Miami Heat vs San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio Spurs, con siete puntos del argentino Emanuel Ginóbili,

venció anoche al actual campeón, Miami Heat, por 113-77, como local, y

se adelantó 2-1 en las finales de la Liga Estadounidense de Básquetbol

(NBA). Disfruta las mejores imágenes del tercer partido de las finales de la NBA entre Miami Heat y San Antonio Spurs.

<p>Welcome back to The Crossover’s Power Rankings! It’s our first edition of the rankings post-trade deadline, so expect even more wild overreactions than usual. There’s a lot going on in the Association these days, from the streaking Rockets and Jazz to the revived Cavaliers, not to mention the first-place the Toronto Raptors. But let’s not waste time speaking in generalities so it looks like there’s a normal-sized paragraph at the top of this article, let’s get to these rankings, huh?</p><p>(All stats and records through Feb. 12)</p><p><strong>30. Memphis Grizzlies (18–37)</strong><br>It hurts me to put the Grizzlies this low, but this team is aimless right now. Not trading Tyreke Evans for anything at the deadline was a bad decision, and Marc Gasol probably should have been moved as well. Management is really going down with the ship here. I don’t want to be all negative, though, so <a href="https://www.gq.com/story/easy-baby-back-ribs-recipe-super-bowl" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:go ahead and make these ribs" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">go ahead and make these ribs</a> courtesy of Lang Whitaker.</p><p><strong>29. New York Knicks (23–34)</strong><br>Losers of six in a row, Kristaps Porzingis tore his ACL, and Joakim Noah is still hanging around. I swear, the Knicks were actually really fun for the first few weeks of the season. We’re one J.D. and the Straight Shot ballad about the fickle nature of the NBA beast from moving this team to No. 30.</p><p><strong>28. Phoenix Suns (18–39)</strong><br>I’m only half-surprised the Suns didn’t trade back for Isaiah Thomas at the deadline. There is nothing this team could do that I wouldn’t believe. The Suns have lost five in a row, and I don’t know how they can win one in their next five, either.</p><p><strong>27. Brooklyn Nets (19–38)</strong><br>Brooklyn didn’t do anything splashy at the deadline, even though they had a couple somewhat-coveted players in Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris. Still, Sean Marks has had a deft hand in restocking the cupboard here, and the process is going to take a long time. For now, Brooklyn has lost five in a row, reminding its fans just how long the process to respectability could take.</p><p><strong>26. Sacramento Kings (17–38)</strong><br>Twenty-six somehow feels extremely high for the Kings. Don’t be fooled. This team is still mostly a mess.</p><p><strong>25. Atlanta Hawks (18–39)</strong><br>This may be my favorite random stat of the season: Miles Plumlee is making roughly 76% of the salary the Warriors are paying Draymond Green. Get rid of salary caps!</p><p><strong>24. Dallas Mavericks (18–39)</strong><br>I swear every time I’m watching the Mavericks on League Pass they’re about to upset a good team but somehow they’re still really bad. I wish the end of Dirk’s career could be spent on a better team.</p><p><strong>23. Orlando Magic (18–37)</strong><br>The Magic are up here on the strength of Frank Vogel’s beard and their incredibly dope City Edition jerseys.</p><p><strong>22. Chicago Bulls (19–36)</strong><br>Chicago’s win over Minnesota had to be satisfying for a front office that was dragged for the <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2017/06/22/jimmy-butler-trade-bulls-wolves-nba-draft-grades-zach-lavine-kris-dunn" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:deal that sent Jimmy Butler" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">deal that sent Jimmy Butler</a> to the Wolves. The Bulls still aren’t quite good, but they’re fun to watch.</p><p><strong>21. Los Angeles Lakers (23–32)</strong><br>It feels like it’s only a matter of days before Lavar Ball and Isaiah Thomas are sniping at each other in the media over some kind of slight, perceived or otherwise. Still, L.A. did good at the deadline, scooping up a draft pick and clearing cap space for the summer.</p><p><strong>20. Charlotte Hornets (23–33)</strong><br>This team really deserves better. The Hornets would be fighting for a playoff spot if they weren’t so terrible in close games. Losing Kemba Walker as a sweetener to get rid of bad contracts at the deadline would have been devastating, but management still has their work cut out for them here.</p><p><strong>19. Detroit Pistons (27–28)</strong><br>I’ve really liked the Pistons with Blake Griffin, who’s busting his ass for that team right now. ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz wrote <a href="http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/22373807/can-blake-griffin-change-course-franchise" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:a great piece about Griffin’s role in Detroit" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">a great piece about Griffin’s role in Detroit</a> late last week. But the Pistons are still facing an uphill climb for a playoff spot, and right now, the top eight in the East seem to be rounding into form.</p><p><strong>18. Los Angeles Clippers (28–26)</strong><br>Keeping DeAndre Jordan at the trade deadline actually made a lot of sense—L.A. can now let him opt out this summer and hoard cap space instead of taking on any future salary. The Clippers have been frisky all season, and that’s partly in credit to Doc Rivers. Are they sure they want to make the playoffs, though? Maybe the eighth seed should get better lottery odds than the ninth-place team in the conference.</p><p><strong>17. New Orleans Pelicans (29–26)</strong><br>I’m not sure how long this team can hold on without Boogie Cousins, but the Pelicans have a manageable schedule headed into mid-March. They should still hang around in the playoff race.</p><p><strong>16. Miami Heat (30–26)</strong><br>Dwyane Wade is back, Luke Babbit is a Spoelstra favorite, and the Heat are back in the win column after a five-game losing streak. Miami still needs to figure out its frontcourt, where James Johnson has struggled and Hassan Whiteside has infuriated. A full return to health for Kelly Olynyk and Wayne Ellington will be key for the homestretch.</p><p><strong>15. Philadelphia 76ers (28–25)</strong><br>Winners of three in a row, the Sixers really are the cliché “Nobody wants to see them in the playoffs” team this season. And Joel Embiid’s All-Star Weekend promises to be the stuff of legends.</p><p><strong>14. Denver Nuggets (30–26)</strong><br>The internet’s once-favorite team has won four of its last five, and is hanging around in the middle of the pack until Paul Millsap’s return. Denver picked up Devin Harris at the deadline, but the team could still use a little more depth. Torrey Craig has been one of the season’s underrated stories, though.</p><p><strong>13. Indiana Pacers (32–25)</strong><br>The Pacers have won three of four, including wins over the Sixers and Celtics. And Victor Oladipo has been good for one LeBron-in-barbershop gif highlight for most of the season. The impact he’s had on this team is just insane. Oh, and the better Indy plays, the more Lance Stephenson starts to feel himself.</p><p><strong>12. Oklahoma City Thunder (32–25)</strong><br>The Thunder have either won two of their last three or lost five of their last seven, depending on how you want to judge them. A win over the Warriors is kind of negated when it’s sandwiched between losses to the Lakers. Sam Presti needs to be working the buyout market for help on the perimeter to make up for the loss of Andre Roberson.</p><p><strong>11. Portland Trail Blazers (31–26)</strong><br>The Blazers are 2–4 in February, and they play the Warriors in their last game before the All-Star break.</p><p>?</p><p><strong>10. Milwaukee Bucks (31–24)</strong><br>The coaching switch in Milwaukee has appeared to turn things around. If the Bucks play the kind of defense their length suggests their capable of, they become a top-four team in the East. It’s also great to see Jabari Parker back on the court.</p><p><strong>9. Washington Wizards (32–24)</strong><br>The OT loss to the Celtics was a bummer, and the bickering needs to stop, but the Wizards are looking frisky even in the wake of John Wall’s injury. It would be nice if Washington could become a player in the buyout market.</p><p><strong>8. San Antonio Spurs (35–22)</strong><br>The Spurs have lost three of four this month. Pop still has this team in third place, but it’s hard to get excited about anything they do without Kawhi, whose injury situation has zapped most of the joy to be felt around San Antonio.</p><p><strong>7. Minnesota Timberwolves (35–24)</strong><br>Please don’t sign Derrick Rose! Tyus Jones and Jeff Teague have been more than serviceable at point guard, and Jamal Crawford is already giving you no-defense minutes off the bench. If Thibs is looking to get the Chicago band back together, Marco Belinelli would make more sense here. </p><p><strong>6. Boston Celtics (40–18)</strong><br>The Celtics enter this week as the only team in the top-eight of the East on a losing streak, having dropped two in a row. This team could use a jolt of energy, and I’m not sure if Greg Monroe is the guy to provide it.</p><p><strong>5. Utah Jazz (28–28)</strong><br>Break up the Jazz! Utah has won nine straight, including wins over the Spurs, Warriors, Raptors and Blazers. Losing Rodney Hood is tough, but it’s possible Jae Crowder finds new life here. The Jazz would perhaps be better off in the lottery, but their super streak has them in the thick of the hunt for the final playoff spot out west.</p><p><strong>4. Cleveland Cavaliers (33–22)</strong><br>Oh, you thought putting the Jazz at five was an overreaction? Here come the Cavs! Cleveland spanked Boston on what was supposed to be Paul Pierce’s day, according to Paul Pierce. One game with LeBron and Jordan Clarkson already looks like a young Scottie Pippen. </p><p>Okay, fine, in all seriousness, the trade deadline seemed to rejuvenate the Cavs, particularly LeBron, who seems to be putting in his most consistent effort over the last week of the season. Will it last? Can this team actually play defense? There are still lots of questions here, and Cleveland isn’t out of the woods yet. But for the last week? Yeah, sure, the Cavs deserve a leap for remaking themselves for the final two months of the season. If they start playing the way they were pre-deadline, they’ll shoot right back down.</p><p><strong>3. Golden State Warriors (43–13)</strong><br>The most notable moment for the Warriors at the deadline was Bob Myers telling his players to stop complaining so much. They still don’t really care about the regular season, and frankly, they don’t need to.</p><p><strong>2. Toronto Raptors (39–16)</strong><br>The Raptors are No. 1 in the East, and their bench lineup has been one of the most fun units to watch across the league this season. OG Anunoby isn’t in the Rookie of the Year conversation, but he’s had an incredible impact on a team with Finals aspirations. If the Raptors make the Finals this year, their end-of-season documentary will spend a good eight minutes on how silly <em>Sports Illustrated</em> looked disrespecting DeMar DeRozan.</p><p><strong>1. Houston Rockets (42–13)</strong><br>The Rockets are winners of eight straight and haven’t received any stern talking-tos from their general manager. They’re adding Joe Johnson and Brandan Wright for the stretch run, two players who can have a decent impact on the roster. And Mike D’Antoni deserves a ton of credit for handling Chris Paul’s and James Harden’s minutes really well, even amid a swirl of injuries. If you squint hard enough, you can see this team reaaallly pushing the Warriors in a playoff series.</p>
NBA Power Rankings: Revived Cavaliers Surge After Trade Deadline

Welcome back to The Crossover’s Power Rankings! It’s our first edition of the rankings post-trade deadline, so expect even more wild overreactions than usual. There’s a lot going on in the Association these days, from the streaking Rockets and Jazz to the revived Cavaliers, not to mention the first-place the Toronto Raptors. But let’s not waste time speaking in generalities so it looks like there’s a normal-sized paragraph at the top of this article, let’s get to these rankings, huh?

(All stats and records through Feb. 12)

30. Memphis Grizzlies (18–37)
It hurts me to put the Grizzlies this low, but this team is aimless right now. Not trading Tyreke Evans for anything at the deadline was a bad decision, and Marc Gasol probably should have been moved as well. Management is really going down with the ship here. I don’t want to be all negative, though, so go ahead and make these ribs courtesy of Lang Whitaker.

29. New York Knicks (23–34)
Losers of six in a row, Kristaps Porzingis tore his ACL, and Joakim Noah is still hanging around. I swear, the Knicks were actually really fun for the first few weeks of the season. We’re one J.D. and the Straight Shot ballad about the fickle nature of the NBA beast from moving this team to No. 30.

28. Phoenix Suns (18–39)
I’m only half-surprised the Suns didn’t trade back for Isaiah Thomas at the deadline. There is nothing this team could do that I wouldn’t believe. The Suns have lost five in a row, and I don’t know how they can win one in their next five, either.

27. Brooklyn Nets (19–38)
Brooklyn didn’t do anything splashy at the deadline, even though they had a couple somewhat-coveted players in Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris. Still, Sean Marks has had a deft hand in restocking the cupboard here, and the process is going to take a long time. For now, Brooklyn has lost five in a row, reminding its fans just how long the process to respectability could take.

26. Sacramento Kings (17–38)
Twenty-six somehow feels extremely high for the Kings. Don’t be fooled. This team is still mostly a mess.

25. Atlanta Hawks (18–39)
This may be my favorite random stat of the season: Miles Plumlee is making roughly 76% of the salary the Warriors are paying Draymond Green. Get rid of salary caps!

24. Dallas Mavericks (18–39)
I swear every time I’m watching the Mavericks on League Pass they’re about to upset a good team but somehow they’re still really bad. I wish the end of Dirk’s career could be spent on a better team.

23. Orlando Magic (18–37)
The Magic are up here on the strength of Frank Vogel’s beard and their incredibly dope City Edition jerseys.

22. Chicago Bulls (19–36)
Chicago’s win over Minnesota had to be satisfying for a front office that was dragged for the deal that sent Jimmy Butler to the Wolves. The Bulls still aren’t quite good, but they’re fun to watch.

21. Los Angeles Lakers (23–32)
It feels like it’s only a matter of days before Lavar Ball and Isaiah Thomas are sniping at each other in the media over some kind of slight, perceived or otherwise. Still, L.A. did good at the deadline, scooping up a draft pick and clearing cap space for the summer.

20. Charlotte Hornets (23–33)
This team really deserves better. The Hornets would be fighting for a playoff spot if they weren’t so terrible in close games. Losing Kemba Walker as a sweetener to get rid of bad contracts at the deadline would have been devastating, but management still has their work cut out for them here.

19. Detroit Pistons (27–28)
I’ve really liked the Pistons with Blake Griffin, who’s busting his ass for that team right now. ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz wrote a great piece about Griffin’s role in Detroit late last week. But the Pistons are still facing an uphill climb for a playoff spot, and right now, the top eight in the East seem to be rounding into form.

18. Los Angeles Clippers (28–26)
Keeping DeAndre Jordan at the trade deadline actually made a lot of sense—L.A. can now let him opt out this summer and hoard cap space instead of taking on any future salary. The Clippers have been frisky all season, and that’s partly in credit to Doc Rivers. Are they sure they want to make the playoffs, though? Maybe the eighth seed should get better lottery odds than the ninth-place team in the conference.

17. New Orleans Pelicans (29–26)
I’m not sure how long this team can hold on without Boogie Cousins, but the Pelicans have a manageable schedule headed into mid-March. They should still hang around in the playoff race.

16. Miami Heat (30–26)
Dwyane Wade is back, Luke Babbit is a Spoelstra favorite, and the Heat are back in the win column after a five-game losing streak. Miami still needs to figure out its frontcourt, where James Johnson has struggled and Hassan Whiteside has infuriated. A full return to health for Kelly Olynyk and Wayne Ellington will be key for the homestretch.

15. Philadelphia 76ers (28–25)
Winners of three in a row, the Sixers really are the cliché “Nobody wants to see them in the playoffs” team this season. And Joel Embiid’s All-Star Weekend promises to be the stuff of legends.

14. Denver Nuggets (30–26)
The internet’s once-favorite team has won four of its last five, and is hanging around in the middle of the pack until Paul Millsap’s return. Denver picked up Devin Harris at the deadline, but the team could still use a little more depth. Torrey Craig has been one of the season’s underrated stories, though.

13. Indiana Pacers (32–25)
The Pacers have won three of four, including wins over the Sixers and Celtics. And Victor Oladipo has been good for one LeBron-in-barbershop gif highlight for most of the season. The impact he’s had on this team is just insane. Oh, and the better Indy plays, the more Lance Stephenson starts to feel himself.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder (32–25)
The Thunder have either won two of their last three or lost five of their last seven, depending on how you want to judge them. A win over the Warriors is kind of negated when it’s sandwiched between losses to the Lakers. Sam Presti needs to be working the buyout market for help on the perimeter to make up for the loss of Andre Roberson.

11. Portland Trail Blazers (31–26)
The Blazers are 2–4 in February, and they play the Warriors in their last game before the All-Star break.

?

10. Milwaukee Bucks (31–24)
The coaching switch in Milwaukee has appeared to turn things around. If the Bucks play the kind of defense their length suggests their capable of, they become a top-four team in the East. It’s also great to see Jabari Parker back on the court.

9. Washington Wizards (32–24)
The OT loss to the Celtics was a bummer, and the bickering needs to stop, but the Wizards are looking frisky even in the wake of John Wall’s injury. It would be nice if Washington could become a player in the buyout market.

8. San Antonio Spurs (35–22)
The Spurs have lost three of four this month. Pop still has this team in third place, but it’s hard to get excited about anything they do without Kawhi, whose injury situation has zapped most of the joy to be felt around San Antonio.

7. Minnesota Timberwolves (35–24)
Please don’t sign Derrick Rose! Tyus Jones and Jeff Teague have been more than serviceable at point guard, and Jamal Crawford is already giving you no-defense minutes off the bench. If Thibs is looking to get the Chicago band back together, Marco Belinelli would make more sense here.

6. Boston Celtics (40–18)
The Celtics enter this week as the only team in the top-eight of the East on a losing streak, having dropped two in a row. This team could use a jolt of energy, and I’m not sure if Greg Monroe is the guy to provide it.

5. Utah Jazz (28–28)
Break up the Jazz! Utah has won nine straight, including wins over the Spurs, Warriors, Raptors and Blazers. Losing Rodney Hood is tough, but it’s possible Jae Crowder finds new life here. The Jazz would perhaps be better off in the lottery, but their super streak has them in the thick of the hunt for the final playoff spot out west.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers (33–22)
Oh, you thought putting the Jazz at five was an overreaction? Here come the Cavs! Cleveland spanked Boston on what was supposed to be Paul Pierce’s day, according to Paul Pierce. One game with LeBron and Jordan Clarkson already looks like a young Scottie Pippen.

Okay, fine, in all seriousness, the trade deadline seemed to rejuvenate the Cavs, particularly LeBron, who seems to be putting in his most consistent effort over the last week of the season. Will it last? Can this team actually play defense? There are still lots of questions here, and Cleveland isn’t out of the woods yet. But for the last week? Yeah, sure, the Cavs deserve a leap for remaking themselves for the final two months of the season. If they start playing the way they were pre-deadline, they’ll shoot right back down.

3. Golden State Warriors (43–13)
The most notable moment for the Warriors at the deadline was Bob Myers telling his players to stop complaining so much. They still don’t really care about the regular season, and frankly, they don’t need to.

2. Toronto Raptors (39–16)
The Raptors are No. 1 in the East, and their bench lineup has been one of the most fun units to watch across the league this season. OG Anunoby isn’t in the Rookie of the Year conversation, but he’s had an incredible impact on a team with Finals aspirations. If the Raptors make the Finals this year, their end-of-season documentary will spend a good eight minutes on how silly Sports Illustrated looked disrespecting DeMar DeRozan.

1. Houston Rockets (42–13)
The Rockets are winners of eight straight and haven’t received any stern talking-tos from their general manager. They’re adding Joe Johnson and Brandan Wright for the stretch run, two players who can have a decent impact on the roster. And Mike D’Antoni deserves a ton of credit for handling Chris Paul’s and James Harden’s minutes really well, even amid a swirl of injuries. If you squint hard enough, you can see this team reaaallly pushing the Warriors in a playoff series.

