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NBA Power Rankings – Cavs, Lakers still sitting pretty

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/24/2010 3:06:45 PM

NBA betting fans know that the trade deadline has changed the landscape in the NBA but even a number of teams that stood pat are playing well. The Thunder and Jazz are rolling, while the Mavericks and Cavs got a boost. Here are this week’s power rankings:

1. (1) Cleveland (44-14): The Cavaliers have struggled a bit since picking up Antawn Jamison but everyone knows this team is for real. Best record in the NBA and they are only going to get better as Jamison gets comfortable.

2. (2) Los Angeles Lakers (43-14): Kobe’s back and they missed him. He hit a game-winning shot on Tuesday to keep his team in the running for the top seed overall.

3. (4) Utah (36-20): A 25-point comeback against Portland gets sports betting fans excited but this team appears to be for real. They look like they are the Lakers biggest threat in the West. Jazz have won 33 of their last 48 games.

4. (3) Denver (37-19): Nuggets are still among the West’s best but they are just 6-4 in their last 10. They have to keep winning or the streaking Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder will steal their cushy No. 2 seed.

5. (5) Orlando (38-19): Third-best record in the NBA but the Magic from last year doesn’t seem to be there. We’ll see if they can turn it on when it comes playoff time.

6. (7) Oklahoma City (33-22): Don’t sleep on the Thunder. They are 9-1 in their last 10 and Kevin Durant is the NBA’s leading scorer. He has now scored 25 or more in 29 straight games.

7. (9) Dallas (36-21): Mavericks are quietly playing better now that Caron Butler has adjusted to his new environment. Mavs have won four straight overall.

8. (6) Atlanta (35-20): Blowing a 15-point fourth-quarter lead in Golden State won’t help their cause in our power rankings. Just 5-5 in last 10 and Hawks don’t look like the serious player on this playground.

9. (11) Boston (36-19): Nate Robinson gives them a boost as they are now 7-3 in last 10. But the Celtics need help rebounding. They are ranked 30th in the NBA in rebounding, which is very surprising.

10. (10) Phoenix (35-23): Believe it or not, they have won eight of their last 10. Amare Stoudemire wasn’t dealt at the deadline, which helps them in the short term but they won’t get anything when he walks in the summer time as a free agent.

11. (8) Toronto (31-24): Won eight of their last 10 but nobody takes them seriously.

12. (12) Portland (33-26): Just hanging as injuries continue to factor. Brandon Roy’s hamstring is a problem and this team just doesn’t have enough depth to deal with the team of injuries they were handed this year.

13. (11) San Antonio (31-23): The rodeo road trip isn’t helping. Spurs have lost two straight and are just 5-5 in last 10, which means reality is setting in and the window of opportunity is closing.

14. (15) New Orleans (30-27): Hornets just aren’t a serious contender anymore. They have a mediocre roster and it looks like it might be that way for a while.

15. (14) Charlotte (27-28): Sportsbook odds makers were shocked when this team won nine of 10 to start the new year but now things are back to normal. Bobcats are just 6-8 since that time.

16. (18) Houston (28-27)
17. (18) Chicago (29-27)
18. (19) Miami (29-29)
19. (20) Memphis (28-28)
20. (17) Milwaukee (27-28)
21. (21) Philadelphia (22-34)
22. (22) Sacramento (18-39)
23. (25) Detroit (21-35)
24. (27) Washington (17-33)
25. (28) Los Angeles Clippers (23-33)
26. (23) Indiana (19-37)
27. (26) Minnesota (14-44)
28. (24) New York (19-37)
29. (29) Golden State (16-40)
30. (30) New Jersey (5-52)

The watch is on for the Nets to see if they’ll finish with the fewest wins in NBA history. They have just five wins on the year (two against Charlotte – and the good news is they face them one more time) but their win percentage indicates that they are on pace for 7.2 wins this year. Six of their next nine are on the road.

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