Lakers Nation Power Rankings: Week 14

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The Contenders

1. Oklahoma City Thunder (38-11) – The Thunder have been playing some excellent basketball, as they’ve won nine of their last 10 games. Kevin Durant has been otherworldly, and he’s the runaway leader for league MVP as of right now.

2. Indiana Pacers (36-10) – The Pacers have been sluggish over their last few contests against mediocre competition. However, Paul George continues to play at an elite level, and as a result they still hold the best record in the NBA.

3. Miami Heat (33-13) – The defending champs continue to hover around the best record in the league. Despite resting multiple guys, they are going to continue to be one of those teams that can rely on their experience to win ball games. They have won six of 10, and will be looking to turn the corner as we get to the all-star break.

4. Portland Trail Blazers (34-13) – The Blazers have sort of regressed to the mean over their last 10 games. Despite that, they have been playing consistent basketball, and we can  call them a legit contender in the West.

5. San Antonio Spurs (34-13) – The Spurs had a pretty rough week. They lost another starter in Manu Ginobili. Hopefully they can tread above water until their roster is healthy.

Prove You’re Worthy Of Being Mentioned With The Elite

6. Los Angeles Clippers (34-16) – The growth of Blake Griffin has allowed this team to continue playing at a high level despite not having Chris Paul. Clippers have won seven of 10, and are slowly inching toward being mentioned with the elite.

7. Houston Rockets (32-17) – Houston has been playing some excellent basketball as of late. They’ve won three in a row, and are starting to play much better defense as opposed to earlier in the season.

8.  Memphis Grizzlies (26-20) – There isn’t a hotter team in the league right now, as they have won six in a row and nine of 10. Going to be interesting to see how far they can climb in the standings over the next few weeks.

Middle Of The Pack

9. Phoenix Suns (29-18) – Many thought that this team would be at the center of the tank sweepstakes, but new head coach Jeff Hornacek has this young team playing excellent basketball. They might be a playoff team out West. They’ve won five game in a row and keep getting better.

10. Golden State Warriors (29-19) – The Warriors lost some tough games against some legitimate contenders this week. They still remain one of the better teams out West, but have take a step back because of their inconsistency.

11. Dallas Mavericks (27-21) – Dallas has been a solid team out West and is looking like a team that will be a lock for a playoff seed.

12. Atlanta Hawks (25-21) – The Hawks have quietly put together a solid season thus far. Even without Al Horford, they still have been playing well, as Paul Milsap has elevated his game to an all-star level .

13. Toronto Raptors (22-21) – Ever since the Rudy Gay trade, the Raptors have been playing some excellent basketball. They have won six of 10 and are looking like a playoff team out East.

14.  Washington Wizards (23-23) – John Wall has elevated his game to another level this season. As a result, the Wizards are currently a playoff team and trying to finally get above the .500 mark.

15. Chicago Bulls (22-23) – This team has gotten themselves into playoff form. They’ve won six of their last 10 games, and continue to show their resilience each night they play despite no Rose, and trading Loul Deng.

17. Minnesota Timberwolves (23-24) – The Timberwolves have been a very disappointing ball club due to their inability to win close ball games.

16. Denver Nuggets (22-23) – Inconsistency has been the story of the Nuggets season. One weeks they look good, another the look bad. Let’s just say that last week was a disappointing one, as they finished on a two game losing streak.

18. Brooklyn (20-25) – After looking like they finally turned their season around, the Nets have taken a step back, as they have currently lost three games in a row.

Pretty Bad

19. New Orleans Pelicans (20-26) – The Pelicans have had some unfortunate injuries throughout this season. However they have found a way to win some ball games. Still competing nonetheless.

20. Charlotte Bobcats (21-28) – The Bobcats are playing better basketball than what we are accustomed to seeing, but they are still pretty bad team nonetheless.

21. Detroit Pistons (19-27) – The Pistons can never put together a consistent stretch of good basketball. Because of that, they’ll continue to hover around as one of the worst teams in the league. On the bright side, they’ve won their last two games.

22. New York Knicks (19-28) –  There still is potential for this team to fully turn things around, but time is running out as we inch toward the All-Star break.

Tank Tank Tank Tank Tank Tank

23. Cleveland Cavaliers (16-31) – Things just haven’t gone well for the Cavaliers. They are poorly coached, and key players can never stay healthy.

24. Los Angeles Lakers (16-31) – The Lakers have lost six games in a row, and eight of their last ten. And to make matters worse, they’ve lost Pau Gasol for at least one week.

25. Sacramento Kings (15-32) – Despite the fact that this team is not good at all, the future is bright for this team. They honestly may not mind being in the heart of the tank sweepstakes.

26. Boston Celtics (16-32) – The Celtics got Rajon Rondo back last week and that seemed to provide an emotional lift for the fans and players in this franchise. However, that has yet to translate to wins.

27. Utah Jazz (16-31) – Utah has quietly been playing  around .500 basketball over their last 2- games. However, they find themselves in the “tank” discussion because there is nothing better for this franchise to do. Their young guys are continuing to get better though.

28. Philadelphia 76ers (15-33) – The 76ers are clearly one of the few teams that understands that their franchise is in rebuild mode. They’ll be counting on a quality draft pick coming their way.

29. Orlando Magic (13-36) – It’s been tough for the young Magic, but they have a lot to look forward, as they’re young core is one of the best in the league.

30. Milwaukee Bucks (8-39) – No one tanks harder than the Bucks. Period.
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