<p>Welcome back to The Crossover’s Power Rankings! It’s our first edition of the rankings post-trade deadline, so expect even more wild overreactions than usual. There’s a lot going on in the Association these days, from the streaking Rockets and Jazz to the revived Cavaliers, not to mention the first-place the Toronto Raptors. But let’s not waste time speaking in generalities so it looks like there’s a normal-sized paragraph at the top of this article, let’s get to these rankings, huh?</p><p>(All stats and records through Feb. 12)</p><p><strong>30. Memphis Grizzlies (18–37)</strong><br>It hurts me to put the Grizzlies this low, but this team is aimless right now. Not trading Tyreke Evans for anything at the deadline was a bad decision, and Marc Gasol probably should have been moved as well. Management is really going down with the ship here. I don’t want to be all negative, though, so <a href="https://www.gq.com/story/easy-baby-back-ribs-recipe-super-bowl" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:go ahead and make these ribs" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">go ahead and make these ribs</a> courtesy of Lang Whitaker.</p><p><strong>29. New York Knicks (23–34)</strong><br>Losers of six in a row, Kristaps Porzingis tore his ACL, and Joakim Noah is still hanging around. I swear, the Knicks were actually really fun for the first few weeks of the season. We’re one J.D. and the Straight Shot ballad about the fickle nature of the NBA beast from moving this team to No. 30.</p><p><strong>28. Phoenix Suns (18–39)</strong><br>I’m only half-surprised the Suns didn’t trade back for Isaiah Thomas at the deadline. There is nothing this team could do that I wouldn’t believe. The Suns have lost five in a row, and I don’t know how they can win one in their next five, either.</p><p><strong>27. Brooklyn Nets (19–38)</strong><br>Brooklyn didn’t do anything splashy at the deadline, even though they had a couple somewhat-coveted players in Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris. Still, Sean Marks has had a deft hand in restocking the cupboard here, and the process is going to take a long time. For now, Brooklyn has lost five in a row, reminding its fans just how long the process to respectability could take.</p><p><strong>26. Sacramento Kings (17–38)</strong><br>Twenty-six somehow feels extremely high for the Kings. Don’t be fooled. This team is still mostly a mess.</p><p><strong>25. Atlanta Hawks (18–39)</strong><br>This may be my favorite random stat of the season: Miles Plumlee is making roughly 76% of the salary the Warriors are paying Draymond Green. Get rid of salary caps!</p><p><strong>24. Dallas Mavericks (18–39)</strong><br>I swear every time I’m watching the Mavericks on League Pass they’re about to upset a good team but somehow they’re still really bad. I wish the end of Dirk’s career could be spent on a better team.</p><p><strong>23. Orlando Magic (18–37)</strong><br>The Magic are up here on the strength of Frank Vogel’s beard and their incredibly dope City Edition jerseys.</p><p><strong>22. Chicago Bulls (19–36)</strong><br>Chicago’s win over Minnesota had to be satisfying for a front office that was dragged for the <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2017/06/22/jimmy-butler-trade-bulls-wolves-nba-draft-grades-zach-lavine-kris-dunn" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:deal that sent Jimmy Butler" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">deal that sent Jimmy Butler</a> to the Wolves. The Bulls still aren’t quite good, but they’re fun to watch.</p><p><strong>21. Los Angeles Lakers (23–32)</strong><br>It feels like it’s only a matter of days before Lavar Ball and Isaiah Thomas are sniping at each other in the media over some kind of slight, perceived or otherwise. Still, L.A. did good at the deadline, scooping up a draft pick and clearing cap space for the summer.</p><p><strong>20. Charlotte Hornets (23–33)</strong><br>This team really deserves better. The Hornets would be fighting for a playoff spot if they weren’t so terrible in close games. Losing Kemba Walker as a sweetener to get rid of bad contracts at the deadline would have been devastating, but management still has their work cut out for them here.</p><p><strong>19. Detroit Pistons (27–28)</strong><br>I’ve really liked the Pistons with Blake Griffin, who’s busting his ass for that team right now. ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz wrote <a href="http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/22373807/can-blake-griffin-change-course-franchise" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:a great piece about Griffin’s role in Detroit" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">a great piece about Griffin’s role in Detroit</a> late last week. But the Pistons are still facing an uphill climb for a playoff spot, and right now, the top eight in the East seem to be rounding into form.</p><p><strong>18. Los Angeles Clippers (28–26)</strong><br>Keeping DeAndre Jordan at the trade deadline actually made a lot of sense—L.A. can now let him opt out this summer and hoard cap space instead of taking on any future salary. The Clippers have been frisky all season, and that’s partly in credit to Doc Rivers. Are they sure they want to make the playoffs, though? Maybe the eighth seed should get better lottery odds than the ninth-place team in the conference.</p><p><strong>17. New Orleans Pelicans (29–26)</strong><br>I’m not sure how long this team can hold on without Boogie Cousins, but the Pelicans have a manageable schedule headed into mid-March. They should still hang around in the playoff race.</p><p><strong>16. Miami Heat (30–26)</strong><br>Dwyane Wade is back, Luke Babbit is a Spoelstra favorite, and the Heat are back in the win column after a five-game losing streak. Miami still needs to figure out its frontcourt, where James Johnson has struggled and Hassan Whiteside has infuriated. A full return to health for Kelly Olynyk and Wayne Ellington will be key for the homestretch.</p><p><strong>15. Philadelphia 76ers (28–25)</strong><br>Winners of three in a row, the Sixers really are the cliché “Nobody wants to see them in the playoffs” team this season. And Joel Embiid’s All-Star Weekend promises to be the stuff of legends.</p><p><strong>14. Denver Nuggets (30–26)</strong><br>The internet’s once-favorite team has won four of its last five, and is hanging around in the middle of the pack until Paul Millsap’s return. Denver picked up Devin Harris at the deadline, but the team could still use a little more depth. Torrey Craig has been one of the season’s underrated stories, though.</p><p><strong>13. Indiana Pacers (32–25)</strong><br>The Pacers have won three of four, including wins over the Sixers and Celtics. And Victor Oladipo has been good for one LeBron-in-barbershop gif highlight for most of the season. The impact he’s had on this team is just insane. Oh, and the better Indy plays, the more Lance Stephenson starts to feel himself.</p><p><strong>12. Oklahoma City Thunder (32–25)</strong><br>The Thunder have either won two of their last three or lost five of their last seven, depending on how you want to judge them. A win over the Warriors is kind of negated when it’s sandwiched between losses to the Lakers. Sam Presti needs to be working the buyout market for help on the perimeter to make up for the loss of Andre Roberson.</p><p><strong>11. Portland Trail Blazers (31–26)</strong><br>The Blazers are 2–4 in February, and they play the Warriors in their last game before the All-Star break.</p><p>?</p><p><strong>10. Milwaukee Bucks (31–24)</strong><br>The coaching switch in Milwaukee has appeared to turn things around. If the Bucks play the kind of defense their length suggests their capable of, they become a top-four team in the East. It’s also great to see Jabari Parker back on the court.</p><p><strong>9. Washington Wizards (32–24)</strong><br>The OT loss to the Celtics was a bummer, and the bickering needs to stop, but the Wizards are looking frisky even in the wake of John Wall’s injury. It would be nice if Washington could become a player in the buyout market.</p><p><strong>8. San Antonio Spurs (35–22)</strong><br>The Spurs have lost three of four this month. Pop still has this team in third place, but it’s hard to get excited about anything they do without Kawhi, whose injury situation has zapped most of the joy to be felt around San Antonio.</p><p><strong>7. Minnesota Timberwolves (35–24)</strong><br>Please don’t sign Derrick Rose! Tyus Jones and Jeff Teague have been more than serviceable at point guard, and Jamal Crawford is already giving you no-defense minutes off the bench. If Thibs is looking to get the Chicago band back together, Marco Belinelli would make more sense here. </p><p><strong>6. Boston Celtics (40–18)</strong><br>The Celtics enter this week as the only team in the top-eight of the East on a losing streak, having dropped two in a row. This team could use a jolt of energy, and I’m not sure if Greg Monroe is the guy to provide it.</p><p><strong>5. Utah Jazz (28–28)</strong><br>Break up the Jazz! Utah has won nine straight, including wins over the Spurs, Warriors, Raptors and Blazers. Losing Rodney Hood is tough, but it’s possible Jae Crowder finds new life here. The Jazz would perhaps be better off in the lottery, but their super streak has them in the thick of the hunt for the final playoff spot out west.</p><p><strong>4. Cleveland Cavaliers (33–22)</strong><br>Oh, you thought putting the Jazz at five was an overreaction? Here come the Cavs! Cleveland spanked Boston on what was supposed to be Paul Pierce’s day, according to Paul Pierce. One game with LeBron and Jordan Clarkson already looks like a young Scottie Pippen. </p><p>Okay, fine, in all seriousness, the trade deadline seemed to rejuvenate the Cavs, particularly LeBron, who seems to be putting in his most consistent effort over the last week of the season. Will it last? Can this team actually play defense? There are still lots of questions here, and Cleveland isn’t out of the woods yet. But for the last week? Yeah, sure, the Cavs deserve a leap for remaking themselves for the final two months of the season. If they start playing the way they were pre-deadline, they’ll shoot right back down.</p><p><strong>3. Golden State Warriors (43–13)</strong><br>The most notable moment for the Warriors at the deadline was Bob Myers telling his players to stop complaining so much. They still don’t really care about the regular season, and frankly, they don’t need to.</p><p><strong>2. Toronto Raptors (39–16)</strong><br>The Raptors are No. 1 in the East, and their bench lineup has been one of the most fun units to watch across the league this season. OG Anunoby isn’t in the Rookie of the Year conversation, but he’s had an incredible impact on a team with Finals aspirations. If the Raptors make the Finals this year, their end-of-season documentary will spend a good eight minutes on how silly <em>Sports Illustrated</em> looked disrespecting DeMar DeRozan.</p><p><strong>1. Houston Rockets (42–13)</strong><br>The Rockets are winners of eight straight and haven’t received any stern talking-tos from their general manager. They’re adding Joe Johnson and Brandan Wright for the stretch run, two players who can have a decent impact on the roster. And Mike D’Antoni deserves a ton of credit for handling Chris Paul’s and James Harden’s minutes really well, even amid a swirl of injuries. If you squint hard enough, you can see this team reaaallly pushing the Warriors in a playoff series.</p>
NBA Power Rankings: Revived Cavaliers Surge After Trade Deadline

Welcome back to The Crossover’s Power Rankings! It’s our first edition of the rankings post-trade deadline, so expect even more wild overreactions than usual. There’s a lot going on in the Association these days, from the streaking Rockets and Jazz to the revived Cavaliers, not to mention the first-place the Toronto Raptors. But let’s not waste time speaking in generalities so it looks like there’s a normal-sized paragraph at the top of this article, let’s get to these rankings, huh?

(All stats and records through Feb. 12)

30. Memphis Grizzlies (18–37)
It hurts me to put the Grizzlies this low, but this team is aimless right now. Not trading Tyreke Evans for anything at the deadline was a bad decision, and Marc Gasol probably should have been moved as well. Management is really going down with the ship here. I don’t want to be all negative, though, so go ahead and make these ribs courtesy of Lang Whitaker.

29. New York Knicks (23–34)
Losers of six in a row, Kristaps Porzingis tore his ACL, and Joakim Noah is still hanging around. I swear, the Knicks were actually really fun for the first few weeks of the season. We’re one J.D. and the Straight Shot ballad about the fickle nature of the NBA beast from moving this team to No. 30.

28. Phoenix Suns (18–39)
I’m only half-surprised the Suns didn’t trade back for Isaiah Thomas at the deadline. There is nothing this team could do that I wouldn’t believe. The Suns have lost five in a row, and I don’t know how they can win one in their next five, either.

27. Brooklyn Nets (19–38)
Brooklyn didn’t do anything splashy at the deadline, even though they had a couple somewhat-coveted players in Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris. Still, Sean Marks has had a deft hand in restocking the cupboard here, and the process is going to take a long time. For now, Brooklyn has lost five in a row, reminding its fans just how long the process to respectability could take.

26. Sacramento Kings (17–38)
Twenty-six somehow feels extremely high for the Kings. Don’t be fooled. This team is still mostly a mess.

25. Atlanta Hawks (18–39)
This may be my favorite random stat of the season: Miles Plumlee is making roughly 76% of the salary the Warriors are paying Draymond Green. Get rid of salary caps!

24. Dallas Mavericks (18–39)
I swear every time I’m watching the Mavericks on League Pass they’re about to upset a good team but somehow they’re still really bad. I wish the end of Dirk’s career could be spent on a better team.

23. Orlando Magic (18–37)
The Magic are up here on the strength of Frank Vogel’s beard and their incredibly dope City Edition jerseys.

22. Chicago Bulls (19–36)
Chicago’s win over Minnesota had to be satisfying for a front office that was dragged for the deal that sent Jimmy Butler to the Wolves. The Bulls still aren’t quite good, but they’re fun to watch.

21. Los Angeles Lakers (23–32)
It feels like it’s only a matter of days before Lavar Ball and Isaiah Thomas are sniping at each other in the media over some kind of slight, perceived or otherwise. Still, L.A. did good at the deadline, scooping up a draft pick and clearing cap space for the summer.

20. Charlotte Hornets (23–33)
This team really deserves better. The Hornets would be fighting for a playoff spot if they weren’t so terrible in close games. Losing Kemba Walker as a sweetener to get rid of bad contracts at the deadline would have been devastating, but management still has their work cut out for them here.

19. Detroit Pistons (27–28)
I’ve really liked the Pistons with Blake Griffin, who’s busting his ass for that team right now. ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz wrote a great piece about Griffin’s role in Detroit late last week. But the Pistons are still facing an uphill climb for a playoff spot, and right now, the top eight in the East seem to be rounding into form.

18. Los Angeles Clippers (28–26)
Keeping DeAndre Jordan at the trade deadline actually made a lot of sense—L.A. can now let him opt out this summer and hoard cap space instead of taking on any future salary. The Clippers have been frisky all season, and that’s partly in credit to Doc Rivers. Are they sure they want to make the playoffs, though? Maybe the eighth seed should get better lottery odds than the ninth-place team in the conference.

17. New Orleans Pelicans (29–26)
I’m not sure how long this team can hold on without Boogie Cousins, but the Pelicans have a manageable schedule headed into mid-March. They should still hang around in the playoff race.

16. Miami Heat (30–26)
Dwyane Wade is back, Luke Babbit is a Spoelstra favorite, and the Heat are back in the win column after a five-game losing streak. Miami still needs to figure out its frontcourt, where James Johnson has struggled and Hassan Whiteside has infuriated. A full return to health for Kelly Olynyk and Wayne Ellington will be key for the homestretch.

15. Philadelphia 76ers (28–25)
Winners of three in a row, the Sixers really are the cliché “Nobody wants to see them in the playoffs” team this season. And Joel Embiid’s All-Star Weekend promises to be the stuff of legends.

14. Denver Nuggets (30–26)
The internet’s once-favorite team has won four of its last five, and is hanging around in the middle of the pack until Paul Millsap’s return. Denver picked up Devin Harris at the deadline, but the team could still use a little more depth. Torrey Craig has been one of the season’s underrated stories, though.

13. Indiana Pacers (32–25)
The Pacers have won three of four, including wins over the Sixers and Celtics. And Victor Oladipo has been good for one LeBron-in-barbershop gif highlight for most of the season. The impact he’s had on this team is just insane. Oh, and the better Indy plays, the more Lance Stephenson starts to feel himself.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder (32–25)
The Thunder have either won two of their last three or lost five of their last seven, depending on how you want to judge them. A win over the Warriors is kind of negated when it’s sandwiched between losses to the Lakers. Sam Presti needs to be working the buyout market for help on the perimeter to make up for the loss of Andre Roberson.

11. Portland Trail Blazers (31–26)
The Blazers are 2–4 in February, and they play the Warriors in their last game before the All-Star break.

?

10. Milwaukee Bucks (31–24)
The coaching switch in Milwaukee has appeared to turn things around. If the Bucks play the kind of defense their length suggests their capable of, they become a top-four team in the East. It’s also great to see Jabari Parker back on the court.

9. Washington Wizards (32–24)
The OT loss to the Celtics was a bummer, and the bickering needs to stop, but the Wizards are looking frisky even in the wake of John Wall’s injury. It would be nice if Washington could become a player in the buyout market.

8. San Antonio Spurs (35–22)
The Spurs have lost three of four this month. Pop still has this team in third place, but it’s hard to get excited about anything they do without Kawhi, whose injury situation has zapped most of the joy to be felt around San Antonio.

7. Minnesota Timberwolves (35–24)
Please don’t sign Derrick Rose! Tyus Jones and Jeff Teague have been more than serviceable at point guard, and Jamal Crawford is already giving you no-defense minutes off the bench. If Thibs is looking to get the Chicago band back together, Marco Belinelli would make more sense here.

6. Boston Celtics (40–18)
The Celtics enter this week as the only team in the top-eight of the East on a losing streak, having dropped two in a row. This team could use a jolt of energy, and I’m not sure if Greg Monroe is the guy to provide it.

5. Utah Jazz (28–28)
Break up the Jazz! Utah has won nine straight, including wins over the Spurs, Warriors, Raptors and Blazers. Losing Rodney Hood is tough, but it’s possible Jae Crowder finds new life here. The Jazz would perhaps be better off in the lottery, but their super streak has them in the thick of the hunt for the final playoff spot out west.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers (33–22)
Oh, you thought putting the Jazz at five was an overreaction? Here come the Cavs! Cleveland spanked Boston on what was supposed to be Paul Pierce’s day, according to Paul Pierce. One game with LeBron and Jordan Clarkson already looks like a young Scottie Pippen.

Okay, fine, in all seriousness, the trade deadline seemed to rejuvenate the Cavs, particularly LeBron, who seems to be putting in his most consistent effort over the last week of the season. Will it last? Can this team actually play defense? There are still lots of questions here, and Cleveland isn’t out of the woods yet. But for the last week? Yeah, sure, the Cavs deserve a leap for remaking themselves for the final two months of the season. If they start playing the way they were pre-deadline, they’ll shoot right back down.

3. Golden State Warriors (43–13)
The most notable moment for the Warriors at the deadline was Bob Myers telling his players to stop complaining so much. They still don’t really care about the regular season, and frankly, they don’t need to.

2. Toronto Raptors (39–16)
The Raptors are No. 1 in the East, and their bench lineup has been one of the most fun units to watch across the league this season. OG Anunoby isn’t in the Rookie of the Year conversation, but he’s had an incredible impact on a team with Finals aspirations. If the Raptors make the Finals this year, their end-of-season documentary will spend a good eight minutes on how silly Sports Illustrated looked disrespecting DeMar DeRozan.

1. Houston Rockets (42–13)
The Rockets are winners of eight straight and haven’t received any stern talking-tos from their general manager. They’re adding Joe Johnson and Brandan Wright for the stretch run, two players who can have a decent impact on the roster. And Mike D’Antoni deserves a ton of credit for handling Chris Paul’s and James Harden’s minutes really well, even amid a swirl of injuries. If you squint hard enough, you can see this team reaaallly pushing the Warriors in a playoff series.

<p>The 2018 NBA trade deadline day is finally upon us! </p><p>A number of big names have been rumored to possibly change teams, from DeAndre Jordan and Kemba Walker to Tyreke Evans and George Hill. </p><p>With a limited number of teams expected to have salary cap space this summer, the trade deadline could feature several different types of moves. Many organizations are looking to shed dollars off their cap sheets, while others are looking to retool for the postseason and/or buy low on younger players to add into development programs. </p><p>The Crossover&#39;s live blog will keep you updated on the latest news with instant analysis from our staff of writers and NBA experts. For even more rumors, <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/02/08/nba-trade-rumors-news-deandre-jordan-tyreke-evans-rodney-hood-updates" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:click here." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">click here.</a></p><h3><strong>3:20 p.m.: Trade deadline closes: DeAndre Jordan, Kemba Walker, Tyreke Evans stay put</strong></h3><p>As the buzzer sounded at 3 p.m. ET., Thursday&#39;s trade activity came to a resounding hush during the activity&#39;s final hour. The Clippers opted to keep DeAndre Jordan, who will likely decline his player option for next season and enter free agency. In the most surprising development of the day, the Grizzlies ultimately held on to Tyreke Evans, unable to draw a first-round pick that once appeared highly like towards the end of last week. Memphis began telling teams around 2:45 ET they were keeping Evans. The Hornets remained quiet after Kemba Walker, Nic Batum and Jeremy Lamb were heavily rumored and discussed leading up to the deadline. During the final 50 minutes before the deadline, the buyout market emerged as more attractive to many teams rather than sacrificing a future pick to add reinforcements. Joe Johnson, Johnny O&#39;Bryant, Willie Reed, Okaro White, Brice Johnson, Derrick Rose, Rashad Vaughn and Sheldon Mac are all players dealt before the deadline that could reach a buyout agreement with their new teams and hit free agency. Unmoved Players like Marco Bellineli, Kenneth Faried, Wilson Chandler, Courtney Lee and Shabazz Muhammad are also buyout candidates. Teams have until Mar. 1 to sign a bought-out player before he loses playoff eligibility. The next three weeks could ultimately play a large factor in shaping the postseason picture. </p><h3><strong>2:06 p.m.: Emmanuel Mudiay to the Knicks</strong></h3><p>The Knicks, Mavericks and Nuggets have agreed on a three-team deal that will send Emmanuel Mudiay to the Knicks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal will also land Devin Harris in Denver and Doug McDermott in Dallas. This deal makes sense for Denver, who realized Mudiay was not the point guard of the future and needed a solid backup. For McDermott, a former first-round pick of the Bulls, this could mean more opportunity on a Dallas team that is clearly rebuilding. – DeAntae Prince</p><h3><strong>1:50 p.m.: Bruno Caboclo is heading to the Kings</strong></h3><p>Finally we can take a bit of a breather and discuss a trade that doesn&#39;t involve the Cleveland facelift. Bruno Caboclo was a longtime pipe dream for Raptors fans, who saw his youth and athleticism as a major upside. Malachi Richardson, a 6&#39;6&quot; guard who lit up the NCAA tournament, was in a similar situation. The Kings picked him in the first round but he rarely played. Perhaps a change of scenery will benefit both players. – DeAntae Prince</p><h3><strong>1:07 p.m.: Dwyane Wade back to Miami?!?</strong></h3><p>The Cavaliers are absolutely cleaning house. At this rate, LeBron James will have an entirely new roster when he returns to the court after the trade deadline. Dwyane Wade is yet another player the Cavaliers have shipped away. Wade, a legend with the Miami Heat, will return to South Beach, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. The Heat will send a heavily protected second-round pick to Cleveland in return. The Cavaliers, a team full of veterans at the start of the season, have made it clear that their priority is to add young wings. – DeAntae Prince</p><h3><strong>1:02 p.m.: Cavs acquire George Hill and Rodney Hood in three-team deal with Kings, Jazz</strong></h3><p>After the first gigantic move of deadline day, the Cavs added George Hill and Rodney Hood to their artillery of sharp-shooting guards and defensive wings that surround LeBron James. It&#39;s a massive deal with a lot of moving parts, adding a lot of context to why the Hill-to-Cleveland talks stalled. Cavs fans may have been annoyed about the delay, but Cleveland was certainly wise to be patient and smooth out each wrinkle of this deal. </p><p>Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose were, to put it politely, struggling mightily to perform in Cleveland. To replace those two essentially with Hill and Hood is a massive upgrade for the Cavs. It appears that Iman Shumpert will also head to the Kings, with Cleveland receiving a 2020 second-round pick (via Miami) as part of the three-team deal. Once the deal is finished, the Jazz are likely to waive Rose, <a href="https://twitter.com/ShamsCharania/status/961671048356909056" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:according to Shams Charania" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">according to Shams Charania</a>. He could land in Minnesota with Tom Thibodeau, who coached him in Chicago, <a href="https://twitter.com/thesteinline/status/961673010263547904" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Marc Stein reports" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Marc Stein reports</a>. – Jake Fischer</p><h3><strong>12:22 p.m.: Pistons trade Brice Johnson for James Ennis, not Dante Cunningham </strong></h3><p>After the Pistons and Pelicans were in serious talks to swap Brice Johnson and a second-round pick for Dante Cunningham, Detroit ultimately swapped that package for a younger, more versatile, and arguably more talented wing.</p><p>It&#39;s a very solid move for Detroit, a team that was desperate for greater wing depth and shooting to compliment their frontcourt tandem of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. Ennis is a career 36.9% three-point shooter and a long, 6-7 wing that can guard multiple positions. – Jake Fischer</p><h3><strong>12:05 p.m.: Cleveland trades Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance</strong></h3><p>Everyone in the league and their mother knew the Lakers were trying to get off Jordan Clarkson&#39;s contract, and were willing to attach Larry Nance as a sweetener. <span>ESPN&#39;s Adrian Wojnarowski was first to break the news.</span> The Cavs sent an interesting package to Los Angeles that includes Isaiah Thomas, whose short time with the Cavaliers was riddled with drama and losses. Veteran Channing Frye will also head to Los Angeles in the trade. </p><p>It&#39;s a deal that makes sense for both sides. Thomas has not returned to his All-Star play since recovering from offseason hip surgery and his expiring contract helps the Lakers get off money for their pursuit of 2018 free agency. The Cavs absorbing Clarkson&#39;s contract affirms their commitment to build around LeBron James for the immediate future and, for Cleveland, hopefully beyond. – Jake Fischer</p><h3><strong>11:55 a.m.: Cavs courting Kemba Walker</strong></h3><p>Due to their recent string of losses, the Cavaliers were expected to be active at the trade deadline. It doesn&#39;t seem like they&#39;ll disappoint. They&#39;re pushing to add Kemba Walker at the trade deadline, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. One thing to keep in mind: Hornets owner Michael Jordan said he wanted an All-Star back in return for Walker. Who would the Cavaliers be willing to part with? We could soon see. – DeAntae Prince</p><h3><strong>11:16 a.m.: Pistons talking Dante Cunningham </strong></h3><p>League sources told The Crossover on Wednesday night that Dante Cunningham requested a trade. Sources confirmed the talks ongoing between Detroit and New Orleans on Thursday. It is unclear if the Pelicans would keep Johnson at this time. – Jake Fischer </p><h3><strong>11:08 a.m.: Sound the Trade Alarm!!</strong></h3><p>Willie Reed, who is serving a suspension, will reportedly head to Chicago in the deal. The trade reunites Stan Van Gundy with Nelson, who coached the guard on his 2009 Orlando Magic team that made the Finals. The Pistons are putting together a squad that should challenge for a playoff spot in the East. (Detroit entered Thursday one game out.) Let the trades begin! – Rohan Nadkarni</p><h3><strong>10:45 a.m.: Booooooooo</strong></h3><p>The worst trade deadlines are the ones with no trades. The NBA is just in a weird spot right now because of the static nature of the salary cap. It looks like it’s hard to move contracts, and teams are reluctant to give up first-round picks. Let’s see if this is just posturing, though. – Rohan Nadkarni</p><h3><strong>10:09 a.m.: Rodney Hood is the Most Popular Kid in School</strong></h3><p>Whoa! Hood is a young player with the potential to grow into a pretty solid perimeter piece. He’ll be a restricted free-agent this summer, which means he could be a little expensive to retain in the summer. Still, he would certainly be a nice pickup for numerous teams, so the interest makes sense. The Jazz still have a nice core in place, and loading up for this year&#39;s draft is their best long-term play. – Rohan Nadkarni</p><h3><strong>9:20 a.m.: Spurs, Nuggets Making Noises</strong></h3><p>This is the extremely good stuff. The Spurs are <a href="https://twitter.com/TheSteinLine/status/961605162325499906" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:still in on Avery Bradley" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">still in on Avery Bradley</a>, according to Marc Stein. A potential framework for the deal could send Danny Green and a first-round pick to the Clippers for Bradley. I’m not sure how I feel about that move. That seems...lateral at best? Why give up a pick in that situation? The trade only really makes sense if the Spurs are trying to clear cap space for the summer. Hm, I wonder if anyone notable is going to be a free agent? </p><p>Meanwhile, Woj says <a href="https://twitter.com/wojespn/status/961605118289379328" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:the Denver Nuggets are working the phones" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">the Denver Nuggets are working the phones</a> on a number of moves. Denver is in on the Tyreke Evans sweeptakes, and are also looking at trades involving Emmanuel Mudiay, Wilson Chandler and Kenneth Faried. I would love to see the Nuggets make a move. They desperately need another ball-handler off the bench, and moving Wilson Chandler would open up space in the lineup for Paul Millsap when he returns from injury. We may have some moves yet! – Rohan Nadkarni</p><h3><strong>8:52 a.m.: The Cavs Are Still Trying?</strong></h3><p>God bless the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are apparently still trying to win a title this season despite their comically inept defense. The latest scuttlebutt has the Cavs <a href="https://twitter.com/wojespn/status/961596340122935297" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:trying to improve that defense with DeAndre Jordan" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">trying to improve that defense with DeAndre Jordan</a>, according to Woj. The DeAndre-to-Cleveland deal has been in the trade ethers for much of the season, and if you squint, it makes sense for the Cavs. They need something—anything—to improve their defense. It won’t bring them closer to the Warriors, but at least a trade would signal to LeBron that Cleveland isn’t going to throw in the towel. </p><p>Elsewhere:</p><p>Things are heating up! – Rohan Nadkarni</p><h3><strong>8:25 a.m.: Paul George is staying put</strong></h3><p>There&#39;s been chatter this season that if the Thunder struggled they might look into trading Paul George before the deadline (and his summer free agency). But with OKC at 31–24 and building some positive momentum (including a recent win over the Warriors), it appears Paul George is staying put for the rest of the season. <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2018/02/07/thunder-gambling-paul-george-russell-westbrook-pairing/317686002/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:USA Today&#39;s Sam Amick" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">USA Today&#39;s Sam Amick</a> is reporting George is &quot;untouchable&quot; ahead of today&#39;s deadline. </p><p>With George clicking on offense and turning in a DPOY-worthy campaign, it makes sense for the Thunder to roll the dice on keeping George. They&#39;re unlikely to find another star as talented as PG-13 to pair with Westbrook and all signs indicate George is enjoying his time in OKC. — Matt Dollinger</p><h3><strong>6:50 a.m.: Less talk, more movement!</strong></h3><p>If you&#39;re just waking up, I hate to disappoint you, but there were no blockbuster trades while you were sleeping. Nevertheless, our good friend <a href="https://twitter.com/wojespn" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Adrian Wojnarowski at ESPN" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Adrian Wojnarowski at ESPN</a> did reveal some interesting chatter going on around the league while we were all catching some z&#39;s:</p><p><br></p><p>In addition to the Marc Gasol and Julius Randle non-news, Woj also reports that the <a href="https://twitter.com/wojespn/status/961490619637125120" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Pacers are actively looking to acquire a first-round pick" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Pacers are actively looking to acquire a first-round pick</a> in exchange for absorbing a bad contract (and sending Al Jefferson back as filler). He also tweeted that Memphis is <a href="https://twitter.com/wojespn/status/961492463637749761" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:holding out for a first-round pick for Tyreke Evans," class="link rapid-noclick-resp">holding out for a first-round pick for Tyreke Evans,</a> but has come up dry so far. It seems like teams are really holding their draft picks tight this year, which could lead to a stagnant (or at least uneventful) deadline. </p><p>And in case you thought everything was fine after the Cavaliers&#39; thrilling OT victory last night—well, you were really, really wrong. Isaiah Thomas had to tell reporters after the game that he does not want to be dealt—&quot;I&#39;m tired of being traded&quot;—despite being only 15 games into his Cavaliers career.</p><p>The Crossover will keep the updates rolling all day. Be sure to check back! — Matt Dollinger</p><h3><strong>Midnight: Let the games begin</strong></h3><p>Welcome to The Crossover’s trade deadline live blog! It’s like Twitter, but not really! In all seriousness, deadline day can be the most exciting day of the NBA season, but it can also be the most frustrating, and it’s the sheer unpredictability of the deadline that makes it so exciting. Two dominos are already off the board (do people put dominos on boards?) with Blake Griffin finding a new home in Detroit, and Lou Williams—an oft-rumored target—staying put in L.A. Here’s how things stand in the first hour of Thursday:</p><p>The Spurs are <a href="https://twitter.com/TheSteinLine/status/961454125325144064" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:interested in Avery Bradley" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">interested in Avery Bradley</a>, reports Marc Stein. The price for Bradley is apparently a first-round pick, but the Spurs would also have to match salary in the deal—would they really give away Danny Green or Rudy Gay to acquire Bradley? I’m not quite sure how San Antonio would make this one work, but the thought of Bradley, Green and eventually Kawhi Leonard roaming the perimeter on defense sounds pretty exciting (Bradley’s troubling on-off numbers notwithstanding.)</p><p>There isn’t much else in terms of hot goss at midnight, but there should be many more rumors in the hours to come. If you need badly need a hit, make sure to <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/02/06/nba-trade-deadline-preview-cavaliers-clippers-deandre-jordan-lou-williams-tyreke-evans" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:check out Jake Fischer’s trade deadline FAQ" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">check out Jake Fischer’s trade deadline FAQ</a>. </p><p>Happy trading! — Rohan Nadkarni</p><h3>Completed Trades </h3><p>Entering Thursday, we&#39;ve already had a flurry of activity surrounding the trade deadline. In case you&#39;ve forgotten: </p><p>• <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/31/blake-griffin-trade-pistons-clippers-stan-van-gundy-doc-rivers" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:The Clippers traded Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">The Clippers traded Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons</a></p><p>•? <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/02/01/nikola-mirotic-pelicans-bulls-trade-grades-omer-asik" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:The Pelicans acquired Nikola Mirotic from the Bulls" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">The Pelicans acquired Nikola Mirotic from the Bulls</a></p><p>• <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/02/07/lou-williams-clippers-trade-contract-extension" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:The Clippers opted to extend Lou Williams&#39; contract rather than trade the high-scoring guard" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">The Clippers opted to extend Lou Williams&#39; contract rather than trade the high-scoring guard</a></p><p>•? <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/02/05/bucks-nets-tyler-zeller-rashad-vaughn-trade" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:The Nets traded Tyler Zeller to the Bucks for Rashad Vaughn" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">The Nets traded Tyler Zeller to the Bucks for Rashad Vaughn</a></p><p>•? <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/video/2018/02/07/willy-hernangomez-trade-knicks-hornets" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:The Knicks traded Willy Hernangomez to the Charlotte Hornets" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">The Knicks traded Willy Hernangomez to the Charlotte Hornets</a></p>
2018 NBA Trade Deadline: The Crossover's Running Diary

