Nets and Knicks have the Bucks very much alive in the playoff race. They lost an overtime heartbreaker in Orlando last week that could cost them the playoffs but save them Expand Description
New week, same story as the offense is offensive -- but back-to-back wins over the Nets and Knicks have the Bucks very much alive in the playoff race. They lost an overtime heartbreaker in Orlando last week that could cost them the playoffs but save them from at least one 90-55 beatdown from the East's top seed. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
22

28-41 2 18/29
A 2-8 stretch is not how you want to push towards the postseason, but perhaps the Bobcats have known all along they don't belong. They remain in the race and could still win the East's final playoff spot, but it doesn't exactly look like they want to.
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
23

30-41 1 17/26
Five-game losing streak is currently the league's longest. Part of the trouble is a tough schedule, but mostly it's a lack of defense. Monday night's loss in San Antonio dropped the Warriors to 1-22 on the season when they score fewer than 100 points.
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
24

25-45 2 19/30
They've won some games but not enough to join other doormats in the "race" for the East's final playoff spot. The Pistons do have some pieces but need some major housecleaning and restructuring in the offseason before they can move forward and think aboutExpand Description
They've won some games but not enough to join other doormats in the "race" for the East's final playoff spot. The Pistons do have some pieces but need some major housecleaning and restructuring in the offseason before they can move forward and think about winning consistently. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
25

22-47 4 21/29
Deron Williams is expected to miss at least a couple more games with his wrist injury. This season is officially all but over, so there's no need to rush him back if there's any risk involved. The Nets play at the Cavs on Wednesday in what should be a thrExpand Description
Deron Williams is expected to miss at least a couple more games with his wrist injury. This season is officially all but over, so there's no need to rush him back if there's any risk involved. The Nets play at the Cavs on Wednesday in what should be a thriller. Kind of. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
26

17-52 1 19/30
Here's what kind of season it's been: Even in a runaway win in Minnesota, the kind that's been hard to come by and the kind that came with offense that just hasn't existed since Tyreke Evans went down, DeMarcus Cousins lost his cool and got himself ejecteExpand Description
Here's what kind of season it's been: Even in a runaway win in Minnesota, the kind that's been hard to come by and the kind that came with offense that just hasn't existed since Tyreke Evans went down, DeMarcus Cousins lost his cool and got himself ejected. Not cool.Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
27

20-50 1 22/30
Couldn't beat the Pistons last week but did beat the Thunder. Not a misprint. The Raptors beat the Thunder. Of course, they got right back to business as usual by getting run out of the gym in Denver on Monday night. Nobody wins on a back-to-back in the aExpand Description
Couldn't beat the Pistons last week but did beat the Thunder. Not a misprint. The Raptors beat the Thunder. Of course, they got right back to business as usual by getting run out of the gym in Denver on Monday night. Nobody wins on a back-to-back in the altitude, so go ahead and celebrate the OKC win, Raps fans. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
28

17-54 5 23/30
Kevin Love got hurt early in Sunday's game vs. the Kings, and the Wolves went on to lose by 32. Yes, 32 points. At home. Yes, 32 points at home to the Kings as they turned the ball over 25 times. Ugly, ugly, ugly. Make the season end.
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
29

17-51 - 18/30
Beat New Jersey to stop a six-game skid. Now the Wiz head West for a five-game road trip, and we know they've won just one road game all season. That win came in Cleveland, which is all that's keeping Washington from occupying the bottom spot in these ranExpand Description
Beat New Jersey to stop a six-game skid. Now the Wiz head West for a five-game road trip, and we know they've won just one road game all season. That win came in Cleveland, which is all that's keeping Washington from occupying the bottom spot in these rankings. Collapse Description
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30

13-56 - 19/30
What's a little bit scary is the Cavs haven't yet clinched the league's worst record. They'll probably do that soon, though, as the group they're trotting out there thanks to injury barely resembles an NBA team. Mark your calendars for their one remainingExpand Description
What's a little bit scary is the Cavs haven't yet clinched the league's worst record. They'll probably do that soon, though, as the group they're trotting out there thanks to injury barely resembles an NBA team. Mark your calendars for their one remaining game against the Wizards. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets

 

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