PnR NBA Power Rankings Week 15

The PnR NBA Power Rankings Week 15 reveals that the top four teams from last week remained the same.  For the first time all season, none of the teams in playoff contention swept their slate of games. Maybe teams are losing focus as they look toward the All-Star break.  The end of the week saw the Atlanta Hawks face off against the top two teams in the Western Conference. First Atlanta bested Golden State in the national spotlight on Friday, then fell to Memphis on Sunday while most casual fans were paying attention to the Grammy Awards.

Where does your team stand? Be sure to voice your thoughts either in the comments section, tweet to us here, or feel free to tweet me directly.

Speaking of the Grammys, the Los Angeles teams annually go on their longest road trip of the season while Hollywood prepares for gala. This year the Clippers went into their trip on a five game winning streak, but are now on a run of losing four in a row. It looks like things might get worse before they get better for them, Blake Griffin will be sidelined for at least 10 days, and seven of their next eight games are against teams that are above the .500 mark; they fell five places this week. Cleveland’s rise has been well chronicled, they should be in possession of the second seed when the season concludes at their current rate. However, there appears to be players that are still unhappy, even with the success; at this point, the only thing stopping them is themselves.

Team of the Week: Indiana Pacers

Presenting the only team in the Association that didn’t suffer a loss last week. In Wednesday’s victory over Detroit, Indiana shot a season-best 59.7 percent from the floor. On Friday, Cleveland had hopes of tying a franchise-best 13-game winning streak, but were choked out by Indiana’s defense in the second half; in this game George Hill set a career high with 12 free throws. It might be the signal that the season is turning for the better. Finally on Sunday when it seemed their good fortunes were running out with a 17-point halftime deficit in Charlotte, they rallied back and won on a Hill floater.

There should be a significant level of optimism surrounding this team because even though they’ve been injury riddled for much of the season, they sit just two games out of a playoff position. David West has missed 15 games this season, George Hill has only played in 13, ailments have struck every single player on this roster with the exception of Solomon Hill. The main reason that fans and the organization should be optimistic is the pending return of Paul George, who reportedly is doing everything except for contact work. George coming back is definitely a game changer for the Eastern Conference that is open for the taking.

Once healthy, they’ll be a force to reckon with. Outside of Atlanta and Cleveland, there isn’t a team that Indiana should be concerned about matching up against. Even if the Pacers do happen to match up with the Hawks, remember that they eliminated Atlanta from the 2014 playoffs in the first round.

NBA Power Rankings 2014/15 Week 15

1.  Atlanta Hawks (42-10)

Last week’s position: 1

For the first time in a couple of months, this team actually looks vulnerable. After the firework display of Friday night, they had issues executing on offense versus Memphis, being held to the 3rd lowest scoring output of the season.

2.  Memphis Grizzlies (38-13)

Last week’s position: 2

They are back to doing what they do best. Grinding out nine wins of their last 10 games, including Sunday night’s win over Atlanta. The only thing keeping them from the top spot was a loss to the worse team in the league on Friday night.

3.  Golden State Warriors (40-9)

Last week’s position: 3

Golden State has all of its rotational players back and healthy. If only David Lee is able to contribute more in his new role off the bench. What Gives? Pac Div by Zachary Chow

4.  San Antonio Spurs (32-19)

Last week’s position: 4

Coach Popovich will soon win his 1000th game but was denied this honor on Sunday by Toronto.  Things are going according to plan as the Spurs ready for a title defense but they need to keep winning at a higher rate to receive that opportunity.

5.  Toronto Raptors (35-17)

Last week’s position: 6

Had an odd week as they fell to two teams that they were favored over – Brooklyn and Milwaukee –  then won two games against the Clippers and Spurs while playing as underdogs.

6.  Cleveland Cavaliers (32-21)

Last week’s position: 7

Cleveland hasn’t lost since January 13th against the Suns in Phoenix, and now own the best record in the Central division. Kyrie Irving and LeBron James have been on fire lately. The duo is getting more comfortable together every game. Central Division Review by Hayley Wildes

7.  Houston Rockets (35-16)

Last week’s position: 8

The Rockets look to be carrying on fine without Dwight Howard, they’ll have to keep doing so without him for the next two months.

8.  Dallas Mavericks (35-18)

Last week’s position: 9

While Rondo hasn’t moved the needle as much as Dallas would have hoped, is he really to blame? He is definitely a better playmaker than any of the other point guards Dallas have trotted out over the last couple of years. Why isn’t this resulting in wins? Not Rondo’s fault, but is it time to miss Brandan Wright yet? by Jack Hodgins

9.  Portland Trailblazers (35-17)

Last week’s position: 13

This team can look dominant at times, then at other times, just mediocre.  The outlook is positive with the return of Robin Lopez is back to hold down the middle. Now that Lillard has been added to the Western All-Star team, he can just ball out instead of playing angry.

10.  Los Angeles Clippers (33-19)

Last week’s position: 5

Who would have thought just a week ago that they would be in danger of missing the playoffs? The staph infection that could sideline Blake Griffin up to six weeks may be the difference.