The 2018 NBA trade deadline day is finally upon us!

A number of big names have been rumored to possibly change teams, from DeAndre Jordan and Kemba Walker to Tyreke Evans and George Hill.

With a limited number of teams expected to have salary cap space this summer, the trade deadline could feature several different types of moves. Many organizations are looking to shed dollars off their cap sheets, while others are looking to retool for the postseason and/or buy low on younger players to add into development programs.

The Crossover's live blog will keep you updated on the latest news with instant analysis from our staff of writers and NBA experts. For even more rumors, click here.

3:20 p.m.: Trade deadline closes: DeAndre Jordan, Kemba Walker, Tyreke Evans stay put

As the buzzer sounded at 3 p.m. ET., Thursday's trade activity came to a resounding hush during the activity's final hour. The Clippers opted to keep DeAndre Jordan, who will likely decline his player option for next season and enter free agency. In the most surprising development of the day, the Grizzlies ultimately held on to Tyreke Evans, unable to draw a first-round pick that once appeared highly like towards the end of last week. Memphis began telling teams around 2:45 ET they were keeping Evans. The Hornets remained quiet after Kemba Walker, Nic Batum and Jeremy Lamb were heavily rumored and discussed leading up to the deadline. During the final 50 minutes before the deadline, the buyout market emerged as more attractive to many teams rather than sacrificing a future pick to add reinforcements. Joe Johnson, Johnny O'Bryant, Willie Reed, Okaro White, Brice Johnson, Derrick Rose, Rashad Vaughn and Sheldon Mac are all players dealt before the deadline that could reach a buyout agreement with their new teams and hit free agency. Unmoved Players like Marco Bellineli, Kenneth Faried, Wilson Chandler, Courtney Lee and Shabazz Muhammad are also buyout candidates. Teams have until Mar. 1 to sign a bought-out player before he loses playoff eligibility. The next three weeks could ultimately play a large factor in shaping the postseason picture.

2:06 p.m.: Emmanuel Mudiay to the Knicks

The Knicks, Mavericks and Nuggets have agreed on a three-team deal that will send Emmanuel Mudiay to the Knicks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal will also land Devin Harris in Denver and Doug McDermott in Dallas. This deal makes sense for Denver, who realized Mudiay was not the point guard of the future and needed a solid backup. For McDermott, a former first-round pick of the Bulls, this could mean more opportunity on a Dallas team that is clearly rebuilding. – DeAntae Prince

1:50 p.m.: Bruno Caboclo is heading to the Kings

Finally we can take a bit of a breather and discuss a trade that doesn't involve the Cleveland facelift. Bruno Caboclo was a longtime pipe dream for Raptors fans, who saw his youth and athleticism as a major upside. Malachi Richardson, a 6'6" guard who lit up the NCAA tournament, was in a similar situation. The Kings picked him in the first round but he rarely played. Perhaps a change of scenery will benefit both players. – DeAntae Prince

1:07 p.m.: Dwyane Wade back to Miami?!?

The Cavaliers are absolutely cleaning house. At this rate, LeBron James will have an entirely new roster when he returns to the court after the trade deadline. Dwyane Wade is yet another player the Cavaliers have shipped away. Wade, a legend with the Miami Heat, will return to South Beach, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. The Heat will send a heavily protected second-round pick to Cleveland in return. The Cavaliers, a team full of veterans at the start of the season, have made it clear that their priority is to add young wings. – DeAntae Prince

1:02 p.m.: Cavs acquire George Hill and Rodney Hood in three-team deal with Kings, Jazz

After the first gigantic move of deadline day, the Cavs added George Hill and Rodney Hood to their artillery of sharp-shooting guards and defensive wings that surround LeBron James. It's a massive deal with a lot of moving parts, adding a lot of context to why the Hill-to-Cleveland talks stalled. Cavs fans may have been annoyed about the delay, but Cleveland was certainly wise to be patient and smooth out each wrinkle of this deal.

Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose were, to put it politely, struggling mightily to perform in Cleveland. To replace those two essentially with Hill and Hood is a massive upgrade for the Cavs. It appears that Iman Shumpert will also head to the Kings, with Cleveland receiving a 2020 second-round pick (via Miami) as part of the three-team deal. Once the deal is finished, the Jazz are likely to waive Rose, according to Shams Charania. He could land in Minnesota with Tom Thibodeau, who coached him in Chicago, Marc Stein reports. – Jake Fischer

12:22 p.m.: Pistons trade Brice Johnson for James Ennis, not Dante Cunningham

After the Pistons and Pelicans were in serious talks to swap Brice Johnson and a second-round pick for Dante Cunningham, Detroit ultimately swapped that package for a younger, more versatile, and arguably more talented wing.

It's a very solid move for Detroit, a team that was desperate for greater wing depth and shooting to compliment their frontcourt tandem of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. Ennis is a career 36.9% three-point shooter and a long, 6-7 wing that can guard multiple positions. – Jake Fischer

12:05 p.m.: Cleveland trades Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance

Everyone in the league and their mother knew the Lakers were trying to get off Jordan Clarkson's contract, and were willing to attach Larry Nance as a sweetener. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski was first to break the news. The Cavs sent an interesting package to Los Angeles that includes Isaiah Thomas, whose short time with the Cavaliers was riddled with drama and losses. Veteran Channing Frye will also head to Los Angeles in the trade.

It's a deal that makes sense for both sides. Thomas has not returned to his All-Star play since recovering from offseason hip surgery and his expiring contract helps the Lakers get off money for their pursuit of 2018 free agency. The Cavs absorbing Clarkson's contract affirms their commitment to build around LeBron James for the immediate future and, for Cleveland, hopefully beyond. – Jake Fischer

11:55 a.m.: Cavs courting Kemba Walker

Due to their recent string of losses, the Cavaliers were expected to be active at the trade deadline. It doesn't seem like they'll disappoint. They're pushing to add Kemba Walker at the trade deadline, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. One thing to keep in mind: Hornets owner Michael Jordan said he wanted an All-Star back in return for Walker. Who would the Cavaliers be willing to part with? We could soon see. – DeAntae Prince

11:16 a.m.: Pistons talking Dante Cunningham

League sources told The Crossover on Wednesday night that Dante Cunningham requested a trade. Sources confirmed the talks ongoing between Detroit and New Orleans on Thursday. It is unclear if the Pelicans would keep Johnson at this time. – Jake Fischer

11:08 a.m.: Sound the Trade Alarm!!

Willie Reed, who is serving a suspension, will reportedly head to Chicago in the deal. The trade reunites Stan Van Gundy with Nelson, who coached the guard on his 2009 Orlando Magic team that made the Finals. The Pistons are putting together a squad that should challenge for a playoff spot in the East. (Detroit entered Thursday one game out.) Let the trades begin! – Rohan Nadkarni

10:45 a.m.: Booooooooo

The worst trade deadlines are the ones with no trades. The NBA is just in a weird spot right now because of the static nature of the salary cap. It looks like it’s hard to move contracts, and teams are reluctant to give up first-round picks. Let’s see if this is just posturing, though. – Rohan Nadkarni

10:09 a.m.: Rodney Hood is the Most Popular Kid in School

Whoa! Hood is a young player with the potential to grow into a pretty solid perimeter piece. He’ll be a restricted free-agent this summer, which means he could be a little expensive to retain in the summer. Still, he would certainly be a nice pickup for numerous teams, so the interest makes sense. The Jazz still have a nice core in place, and loading up for this year's draft is their best long-term play. – Rohan Nadkarni

9:20 a.m.: Spurs, Nuggets Making Noises

This is the extremely good stuff. The Spurs are still in on Avery Bradley, according to Marc Stein. A potential framework for the deal could send Danny Green and a first-round pick to the Clippers for Bradley. I’m not sure how I feel about that move. That seems...lateral at best? Why give up a pick in that situation? The trade only really makes sense if the Spurs are trying to clear cap space for the summer. Hm, I wonder if anyone notable is going to be a free agent?

Meanwhile, Woj says the Denver Nuggets are working the phones on a number of moves. Denver is in on the Tyreke Evans sweeptakes, and are also looking at trades involving Emmanuel Mudiay, Wilson Chandler and Kenneth Faried. I would love to see the Nuggets make a move. They desperately need another ball-handler off the bench, and moving Wilson Chandler would open up space in the lineup for Paul Millsap when he returns from injury. We may have some moves yet! – Rohan Nadkarni

8:52 a.m.: The Cavs Are Still Trying?

God bless the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are apparently still trying to win a title this season despite their comically inept defense. The latest scuttlebutt has the Cavs trying to improve that defense with DeAndre Jordan, according to Woj. The DeAndre-to-Cleveland deal has been in the trade ethers for much of the season, and if you squint, it makes sense for the Cavs. They need something—anything—to improve their defense. It won’t bring them closer to the Warriors, but at least a trade would signal to LeBron that Cleveland isn’t going to throw in the towel.

Elsewhere:

Things are heating up! – Rohan Nadkarni

8:25 a.m.: Paul George is staying put

There's been chatter this season that if the Thunder struggled they might look into trading Paul George before the deadline (and his summer free agency). But with OKC at 31–24 and building some positive momentum (including a recent win over the Warriors), it appears Paul George is staying put for the rest of the season. USA Today's Sam Amick is reporting George is "untouchable" ahead of today's deadline.

With George clicking on offense and turning in a DPOY-worthy campaign, it makes sense for the Thunder to roll the dice on keeping George. They're unlikely to find another star as talented as PG-13 to pair with Westbrook and all signs indicate George is enjoying his time in OKC. — Matt Dollinger

6:50 a.m.: Less talk, more movement!

If you're just waking up, I hate to disappoint you, but there were no blockbuster trades while you were sleeping. Nevertheless, our good friend Adrian Wojnarowski at ESPN did reveal some interesting chatter going on around the league while we were all catching some z's:


In addition to the Marc Gasol and Julius Randle non-news, Woj also reports that the Pacers are actively looking to acquire a first-round pick in exchange for absorbing a bad contract (and sending Al Jefferson back as filler). He also tweeted that Memphis is holding out for a first-round pick for Tyreke Evans, but has come up dry so far. It seems like teams are really holding their draft picks tight this year, which could lead to a stagnant (or at least uneventful) deadline.

And in case you thought everything was fine after the Cavaliers' thrilling OT victory last night—well, you were really, really wrong. Isaiah Thomas had to tell reporters after the game that he does not want to be dealt—"I'm tired of being traded"—despite being only 15 games into his Cavaliers career.

The Crossover will keep the updates rolling all day. Be sure to check back! — Matt Dollinger

Midnight: Let the games begin

Welcome to The Crossover’s trade deadline live blog! It’s like Twitter, but not really! In all seriousness, deadline day can be the most exciting day of the NBA season, but it can also be the most frustrating, and it’s the sheer unpredictability of the deadline that makes it so exciting. Two dominos are already off the board (do people put dominos on boards?) with Blake Griffin finding a new home in Detroit, and Lou Williams—an oft-rumored target—staying put in L.A. Here’s how things stand in the first hour of Thursday:

The Spurs are interested in Avery Bradley, reports Marc Stein. The price for Bradley is apparently a first-round pick, but the Spurs would also have to match salary in the deal—would they really give away Danny Green or Rudy Gay to acquire Bradley? I’m not quite sure how San Antonio would make this one work, but the thought of Bradley, Green and eventually Kawhi Leonard roaming the perimeter on defense sounds pretty exciting (Bradley’s troubling on-off numbers notwithstanding.)

There isn’t much else in terms of hot goss at midnight, but there should be many more rumors in the hours to come. If you need badly need a hit, make sure to check out Jake Fischer’s trade deadline FAQ.

Happy trading! — Rohan Nadkarni

Completed Trades

Entering Thursday, we've already had a flurry of activity surrounding the trade deadline. In case you've forgotten:

The Clippers traded Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons

•? The Pelicans acquired Nikola Mirotic from the Bulls

The Clippers opted to extend Lou Williams' contract rather than trade the high-scoring guard

