Time for some updated power rankings. Actually, that time was a few days ago but hey, better late than never.
- San Antonio Spurs– Despite their blowout loss to the Lakers, they are still so far ahead of L.A. that I can’t seriously think about switching spots. Also, every other team (besides Chicago) has lost games since the last rankings, so no one really did anything to gain ground.
- Chicago Bulls– After completing a season sweep, the Bulls then proceeded to destroy the Hawks. They are, w/o a doubt, the best defensive team in the league (especially since the Celtics no longer have Perkins). Their offense does sputter, but when you lock-down people like they do on defense, you can beat anyone in a 7 game series.
- Dallas Mavericks– Still going strong. They’ve been winning at a higher rate than any other team in the league over their last 20. They just had a blowout victory over New York, and more importantly, Roddy “Buckets” is filling that scoring gap Butler left behind. Just like I thought he would.
- L.A. Lakers– Winning 8 straight games since the all-star break followed by a single loss in Miami was enough to bump them up a spot. Had they won that game in Miami, they’d likely be my number 2. As it is, they are still serious contenders in the West. Still, they suffer from that problem that they’ve suffered from before..Kobe going “hero ball” to early in games. It cost them against the Heat.
- Boston Celtics– Two straight losses against mediocre teams is enough to drop them a spot or two. Granted, the loss tonight was against a VERY hot Philly team, but a loss at home the Clips? Not acceptable. That said, Green and Nenad are actually playing quite well for this team, and you have to think once Shaq gets back they will still be the favorites to come out of the East.
Side note: Philly is really, really athletic. No matter who they play in the East, they are going past 5 games with them. I am predicting at least one first round upset and it’s either coming from this team, or Portland.