11.  Milwaukee Bucks (28-23)

Last week’s position: 11

Last season the Bucks ranked 29th in defensive efficiency and Kidd has turned this around in remarkable fashion by moving them up to 2nd this season. Why are the Milwaukee Bucks trending up? by Jayme Markus

12.  Chicago Bulls (32-20)

Last week’s position: 15

After an extremely encouraging stretch of games, the Chicago Bulls have dished up some sub-par performances in the past week. Central Division Review by Hayley Wildes

13.  Washington Wizards (32-20)

Last week’s position: 10

They picked a bad time to go into a slump with the Cavaliers breathing down their neck and all.

14.  New Orleans Pelicans (27-24)

Last week’s position: 12

They play so well with the ball in Tyreke Evans’s hands but all bets on making the playoffs are off if the Brow has to miss significant time with shoulder injury.

15.  Phoenix Suns (29-24)

Last week’s position: 14

The three point guard lineup is cute and all but coach Hornacek has to figure out how to stop teams if they want to hold on to their eighth seed.

16.  Oklahoma City Thunder (26-25)

Last week’s position: 16

The offensive rating of the Thunder has gone from 7th last year  to 21st this year, and their defensive efficiency has dropped from 5th to 10th this year.  Why (most of) the Northwest should flush their seasons down the toilet by Michael Tozer

17.  Brooklyn Nets (21-29)

Last week’s position: 19

In the past, Brooklyn have been a playoff worthy team year in and out. Now the Nets are fighting for the eighth seed in what has been one of the weakest Eastern Conferences in recent memory. The Tanklantic by Daina Coulter

18.  Charlotte Hornets (22-29)

Last week’s position: 17

Losing to Philadelphia isn’t the way to go if they’re serious about making a playoff push.

19.  Indiana Pacers (20-32)

Last week’s position: 22

Paul George’s return is looming. They just need to stay within striking distance of a playoff spot.

20.  Detroit Pistons (20-32)

Last week’s position: 21
The Detroit Pistons continue to play with effort and heart, even with their primary point guard; Brandon Jennings out. Central Division Review by Hayley Wildes

21.  Miami Heat (21-29)

Last week’s position: 18

Hassan Whiteside represents what this team is doing right but defending on the perimeter represents what they’re doing wrong. It looks like they’re just holding a playoff spot warm for a hungrier team at the moment. If Wade can get healthy, they might get a chance to defend their Eastern conference crown.

22.  Boston Celtics (19-31)

Last week’s position: 24

Had a solid week, going 3-1. I guess there’s no need to partake in the tanking with as many draft picks that they have in pocket.

23.  Utah Jazz (18-33)

Last week’s position: 20

The results don’t have to be on the scoreboard this season, especially with a key piece in Alec Burks out for the year. However, Quin Snyder and Dennis Lindsey need to see improvement together as a team and on an individual level, irrespective of win or loss. Why (most of) the Northwest should flush their seasons down the toilet by Michael Tozer

24.  Sacramento Kings (18-32)

Last week’s position: 25

With the trade deadline looming and the results no longer important for Sacramento, it’s time to start showcasing trade assets. The Kings do not have the best reputation in developing draft picks (see Whiteside, Hassan) and Nik Stauskas appears to be the next victim. What Gives? Pac Div by Zachary Chow

25.  Denver Nuggets (19-32)

Last week’s position: 23

For the sanity of all Denver fans, they’ve just got to give up. The Nuggets’ core of Lawson, Faried and Chandler can not compete against teams laden with All-Stars in the West. Why (most of) the Northwest should flush their seasons down the toilet by Michael Tozer

26.  Philadelphia 76ers (12-40)

Last week’s position: 27

They had a good week for their standards as they went .500 this week. The Tanklantic by Daina Coulter

27.  Minnesota Timberwolves (11-40)

Last week’s position: 30

Wiggins has proven himself to be a talented scorer . . . the jury is still out on the other young talent the Timberwolves have, which includes Zach LaVine and Shabazz Muhammad. Why (most of) the Northwest should flush their seasons down the toilet by Michael Tozer

28.  Orlando Magic (16-38)

Last week’s position: 28

In case you’ve missed the big news, Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn is the NBA’s second coach to see the dreaded axe this season. Will Orlando be better without Jacque Vaughn? by Michael Tozer

29.  New York Knicks (10-41)

Last week’s position: 26

They realized who they were and decided to not win any of the three games on the week. If Knicks fans aren’t happy with the performance, the owner says you should “Start Rooting For The Nets Because The Knicks Don’t Want You.”

30.  Los Angeles Lakers (13-38)

Last week’s position: 29

Byron Scott says his team is not trying to lose games. They probably don’t have to try with a starting front court of Ryan Kelly, Tarik Black, and Robert Sacre.

Any ranking or comment that you find interesting or do not agree with? Let us know.

Darrel Wilson

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Darrel is the founder & lone writer of the sports blog He once received a technical foul for dunking while warming up before a high school freshman basketball game. "A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep." - Vernon Howard

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