•? The Nets traded Tyler Zeller to the Bucks for Rashad Vaughn

•? The Knicks traded Willy Hernangomez to the Charlotte Hornets

<p>The 2018 NBA trade deadline has come and gone.</p><p>After a number of big names were rumored to possibly change teams, from DeAndre Jordan and Kemba Walker to Tyreke Evans, <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/02/08/nba-trade-deadline-cavaliers-isaiah-thomas-lebron-james-makeover" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:the Cleveland Cavaliers stole the show," class="link rapid-noclick-resp">the Cleveland Cavaliers stole the show,</a> trading seven players to four different teams and completely overhauling their roster. </p><p>With a limited number of teams expected to have salary cap space this summer, the trade deadline featured several different types of moves. Many organizations looked to shed dollars off their cap sheets and tax bill, while others looked to retool for the postseason or buy low on younger players to add into development programs. </p><p>The Crossover&#39;s live blog kept up-to-the-minute updates on the latest news and provided instant analysis from our staff of writers and NBA experts. The following is a reverse-chronological running diary of deadline day. For more rumors on the impending buyout market, <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/02/08/nba-trade-rumors-news-deandre-jordan-tyreke-evans-rodney-hood-updates" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:click here." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">click here.</a> To check out every completed trade, <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/02/08/nba-trade-deadline-completed-deals-tracker" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:click here." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">click here.</a></p><h3><strong>3:20 p.m.: Trade deadline closes: DeAndre Jordan, Kemba Walker, Tyreke Evans stay put</strong></h3><p>As the buzzer sounded at 3 p.m. ET., Thursday&#39;s trade activity came to a resounding hush during the activity&#39;s final hour. The Clippers opted to keep DeAndre Jordan, who will likely decline his player option for next season and enter free agency. In the most surprising development of the day, the Grizzlies ultimately held on to Tyreke Evans, unable to draw a first-round pick that once appeared highly like towards the end of last week. Memphis began telling teams around 2:45 ET they were keeping Evans. The Hornets remained quiet after Kemba Walker, Nic Batum and Jeremy Lamb were heavily rumored and discussed leading up to the deadline. During the final 50 minutes before the deadline, the buyout market emerged as more attractive to many teams rather than sacrificing a future pick to add reinforcements. Joe Johnson, Johnny O&#39;Bryant, Willie Reed, Okaro White, Brice Johnson, Derrick Rose, Rashad Vaughn and Sheldon Mac are all players dealt before the deadline that could reach a buyout agreement with their new teams and hit free agency. Unmoved Players like Marco Bellineli, Kenneth Faried, Wilson Chandler, Courtney Lee and Shabazz Muhammad are also buyout candidates. Teams have until Mar. 1 to sign a bought-out player before he loses playoff eligibility. The next three weeks could ultimately play a large factor in shaping the postseason picture. <em>— Jake Fischer</em></p><h3><strong>2:06 p.m.: Emmanuel Mudiay to the Knicks</strong></h3><p>The Knicks, Mavericks and Nuggets have agreed on a three-team deal that will send Emmanuel Mudiay to the Knicks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal will also land Devin Harris in Denver and Doug McDermott in Dallas. This deal makes sense for Denver, who realized Mudiay was not the point guard of the future and needed a solid backup. For McDermott, a former first-round pick of the Bulls, this could mean more opportunity on a Dallas team that is clearly rebuilding. <em>– DeAntae Prince</em></p><h3><strong>1:50 p.m.: Bruno Caboclo is heading to the Kings</strong></h3><p>Finally we can take a bit of a breather and discuss a trade that doesn&#39;t involve the Cleveland facelift. Bruno Caboclo was a longtime pipe dream for Raptors fans, who saw his youth and athleticism as a major upside. Malachi Richardson, a 6&#39;6&quot; guard who lit up the NCAA tournament, was in a similar situation. The Kings picked him in the first round but he rarely played. Perhaps a change of scenery will benefit both players. <em>– DeAntae Prince</em></p><h3><strong>1:07 p.m.: Dwyane Wade back to Miami?!?</strong></h3><p>The Cavaliers are absolutely cleaning house. At this rate, LeBron James will have an entirely new roster when he returns to the court after the trade deadline. Dwyane Wade is yet another player the Cavaliers have shipped away. Wade, a legend with the Miami Heat, will return to South Beach, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. The Heat will send a heavily protected second-round pick to Cleveland in return. The Cavaliers, a team full of veterans at the start of the season, have made it clear that their priority is to add young wings. <em>– DeAntae Prince</em></p><h3><strong>1:02 p.m.: Cavs acquire George Hill and Rodney Hood in three-team deal with Kings, Jazz</strong></h3><p>After the first gigantic move of deadline day, the Cavs added George Hill and Rodney Hood to their artillery of sharp-shooting guards and defensive wings that surround LeBron James. It&#39;s a massive deal with a lot of moving parts, adding a lot of context to why the Hill-to-Cleveland talks stalled. Cavs fans may have been annoyed about the delay, but Cleveland was certainly wise to be patient and smooth out each wrinkle of this deal. </p><p>Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose were, to put it politely, struggling mightily to perform in Cleveland. To replace those two essentially with Hill and Hood is a massive upgrade for the Cavs. It appears that Iman Shumpert will also head to the Kings, with Cleveland receiving a 2020 second-round pick (via Miami) as part of the three-team deal. Once the deal is finished, the Jazz are likely to waive Rose, <a href="https://twitter.com/ShamsCharania/status/961671048356909056" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:according to Shams Charania" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">according to Shams Charania</a>. He could land in Minnesota with Tom Thibodeau, who coached him in Chicago, <a href="https://twitter.com/thesteinline/status/961673010263547904" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Marc Stein reports" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Marc Stein reports</a>. <em>– Jake Fischer</em></p><h3><strong>12:22 p.m.: Pistons trade Brice Johnson for James Ennis, not Dante Cunningham </strong></h3><p>After the Pistons and Pelicans were in serious talks to swap Brice Johnson and a second-round pick for Dante Cunningham, Detroit ultimately swapped that package for a younger, more versatile, and arguably more talented wing.</p><p>It&#39;s a very solid move for Detroit, a team that was desperate for greater wing depth and shooting to compliment their frontcourt tandem of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. Ennis is a career 36.9% three-point shooter and a long, 6-7 wing that can guard multiple positions.<em> – Jake Fischer</em></p><h3><strong>12:05 p.m.: Cleveland trades Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance</strong></h3><p>Everyone in the league and their mother knew the Lakers were trying to get off Jordan Clarkson&#39;s contract, and were willing to attach Larry Nance as a sweetener. <span>ESPN&#39;s Adrian Wojnarowski was first to break the news.</span> The Cavs sent an interesting package to Los Angeles that includes Isaiah Thomas, whose short time with the Cavaliers was riddled with drama and losses. Veteran Channing Frye will also head to Los Angeles in the trade. </p><p>It&#39;s a deal that makes sense for both sides. Thomas has not returned to his All-Star play since recovering from offseason hip surgery and his expiring contract helps the Lakers get off money for their pursuit of 2018 free agency. The Cavs absorbing Clarkson&#39;s contract affirms their commitment to build around LeBron James for the immediate future and, for Cleveland, hopefully beyond. <em>– Jake Fischer</em></p><h3><strong>11:55 a.m.: Cavs courting Kemba Walker</strong></h3><p>Due to their recent string of losses, the Cavaliers were expected to be active at the trade deadline. It doesn&#39;t seem like they&#39;ll disappoint. They&#39;re pushing to add Kemba Walker at the trade deadline, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. One thing to keep in mind: Hornets owner Michael Jordan said he wanted an All-Star back in return for Walker. Who would the Cavaliers be willing to part with? We could soon see. <em>– DeAntae Prince</em></p><h3><strong>11:16 a.m.: Pistons talking Dante Cunningham </strong></h3><p>League sources told The Crossover on Wednesday night that Dante Cunningham requested a trade. Sources confirmed the talks ongoing between Detroit and New Orleans on Thursday. It is unclear if the Pelicans would keep Johnson at this time. <em>– Jake Fischer </em></p><h3><strong>11:08 a.m.: Sound the Trade Alarm!!</strong></h3><p>Willie Reed, who is serving a suspension, will reportedly head to Chicago in the deal. The trade reunites Stan Van Gundy with Nelson, who coached the guard on his 2009 Orlando Magic team that made the Finals. The Pistons are putting together a squad that should challenge for a playoff spot in the East. (Detroit entered Thursday one game out.) Let the trades begin! <em>– Rohan Nadkarni</em></p><h3><strong>10:45 a.m.: Booooooooo</strong></h3><p>The worst trade deadlines are the ones with no trades. The NBA is just in a weird spot right now because of the static nature of the salary cap. It looks like it’s hard to move contracts, and teams are reluctant to give up first-round picks. Let’s see if this is just posturing, though. <em>– Rohan Nadkarni</em></p><h3><strong>10:09 a.m.: Rodney Hood is the Most Popular Kid in School</strong></h3><p>Whoa! Hood is a young player with the potential to grow into a pretty solid perimeter piece. He’ll be a restricted free-agent this summer, which means he could be a little expensive to retain in the summer. Still, he would certainly be a nice pickup for numerous teams, so the interest makes sense. The Jazz still have a nice core in place, and loading up for this year&#39;s draft is their best long-term play. <em>– Rohan Nadkarni</em></p><h3><strong>9:20 a.m.: Spurs, Nuggets Making Noises</strong></h3><p>This is the extremely good stuff. The Spurs are <a href="https://twitter.com/TheSteinLine/status/961605162325499906" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:still in on Avery Bradley" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">still in on Avery Bradley</a>, according to Marc Stein. A potential framework for the deal could send Danny Green and a first-round pick to the Clippers for Bradley. I’m not sure how I feel about that move. That seems...lateral at best? Why give up a pick in that situation? The trade only really makes sense if the Spurs are trying to clear cap space for the summer. Hm, I wonder if anyone notable is going to be a free agent? </p><p>Meanwhile, Woj says <a href="https://twitter.com/wojespn/status/961605118289379328" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:the Denver Nuggets are working the phones" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">the Denver Nuggets are working the phones</a> on a number of moves. Denver is in on the Tyreke Evans sweeptakes, and are also looking at trades involving Emmanuel Mudiay, Wilson Chandler and Kenneth Faried. I would love to see the Nuggets make a move. They desperately need another ball-handler off the bench, and moving Wilson Chandler would open up space in the lineup for Paul Millsap when he returns from injury. We may have some moves yet! <em>– Rohan Nadkarni</em></p><h3><strong>8:52 a.m.: The Cavs Are Still Trying?</strong></h3><p>God bless the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are apparently still trying to win a title this season despite their comically inept defense. The latest scuttlebutt has the Cavs <a href="https://twitter.com/wojespn/status/961596340122935297" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:trying to improve that defense with DeAndre Jordan" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">trying to improve that defense with DeAndre Jordan</a>, according to Woj. The DeAndre-to-Cleveland deal has been in the trade ethers for much of the season, and if you squint, it makes sense for the Cavs. They need something—anything—to improve their defense. It won’t bring them closer to the Warriors, but at least a trade would signal to LeBron that Cleveland isn’t going to throw in the towel. </p><p>Elsewhere:</p><p>Things are heating up! – Rohan Nadkarni</p><h3><strong>8:25 a.m.: Paul George is staying put</strong></h3><p>There&#39;s been chatter this season that if the Thunder struggled they might look into trading Paul George before the deadline (and his summer free agency). But with OKC at 31–24 and building some positive momentum (including a recent win over the Warriors), it appears Paul George is staying put for the rest of the season. <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2018/02/07/thunder-gambling-paul-george-russell-westbrook-pairing/317686002/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:USA Today&#39;s Sam Amick" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">USA Today&#39;s Sam Amick</a> is reporting George is &quot;untouchable&quot; ahead of today&#39;s deadline. </p><p>With George clicking on offense and turning in a DPOY-worthy campaign, it makes sense for the Thunder to roll the dice on keeping George. They&#39;re unlikely to find another star as talented as PG-13 to pair with Westbrook and all signs indicate George is enjoying his time in OKC. <em>— Matt Dollinger</em></p><h3><strong>6:50 a.m.: Less talk, more movement!</strong></h3><p>If you&#39;re just waking up, I hate to disappoint you, but there were no blockbuster trades while you were sleeping. Nevertheless, our good friend <a href="https://twitter.com/wojespn" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Adrian Wojnarowski at ESPN" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Adrian Wojnarowski at ESPN</a> did reveal some interesting chatter going on around the league while we were all catching some z&#39;s:</p><p><br></p><p>In addition to the Marc Gasol and Julius Randle non-news, Woj also reports that the <a href="https://twitter.com/wojespn/status/961490619637125120" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Pacers are actively looking to acquire a first-round pick" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Pacers are actively looking to acquire a first-round pick</a> in exchange for absorbing a bad contract (and sending Al Jefferson back as filler). He also tweeted that Memphis is <a href="https://twitter.com/wojespn/status/961492463637749761" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:holding out for a first-round pick for Tyreke Evans," class="link rapid-noclick-resp">holding out for a first-round pick for Tyreke Evans,</a> but has come up dry so far. It seems like teams are really holding their draft picks tight this year, which could lead to a stagnant (or at least uneventful) deadline. </p><p>And in case you thought everything was fine after the Cavaliers&#39; thrilling OT victory last night—well, you were really, really wrong. Isaiah Thomas had to tell reporters after the game that he does not want to be dealt—&quot;I&#39;m tired of being traded&quot;—despite being only 15 games into his Cavaliers career.</p><p>The Crossover will keep the updates rolling all day. Be sure to check back! <em>— Matt Dollinger</em></p><h3><strong>Midnight: Let the games begin</strong></h3><p>Welcome to The Crossover’s trade deadline live blog! It’s like Twitter, but not really! In all seriousness, deadline day can be the most exciting day of the NBA season, but it can also be the most frustrating, and it’s the sheer unpredictability of the deadline that makes it so exciting. Two dominos are already off the board (do people put dominos on boards?) with Blake Griffin finding a new home in Detroit, and Lou Williams—an oft-rumored target—staying put in L.A. Here’s how things stand in the first hour of Thursday:</p><p>The Spurs are <a href="https://twitter.com/TheSteinLine/status/961454125325144064" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:interested in Avery Bradley" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">interested in Avery Bradley</a>, reports Marc Stein. The price for Bradley is apparently a first-round pick, but the Spurs would also have to match salary in the deal—would they really give away Danny Green or Rudy Gay to acquire Bradley? I’m not quite sure how San Antonio would make this one work, but the thought of Bradley, Green and eventually Kawhi Leonard roaming the perimeter on defense sounds pretty exciting (Bradley’s troubling on-off numbers notwithstanding.)</p><p>There isn’t much else in terms of hot goss at midnight, but there should be many more rumors in the hours to come. If you need badly need a hit, make sure to <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/02/06/nba-trade-deadline-preview-cavaliers-clippers-deandre-jordan-lou-williams-tyreke-evans" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:check out Jake Fischer’s trade deadline FAQ" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">check out Jake Fischer’s trade deadline FAQ</a>. </p><p>Happy trading!<em> — Rohan Nadkarni</em></p><h3>Completed Trades </h3><p>Entering Thursday, we&#39;ve already had a flurry of activity surrounding the trade deadline. In case you&#39;ve forgotten: </p><p>• <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/31/blake-griffin-trade-pistons-clippers-stan-van-gundy-doc-rivers" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:The Clippers traded Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">The Clippers traded Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons</a></p><p>•? <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/02/01/nikola-mirotic-pelicans-bulls-trade-grades-omer-asik" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:The Pelicans acquired Nikola Mirotic from the Bulls" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">The Pelicans acquired Nikola Mirotic from the Bulls</a></p><p>• <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/02/07/lou-williams-clippers-trade-contract-extension" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:The Clippers opted to extend Lou Williams&#39; contract rather than trade the high-scoring guard" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">The Clippers opted to extend Lou Williams&#39; contract rather than trade the high-scoring guard</a></p><p>•? <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/02/05/bucks-nets-tyler-zeller-rashad-vaughn-trade" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:The Nets traded Tyler Zeller to the Bucks for Rashad Vaughn" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">The Nets traded Tyler Zeller to the Bucks for Rashad Vaughn</a></p><p>•? <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/video/2018/02/07/willy-hernangomez-trade-knicks-hornets" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:The Knicks traded Willy Hernangomez to the Charlotte Hornets" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">The Knicks traded Willy Hernangomez to the Charlotte Hornets</a></p>
2018 NBA Trade Deadline: The Crossover's Running Diary

The 2018 NBA trade deadline has come and gone.

After a number of big names were rumored to possibly change teams, from DeAndre Jordan and Kemba Walker to Tyreke Evans, the Cleveland Cavaliers stole the show, trading seven players to four different teams and completely overhauling their roster.

With a limited number of teams expected to have salary cap space this summer, the trade deadline featured several different types of moves. Many organizations looked to shed dollars off their cap sheets and tax bill, while others looked to retool for the postseason or buy low on younger players to add into development programs.

The Crossover's live blog kept up-to-the-minute updates on the latest news and provided instant analysis from our staff of writers and NBA experts. The following is a reverse-chronological running diary of deadline day. For more rumors on the impending buyout market, click here. To check out every completed trade, click here.

3:20 p.m.: Trade deadline closes: DeAndre Jordan, Kemba Walker, Tyreke Evans stay put

As the buzzer sounded at 3 p.m. ET., Thursday's trade activity came to a resounding hush during the activity's final hour. The Clippers opted to keep DeAndre Jordan, who will likely decline his player option for next season and enter free agency. In the most surprising development of the day, the Grizzlies ultimately held on to Tyreke Evans, unable to draw a first-round pick that once appeared highly like towards the end of last week. Memphis began telling teams around 2:45 ET they were keeping Evans. The Hornets remained quiet after Kemba Walker, Nic Batum and Jeremy Lamb were heavily rumored and discussed leading up to the deadline. During the final 50 minutes before the deadline, the buyout market emerged as more attractive to many teams rather than sacrificing a future pick to add reinforcements. Joe Johnson, Johnny O'Bryant, Willie Reed, Okaro White, Brice Johnson, Derrick Rose, Rashad Vaughn and Sheldon Mac are all players dealt before the deadline that could reach a buyout agreement with their new teams and hit free agency. Unmoved Players like Marco Bellineli, Kenneth Faried, Wilson Chandler, Courtney Lee and Shabazz Muhammad are also buyout candidates. Teams have until Mar. 1 to sign a bought-out player before he loses playoff eligibility. The next three weeks could ultimately play a large factor in shaping the postseason picture. — Jake Fischer

2:06 p.m.: Emmanuel Mudiay to the Knicks

The Knicks, Mavericks and Nuggets have agreed on a three-team deal that will send Emmanuel Mudiay to the Knicks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal will also land Devin Harris in Denver and Doug McDermott in Dallas. This deal makes sense for Denver, who realized Mudiay was not the point guard of the future and needed a solid backup. For McDermott, a former first-round pick of the Bulls, this could mean more opportunity on a Dallas team that is clearly rebuilding. – DeAntae Prince

1:50 p.m.: Bruno Caboclo is heading to the Kings

Finally we can take a bit of a breather and discuss a trade that doesn't involve the Cleveland facelift. Bruno Caboclo was a longtime pipe dream for Raptors fans, who saw his youth and athleticism as a major upside. Malachi Richardson, a 6'6" guard who lit up the NCAA tournament, was in a similar situation. The Kings picked him in the first round but he rarely played. Perhaps a change of scenery will benefit both players. – DeAntae Prince

1:07 p.m.: Dwyane Wade back to Miami?!?

The Cavaliers are absolutely cleaning house. At this rate, LeBron James will have an entirely new roster when he returns to the court after the trade deadline. Dwyane Wade is yet another player the Cavaliers have shipped away. Wade, a legend with the Miami Heat, will return to South Beach, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. The Heat will send a heavily protected second-round pick to Cleveland in return. The Cavaliers, a team full of veterans at the start of the season, have made it clear that their priority is to add young wings. – DeAntae Prince

1:02 p.m.: Cavs acquire George Hill and Rodney Hood in three-team deal with Kings, Jazz

After the first gigantic move of deadline day, the Cavs added George Hill and Rodney Hood to their artillery of sharp-shooting guards and defensive wings that surround LeBron James. It's a massive deal with a lot of moving parts, adding a lot of context to why the Hill-to-Cleveland talks stalled. Cavs fans may have been annoyed about the delay, but Cleveland was certainly wise to be patient and smooth out each wrinkle of this deal.

Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose were, to put it politely, struggling mightily to perform in Cleveland. To replace those two essentially with Hill and Hood is a massive upgrade for the Cavs. It appears that Iman Shumpert will also head to the Kings, with Cleveland receiving a 2020 second-round pick (via Miami) as part of the three-team deal. Once the deal is finished, the Jazz are likely to waive Rose, according to Shams Charania. He could land in Minnesota with Tom Thibodeau, who coached him in Chicago, Marc Stein reports. – Jake Fischer

12:22 p.m.: Pistons trade Brice Johnson for James Ennis, not Dante Cunningham

After the Pistons and Pelicans were in serious talks to swap Brice Johnson and a second-round pick for Dante Cunningham, Detroit ultimately swapped that package for a younger, more versatile, and arguably more talented wing.

It's a very solid move for Detroit, a team that was desperate for greater wing depth and shooting to compliment their frontcourt tandem of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. Ennis is a career 36.9% three-point shooter and a long, 6-7 wing that can guard multiple positions. – Jake Fischer

12:05 p.m.: Cleveland trades Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance

Everyone in the league and their mother knew the Lakers were trying to get off Jordan Clarkson's contract, and were willing to attach Larry Nance as a sweetener. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski was first to break the news. The Cavs sent an interesting package to Los Angeles that includes Isaiah Thomas, whose short time with the Cavaliers was riddled with drama and losses. Veteran Channing Frye will also head to Los Angeles in the trade.

It's a deal that makes sense for both sides. Thomas has not returned to his All-Star play since recovering from offseason hip surgery and his expiring contract helps the Lakers get off money for their pursuit of 2018 free agency. The Cavs absorbing Clarkson's contract affirms their commitment to build around LeBron James for the immediate future and, for Cleveland, hopefully beyond. – Jake Fischer

11:55 a.m.: Cavs courting Kemba Walker

Due to their recent string of losses, the Cavaliers were expected to be active at the trade deadline. It doesn't seem like they'll disappoint. They're pushing to add Kemba Walker at the trade deadline, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. One thing to keep in mind: Hornets owner Michael Jordan said he wanted an All-Star back in return for Walker. Who would the Cavaliers be willing to part with? We could soon see. – DeAntae Prince

11:16 a.m.: Pistons talking Dante Cunningham

League sources told The Crossover on Wednesday night that Dante Cunningham requested a trade. Sources confirmed the talks ongoing between Detroit and New Orleans on Thursday. It is unclear if the Pelicans would keep Johnson at this time. – Jake Fischer

11:08 a.m.: Sound the Trade Alarm!!

Willie Reed, who is serving a suspension, will reportedly head to Chicago in the deal. The trade reunites Stan Van Gundy with Nelson, who coached the guard on his 2009 Orlando Magic team that made the Finals. The Pistons are putting together a squad that should challenge for a playoff spot in the East. (Detroit entered Thursday one game out.) Let the trades begin! – Rohan Nadkarni

10:45 a.m.: Booooooooo

The worst trade deadlines are the ones with no trades. The NBA is just in a weird spot right now because of the static nature of the salary cap. It looks like it’s hard to move contracts, and teams are reluctant to give up first-round picks. Let’s see if this is just posturing, though. – Rohan Nadkarni

10:09 a.m.: Rodney Hood is the Most Popular Kid in School

Whoa! Hood is a young player with the potential to grow into a pretty solid perimeter piece. He’ll be a restricted free-agent this summer, which means he could be a little expensive to retain in the summer. Still, he would certainly be a nice pickup for numerous teams, so the interest makes sense. The Jazz still have a nice core in place, and loading up for this year's draft is their best long-term play. – Rohan Nadkarni

9:20 a.m.: Spurs, Nuggets Making Noises

This is the extremely good stuff. The Spurs are still in on Avery Bradley, according to Marc Stein. A potential framework for the deal could send Danny Green and a first-round pick to the Clippers for Bradley. I’m not sure how I feel about that move. That seems...lateral at best? Why give up a pick in that situation? The trade only really makes sense if the Spurs are trying to clear cap space for the summer. Hm, I wonder if anyone notable is going to be a free agent?

Meanwhile, Woj says the Denver Nuggets are working the phones on a number of moves. Denver is in on the Tyreke Evans sweeptakes, and are also looking at trades involving Emmanuel Mudiay, Wilson Chandler and Kenneth Faried. I would love to see the Nuggets make a move. They desperately need another ball-handler off the bench, and moving Wilson Chandler would open up space in the lineup for Paul Millsap when he returns from injury. We may have some moves yet! – Rohan Nadkarni

8:52 a.m.: The Cavs Are Still Trying?

God bless the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are apparently still trying to win a title this season despite their comically inept defense. The latest scuttlebutt has the Cavs trying to improve that defense with DeAndre Jordan, according to Woj. The DeAndre-to-Cleveland deal has been in the trade ethers for much of the season, and if you squint, it makes sense for the Cavs. They need something—anything—to improve their defense. It won’t bring them closer to the Warriors, but at least a trade would signal to LeBron that Cleveland isn’t going to throw in the towel.

Elsewhere:

Things are heating up! – Rohan Nadkarni

8:25 a.m.: Paul George is staying put

There's been chatter this season that if the Thunder struggled they might look into trading Paul George before the deadline (and his summer free agency). But with OKC at 31–24 and building some positive momentum (including a recent win over the Warriors), it appears Paul George is staying put for the rest of the season. USA Today's Sam Amick is reporting George is "untouchable" ahead of today's deadline.

With George clicking on offense and turning in a DPOY-worthy campaign, it makes sense for the Thunder to roll the dice on keeping George. They're unlikely to find another star as talented as PG-13 to pair with Westbrook and all signs indicate George is enjoying his time in OKC. — Matt Dollinger

6:50 a.m.: Less talk, more movement!

If you're just waking up, I hate to disappoint you, but there were no blockbuster trades while you were sleeping. Nevertheless, our good friend Adrian Wojnarowski at ESPN did reveal some interesting chatter going on around the league while we were all catching some z's:


In addition to the Marc Gasol and Julius Randle non-news, Woj also reports that the Pacers are actively looking to acquire a first-round pick in exchange for absorbing a bad contract (and sending Al Jefferson back as filler). He also tweeted that Memphis is holding out for a first-round pick for Tyreke Evans, but has come up dry so far. It seems like teams are really holding their draft picks tight this year, which could lead to a stagnant (or at least uneventful) deadline.

And in case you thought everything was fine after the Cavaliers' thrilling OT victory last night—well, you were really, really wrong. Isaiah Thomas had to tell reporters after the game that he does not want to be dealt—"I'm tired of being traded"—despite being only 15 games into his Cavaliers career.

The Crossover will keep the updates rolling all day. Be sure to check back! — Matt Dollinger

Midnight: Let the games begin

Welcome to The Crossover’s trade deadline live blog! It’s like Twitter, but not really! In all seriousness, deadline day can be the most exciting day of the NBA season, but it can also be the most frustrating, and it’s the sheer unpredictability of the deadline that makes it so exciting. Two dominos are already off the board (do people put dominos on boards?) with Blake Griffin finding a new home in Detroit, and Lou Williams—an oft-rumored target—staying put in L.A. Here’s how things stand in the first hour of Thursday:

The Spurs are interested in Avery Bradley, reports Marc Stein. The price for Bradley is apparently a first-round pick, but the Spurs would also have to match salary in the deal—would they really give away Danny Green or Rudy Gay to acquire Bradley? I’m not quite sure how San Antonio would make this one work, but the thought of Bradley, Green and eventually Kawhi Leonard roaming the perimeter on defense sounds pretty exciting (Bradley’s troubling on-off numbers notwithstanding.)

There isn’t much else in terms of hot goss at midnight, but there should be many more rumors in the hours to come. If you need badly need a hit, make sure to check out Jake Fischer’s trade deadline FAQ.

Happy trading! — Rohan Nadkarni

Completed Trades

Entering Thursday, we've already had a flurry of activity surrounding the trade deadline. In case you've forgotten:

The Clippers traded Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons

•? The Pelicans acquired Nikola Mirotic from the Bulls

The Clippers opted to extend Lou Williams' contract rather than trade the high-scoring guard

•? The Nets traded Tyler Zeller to the Bucks for Rashad Vaughn

•? The Knicks traded Willy Hernangomez to the Charlotte Hornets

James Harden led the way as the Houston Rockets overcame the Miami Heat.
Harden leads Rockets to sixth straight win, Suns lose by 48 to Spurs
James Harden led the way as the Houston Rockets overcame the Miami Heat.
<p>Former NBA player Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle were killed in a single car crash in the early hours of Wednesday morning in Studio City, California. The deaths were <a href="http://www.tmz.com/2018/01/31/rasual-butler-dead-car-crash/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:first reported by" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">first reported by</a> TMZ. </p><p>At around 2 a.m., Butler reportedly lost control of his Range Rover, struck a parking meter and flipped before slamming into a wall. According to TMZ, police officers believe that Butler&#39;s car was speeding before it lost control. NBC Los Angeles <a href="https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Two-People-Dead-After-Car-Plows-Into-Studio-City-Building-471914503.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:reported" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">reported</a> that police said the vehicle was traveling at speeds two to three times higher than the limit.</p><p>The Los Angeles County coroner&#39;s department <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2018/01/31/ex-nba-player-rasual-butler-dies-single-vehicle-accident/1083466001/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:confirmed" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">confirmed</a> Butler&#39;s identity to <em>USA Today</em>.</p><p>Butler, 38, was drafted out of La Salle by the Miami Heat in the second round of the 2002 NBA draft. He went on to play for the Heat, Hornets, Clippers, Bulls, Raptors, Pacers, Wizards and Spurs from 2002 to 2016. Most recently, Butler was expected to play a second season in the BIG3 League.</p><p>The Indiana Pacers issued the following statement:</p><p>&quot;Our entire organization is deeply saddened after learning of the death of Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle. In his one season with us, Rasual was the consummate team player and a great role model for our younger players on how a professional should prepare and act, while being a positive influence on everyone who associated with him. We offer our sincerest condolences to he and his wife&#39;s family.&quot;</p><p>LaBelle was a contestant on the third season of American Idol.</p>
Former NBA Player Rasual Butler and Wife Leah LaBelle Killed In Car Crash

Former NBA player Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle were killed in a single car crash in the early hours of Wednesday morning in Studio City, California. The deaths were first reported by TMZ.

