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NBA Power Rankings – Lakers rejoin Cavs atop NBA powerhouses

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/11/2010 2:59:26 PM

The online betting favorites to reach the NBA Finals find themselves in the top two spots in our Power Rankings as we head into the All-Star break, and if all goes well, David Stern and the fans will get a matchup for the ages between the league’s biggest stars.

1. (1) Cleveland (42-11): A win over Orlando on Thursday would extend the Cavaliers’ winning streak to 13 games, and we might as well just give the MVP award to LeBron James right now….how many games would Cleveland win without him?

2. (3) Los Angeles Lakers (40-13): The Lakers actually two straight over good teams without Kobe Bryant, and Andrew Bynum, in the lineup. This can only give Bryant more confidence in his teammates.

3. (2) Denver (35-17): The Nuggets did very well without Carmelo Anthony in the lineup, and their win in Los Angeles last Friday night had to be a big boost for Denver.

4. (5) Utah (32-19): The Lakers snapped their winning streak at nine on Wednesday, but the Jazz are turning into the team no one wants to see in the playoffs. Andrei Kirilenko is playing some inspired basketball of late.

5. (6) Orlando (36-17): Speaking of inspired, Vince Carter must be getting hyped over watching old footage of his 2000 Slam Dunk win, as he’s averaged 24.2 points over his last five games.

6. (4) Atlanta (33-18): NBA betting players still don’t know what to think of the Hawks, who are shaky on the road, but has played great basketball against the other good teams in the East.

7. (12) Oklahoma City (30-21): The Thunder head into the break with a six-game winning streak, and not only is Kevin Durant still scoring like a madman, he’s hitting the boards harder. If the Thunder and Jazz could meet in the first round, the top teams in the West would breathe a little easier.

8. (13) Toronto (29-23): The Raptors have been one of the best teams in the league over the last couple of months, and they’ve won eight in a row at the ACC. Now, if they could only be even half decent on the road.

9. (7) Dallas (32-20): The Mavericks stumbled into the break, and their defense has been awful lately: Dallas hasn’t held an opponent under 100 points in eight games.

10. (16) Phoenix (31-22): The trade talk around Amare Stoudamire has subsided a little bit, but he’s been playing very well since he was benched five games ago against Dallas for grabbing just one rebound. Since, he’s averaged 11.6 boards.

11. (9) Boston (32-18): Is it time to blow the Big Three up? Why would they trade Ray Allen to Charlotte for D.J. Augustin when they have Rajon Rondo? Are they still shopping Rondo? There’s a lot of questions in Beantown right now.

12. (10) Portland (30-24): Props to the Trailblazers for holding things together through a ton of injuries, and even remaining in the hunt in the West.

13. (11) San Antonio (29-21): Not being able to beat the Kobe-less Lakers on Monday had to raise a few eyebrows among sportsbook players who are placing their faith in San Antonio.

14. (15) Charlotte (26-25): Hands down, the biggest surprises in the NBA. Stephen Jackson has to get a little MVP consideration for what he’s brought to this team.

15. (17) New Orleans (28-25): The Hornets are just trying to hold on until Chris Paul returns to the lineup, but Darren Collison has been playing well in his absence.

16. (18) Houston (27-24)

17. (21) Milwaukee (24-27)

18. (14) Chicago (25-26)

19. (19) Miami (26-27)

20. (8) Memphis (26-25)

21. (24) Philadelphia (20-32)

22. (28) Sacramento (18-34)

23. (27) Indiana (18-34)

24. (26) New York (19-32)

25. (22) Detroit (18-33)

26. (25) Minnesota (13-40)

27. (23) Washington (17-33)

28. (20) Los Angeles Clippers (21-31)

29. (29) Golden State (14-37)

30. (30) New Jersey (4-43)

Memphis has dropped four in a row and haven’t looked the same since beating the Lakers, but the potential and talent is still there. Also, now we can start taking official odds on whether the Nets will set the record for fewest wins, which is Philadelphia’s 9-73 season in 1972-73. The sports betting odds are really good that they will.

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