Power Rankings Round III
This is the third edition of the WVBR NBA Power Rankings compiled by Sandy Ginsburg. Rankings were done by Jay Sage, Carlos Molina, Kurt Hornsby, and Sandy Ginsburg. Check out our previous power rankings as well!
1. Cleveland (up 2)—The Cavs are absolutely incredible right now, first to 60, and are probably going to finish with 66/67 wins. If they stay in first place overall, LeBron must get the MVP (Carlos Molina). 12 wins in a row, many against quality opponents. Dominance at home should serve them well as they get ever closer to clinching homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs (Kurt Hornsby).
2. LA Lakers (down 1)—Falling behind Cleveland for the top spot overall, which could be a big factor if the two squads meet in the Finals. Otherwise, distancing themselves nicely from the rest of the Western Conference (Kurt Hornsby). Even if they\'re second Overall, I would still make them the favorites to win it all, because they\'ve been their before, are hungry, have Kobe, and have proven they can win in Cleveland (Cavs only home loss). (Carlos Molina).
3. Orlando (up 2)—Even though I have them at 3, I still can\'t take Orlando seriously as a championship contender. Although good call on the Skip2MyLou pickup (Carlos Molina)
4. Boston (tie, down 2)—The Celtics better hope Garnett gets back to 100% if they hope to even get past the second round of the playoffs, much less another Finals appearance. Wouldn\'t be surprising to see this team slip to the 3 seed (Kurt Hornsby). Good call shutting down KG, he\'ll regroup in the first round and the Celts need him to be around late (Carlos Molina)
4. San Antonio (tie)—I’d still be afraid of San Antonio, seeing as how it is an odd number year (Rings in 99, 03, 05, 07) and TD is one of the 10 greatest (Carlos Molina).
6. Houston (up 1)-- Excelling even without McGrady in the lineup. Don\'t sleep on the Rockets, especially since Battier and Artest give Kobe fits and no one else in the West is as great as we\'re accustomed to (Kurt Hornsby).
7. Denver (down 1)—Denver, Houston, Utah, and Dallas are just there so the other teams can use them to advance (Carlos Molina)
8. New Orleans (up 2) Beware CP3 and a Hornets team that can beat the Elite without key pieces (Peja and Chandler). He\'ll be good for 3-4 incredible playoff games per series and is capable of taking over a series if need be (Carlos Molina)
9. Portland (down 2)—With a deceptively deep roster and great young talent, if healthy, the Blazers could surprise some people in the playoffs (Kurt Hornsby).
10. Utah (down 1)—I know it\'s been thrown out there tons of times the past few days, but Utah\'s road record of against winning teams is significant (1-14) and uncharacteristic for a Jerry Sloan team (Carlos Molina).
12. Miami (up 2)—Miami rounds out my top 10 with a deadly D-Wade. He belongs in the MVP talk, seeing as how he\'s done far more with far less than either of the other two guys (Carlos Molina).
13. Dallas (down 2)
14. Phoenix (up 1)—Were playing some good basketball, but three straight losses doesn\'t help their cause for a playoff appearance. Could see a dismantling of this roster in the off-season (Kurt Hornsby). It seems like we\'re talking about East/West discrepancy far less these days, but Phoenix is a 5 seed if not better in the East. Sucks for Shaq. Although good things seem to happen to him when his team misses the playoffs (Carlos Molina).
15. Philadelphia (up 1)
16. Chicago (up 1)
17. Detroit (down 4)—The Iverson-off-the-bench strategy doesn\'t seem to be paying any dividends (4-6 in their past 10 games, likely to see a first round matchup against either Cleveland, Orlando, or Boston...yikes!) (Kurt Hornsby)
18. Charlotte (up 3)
20. Indiana (up 2)
21. New Jersey (down 3)
22. New York (down 2)
23. Toronto (up 1)
24. Golden State (down 1)
25. Oklahoma City (up 2)
26. Minnesota (down 1)
27. Memphis (down 1)
28. LA Clippers
29/30. Sacramento (tie, previously in bottom 2)—What a disaster! (Kurt Hornsby)
29/30. Washington (tie, previously in bottom 2)— Why, exactly, is Gilbert Arenas back on the court so late in the season? He\'s not playing for a contract, so you think the Wizards would want to protect their main investment. But then again, this is the Wizards we\'re talking about here...(Kurt Hornsby)