At around 2 a.m., Butler reportedly lost control of his Range Rover, struck a parking meter and flipped before slamming into a wall. According to TMZ, police officers believe that Butler's car was speeding before it lost control. NBC Los Angeles reported that police said the vehicle was traveling at speeds two to three times higher than the limit.

The Los Angeles County coroner's department confirmed Butler's identity to USA Today.

Butler, 38, was drafted out of La Salle by the Miami Heat in the second round of the 2002 NBA draft. He went on to play for the Heat, Hornets, Clippers, Bulls, Raptors, Pacers, Wizards and Spurs from 2002 to 2016. Most recently, Butler was expected to play a second season in the BIG3 League.

The Indiana Pacers issued the following statement:

"Our entire organization is deeply saddened after learning of the death of Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle. In his one season with us, Rasual was the consummate team player and a great role model for our younger players on how a professional should prepare and act, while being a positive influence on everyone who associated with him. We offer our sincerest condolences to he and his wife's family."

LaBelle was a contestant on the third season of American Idol.

<p>Hey! Welcome back to The Crossover’s weekly power rankings. After a week off, I’m back by popular demand! I’ll try to make you as happy <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/23/nba-power-rankings-cavaliers-rumors-struggles-rockets-warriors" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:as Rohan Nadkarni did" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">as Rohan Nadkarni did</a> with where I put your favorite team, though I can’t make any promises. I can swear to keep this not-so-serious as always, and I will refrain from talking about Ray Felton, as much as it pains me to do so. Anyway, enough of this. Let’s get to the ranks:</p><p>(All stats and records used through Jan. 28).</p><p><b>30. Orlando Magic (14–34)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 29</strong><br>I’m mad I didn’t think of this pun first.</p><p><b>29. Memphis Grizzlies (17–31)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 20</strong><br>Who did the <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/23/nba-power-rankings-cavaliers-rumors-struggles-rockets-warriors" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:rankings last week" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">rankings last week</a>, JaMychal Green? This team is bad, and now that <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/video/2018/01/27/mike-conley-memphis-grizzlies-heel-injury-update-miss-season-nba" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Mike Conley is out for the year" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Mike Conley is out for the year</a>, their season is over.</p><p><strong>28. Sacramento Kings (15–34)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 30</strong><br>How long did it take to make this?</p><p><b>27. Atlanta Hawks (14–35)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 27</strong><br>The Cavaliers have reportedly <a href="http://www.nba.com/article/2018/01/22/cleveland-cavaliers-koby-altman-lebron-james-future-2018-trade-deadline#/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:checked on" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">checked on</a> Kent Bazemore. Considering he’s owed over $37 million through 2020, I don’t see why the Hawks wouldn’t flip him for whatever the Cavs want to offer, especially if there’s a pick attached. Trade everyone.</p><p><b>26. Dallas Mavericks (16–34)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 25</strong><br>If Dennis Smith Jr. <i>doesn’t</i> win the dunk contest, what happens? Do Mavs fans riot? Does J.J. Barea decide he’s retiring? Will Mark Cuban <a href="https://twitter.com/mcuban/status/957686987229618176" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:call on the NBA" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">call on the NBA</a> to make sure the judges are really who they say they are?</p><p><b>25. Detroit Pistons (22–26)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 22</strong><br>Remember when the only problem Detroit had was that Andre Drummond was <i>sorta</i> not good <i>sometimes</i>? Now you’ve got a whole punchbowl to pick from.</p><p><b>24. Chicago Bulls (18–32)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 18</strong><br>Nikola Mirotic called Rajon Rondo his “the best teammate [he] ever had” this week. No, I’m serious. <a href="https://chicago.suntimes.com/sports/nikola-mirotic-rajon-rondo-best-teammate-bulls/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:He did" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">He did</a>. Wonder who his <i>least</i> favorite teammate is...</p><p><b>23. Phoenix Suns (17–33)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 29</strong><br>Like I said a few weeks ago, the Suns should have ended the season after that win over the Thunder.</p><p><b>22. Brooklyn Nets (18–32)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 23</strong><br>Jah. Is. Free.</p><p><b>21. New York Knicks (22–28)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 24</strong><br>Well, you were warned about their struggles on the road. At least Trey Burke is looking really, really good these days! He’s forcing the Knicks to give him all sorts of playing time right now, and making other teams look bad for passing on him. This is kind of insane.</p><p><b>20. Charlotte Hornets (20–28)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 21</strong><br>I feel like I’m beating a dead horse here. The Hornets just fumbled away ANOTHER game down the stretch, this time against Miami on Saturday. Can you imagine what’s going to <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/19/charlotte-hornets-trade-rumors-kemba-walker" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:happen when" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">happen when </a><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/19/charlotte-hornets-trade-rumors-kemba-walker" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Kemba" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Kemba</a><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/19/charlotte-hornets-trade-rumors-kemba-walker" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:leaves" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> leaves</a>? I mean, they’re not going to be playing in so many of these close games in the fourth, but when they do, whew.</p><p><b>19. Utah Jazz (21–28)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 26</strong><br>God, this is just a mess at the bottom of these rankings. So incredibly sad. I’m supposed to believe in the Jazz now?</p><p><b>18. Los Angeles Lakers (19–30)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 19</strong><br>The league’s newest social media darling Kyle Kuzma might have gone too far here. What’s wrong with strawberries? They might me the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted. And they’re healthy! Healthier than waffles, anyway. That might be a mountain of berries, but it’s not worth killing the man over. Let Lonzo live!</p><p><b>17. Denver Nuggets (26–23)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 13</strong><br>They finally picked up their first good win (against Portland) since the calendar turned to 2018. Other than a couple fantastic outputs from Jamal Murray, there’s not much to write home about here. Middling defense, inconsistent offense. Middle of the pack seems right.</p><p><strong>16. New Orleans Pelicans (27–22)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 8</strong><br>As Tom Haberstroh <a href="http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2756366-fatigue-likely-contributed-to-demarcus-cousins-achilles-injury" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:notes" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">notes</a>, this DeMarcus Cousins injury should be a lesson to all about player overuse. In the month of January, Boogie played five games of 40 or more minutes, a 51-minute game against Chicago, and was taking oodles of shots. So sad to see him go down <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/27/demarcus-cousins-pelicans-torn-ruptured-achilles" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:with a ruptured Achilles" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">with a ruptured Achilles</a>, just as I was beginning to believe in New Orleans as a contender. This probably kills all of that, though you should never say never about a team with Anthony Davis.?</p><p><b>15. Cleveland Cavaliers (29–19)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 16</strong><br>You, lame and dumb: &quot;Man, I’m really worried about the Cavs. Isaiah Thomas looks like he’s really not having fun and there’s some discord in that locker room.&quot; </p><p>LeBron, cool and good:</p><p><b>14. Milwaukee Bucks (26–22)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 15</strong><br>Here’s how uncultured I am: I thought “Cream City” was some sort of manufactured nickname by Nike to sell more jerseys. Turns out it’s a real Milwaukee thing! These are pretty awesome uniforms, if I don’t say so myself. There’s a reason they’re undefeated (1-0) in them.</p><p><b>13. Indiana Pacers (27–23)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 14</strong><br>Here’s something very encouraging: <a href="http://www.foxsports.com/indiana/video/1147608131920" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:GM Chad Buchanan says" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">GM Chad Buchanan says</a><a href="http://www.foxsports.com/indiana/video/1147608131920" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Indiana" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> Indiana</a> is “in no hurry to change up anything with this team.” There’s definitely the temptation to try to transform a good team like this one into a great one, especially with someone like Kemba Walker available. The Pacers have a great core that has learned to play with one another in short time, though, and it’d be foolish to mortgage what could be a fantastic future.</p><p><b>12. Philadelphia 76ers (24–22)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 10</strong><br>Uhhh, is <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/19/markelle-fultz-76ers-brett-brown-ben-simmons-joel-embiid" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Markelle Fultz" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Markelle Fultz</a><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/19/markelle-fultz-76ers-brett-brown-ben-simmons-joel-embiid" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:OK" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> OK</a>? I don’t even care about what happens this season with the Sixers, I just hope this man can have the NBA career he deserves.</p><p>This was June, man...what happened?</p><p><b>11. Washington Wizards (27–22)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 17</strong><br>Should this team still be running laps for losing to the freaking Mavs? Yes. Am I encouraged by Markieff Morris’s recent play? You bet. Don’t let him get hot!</p><p><b>10. Portland Trail Blazers (27–22)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 12</strong><br>It’s gotten to the point where I’m getting worried that Damian Lillard will lose that underdog edge. If he starts making All-Star teams, what’s going to cause him to carry that chip on his shoulder? Ah, wait. Thank goodness. Thank you Russ. This is like blowing on the fire just as it’s going out to reignite those embers and get it going again.</p><p><b>9. Los Angeles Clippers (25–24)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 11</strong><br>Don’t look now, but Danilo Gallinari’s return is right around the corner. How much better would you feel about this team if Gallinari was starting over Wes Johnson? I’d wager <i>very</i>.</p><p><b>8. Miami Heat (28–21)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 9</strong><br>Miami’s defense over the past week has been the fourth-best in the league (97.7 pts allowed per 100 possessions) but their offense has been atrocious, shooting just 30% from three. It’s times like this you miss Dion Waiters. Although…</p><p><b>7. Minnesota Timberwolves (32–20)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 5</strong><br>Did you see what just happened to DeMarcus Cousins because of overuse? Someone tell Thibs. It’d be a shame for Karl-Anthony Towns to have the same fate.</p><p><b>6. San Antonio Spurs (33–19)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 7</strong><br>Gregg Popovich celebrated his 69th birthday on Sunday, which gives me an excuse to share this with you, my favorite Pop moment:</p><p><b>5. Toronto Raptors (33–15)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 4</strong><br>What’s gotten into Jonas Valanciunas? He’s <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CS40W2tqmQ" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:getting into fights" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">getting into fights</a> now? He’s hitting threes? He’s blocking shots? He may single-handedly pique my interest in the Raptors.</p><p><b>4. Boston Celtics (35–15)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 6</strong><br>In that highly-anticipated showdown with Golden State, you kind of got the feeling that Kyrie is the heir to the throne, right? He’s going to be the one to snap LeBron’s Finals streak and he’s going to be the next one to <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/28/celtics-warriors-biggest-threat-nba-finals-series" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:challenge the Warriors for their crown" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">challenge the Warriors for their crown</a>. I mean, look at this:</p><p><b>3. Oklahoma City Thunder (30–20)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 3</strong><br>When you tick off Brock Lesnar, this happens:</p><p>Similarly, when you tick off Russ Westbrook, you lose and this happens:</p><p><b>2. Houston Rockets (35–13)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 1</strong><br>Houston’s loss to New Orleans was its first in a game started by James Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela all season. They’ve started 21 games together. That’s proof of this team’s dominance when healthy.</p><p><b>1. Golden State Warriors (40–10)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 2</strong><br>Hey, it wasn’t me who knocked them off their throne! Against Boston, Stephen Curry proved to all the doubters (I have to admit, even I was pretty skeptical of his powers a couple months ago) that he’s still otherworldly. He scored 13 points over the final 1:42. The Warriors just have too many bullets.</p>
NBA Power Rankings: The Warriors Take Back Their Throne

Hey! Welcome back to The Crossover’s weekly power rankings. After a week off, I’m back by popular demand! I’ll try to make you as happy as Rohan Nadkarni did with where I put your favorite team, though I can’t make any promises. I can swear to keep this not-so-serious as always, and I will refrain from talking about Ray Felton, as much as it pains me to do so. Anyway, enough of this. Let’s get to the ranks:

(All stats and records used through Jan. 28).

30. Orlando Magic (14–34)
Last Week: 29
I’m mad I didn’t think of this pun first.

29. Memphis Grizzlies (17–31)
Last Week: 20
Who did the rankings last week, JaMychal Green? This team is bad, and now that Mike Conley is out for the year, their season is over.

28. Sacramento Kings (15–34)
Last Week: 30
How long did it take to make this?

27. Atlanta Hawks (14–35)
Last Week: 27
The Cavaliers have reportedly checked on Kent Bazemore. Considering he’s owed over $37 million through 2020, I don’t see why the Hawks wouldn’t flip him for whatever the Cavs want to offer, especially if there’s a pick attached. Trade everyone.

26. Dallas Mavericks (16–34)
Last Week: 25
If Dennis Smith Jr. doesn’t win the dunk contest, what happens? Do Mavs fans riot? Does J.J. Barea decide he’s retiring? Will Mark Cuban call on the NBA to make sure the judges are really who they say they are?

25. Detroit Pistons (22–26)
Last Week: 22
Remember when the only problem Detroit had was that Andre Drummond was sorta not good sometimes? Now you’ve got a whole punchbowl to pick from.

24. Chicago Bulls (18–32)
Last Week: 18
Nikola Mirotic called Rajon Rondo his “the best teammate [he] ever had” this week. No, I’m serious. He did. Wonder who his least favorite teammate is...

23. Phoenix Suns (17–33)
Last Week: 29
Like I said a few weeks ago, the Suns should have ended the season after that win over the Thunder.

22. Brooklyn Nets (18–32)
Last Week: 23
Jah. Is. Free.

21. New York Knicks (22–28)
Last Week: 24
Well, you were warned about their struggles on the road. At least Trey Burke is looking really, really good these days! He’s forcing the Knicks to give him all sorts of playing time right now, and making other teams look bad for passing on him. This is kind of insane.

20. Charlotte Hornets (20–28)
Last Week: 21
I feel like I’m beating a dead horse here. The Hornets just fumbled away ANOTHER game down the stretch, this time against Miami on Saturday. Can you imagine what’s going to happen when Kemba leaves? I mean, they’re not going to be playing in so many of these close games in the fourth, but when they do, whew.

19. Utah Jazz (21–28)
Last Week: 26
God, this is just a mess at the bottom of these rankings. So incredibly sad. I’m supposed to believe in the Jazz now?

18. Los Angeles Lakers (19–30)
Last Week: 19
The league’s newest social media darling Kyle Kuzma might have gone too far here. What’s wrong with strawberries? They might me the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted. And they’re healthy! Healthier than waffles, anyway. That might be a mountain of berries, but it’s not worth killing the man over. Let Lonzo live!

17. Denver Nuggets (26–23)
Last Week: 13
They finally picked up their first good win (against Portland) since the calendar turned to 2018. Other than a couple fantastic outputs from Jamal Murray, there’s not much to write home about here. Middling defense, inconsistent offense. Middle of the pack seems right.

16. New Orleans Pelicans (27–22)
Last Week: 8
As Tom Haberstroh notes, this DeMarcus Cousins injury should be a lesson to all about player overuse. In the month of January, Boogie played five games of 40 or more minutes, a 51-minute game against Chicago, and was taking oodles of shots. So sad to see him go down with a ruptured Achilles, just as I was beginning to believe in New Orleans as a contender. This probably kills all of that, though you should never say never about a team with Anthony Davis.?

15. Cleveland Cavaliers (29–19)
Last Week: 16
You, lame and dumb: "Man, I’m really worried about the Cavs. Isaiah Thomas looks like he’s really not having fun and there’s some discord in that locker room."

LeBron, cool and good:

14. Milwaukee Bucks (26–22)
Last Week: 15
Here’s how uncultured I am: I thought “Cream City” was some sort of manufactured nickname by Nike to sell more jerseys. Turns out it’s a real Milwaukee thing! These are pretty awesome uniforms, if I don’t say so myself. There’s a reason they’re undefeated (1-0) in them.

13. Indiana Pacers (27–23)
Last Week: 14
Here’s something very encouraging: GM Chad Buchanan says Indiana is “in no hurry to change up anything with this team.” There’s definitely the temptation to try to transform a good team like this one into a great one, especially with someone like Kemba Walker available. The Pacers have a great core that has learned to play with one another in short time, though, and it’d be foolish to mortgage what could be a fantastic future.

12. Philadelphia 76ers (24–22)
Last Week: 10
Uhhh, is Markelle Fultz OK? I don’t even care about what happens this season with the Sixers, I just hope this man can have the NBA career he deserves.

This was June, man...what happened?

11. Washington Wizards (27–22)
Last Week: 17
Should this team still be running laps for losing to the freaking Mavs? Yes. Am I encouraged by Markieff Morris’s recent play? You bet. Don’t let him get hot!

10. Portland Trail Blazers (27–22)
Last Week: 12
It’s gotten to the point where I’m getting worried that Damian Lillard will lose that underdog edge. If he starts making All-Star teams, what’s going to cause him to carry that chip on his shoulder? Ah, wait. Thank goodness. Thank you Russ. This is like blowing on the fire just as it’s going out to reignite those embers and get it going again.

9. Los Angeles Clippers (25–24)
Last Week: 11
Don’t look now, but Danilo Gallinari’s return is right around the corner. How much better would you feel about this team if Gallinari was starting over Wes Johnson? I’d wager very.

8. Miami Heat (28–21)
Last Week: 9
Miami’s defense over the past week has been the fourth-best in the league (97.7 pts allowed per 100 possessions) but their offense has been atrocious, shooting just 30% from three. It’s times like this you miss Dion Waiters. Although…

7. Minnesota Timberwolves (32–20)
Last Week: 5
Did you see what just happened to DeMarcus Cousins because of overuse? Someone tell Thibs. It’d be a shame for Karl-Anthony Towns to have the same fate.

6. San Antonio Spurs (33–19)
Last Week: 7
Gregg Popovich celebrated his 69th birthday on Sunday, which gives me an excuse to share this with you, my favorite Pop moment:

5. Toronto Raptors (33–15)
Last Week: 4
What’s gotten into Jonas Valanciunas? He’s getting into fights now? He’s hitting threes? He’s blocking shots? He may single-handedly pique my interest in the Raptors.

4. Boston Celtics (35–15)
Last Week: 6
In that highly-anticipated showdown with Golden State, you kind of got the feeling that Kyrie is the heir to the throne, right? He’s going to be the one to snap LeBron’s Finals streak and he’s going to be the next one to challenge the Warriors for their crown. I mean, look at this:

3. Oklahoma City Thunder (30–20)
Last Week: 3
When you tick off Brock Lesnar, this happens:

Similarly, when you tick off Russ Westbrook, you lose and this happens:

2. Houston Rockets (35–13)
Last Week: 1
Houston’s loss to New Orleans was its first in a game started by James Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela all season. They’ve started 21 games together. That’s proof of this team’s dominance when healthy.

1. Golden State Warriors (40–10)
Last Week: 2
Hey, it wasn’t me who knocked them off their throne! Against Boston, Stephen Curry proved to all the doubters (I have to admit, even I was pretty skeptical of his powers a couple months ago) that he’s still otherworldly. He scored 13 points over the final 1:42. The Warriors just have too many bullets.

<p>Hey! Welcome back to The Crossover’s weekly power rankings. After a week off, I’m back by popular demand! I’ll try to make you as happy <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/23/nba-power-rankings-cavaliers-rumors-struggles-rockets-warriors" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:as Rohan Nadkarni did" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">as Rohan Nadkarni did</a> with where I put your favorite team, though I can’t make any promises. I can swear to keep this not-so-serious as always, and I will refrain from talking about Ray Felton, as much as it pains me to do so. Anyway, enough of this. Let’s get to the ranks:</p><p>(All stats and records used through Jan. 28).</p><p><b>30. Orlando Magic (14–34)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 29</strong><br>I’m mad I didn’t think of this pun first.</p><p><b>29. Memphis Grizzlies (17–31)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 20</strong><br>Who did the <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/23/nba-power-rankings-cavaliers-rumors-struggles-rockets-warriors" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:rankings last week" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">rankings last week</a>, JaMychal Green? This team is bad, and now that <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/video/2018/01/27/mike-conley-memphis-grizzlies-heel-injury-update-miss-season-nba" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Mike Conley is out for the year" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Mike Conley is out for the year</a>, their season is over.</p><p><strong>28. Sacramento Kings (15–34)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 30</strong><br>How long did it take to make this?</p><p><b>27. Atlanta Hawks (14–35)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 27</strong><br>The Cavaliers have reportedly <a href="http://www.nba.com/article/2018/01/22/cleveland-cavaliers-koby-altman-lebron-james-future-2018-trade-deadline#/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:checked on" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">checked on</a> Kent Bazemore. Considering he’s owed over $37 million through 2020, I don’t see why the Hawks wouldn’t flip him for whatever the Cavs want to offer, especially if there’s a pick attached. Trade everyone.</p><p><b>26. Dallas Mavericks (16–34)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 25</strong><br>If Dennis Smith Jr. <i>doesn’t</i> win the dunk contest, what happens? Do Mavs fans riot? Does J.J. Barea decide he’s retiring? Will Mark Cuban <a href="https://twitter.com/mcuban/status/957686987229618176" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:call on the NBA" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">call on the NBA</a> to make sure the judges are really who they say they are?</p><p><b>25. Detroit Pistons (22–26)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 22</strong><br>Remember when the only problem Detroit had was that Andre Drummond was <i>sorta</i> not good <i>sometimes</i>? Now you’ve got a whole punchbowl to pick from.</p><p><b>24. Chicago Bulls (18–32)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 18</strong><br>Nikola Mirotic called Rajon Rondo his “the best teammate [he] ever had” this week. No, I’m serious. <a href="https://chicago.suntimes.com/sports/nikola-mirotic-rajon-rondo-best-teammate-bulls/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:He did" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">He did</a>. Wonder who his <i>least</i> favorite teammate is...</p><p><b>23. Phoenix Suns (17–33)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 29</strong><br>Like I said a few weeks ago, the Suns should have ended the season after that win over the Thunder.</p><p><b>22. Brooklyn Nets (18–32)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 23</strong><br>Jah. Is. Free.</p><p><b>21. New York Knicks (22–28)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 24</strong><br>Well, you were warned about their struggles on the road. At least Trey Burke is looking really, really good these days! He’s forcing the Knicks to give him all sorts of playing time right now, and making other teams look bad for passing on him. This is kind of insane.</p><p><b>20. Charlotte Hornets (20–28)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 21</strong><br>I feel like I’m beating a dead horse here. The Hornets just fumbled away ANOTHER game down the stretch, this time against Miami on Saturday. Can you imagine what’s going to <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/19/charlotte-hornets-trade-rumors-kemba-walker" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:happen when" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">happen when </a><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/19/charlotte-hornets-trade-rumors-kemba-walker" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Kemba" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Kemba</a><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/19/charlotte-hornets-trade-rumors-kemba-walker" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:leaves" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> leaves</a>? I mean, they’re not going to be playing in so many of these close games in the fourth, but when they do, whew.</p><p><b>19. Utah Jazz (21–28)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 26</strong><br>God, this is just a mess at the bottom of these rankings. So incredibly sad. I’m supposed to believe in the Jazz now?</p><p><b>18. Los Angeles Lakers (19–30)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 19</strong><br>The league’s newest social media darling Kyle Kuzma might have gone too far here. What’s wrong with strawberries? They might me the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted. And they’re healthy! Healthier than waffles, anyway. That might be a mountain of berries, but it’s not worth killing the man over. Let Lonzo live!</p><p><b>17. Denver Nuggets (26–23)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 13</strong><br>They finally picked up their first good win (against Portland) since the calendar turned to 2018. Other than a couple fantastic outputs from Jamal Murray, there’s not much to write home about here. Middling defense, inconsistent offense. Middle of the pack seems right.</p><p><strong>16. New Orleans Pelicans (27–22)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 8</strong><br>As Tom Haberstroh <a href="http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2756366-fatigue-likely-contributed-to-demarcus-cousins-achilles-injury" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:notes" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">notes</a>, this DeMarcus Cousins injury should be a lesson to all about player overuse. In the month of January, Boogie played five games of 40 or more minutes, a 51-minute game against Chicago, and was taking oodles of shots. So sad to see him go down <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/27/demarcus-cousins-pelicans-torn-ruptured-achilles" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:with a ruptured Achilles" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">with a ruptured Achilles</a>, just as I was beginning to believe in New Orleans as a contender. This probably kills all of that, though you should never say never about a team with Anthony Davis.?</p><p><b>15. Cleveland Cavaliers (29–19)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 16</strong><br>You, lame and dumb: &quot;Man, I’m really worried about the Cavs. Isaiah Thomas looks like he’s really not having fun and there’s some discord in that locker room.&quot; </p><p>LeBron, cool and good:</p><p><b>14. Milwaukee Bucks (26–22)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 15</strong><br>Here’s how uncultured I am: I thought “Cream City” was some sort of manufactured nickname by Nike to sell more jerseys. Turns out it’s a real Milwaukee thing! These are pretty awesome uniforms, if I don’t say so myself. There’s a reason they’re undefeated (1-0) in them.</p><p><b>13. Indiana Pacers (27–23)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 14</strong><br>Here’s something very encouraging: <a href="http://www.foxsports.com/indiana/video/1147608131920" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:GM Chad Buchanan says" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">GM Chad Buchanan says</a><a href="http://www.foxsports.com/indiana/video/1147608131920" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Indiana" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> Indiana</a> is “in no hurry to change up anything with this team.” There’s definitely the temptation to try to transform a good team like this one into a great one, especially with someone like Kemba Walker available. The Pacers have a great core that has learned to play with one another in short time, though, and it’d be foolish to mortgage what could be a fantastic future.</p><p><b>12. Philadelphia 76ers (24–22)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 10</strong><br>Uhhh, is <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/19/markelle-fultz-76ers-brett-brown-ben-simmons-joel-embiid" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Markelle Fultz" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Markelle Fultz</a><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/19/markelle-fultz-76ers-brett-brown-ben-simmons-joel-embiid" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:OK" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> OK</a>? I don’t even care about what happens this season with the Sixers, I just hope this man can have the NBA career he deserves.</p><p>This was June, man...what happened?</p><p><b>11. Washington Wizards (27–22)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 17</strong><br>Should this team still be running laps for losing to the freaking Mavs? Yes. Am I encouraged by Markieff Morris’s recent play? You bet. Don’t let him get hot!</p><p><b>10. Portland Trail Blazers (27–22)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 12</strong><br>It’s gotten to the point where I’m getting worried that Damian Lillard will lose that underdog edge. If he starts making All-Star teams, what’s going to cause him to carry that chip on his shoulder? Ah, wait. Thank goodness. Thank you Russ. This is like blowing on the fire just as it’s going out to reignite those embers and get it going again.</p><p><b>9. Los Angeles Clippers (25–24)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 11</strong><br>Don’t look now, but Danilo Gallinari’s return is right around the corner. How much better would you feel about this team if Gallinari was starting over Wes Johnson? I’d wager <i>very</i>.</p><p><b>8. Miami Heat (28–21)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 9</strong><br>Miami’s defense over the past week has been the fourth-best in the league (97.7 pts allowed per 100 possessions) but their offense has been atrocious, shooting just 30% from three. It’s times like this you miss Dion Waiters. Although…</p><p><b>7. Minnesota Timberwolves (32–20)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 5</strong><br>Did you see what just happened to DeMarcus Cousins because of overuse? Someone tell Thibs. It’d be a shame for Karl-Anthony Towns to have the same fate.</p><p><b>6. San Antonio Spurs (33–19)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 7</strong><br>Gregg Popovich celebrated his 69th birthday on Sunday, which gives me an excuse to share this with you, my favorite Pop moment:</p><p><b>5. Toronto Raptors (33–15)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 4</strong><br>What’s gotten into Jonas Valanciunas? He’s <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CS40W2tqmQ" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:getting into fights" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">getting into fights</a> now? He’s hitting threes? He’s blocking shots? He may single-handedly pique my interest in the Raptors.</p><p><b>4. Boston Celtics (35–15)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 6</strong><br>In that highly-anticipated showdown with Golden State, you kind of got the feeling that Kyrie is the heir to the throne, right? He’s going to be the one to snap LeBron’s Finals streak and he’s going to be the next one to <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/28/celtics-warriors-biggest-threat-nba-finals-series" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:challenge the Warriors for their crown" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">challenge the Warriors for their crown</a>. I mean, look at this:</p><p><b>3. Oklahoma City Thunder (30–20)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 3</strong><br>When you tick off Brock Lesnar, this happens:</p><p>Similarly, when you tick off Russ Westbrook, you lose and this happens:</p><p><b>2. Houston Rockets (35–13)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 1</strong><br>Houston’s loss to New Orleans was its first in a game started by James Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela all season. They’ve started 21 games together. That’s proof of this team’s dominance when healthy.</p><p><b>1. Golden State Warriors (40–10)</b><br><strong>Last Week: 2</strong><br>Hey, it wasn’t me who knocked them off their throne! Against Boston, Stephen Curry proved to all the doubters (I have to admit, even I was pretty skeptical of his powers a couple months ago) that he’s still otherworldly. He scored 13 points over the final 1:42. The Warriors just have too many bullets.</p>
NBA Power Rankings: The Warriors Take Back Their Throne

Hey! Welcome back to The Crossover’s weekly power rankings. After a week off, I’m back by popular demand! I’ll try to make you as happy as Rohan Nadkarni did with where I put your favorite team, though I can’t make any promises. I can swear to keep this not-so-serious as always, and I will refrain from talking about Ray Felton, as much as it pains me to do so. Anyway, enough of this. Let’s get to the ranks:

(All stats and records used through Jan. 28).

30. Orlando Magic (14–34)
Last Week: 29
I’m mad I didn’t think of this pun first.

29. Memphis Grizzlies (17–31)
Last Week: 20
Who did the rankings last week, JaMychal Green? This team is bad, and now that Mike Conley is out for the year, their season is over.

28. Sacramento Kings (15–34)
Last Week: 30
How long did it take to make this?

27. Atlanta Hawks (14–35)
Last Week: 27
The Cavaliers have reportedly checked on Kent Bazemore. Considering he’s owed over $37 million through 2020, I don’t see why the Hawks wouldn’t flip him for whatever the Cavs want to offer, especially if there’s a pick attached. Trade everyone.

26. Dallas Mavericks (16–34)
Last Week: 25
If Dennis Smith Jr. doesn’t win the dunk contest, what happens? Do Mavs fans riot? Does J.J. Barea decide he’s retiring? Will Mark Cuban call on the NBA to make sure the judges are really who they say they are?

25. Detroit Pistons (22–26)
Last Week: 22
Remember when the only problem Detroit had was that Andre Drummond was sorta not good sometimes? Now you’ve got a whole punchbowl to pick from.

24. Chicago Bulls (18–32)
Last Week: 18
Nikola Mirotic called Rajon Rondo his “the best teammate [he] ever had” this week. No, I’m serious. He did. Wonder who his least favorite teammate is...

23. Phoenix Suns (17–33)
Last Week: 29
Like I said a few weeks ago, the Suns should have ended the season after that win over the Thunder.

22. Brooklyn Nets (18–32)
Last Week: 23
Jah. Is. Free.

21. New York Knicks (22–28)
Last Week: 24
Well, you were warned about their struggles on the road. At least Trey Burke is looking really, really good these days! He’s forcing the Knicks to give him all sorts of playing time right now, and making other teams look bad for passing on him. This is kind of insane.

20. Charlotte Hornets (20–28)
Last Week: 21
I feel like I’m beating a dead horse here. The Hornets just fumbled away ANOTHER game down the stretch, this time against Miami on Saturday. Can you imagine what’s going to happen when Kemba leaves? I mean, they’re not going to be playing in so many of these close games in the fourth, but when they do, whew.

19. Utah Jazz (21–28)
Last Week: 26
God, this is just a mess at the bottom of these rankings. So incredibly sad. I’m supposed to believe in the Jazz now?

18. Los Angeles Lakers (19–30)
Last Week: 19
The league’s newest social media darling Kyle Kuzma might have gone too far here. What’s wrong with strawberries? They might me the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted. And they’re healthy! Healthier than waffles, anyway. That might be a mountain of berries, but it’s not worth killing the man over. Let Lonzo live!

17. Denver Nuggets (26–23)
Last Week: 13
They finally picked up their first good win (against Portland) since the calendar turned to 2018. Other than a couple fantastic outputs from Jamal Murray, there’s not much to write home about here. Middling defense, inconsistent offense. Middle of the pack seems right.

16. New Orleans Pelicans (27–22)
Last Week: 8
As Tom Haberstroh notes, this DeMarcus Cousins injury should be a lesson to all about player overuse. In the month of January, Boogie played five games of 40 or more minutes, a 51-minute game against Chicago, and was taking oodles of shots. So sad to see him go down with a ruptured Achilles, just as I was beginning to believe in New Orleans as a contender. This probably kills all of that, though you should never say never about a team with Anthony Davis.?

15. Cleveland Cavaliers (29–19)
Last Week: 16
You, lame and dumb: "Man, I’m really worried about the Cavs. Isaiah Thomas looks like he’s really not having fun and there’s some discord in that locker room."

LeBron, cool and good:

14. Milwaukee Bucks (26–22)
Last Week: 15
Here’s how uncultured I am: I thought “Cream City” was some sort of manufactured nickname by Nike to sell more jerseys. Turns out it’s a real Milwaukee thing! These are pretty awesome uniforms, if I don’t say so myself. There’s a reason they’re undefeated (1-0) in them.

13. Indiana Pacers (27–23)
Last Week: 14
Here’s something very encouraging: GM Chad Buchanan says Indiana is “in no hurry to change up anything with this team.” There’s definitely the temptation to try to transform a good team like this one into a great one, especially with someone like Kemba Walker available. The Pacers have a great core that has learned to play with one another in short time, though, and it’d be foolish to mortgage what could be a fantastic future.

12. Philadelphia 76ers (24–22)
Last Week: 10
Uhhh, is Markelle Fultz OK? I don’t even care about what happens this season with the Sixers, I just hope this man can have the NBA career he deserves.

This was June, man...what happened?

11. Washington Wizards (27–22)
Last Week: 17
Should this team still be running laps for losing to the freaking Mavs? Yes. Am I encouraged by Markieff Morris’s recent play? You bet. Don’t let him get hot!

10. Portland Trail Blazers (27–22)
Last Week: 12
It’s gotten to the point where I’m getting worried that Damian Lillard will lose that underdog edge. If he starts making All-Star teams, what’s going to cause him to carry that chip on his shoulder? Ah, wait. Thank goodness. Thank you Russ. This is like blowing on the fire just as it’s going out to reignite those embers and get it going again.

9. Los Angeles Clippers (25–24)
Last Week: 11
Don’t look now, but Danilo Gallinari’s return is right around the corner. How much better would you feel about this team if Gallinari was starting over Wes Johnson? I’d wager very.

8. Miami Heat (28–21)
Last Week: 9
Miami’s defense over the past week has been the fourth-best in the league (97.7 pts allowed per 100 possessions) but their offense has been atrocious, shooting just 30% from three. It’s times like this you miss Dion Waiters. Although…

7. Minnesota Timberwolves (32–20)
Last Week: 5
Did you see what just happened to DeMarcus Cousins because of overuse? Someone tell Thibs. It’d be a shame for Karl-Anthony Towns to have the same fate.

6. San Antonio Spurs (33–19)
Last Week: 7
Gregg Popovich celebrated his 69th birthday on Sunday, which gives me an excuse to share this with you, my favorite Pop moment:

5. Toronto Raptors (33–15)
Last Week: 4
What’s gotten into Jonas Valanciunas? He’s getting into fights now? He’s hitting threes? He’s blocking shots? He may single-handedly pique my interest in the Raptors.

4. Boston Celtics (35–15)
Last Week: 6
In that highly-anticipated showdown with Golden State, you kind of got the feeling that Kyrie is the heir to the throne, right? He’s going to be the one to snap LeBron’s Finals streak and he’s going to be the next one to challenge the Warriors for their crown. I mean, look at this:

3. Oklahoma City Thunder (30–20)
Last Week: 3
When you tick off Brock Lesnar, this happens:

Similarly, when you tick off Russ Westbrook, you lose and this happens:

2. Houston Rockets (35–13)
Last Week: 1
Houston’s loss to New Orleans was its first in a game started by James Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela all season. They’ve started 21 games together. That’s proof of this team’s dominance when healthy.

1. Golden State Warriors (40–10)
Last Week: 2
Hey, it wasn’t me who knocked them off their throne! Against Boston, Stephen Curry proved to all the doubters (I have to admit, even I was pretty skeptical of his powers a couple months ago) that he’s still otherworldly. He scored 13 points over the final 1:42. The Warriors just have too many bullets.

<p>Welcome to a special edition of The Crossover’s NBA Power Rankings! Well, special in the sense that I’ve literally never done this before. Drunk with power ranking power, I’ve decided the best way to tackle this week’s list is to be super reactionary (sorry, Cavs fans) and reward teams playing better than they should be (go Clippers!) We won’t dive deep into every team today, but headed into Week 15 of the NBA season, here’s a snapshot of how each team has looked in its most recent games. </p><p>(All stats and records used through Jan. 22).</p><p><strong>30. Sacramento Kings (13–33)</strong><br>I had a little bit of excitement for the Kings headed into this season, but they have been far and away the worst team in the Association. Selling off any veterans at practically any price would be a smart move here. De’Aaron Fox can still lead this team out of the woods one day, but the front office needs to make sure his talent isn’t cultivated in a losing environment forever. </p><p><strong>29. Phoenix Suns (17–30)</strong><br>The Greg Monroe Revenge Game was almost a thing in their Monday night loss to the Bucks. </p><p><strong>28. Orlando Magic (14–32)</strong><br>Aaron Gordon has cooled considerably from deep after a scorching start to the season. Still, if he settles somewhere in the mid-30%s from distance, that will be a massive improvement over the rest of his career. </p><p><strong>27. Atlanta Hawks (14–32)</strong><br>Looking a little friskier the last couple weeks. </p><p><strong>26. Utah Jazz (19–28)</strong><br>The Jazz look very much like a team relying on a rookie to carry the offensive load. Utah needs to be aggressively looking for a long-term answer at point guard in the offseason to help ease the burden on Donovan Mitchell. </p><p><strong>25. Dallas Mavericks (16–31)</strong><br>The Mavs had a nice little win against the Jekyll-and-Hyde Wizards on Monday. Dennis Smith Jr. is also putting together some of his best performances of the season over the last couple weeks. They’ve almost become more entertaining than Shark Tank reruns. Almost.</p><p><strong>24. New York Knicks (21–26)</strong><br>The return of Tim Hardaway Jr. earlier this month has helped the offense, but this team is still awful on the road. Upcoming games at Golden State and Denver won’t help. </p><p><strong>23. Brooklyn Nets (18–29)</strong><br>Brooklyn has won two in a row over teams above them in the East standings. The Nets play in a decent amount of close games, and they often make better teams work for wins. I like this squad a lot. </p><p><strong>22. Detroit Pistons (22–23)</strong><br>Losers of five in a row!</p><p>?</p><p><strong>21. Charlotte Hornets (19–26)</strong><br>Charlotte has played much better over the last two-and-a-half weeks of the season than it did to start the year. And the return of Steve Clifford earlier this month is reason to celebrate. But when <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/23/charlotte-hornets-michael-jordan-kemba-walker-trade-rumors" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Michael Jordan is basically confirming reports that" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Michael Jordan is basically confirming reports that </a><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/23/charlotte-hornets-michael-jordan-kemba-walker-trade-rumors" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Kemba" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Kemba</a><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/23/charlotte-hornets-michael-jordan-kemba-walker-trade-rumors" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Walker could be moved" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> Walker could be moved</a> for the right price, it’s hard to pretend that things are looking up for the Hornets. A major shake-up may be in play here. </p><p><strong>20. Memphis Grizzlies (17–29)</strong><br>Break up the Grizz! Memphis has won five of its last seven, including wins over the 76ers and Pelicans. The tank will probably continue after the trade deadline, but the Grizzlies have been relatively hot for a couple weeks so they get a bump here. He may never be a star, but I enjoy watching Dillon Brooks every time he’s on the court. </p><p><strong>19. Los Angeles Lakers (17–29)</strong><br>Winners of six of their last eight, which means they’re slightly hotter than Memphis. </p><p><strong>18. Chicago Bulls (18–29)</strong><br>Chicago lost a nail-biter to the Pelicans on Monday, but the Bulls appear competent enough to play spoiler on any given night. The front office needs to strike while the Nikola Mirotic iron is hot. </p><p><strong>17. Washington Wizards (26–21)</strong><br>Washington should not be second in its own division and in the bottom half of the East playoff bracket. What a disappointing season here. A guy like Mirotic would help, but an attitude adjustment would probably help even more. The Wizards are playing like a team that can flip the switch when they aren’t exactly proven playoff contenders. And John Wall calling J.J. Barea a “midget” was absolutely weak. This franchise needs a jolt. </p><p>?</p><p><strong>16. Cleveland Cavaliers (27–18)</strong><br>Where do we even start with the Cavs? Their defense is worse than the 2012 Bobcats, the team with the worst winning percentage in NBA history. Some players held a clandestine meeting earlier this month with select media members to complain about the roster. And then Monday night, <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/22/cavaliers-team-meeting-kevin-love-illness" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Woj" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Woj</a><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/22/cavaliers-team-meeting-kevin-love-illness" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:reported everyone was mad at Kevin Love." class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> reported everyone was mad at Kevin Love.</a> Cleveland definitely won’t beat the Warriors as presently constructed, and the Cavs would be lucky to even make the Finals at this point. </p><p><strong>15. Milwaukee Bucks (24–22)</strong><br>A close win over the Suns wasn’t the best start to the post-Jason Kidd era, but <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/22/jason-kidd-fired-milwaukee-bucks-giannis-antetokounmpo-coaching-search" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:his firing should ultimately help the team." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">his firing should ultimately help the team.</a> Giannis Antetokounmpo’s reservations aside, Kidd never really proved he could take this team to the next level. His defensive scheme was lacking, and the addition of Eric Bledsoe should have been more impactful. The Bucks are still very talented, and will be a sought after coaching destination. They still have time to turn things around this season as well. </p><p><strong>14. Indiana Pacers (25–22)</strong><br>Indiana is holding steady and remains very much in the thick of the East playoff race. The Pacers play their favorite punching bag, the Cavs, later this week. </p><p><strong>13. Denver Nuggets (24–23)</strong><br>Denver is just barely holding on without Paul Millsap. Jamal Murray has made big strides this season, but this team could still use one more guard off the bench. Maybe the Nugs can get in play for George Hill? Millsap’s return should be a big enough boost to get Denver back into the top eight. </p><p><strong>12. Portland Trail Blazers (25–22)</strong><br><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/23/portland-trail-blazers-damian-lillard-future" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Damian Lillard’s" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Damian Lillard’s</a><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/23/portland-trail-blazers-damian-lillard-future" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:meeting with Paul Allen" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> meeting with Paul Allen</a> doesn’t seem all doom and gloom. Dame didn’t ask for a trade, and star players should be putting pressure on management to build winning teams. Can the Blazers catch up to the West’s best? Not the way the roster is put together right now. Portland desperately needs to get rid of some of its bad contracts, which could mean sending away someone like C.J. McCollum. Dame won’t be patient forever. </p><p><strong>11. Los Angeles Clippers (23–23)</strong><br>This team has absolutely no business fighting for a playoff spot. Not with guys like Sindarius Thornwell and Jawun Evans routinely playing big minutes and injuries up and down the roster. Somehow, the Clips have the ninth-best offense in the league. Doc Rivers deserves some Coach of the Year love if he keeps this up. </p><p><strong>10. Philadelphia 76ers (22–21)</strong><br>A blown lead to the Grizzlies was a bad look, but they were 3–0 last week, and will have two big opportunities to make a statement this week with road games at OKC and San Antonio. </p><p><strong>9. Miami Heat (27–20)</strong><br>An overachieving team that can still be frustrating. Losses to Chicago and Brooklyn last week, but also wins over the Bucks and Hornets—the latter of which had schedule loss written all over it. Miami, without its starting backcourt, took Houston down to the wire Monday, but the Heat can’t afford to keep playing in close games every night. </p><p><strong>8. New Orleans Pelicans (25–21)</strong><br>New Orleans has won three of its last four, and Boogie and Anthony Davis are capable of putting up a historic stat lines against any frontcourt in the league. The hot streak gives them a nice showing in these rankings, but the Pelicans still need to find consistency. They should be better than their record. </p><p><strong>7. San Antonio Spurs (30–18)</strong><br>The mystery around Kawhi Leonard’s injury grew as ESPN reported Leonard was upset with the Spurs for how his season has been handled. The report sent every NBA fan scrambling for the trade machine, but San Antonio is obviously still being very supportive of its superstar. Leonard’s absence has certainly been baffling this season. It’s unclear how serious his quad ailment is or how much of his inaction has to do with the Spurs being overly cautious. If he continues to miss time, it’s fair to wonder if the Spurs are just punting on this season. </p><p><strong>6. Boston Celtics (34–13)</strong><br>They’ve lost three straight, and the offense’s struggles can’t be ignored heading into the All-Star break. On the bright side, Gordon Hayward has been practicing his threes…</p><p><strong>5. Minnesota Timberwolves (31–18)</strong><br>The Wolves won their 31st game of the season Monday. They won 31 all of last season. </p><p><strong>4. Toronto Raptors (31–14)</strong><br>If they don’t make the Finals this season, it’s time to blow it up. No more excuses for Toronto. </p><p><strong>3. Oklahoma City Thunder (26–20)</strong><br>OKC went 3–0 last week and the schedule looks pretty soft this week. Things are never simple with the Thunder, but their starting lineup is becoming one of the more dominant units in the league. </p><p><strong>2. Golden State Warriors (37–10)</strong><br>They are bored. </p><p><strong>1. Houston Rockets (33–12)</strong><br>Houston gets the top spot thanks to its win over Golden State to end last week. The Rockets are 18–0 when James Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela are all in the lineup. Mike D’Antoni is doing a great job of staggering Harden and Paul, and the role players are doing a great job of supporting their stars. Don’t sleep on Luc Mbah a Moute. </p>
NBA Power Rankings: Cavs Plummet as Rumors Swirl

Welcome to a special edition of The Crossover’s NBA Power Rankings! Well, special in the sense that I’ve literally never done this before. Drunk with power ranking power, I’ve decided the best way to tackle this week’s list is to be super reactionary (sorry, Cavs fans) and reward teams playing better than they should be (go Clippers!) We won’t dive deep into every team today, but headed into Week 15 of the NBA season, here’s a snapshot of how each team has looked in its most recent games.

(All stats and records used through Jan. 22).

30. Sacramento Kings (13–33)
I had a little bit of excitement for the Kings headed into this season, but they have been far and away the worst team in the Association. Selling off any veterans at practically any price would be a smart move here. De’Aaron Fox can still lead this team out of the woods one day, but the front office needs to make sure his talent isn’t cultivated in a losing environment forever.

29. Phoenix Suns (17–30)
The Greg Monroe Revenge Game was almost a thing in their Monday night loss to the Bucks.

28. Orlando Magic (14–32)
Aaron Gordon has cooled considerably from deep after a scorching start to the season. Still, if he settles somewhere in the mid-30%s from distance, that will be a massive improvement over the rest of his career.

27. Atlanta Hawks (14–32)
Looking a little friskier the last couple weeks.

26. Utah Jazz (19–28)
The Jazz look very much like a team relying on a rookie to carry the offensive load. Utah needs to be aggressively looking for a long-term answer at point guard in the offseason to help ease the burden on Donovan Mitchell.

25. Dallas Mavericks (16–31)
The Mavs had a nice little win against the Jekyll-and-Hyde Wizards on Monday. Dennis Smith Jr. is also putting together some of his best performances of the season over the last couple weeks. They’ve almost become more entertaining than Shark Tank reruns. Almost.

24. New York Knicks (21–26)
The return of Tim Hardaway Jr. earlier this month has helped the offense, but this team is still awful on the road. Upcoming games at Golden State and Denver won’t help.

23. Brooklyn Nets (18–29)
Brooklyn has won two in a row over teams above them in the East standings. The Nets play in a decent amount of close games, and they often make better teams work for wins. I like this squad a lot.

22. Detroit Pistons (22–23)
Losers of five in a row!

?

21. Charlotte Hornets (19–26)
Charlotte has played much better over the last two-and-a-half weeks of the season than it did to start the year. And the return of Steve Clifford earlier this month is reason to celebrate. But when Michael Jordan is basically confirming reports that Kemba Walker could be moved for the right price, it’s hard to pretend that things are looking up for the Hornets. A major shake-up may be in play here.

20. Memphis Grizzlies (17–29)
Break up the Grizz! Memphis has won five of its last seven, including wins over the 76ers and Pelicans. The tank will probably continue after the trade deadline, but the Grizzlies have been relatively hot for a couple weeks so they get a bump here. He may never be a star, but I enjoy watching Dillon Brooks every time he’s on the court.

19. Los Angeles Lakers (17–29)
Winners of six of their last eight, which means they’re slightly hotter than Memphis.

18. Chicago Bulls (18–29)
Chicago lost a nail-biter to the Pelicans on Monday, but the Bulls appear competent enough to play spoiler on any given night. The front office needs to strike while the Nikola Mirotic iron is hot.

17. Washington Wizards (26–21)
Washington should not be second in its own division and in the bottom half of the East playoff bracket. What a disappointing season here. A guy like Mirotic would help, but an attitude adjustment would probably help even more. The Wizards are playing like a team that can flip the switch when they aren’t exactly proven playoff contenders. And John Wall calling J.J. Barea a “midget” was absolutely weak. This franchise needs a jolt.

?

16. Cleveland Cavaliers (27–18)
Where do we even start with the Cavs? Their defense is worse than the 2012 Bobcats, the team with the worst winning percentage in NBA history. Some players held a clandestine meeting earlier this month with select media members to complain about the roster. And then Monday night, Woj reported everyone was mad at Kevin Love. Cleveland definitely won’t beat the Warriors as presently constructed, and the Cavs would be lucky to even make the Finals at this point.

15. Milwaukee Bucks (24–22)
A close win over the Suns wasn’t the best start to the post-Jason Kidd era, but his firing should ultimately help the team. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s reservations aside, Kidd never really proved he could take this team to the next level. His defensive scheme was lacking, and the addition of Eric Bledsoe should have been more impactful. The Bucks are still very talented, and will be a sought after coaching destination. They still have time to turn things around this season as well.

14. Indiana Pacers (25–22)
Indiana is holding steady and remains very much in the thick of the East playoff race. The Pacers play their favorite punching bag, the Cavs, later this week.

13. Denver Nuggets (24–23)
Denver is just barely holding on without Paul Millsap. Jamal Murray has made big strides this season, but this team could still use one more guard off the bench. Maybe the Nugs can get in play for George Hill? Millsap’s return should be a big enough boost to get Denver back into the top eight.

12. Portland Trail Blazers (25–22)
Damian Lillard’s meeting with Paul Allen doesn’t seem all doom and gloom. Dame didn’t ask for a trade, and star players should be putting pressure on management to build winning teams. Can the Blazers catch up to the West’s best? Not the way the roster is put together right now. Portland desperately needs to get rid of some of its bad contracts, which could mean sending away someone like C.J. McCollum. Dame won’t be patient forever.

11. Los Angeles Clippers (23–23)
This team has absolutely no business fighting for a playoff spot. Not with guys like Sindarius Thornwell and Jawun Evans routinely playing big minutes and injuries up and down the roster. Somehow, the Clips have the ninth-best offense in the league. Doc Rivers deserves some Coach of the Year love if he keeps this up.

10. Philadelphia 76ers (22–21)
A blown lead to the Grizzlies was a bad look, but they were 3–0 last week, and will have two big opportunities to make a statement this week with road games at OKC and San Antonio.

9. Miami Heat (27–20)
An overachieving team that can still be frustrating. Losses to Chicago and Brooklyn last week, but also wins over the Bucks and Hornets—the latter of which had schedule loss written all over it. Miami, without its starting backcourt, took Houston down to the wire Monday, but the Heat can’t afford to keep playing in close games every night.

8. New Orleans Pelicans (25–21)
New Orleans has won three of its last four, and Boogie and Anthony Davis are capable of putting up a historic stat lines against any frontcourt in the league. The hot streak gives them a nice showing in these rankings, but the Pelicans still need to find consistency. They should be better than their record.

7. San Antonio Spurs (30–18)
The mystery around Kawhi Leonard’s injury grew as ESPN reported Leonard was upset with the Spurs for how his season has been handled. The report sent every NBA fan scrambling for the trade machine, but San Antonio is obviously still being very supportive of its superstar. Leonard’s absence has certainly been baffling this season. It’s unclear how serious his quad ailment is or how much of his inaction has to do with the Spurs being overly cautious. If he continues to miss time, it’s fair to wonder if the Spurs are just punting on this season.

6. Boston Celtics (34–13)
They’ve lost three straight, and the offense’s struggles can’t be ignored heading into the All-Star break. On the bright side, Gordon Hayward has been practicing his threes…

5. Minnesota Timberwolves (31–18)
The Wolves won their 31st game of the season Monday. They won 31 all of last season.

4. Toronto Raptors (31–14)
If they don’t make the Finals this season, it’s time to blow it up. No more excuses for Toronto.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder (26–20)
OKC went 3–0 last week and the schedule looks pretty soft this week. Things are never simple with the Thunder, but their starting lineup is becoming one of the more dominant units in the league.

2. Golden State Warriors (37–10)
They are bored.

1. Houston Rockets (33–12)
Houston gets the top spot thanks to its win over Golden State to end last week. The Rockets are 18–0 when James Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela are all in the lineup. Mike D’Antoni is doing a great job of staggering Harden and Paul, and the role players are doing a great job of supporting their stars. Don’t sleep on Luc Mbah a Moute.

<p>Welcome to a special edition of The Crossover’s NBA Power Rankings! Well, special in the sense that I’ve literally never done this before. Drunk with power ranking power, I’ve decided the best way to tackle this week’s list is to be super reactionary (sorry, Cavs fans) and reward teams playing better than they should be (go Clippers!) We won’t dive deep into every team today, but headed into Week 15 of the NBA season, here’s a snapshot of how each team has looked in its most recent games. </p><p>(All stats and records used through Jan. 22).</p><p><strong>30. Sacramento Kings (13–33)</strong><br>I had a little bit of excitement for the Kings headed into this season, but they have been far and away the worst team in the Association. Selling off any veterans at practically any price would be a smart move here. De’Aaron Fox can still lead this team out of the woods one day, but the front office needs to make sure his talent isn’t cultivated in a losing environment forever. </p><p><strong>29. Phoenix Suns (17–30)</strong><br>The Greg Monroe Revenge Game was almost a thing in their Monday night loss to the Bucks. </p><p><strong>28. Orlando Magic (14–32)</strong><br>Aaron Gordon has cooled considerably from deep after a scorching start to the season. Still, if he settles somewhere in the mid-30%s from distance, that will be a massive improvement over the rest of his career. </p><p><strong>27. Atlanta Hawks (14–32)</strong><br>Looking a little friskier the last couple weeks. </p><p><strong>26. Utah Jazz (19–28)</strong><br>The Jazz look very much like a team relying on a rookie to carry the offensive load. Utah needs to be aggressively looking for a long-term answer at point guard in the offseason to help ease the burden on Donovan Mitchell. </p><p><strong>25. Dallas Mavericks (16–31)</strong><br>The Mavs had a nice little win against the Jekyll-and-Hyde Wizards on Monday. Dennis Smith Jr. is also putting together some of his best performances of the season over the last couple weeks. They’ve almost become more entertaining than Shark Tank reruns. Almost.</p><p><strong>24. New York Knicks (21–26)</strong><br>The return of Tim Hardaway Jr. earlier this month has helped the offense, but this team is still awful on the road. Upcoming games at Golden State and Denver won’t help. </p><p><strong>23. Brooklyn Nets (18–29)</strong><br>Brooklyn has won two in a row over teams above them in the East standings. The Nets play in a decent amount of close games, and they often make better teams work for wins. I like this squad a lot. </p><p><strong>22. Detroit Pistons (22–23)</strong><br>Losers of five in a row!</p><p>?</p><p><strong>21. Charlotte Hornets (19–26)</strong><br>Charlotte has played much better over the last two-and-a-half weeks of the season than it did to start the year. And the return of Steve Clifford earlier this month is reason to celebrate. But when <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/23/charlotte-hornets-michael-jordan-kemba-walker-trade-rumors" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Michael Jordan is basically confirming reports that" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Michael Jordan is basically confirming reports that </a><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/23/charlotte-hornets-michael-jordan-kemba-walker-trade-rumors" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Kemba" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Kemba</a><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/23/charlotte-hornets-michael-jordan-kemba-walker-trade-rumors" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Walker could be moved" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> Walker could be moved</a> for the right price, it’s hard to pretend that things are looking up for the Hornets. A major shake-up may be in play here. </p><p><strong>20. Memphis Grizzlies (17–29)</strong><br>Break up the Grizz! Memphis has won five of its last seven, including wins over the 76ers and Pelicans. The tank will probably continue after the trade deadline, but the Grizzlies have been relatively hot for a couple weeks so they get a bump here. He may never be a star, but I enjoy watching Dillon Brooks every time he’s on the court. </p><p><strong>19. Los Angeles Lakers (17–29)</strong><br>Winners of six of their last eight, which means they’re slightly hotter than Memphis. </p><p><strong>18. Chicago Bulls (18–29)</strong><br>Chicago lost a nail-biter to the Pelicans on Monday, but the Bulls appear competent enough to play spoiler on any given night. The front office needs to strike while the Nikola Mirotic iron is hot. </p><p><strong>17. Washington Wizards (26–21)</strong><br>Washington should not be second in its own division and in the bottom half of the East playoff bracket. What a disappointing season here. A guy like Mirotic would help, but an attitude adjustment would probably help even more. The Wizards are playing like a team that can flip the switch when they aren’t exactly proven playoff contenders. And John Wall calling J.J. Barea a “midget” was absolutely weak. This franchise needs a jolt. </p><p>?</p><p><strong>16. Cleveland Cavaliers (27–18)</strong><br>Where do we even start with the Cavs? Their defense is worse than the 2012 Bobcats, the team with the worst winning percentage in NBA history. Some players held a clandestine meeting earlier this month with select media members to complain about the roster. And then Monday night, <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/22/cavaliers-team-meeting-kevin-love-illness" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Woj" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Woj</a><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/22/cavaliers-team-meeting-kevin-love-illness" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:reported everyone was mad at Kevin Love." class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> reported everyone was mad at Kevin Love.</a> Cleveland definitely won’t beat the Warriors as presently constructed, and the Cavs would be lucky to even make the Finals at this point. </p><p><strong>15. Milwaukee Bucks (24–22)</strong><br>A close win over the Suns wasn’t the best start to the post-Jason Kidd era, but <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/22/jason-kidd-fired-milwaukee-bucks-giannis-antetokounmpo-coaching-search" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:his firing should ultimately help the team." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">his firing should ultimately help the team.</a> Giannis Antetokounmpo’s reservations aside, Kidd never really proved he could take this team to the next level. His defensive scheme was lacking, and the addition of Eric Bledsoe should have been more impactful. The Bucks are still very talented, and will be a sought after coaching destination. They still have time to turn things around this season as well. </p><p><strong>14. Indiana Pacers (25–22)</strong><br>Indiana is holding steady and remains very much in the thick of the East playoff race. The Pacers play their favorite punching bag, the Cavs, later this week. </p><p><strong>13. Denver Nuggets (24–23)</strong><br>Denver is just barely holding on without Paul Millsap. Jamal Murray has made big strides this season, but this team could still use one more guard off the bench. Maybe the Nugs can get in play for George Hill? Millsap’s return should be a big enough boost to get Denver back into the top eight. </p><p><strong>12. Portland Trail Blazers (25–22)</strong><br><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/23/portland-trail-blazers-damian-lillard-future" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Damian Lillard’s" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Damian Lillard’s</a><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/23/portland-trail-blazers-damian-lillard-future" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:meeting with Paul Allen" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> meeting with Paul Allen</a> doesn’t seem all doom and gloom. Dame didn’t ask for a trade, and star players should be putting pressure on management to build winning teams. Can the Blazers catch up to the West’s best? Not the way the roster is put together right now. Portland desperately needs to get rid of some of its bad contracts, which could mean sending away someone like C.J. McCollum. Dame won’t be patient forever. </p><p><strong>11. Los Angeles Clippers (23–23)</strong><br>This team has absolutely no business fighting for a playoff spot. Not with guys like Sindarius Thornwell and Jawun Evans routinely playing big minutes and injuries up and down the roster. Somehow, the Clips have the ninth-best offense in the league. Doc Rivers deserves some Coach of the Year love if he keeps this up. </p><p><strong>10. Philadelphia 76ers (22–21)</strong><br>A blown lead to the Grizzlies was a bad look, but they were 3–0 last week, and will have two big opportunities to make a statement this week with road games at OKC and San Antonio. </p><p><strong>9. Miami Heat (27–20)</strong><br>An overachieving team that can still be frustrating. Losses to Chicago and Brooklyn last week, but also wins over the Bucks and Hornets—the latter of which had schedule loss written all over it. Miami, without its starting backcourt, took Houston down to the wire Monday, but the Heat can’t afford to keep playing in close games every night. </p><p><strong>8. New Orleans Pelicans (25–21)</strong><br>New Orleans has won three of its last four, and Boogie and Anthony Davis are capable of putting up a historic stat lines against any frontcourt in the league. The hot streak gives them a nice showing in these rankings, but the Pelicans still need to find consistency. They should be better than their record. </p><p><strong>7. San Antonio Spurs (30–18)</strong><br>The mystery around Kawhi Leonard’s injury grew as ESPN reported Leonard was upset with the Spurs for how his season has been handled. The report sent every NBA fan scrambling for the trade machine, but San Antonio is obviously still being very supportive of its superstar. Leonard’s absence has certainly been baffling this season. It’s unclear how serious his quad ailment is or how much of his inaction has to do with the Spurs being overly cautious. If he continues to miss time, it’s fair to wonder if the Spurs are just punting on this season. </p><p><strong>6. Boston Celtics (34–13)</strong><br>They’ve lost three straight, and the offense’s struggles can’t be ignored heading into the All-Star break. On the bright side, Gordon Hayward has been practicing his threes…</p><p><strong>5. Minnesota Timberwolves (31–18)</strong><br>The Wolves won their 31st game of the season Monday. They won 31 all of last season. </p><p><strong>4. Toronto Raptors (31–14)</strong><br>If they don’t make the Finals this season, it’s time to blow it up. No more excuses for Toronto. </p><p><strong>3. Oklahoma City Thunder (26–20)</strong><br>OKC went 3–0 last week and the schedule looks pretty soft this week. Things are never simple with the Thunder, but their starting lineup is becoming one of the more dominant units in the league. </p><p><strong>2. Golden State Warriors (37–10)</strong><br>They are bored. </p><p><strong>1. Houston Rockets (33–12)</strong><br>Houston gets the top spot thanks to its win over Golden State to end last week. The Rockets are 18–0 when James Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela are all in the lineup. Mike D’Antoni is doing a great job of staggering Harden and Paul, and the role players are doing a great job of supporting their stars. Don’t sleep on Luc Mbah a Moute. </p>
NBA Power Rankings: Cavs Plummet as Rumors Swirl

Welcome to a special edition of The Crossover’s NBA Power Rankings! Well, special in the sense that I’ve literally never done this before. Drunk with power ranking power, I’ve decided the best way to tackle this week’s list is to be super reactionary (sorry, Cavs fans) and reward teams playing better than they should be (go Clippers!) We won’t dive deep into every team today, but headed into Week 15 of the NBA season, here’s a snapshot of how each team has looked in its most recent games.

(All stats and records used through Jan. 22).

30. Sacramento Kings (13–33)
I had a little bit of excitement for the Kings headed into this season, but they have been far and away the worst team in the Association. Selling off any veterans at practically any price would be a smart move here. De’Aaron Fox can still lead this team out of the woods one day, but the front office needs to make sure his talent isn’t cultivated in a losing environment forever.

29. Phoenix Suns (17–30)
The Greg Monroe Revenge Game was almost a thing in their Monday night loss to the Bucks.

28. Orlando Magic (14–32)
Aaron Gordon has cooled considerably from deep after a scorching start to the season. Still, if he settles somewhere in the mid-30%s from distance, that will be a massive improvement over the rest of his career.

27. Atlanta Hawks (14–32)
Looking a little friskier the last couple weeks.

26. Utah Jazz (19–28)
The Jazz look very much like a team relying on a rookie to carry the offensive load. Utah needs to be aggressively looking for a long-term answer at point guard in the offseason to help ease the burden on Donovan Mitchell.

25. Dallas Mavericks (16–31)
The Mavs had a nice little win against the Jekyll-and-Hyde Wizards on Monday. Dennis Smith Jr. is also putting together some of his best performances of the season over the last couple weeks. They’ve almost become more entertaining than Shark Tank reruns. Almost.

24. New York Knicks (21–26)
The return of Tim Hardaway Jr. earlier this month has helped the offense, but this team is still awful on the road. Upcoming games at Golden State and Denver won’t help.

23. Brooklyn Nets (18–29)
Brooklyn has won two in a row over teams above them in the East standings. The Nets play in a decent amount of close games, and they often make better teams work for wins. I like this squad a lot.

22. Detroit Pistons (22–23)
Losers of five in a row!

?

21. Charlotte Hornets (19–26)
Charlotte has played much better over the last two-and-a-half weeks of the season than it did to start the year. And the return of Steve Clifford earlier this month is reason to celebrate. But when Michael Jordan is basically confirming reports that Kemba Walker could be moved for the right price, it’s hard to pretend that things are looking up for the Hornets. A major shake-up may be in play here.

20. Memphis Grizzlies (17–29)
Break up the Grizz! Memphis has won five of its last seven, including wins over the 76ers and Pelicans. The tank will probably continue after the trade deadline, but the Grizzlies have been relatively hot for a couple weeks so they get a bump here. He may never be a star, but I enjoy watching Dillon Brooks every time he’s on the court.

19. Los Angeles Lakers (17–29)
Winners of six of their last eight, which means they’re slightly hotter than Memphis.

18. Chicago Bulls (18–29)
Chicago lost a nail-biter to the Pelicans on Monday, but the Bulls appear competent enough to play spoiler on any given night. The front office needs to strike while the Nikola Mirotic iron is hot.

17. Washington Wizards (26–21)
Washington should not be second in its own division and in the bottom half of the East playoff bracket. What a disappointing season here. A guy like Mirotic would help, but an attitude adjustment would probably help even more. The Wizards are playing like a team that can flip the switch when they aren’t exactly proven playoff contenders. And John Wall calling J.J. Barea a “midget” was absolutely weak. This franchise needs a jolt.

?

16. Cleveland Cavaliers (27–18)
Where do we even start with the Cavs? Their defense is worse than the 2012 Bobcats, the team with the worst winning percentage in NBA history. Some players held a clandestine meeting earlier this month with select media members to complain about the roster. And then Monday night, Woj reported everyone was mad at Kevin Love. Cleveland definitely won’t beat the Warriors as presently constructed, and the Cavs would be lucky to even make the Finals at this point.

15. Milwaukee Bucks (24–22)
A close win over the Suns wasn’t the best start to the post-Jason Kidd era, but his firing should ultimately help the team. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s reservations aside, Kidd never really proved he could take this team to the next level. His defensive scheme was lacking, and the addition of Eric Bledsoe should have been more impactful. The Bucks are still very talented, and will be a sought after coaching destination. They still have time to turn things around this season as well.

14. Indiana Pacers (25–22)
Indiana is holding steady and remains very much in the thick of the East playoff race. The Pacers play their favorite punching bag, the Cavs, later this week.

13. Denver Nuggets (24–23)
Denver is just barely holding on without Paul Millsap. Jamal Murray has made big strides this season, but this team could still use one more guard off the bench. Maybe the Nugs can get in play for George Hill? Millsap’s return should be a big enough boost to get Denver back into the top eight.

12. Portland Trail Blazers (25–22)
Damian Lillard’s meeting with Paul Allen doesn’t seem all doom and gloom. Dame didn’t ask for a trade, and star players should be putting pressure on management to build winning teams. Can the Blazers catch up to the West’s best? Not the way the roster is put together right now. Portland desperately needs to get rid of some of its bad contracts, which could mean sending away someone like C.J. McCollum. Dame won’t be patient forever.

11. Los Angeles Clippers (23–23)
This team has absolutely no business fighting for a playoff spot. Not with guys like Sindarius Thornwell and Jawun Evans routinely playing big minutes and injuries up and down the roster. Somehow, the Clips have the ninth-best offense in the league. Doc Rivers deserves some Coach of the Year love if he keeps this up.

10. Philadelphia 76ers (22–21)
A blown lead to the Grizzlies was a bad look, but they were 3–0 last week, and will have two big opportunities to make a statement this week with road games at OKC and San Antonio.

9. Miami Heat (27–20)
An overachieving team that can still be frustrating. Losses to Chicago and Brooklyn last week, but also wins over the Bucks and Hornets—the latter of which had schedule loss written all over it. Miami, without its starting backcourt, took Houston down to the wire Monday, but the Heat can’t afford to keep playing in close games every night.

8. New Orleans Pelicans (25–21)
New Orleans has won three of its last four, and Boogie and Anthony Davis are capable of putting up a historic stat lines against any frontcourt in the league. The hot streak gives them a nice showing in these rankings, but the Pelicans still need to find consistency. They should be better than their record.

7. San Antonio Spurs (30–18)
The mystery around Kawhi Leonard’s injury grew as ESPN reported Leonard was upset with the Spurs for how his season has been handled. The report sent every NBA fan scrambling for the trade machine, but San Antonio is obviously still being very supportive of its superstar. Leonard’s absence has certainly been baffling this season. It’s unclear how serious his quad ailment is or how much of his inaction has to do with the Spurs being overly cautious. If he continues to miss time, it’s fair to wonder if the Spurs are just punting on this season.

6. Boston Celtics (34–13)
They’ve lost three straight, and the offense’s struggles can’t be ignored heading into the All-Star break. On the bright side, Gordon Hayward has been practicing his threes…

5. Minnesota Timberwolves (31–18)
The Wolves won their 31st game of the season Monday. They won 31 all of last season.

4. Toronto Raptors (31–14)
If they don’t make the Finals this season, it’s time to blow it up. No more excuses for Toronto.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder (26–20)
OKC went 3–0 last week and the schedule looks pretty soft this week. Things are never simple with the Thunder, but their starting lineup is becoming one of the more dominant units in the league.

2. Golden State Warriors (37–10)
They are bored.

1. Houston Rockets (33–12)
Houston gets the top spot thanks to its win over Golden State to end last week. The Rockets are 18–0 when James Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela are all in the lineup. Mike D’Antoni is doing a great job of staggering Harden and Paul, and the role players are doing a great job of supporting their stars. Don’t sleep on Luc Mbah a Moute.

<p>Welcome to a special edition of The Crossover’s NBA Power Rankings! Well, special in the sense that I’ve literally never done this before. Drunk with power ranking power, I’ve decided the best way to tackle this week’s list is to be super reactionary (sorry, Cavs fans) and reward teams playing better than they should be (go Clippers!) We won’t dive deep into every team today, but headed into Week 15 of the NBA season, here’s a snapshot of how each team has looked in its most recent games. </p><p>(All stats and records used through Jan. 22).</p><p><strong>30. Sacramento Kings (13–33)</strong><br>I had a little bit of excitement for the Kings headed into this season, but they have been far and away the worst team in the Association. Selling off any veterans at practically any price would be a smart move here. De’Aaron Fox can still lead this team out of the woods one day, but the front office needs to make sure his talent isn’t cultivated in a losing environment forever. </p><p><strong>29. Phoenix Suns (17–30)</strong><br>The Greg Monroe Revenge Game was almost a thing in their Monday night loss to the Bucks. </p><p><strong>28. Orlando Magic (14–32)</strong><br>Aaron Gordon has cooled considerably from deep after a scorching start to the season. Still, if he settles somewhere in the mid-30%s from distance, that will be a massive improvement over the rest of his career. </p><p><strong>27. Atlanta Hawks (14–32)</strong><br>Looking a little friskier the last couple weeks. </p><p><strong>26. Utah Jazz (19–28)</strong><br>The Jazz look very much like a team relying on a rookie to carry the offensive load. Utah needs to be aggressively looking for a long-term answer at point guard in the offseason to help ease the burden on Donovan Mitchell. </p><p><strong>25. Dallas Mavericks (16–31)</strong><br>The Mavs had a nice little win against the Jekyll-and-Hyde Wizards on Monday. Dennis Smith Jr. is also putting together some of his best performances of the season over the last couple weeks. They’ve almost become more entertaining than Shark Tank reruns. Almost.</p><p><strong>24. New York Knicks (21–26)</strong><br>The return of Tim Hardaway Jr. earlier this month has helped the offense, but this team is still awful on the road. Upcoming games at Golden State and Denver won’t help. </p><p><strong>23. Brooklyn Nets (18–29)</strong><br>Brooklyn has won two in a row over teams above them in the East standings. The Nets play in a decent amount of close games, and they often make better teams work for wins. I like this squad a lot. </p><p><strong>22. Detroit Pistons (22–23)</strong><br>Losers of five in a row!</p><p>?</p><p><strong>21. Charlotte Hornets (19–26)</strong><br>Charlotte has played much better over the last two-and-a-half weeks of the season than it did to start the year. And the return of Steve Clifford earlier this month is reason to celebrate. But when <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/23/charlotte-hornets-michael-jordan-kemba-walker-trade-rumors" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Michael Jordan is basically confirming reports that" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Michael Jordan is basically confirming reports that </a><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/23/charlotte-hornets-michael-jordan-kemba-walker-trade-rumors" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Kemba" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Kemba</a><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/23/charlotte-hornets-michael-jordan-kemba-walker-trade-rumors" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Walker could be moved" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> Walker could be moved</a> for the right price, it’s hard to pretend that things are looking up for the Hornets. A major shake-up may be in play here. </p><p><strong>20. Memphis Grizzlies (17–29)</strong><br>Break up the Grizz! Memphis has won five of its last seven, including wins over the 76ers and Pelicans. The tank will probably continue after the trade deadline, but the Grizzlies have been relatively hot for a couple weeks so they get a bump here. He may never be a star, but I enjoy watching Dillon Brooks every time he’s on the court. </p><p><strong>19. Los Angeles Lakers (17–29)</strong><br>Winners of six of their last eight, which means they’re slightly hotter than Memphis. </p><p><strong>18. Chicago Bulls (18–29)</strong><br>Chicago lost a nail-biter to the Pelicans on Monday, but the Bulls appear competent enough to play spoiler on any given night. The front office needs to strike while the Nikola Mirotic iron is hot. </p><p><strong>17. Washington Wizards (26–21)</strong><br>Washington should not be second in its own division and in the bottom half of the East playoff bracket. What a disappointing season here. A guy like Mirotic would help, but an attitude adjustment would probably help even more. The Wizards are playing like a team that can flip the switch when they aren’t exactly proven playoff contenders. And John Wall calling J.J. Barea a “midget” was absolutely weak. This franchise needs a jolt. </p><p>?</p><p><strong>16. Cleveland Cavaliers (27–18)</strong><br>Where do we even start with the Cavs? Their defense is worse than the 2012 Bobcats, the team with the worst winning percentage in NBA history. Some players held a clandestine meeting earlier this month with select media members to complain about the roster. And then Monday night, <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/22/cavaliers-team-meeting-kevin-love-illness" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Woj" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Woj</a><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/22/cavaliers-team-meeting-kevin-love-illness" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:reported everyone was mad at Kevin Love." class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> reported everyone was mad at Kevin Love.</a> Cleveland definitely won’t beat the Warriors as presently constructed, and the Cavs would be lucky to even make the Finals at this point. </p><p><strong>15. Milwaukee Bucks (24–22)</strong><br>A close win over the Suns wasn’t the best start to the post-Jason Kidd era, but <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/22/jason-kidd-fired-milwaukee-bucks-giannis-antetokounmpo-coaching-search" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:his firing should ultimately help the team." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">his firing should ultimately help the team.</a> Giannis Antetokounmpo’s reservations aside, Kidd never really proved he could take this team to the next level. His defensive scheme was lacking, and the addition of Eric Bledsoe should have been more impactful. The Bucks are still very talented, and will be a sought after coaching destination. They still have time to turn things around this season as well. </p><p><strong>14. Indiana Pacers (25–22)</strong><br>Indiana is holding steady and remains very much in the thick of the East playoff race. The Pacers play their favorite punching bag, the Cavs, later this week. </p><p><strong>13. Denver Nuggets (24–23)</strong><br>Denver is just barely holding on without Paul Millsap. Jamal Murray has made big strides this season, but this team could still use one more guard off the bench. Maybe the Nugs can get in play for George Hill? Millsap’s return should be a big enough boost to get Denver back into the top eight. </p><p><strong>12. Portland Trail Blazers (25–22)</strong><br><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/23/portland-trail-blazers-damian-lillard-future" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Damian Lillard’s" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Damian Lillard’s</a><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/23/portland-trail-blazers-damian-lillard-future" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:meeting with Paul Allen" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> meeting with Paul Allen</a> doesn’t seem all doom and gloom. Dame didn’t ask for a trade, and star players should be putting pressure on management to build winning teams. Can the Blazers catch up to the West’s best? Not the way the roster is put together right now. Portland desperately needs to get rid of some of its bad contracts, which could mean sending away someone like C.J. McCollum. Dame won’t be patient forever. </p><p><strong>11. Los Angeles Clippers (23–23)</strong><br>This team has absolutely no business fighting for a playoff spot. Not with guys like Sindarius Thornwell and Jawun Evans routinely playing big minutes and injuries up and down the roster. Somehow, the Clips have the ninth-best offense in the league. Doc Rivers deserves some Coach of the Year love if he keeps this up. </p><p><strong>10. Philadelphia 76ers (22–21)</strong><br>A blown lead to the Grizzlies was a bad look, but they were 3–0 last week, and will have two big opportunities to make a statement this week with road games at OKC and San Antonio. </p><p><strong>9. Miami Heat (27–20)</strong><br>An overachieving team that can still be frustrating. Losses to Chicago and Brooklyn last week, but also wins over the Bucks and Hornets—the latter of which had schedule loss written all over it. Miami, without its starting backcourt, took Houston down to the wire Monday, but the Heat can’t afford to keep playing in close games every night. </p><p><strong>8. New Orleans Pelicans (25–21)</strong><br>New Orleans has won three of its last four, and Boogie and Anthony Davis are capable of putting up a historic stat lines against any frontcourt in the league. The hot streak gives them a nice showing in these rankings, but the Pelicans still need to find consistency. They should be better than their record. </p><p><strong>7. San Antonio Spurs (30–18)</strong><br>The mystery around Kawhi Leonard’s injury grew as ESPN reported Leonard was upset with the Spurs for how his season has been handled. The report sent every NBA fan scrambling for the trade machine, but San Antonio is obviously still being very supportive of its superstar. Leonard’s absence has certainly been baffling this season. It’s unclear how serious his quad ailment is or how much of his inaction has to do with the Spurs being overly cautious. If he continues to miss time, it’s fair to wonder if the Spurs are just punting on this season. </p><p><strong>6. Boston Celtics (34–13)</strong><br>They’ve lost three straight, and the offense’s struggles can’t be ignored heading into the All-Star break. On the bright side, Gordon Hayward has been practicing his threes…</p><p><strong>5. Minnesota Timberwolves (31–18)</strong><br>The Wolves won their 31st game of the season Monday. They won 31 all of last season. </p><p><strong>4. Toronto Raptors (31–14)</strong><br>If they don’t make the Finals this season, it’s time to blow it up. No more excuses for Toronto. </p><p><strong>3. Oklahoma City Thunder (26–20)</strong><br>OKC went 3–0 last week and the schedule looks pretty soft this week. Things are never simple with the Thunder, but their starting lineup is becoming one of the more dominant units in the league. </p><p><strong>2. Golden State Warriors (37–10)</strong><br>They are bored. </p><p><strong>1. Houston Rockets (33–12)</strong><br>Houston gets the top spot thanks to its win over Golden State to end last week. The Rockets are 18–0 when James Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela are all in the lineup. Mike D’Antoni is doing a great job of staggering Harden and Paul, and the role players are doing a great job of supporting their stars. Don’t sleep on Luc Mbah a Moute. </p>
NBA Power Rankings: Cavs Plummet as Rumors Swirl

Welcome to a special edition of The Crossover’s NBA Power Rankings! Well, special in the sense that I’ve literally never done this before. Drunk with power ranking power, I’ve decided the best way to tackle this week’s list is to be super reactionary (sorry, Cavs fans) and reward teams playing better than they should be (go Clippers!) We won’t dive deep into every team today, but headed into Week 15 of the NBA season, here’s a snapshot of how each team has looked in its most recent games.

(All stats and records used through Jan. 22).

30. Sacramento Kings (13–33)
I had a little bit of excitement for the Kings headed into this season, but they have been far and away the worst team in the Association. Selling off any veterans at practically any price would be a smart move here. De’Aaron Fox can still lead this team out of the woods one day, but the front office needs to make sure his talent isn’t cultivated in a losing environment forever.

29. Phoenix Suns (17–30)
The Greg Monroe Revenge Game was almost a thing in their Monday night loss to the Bucks.

28. Orlando Magic (14–32)
Aaron Gordon has cooled considerably from deep after a scorching start to the season. Still, if he settles somewhere in the mid-30%s from distance, that will be a massive improvement over the rest of his career.

27. Atlanta Hawks (14–32)
Looking a little friskier the last couple weeks.

26. Utah Jazz (19–28)
The Jazz look very much like a team relying on a rookie to carry the offensive load. Utah needs to be aggressively looking for a long-term answer at point guard in the offseason to help ease the burden on Donovan Mitchell.

25. Dallas Mavericks (16–31)
The Mavs had a nice little win against the Jekyll-and-Hyde Wizards on Monday. Dennis Smith Jr. is also putting together some of his best performances of the season over the last couple weeks. They’ve almost become more entertaining than Shark Tank reruns. Almost.

24. New York Knicks (21–26)
The return of Tim Hardaway Jr. earlier this month has helped the offense, but this team is still awful on the road. Upcoming games at Golden State and Denver won’t help.

23. Brooklyn Nets (18–29)
Brooklyn has won two in a row over teams above them in the East standings. The Nets play in a decent amount of close games, and they often make better teams work for wins. I like this squad a lot.

22. Detroit Pistons (22–23)
Losers of five in a row!

?

21. Charlotte Hornets (19–26)
Charlotte has played much better over the last two-and-a-half weeks of the season than it did to start the year. And the return of Steve Clifford earlier this month is reason to celebrate. But when Michael Jordan is basically confirming reports that Kemba Walker could be moved for the right price, it’s hard to pretend that things are looking up for the Hornets. A major shake-up may be in play here.

20. Memphis Grizzlies (17–29)
Break up the Grizz! Memphis has won five of its last seven, including wins over the 76ers and Pelicans. The tank will probably continue after the trade deadline, but the Grizzlies have been relatively hot for a couple weeks so they get a bump here. He may never be a star, but I enjoy watching Dillon Brooks every time he’s on the court.

19. Los Angeles Lakers (17–29)
Winners of six of their last eight, which means they’re slightly hotter than Memphis.

18. Chicago Bulls (18–29)
Chicago lost a nail-biter to the Pelicans on Monday, but the Bulls appear competent enough to play spoiler on any given night. The front office needs to strike while the Nikola Mirotic iron is hot.

17. Washington Wizards (26–21)
Washington should not be second in its own division and in the bottom half of the East playoff bracket. What a disappointing season here. A guy like Mirotic would help, but an attitude adjustment would probably help even more. The Wizards are playing like a team that can flip the switch when they aren’t exactly proven playoff contenders. And John Wall calling J.J. Barea a “midget” was absolutely weak. This franchise needs a jolt.

?

16. Cleveland Cavaliers (27–18)
Where do we even start with the Cavs? Their defense is worse than the 2012 Bobcats, the team with the worst winning percentage in NBA history. Some players held a clandestine meeting earlier this month with select media members to complain about the roster. And then Monday night, Woj reported everyone was mad at Kevin Love. Cleveland definitely won’t beat the Warriors as presently constructed, and the Cavs would be lucky to even make the Finals at this point.

15. Milwaukee Bucks (24–22)
A close win over the Suns wasn’t the best start to the post-Jason Kidd era, but his firing should ultimately help the team. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s reservations aside, Kidd never really proved he could take this team to the next level. His defensive scheme was lacking, and the addition of Eric Bledsoe should have been more impactful. The Bucks are still very talented, and will be a sought after coaching destination. They still have time to turn things around this season as well.

14. Indiana Pacers (25–22)
Indiana is holding steady and remains very much in the thick of the East playoff race. The Pacers play their favorite punching bag, the Cavs, later this week.

13. Denver Nuggets (24–23)
Denver is just barely holding on without Paul Millsap. Jamal Murray has made big strides this season, but this team could still use one more guard off the bench. Maybe the Nugs can get in play for George Hill? Millsap’s return should be a big enough boost to get Denver back into the top eight.

12. Portland Trail Blazers (25–22)
Damian Lillard’s meeting with Paul Allen doesn’t seem all doom and gloom. Dame didn’t ask for a trade, and star players should be putting pressure on management to build winning teams. Can the Blazers catch up to the West’s best? Not the way the roster is put together right now. Portland desperately needs to get rid of some of its bad contracts, which could mean sending away someone like C.J. McCollum. Dame won’t be patient forever.

11. Los Angeles Clippers (23–23)
This team has absolutely no business fighting for a playoff spot. Not with guys like Sindarius Thornwell and Jawun Evans routinely playing big minutes and injuries up and down the roster. Somehow, the Clips have the ninth-best offense in the league. Doc Rivers deserves some Coach of the Year love if he keeps this up.

10. Philadelphia 76ers (22–21)
A blown lead to the Grizzlies was a bad look, but they were 3–0 last week, and will have two big opportunities to make a statement this week with road games at OKC and San Antonio.

9. Miami Heat (27–20)
An overachieving team that can still be frustrating. Losses to Chicago and Brooklyn last week, but also wins over the Bucks and Hornets—the latter of which had schedule loss written all over it. Miami, without its starting backcourt, took Houston down to the wire Monday, but the Heat can’t afford to keep playing in close games every night.

8. New Orleans Pelicans (25–21)
New Orleans has won three of its last four, and Boogie and Anthony Davis are capable of putting up a historic stat lines against any frontcourt in the league. The hot streak gives them a nice showing in these rankings, but the Pelicans still need to find consistency. They should be better than their record.

7. San Antonio Spurs (30–18)
The mystery around Kawhi Leonard’s injury grew as ESPN reported Leonard was upset with the Spurs for how his season has been handled. The report sent every NBA fan scrambling for the trade machine, but San Antonio is obviously still being very supportive of its superstar. Leonard’s absence has certainly been baffling this season. It’s unclear how serious his quad ailment is or how much of his inaction has to do with the Spurs being overly cautious. If he continues to miss time, it’s fair to wonder if the Spurs are just punting on this season.

6. Boston Celtics (34–13)
They’ve lost three straight, and the offense’s struggles can’t be ignored heading into the All-Star break. On the bright side, Gordon Hayward has been practicing his threes…

5. Minnesota Timberwolves (31–18)
The Wolves won their 31st game of the season Monday. They won 31 all of last season.

4. Toronto Raptors (31–14)
If they don’t make the Finals this season, it’s time to blow it up. No more excuses for Toronto.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder (26–20)
OKC went 3–0 last week and the schedule looks pretty soft this week. Things are never simple with the Thunder, but their starting lineup is becoming one of the more dominant units in the league.

2. Golden State Warriors (37–10)
They are bored.

1. Houston Rockets (33–12)
Houston gets the top spot thanks to its win over Golden State to end last week. The Rockets are 18–0 when James Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela are all in the lineup. Mike D’Antoni is doing a great job of staggering Harden and Paul, and the role players are doing a great job of supporting their stars. Don’t sleep on Luc Mbah a Moute.

<p>Well, well, well. Welcome back to The Crossover’s weekly Power Rankings, where we have officially reached the NBA&#39;s midseason point. The Warriors are still the best team in basketball and the Grizzlies are still the worst, but there have been some surprising runs going on in between. The Heat have somehow cracked the top-five (!), the Cavs are barely hanging in the top-10 and the Lakers are the new kings of the world. Also Drake is back again.</p><p>With 41 games in the books for just about everyone, and <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/01/14/five-storylines-nba-mlk-day-lebron-cavs-warriors-bucks-wizards" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:the Warriors-Cavs set to meet Monday night in an MLK Day showdown," class="link rapid-noclick-resp">the Warriors-Cavs set to meet Monday night in an MLK Day showdown,</a> let&#39;s get down to business. Here are this week&#39;s Power Rankings!</p><p>(All stats and records through Jan. 14).</p><p><strong>30. Memphis Grizzlies (13–28)<br>Last Week: 30</strong><br>I’ll wager a guess that two guys with little-to-no trade value will have even worse value considering how desperate Memphis is to make a trade!</p><p><strong>29. Orlando Magic (12–31)<br>Last Week: 28</strong><br>On the bright side, Orlando has been making good on the New Year’s resolution I gave them and playing Mario Hezonja more than 27 minutes per game! He’s averaged 11.7 and 5.7 and is shooting 47.5% from the field! That’s exciting, I guess. </p><p><strong>28. Atlanta Hawks (11–31)<br>Last Week: 29</strong><br>It’s only a matter of time before the Hawks trade Dennis Schroder to the Nets, right? They’re in burn-it-down mode, he’s not exactly a player you build around, and Brooklyn has German national coach Chris Fleming on its bench. I’m starting the stopwatch now, let’s see how long this actually takes.</p><p><strong>27. Utah Jazz (17–25)<br>Last Week: 27</strong><br>This was absolutely worth the $35,000 fine.</p><p>Wanna hear something insane about the phone slap, though?</p><p>Surely couldn’t have been an iPhone. Those screens will crack if you just look at them the wrong way.</p><p><strong>26. Phoenix Suns (16–28)<br>Last Week: 23</strong><br>The five-day gap between games this week made me think they should have just ended their season after beating the the Thunder last Sunday. Don’t even show up. Just take all the losses, get the lottery pick, and let people hold on to that good feeling they had after the Thunder win. </p><p><strong>25. Sacramento Kings (13–29)<br>Last Week: 20</strong><br>The thought dawned upon me this week—what is Vivek going to do in order to draft Trae Young, who’s been touted as the next Steph Curry? We all know he’s obsessed with finding the next Steph, so what happens if the Kings get the sixth pick? Does he just trade up to No. 1 to get him? What does he give up? The deed to his house?</p><p><strong>24. Dallas Mavericks (15–29)<br>Last Week: 26</strong><br>This was supposed to be Harrison Barnes’s team once upon a time, but I think that window’s sealed shut. We need a new guy now. After two big games I was ready to give the team to Yogi Ferrell. Now I’m thinking it’s Dennis Smith Jr.’s. Next week it’ll probably be Dwight Powell’s.</p><p><strong>23. Brooklyn Nets (16–27)<br>Last Week: 22</strong><br>Can Spencer Dinwiddie actually make the All-Star team? Well, no, as Joel Embiid showed us last year even the most successful viral voting campaign in history won’t be enough. But man, these Nets fans are <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/GoNets/comments/7qgwzl/goat_dinwiddie443atr_leads_nbavotedinwiddie/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:going HARD" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">going HARD</a> to get Dinwiddie there this season. It’s pretty admirable, and he’s got some pretty solid numbers.</p><p><strong>22. Charlotte Hornets (16–25)<br>Last Week: 21</strong><br>I thought for a moment on Saturday that the Hornets might actually knock off the Thunder, then Jeremy Lamb was cut off on a drive and tried a post fade early in the shot clock which he missed badly. They couldn’t close, which has been the problem all year.</p><p><strong>21. Chicago Bulls (16–27)<br>Last Week: 24</strong><br>The Bulls are now 3–0 against the Knicks this year. If they narrowly miss out on a top-five pick, and New York misses the postseason by a few games, this might go down as the funniest season series ever. Mutually assured destruction!</p><p><strong>20. Philadelphia 76ers (19–20)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 19</strong><br>What in the hell is this? How did this happen?</p><p><strong>19. Los Angeles Lakers (15–27)<br>Last Week: 25</strong><br>Four-game winning streak! Fire up DUCKTALES</p><p><strong>18. New York Knicks (19–24)<br>Last Week: 14</strong><br>Give Kristaps Porzingis a lot of credit: There was a lot of chatter this week that he wasn’t built to be a franchise player. He came out next game—against Boogie Cousins and Anthony Davis—and scored 25 (on 10-of-24 shooting) with six boards, five steals and two blocks. There haven’t been a ton of bright spots for this team lately, maybe that’s one.</p><p><strong>17. Denver Nuggets (22–21)<br>Last Week: 15</strong><br>This team can’t defend, can’t hang with good teams, barely beats bad teams, and touts Nikola Jokic and Gary Harris as their only legit good players at the moment. I am very excited to see what this core does in three years, but I’m not too interested right now. I think we can cool the talk on this team making the playoffs this year. Maybe if Paul Millsap comes out of his injury firing and 2016-17 Wilson Chandler returns then we can re-open the discussion.</p><p><strong>16. New Orleans Pelicans (22–20)<br>Last Week: 18</strong><br>I’m not sure why more people aren’t talking about this. To me, this was like one of the craziest things I’ve seen on a basketball court in weeks.</p><p><strong>15. Detroit Pistons (22–19)<br>Last Week: 13</strong><br>With the Pistons continuing to boast a top defense, we can’t be <em>too </em>worried about them. That being said, there is certainly chemistry to be built. Reggie Bullock had Tobias Harris open for a potential game-tying bucket at the end of that Bulls loss and decided to take it himself. He was blocked. It just feels like this is representative of the Pistons’ larger problem at the moment, that sometimes guys seem to be out for themselves or out of sync with the rest of the team.</p><p><strong>14. Oklahoma City Thunder (23–20)<br>Last Week: 12</strong><br>When Carmelo Anthony takes 15 or more shots, the Thunder are 10-15. When Carmelo Anthony takes fewer than 15 shots, the Thunder are 13–5.</p><p><strong>13. Indiana Pacers (23–20)<br>Last Week: 17</strong><br>Besides male pattern baldness and maybe bear attacks, is there a single greater threat to LeBron James than Lance Stephenson?</p><p><strong>12. Portland Trail Blazers (22–21)<br>Last Week: 11</strong><br>Wanna know how I know Dame is a stone-cold assassin on the court? Watch this:</p><p><strong>11. Milwaukee Bucks (22–20)<br>Last Week: 10</strong><br>So I’ll admit it: I haven’t been a big Bucks guy this year. I find their inconsistency maddening, every five days there’s a cavalry of fans calling for Jason Kidd to be fired and they refuse to make simple adjustments. But I think I might be becoming a fan now. There might be hope for Milwaukee. Look at what Tony Snell <a href="https://www.jsonline.com/story/sports/nba/bucks/2018/01/12/basketball-family-one-same-bucks-tony-snell/1015032001/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">told the <em>Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel</em>:</a></p><p>“I go into the locker room and everybody’s got their head down on their phone the whole time,” said Snell. “I’m the only one who’s got my head up. It’s the saddest thing ever. Technology is the worst. Everybody walks like this (Snell staggers with his head down), not even paying attention. It’s the worst thing ever.”</p><p>Yes. 100% yes. Everybody’s got to put down the phones. What’s happened to camaraderie? Team bonding? Enjoying human interaction? Apologies if you&#39;re reading this on your phone.</p><p><strong>10. Cleveland Cavaliers (26–16)<br>Last Week: 4</strong><br>The Cavs had the worst week of anyone, losing by 28 points to the Timberwolves only to follow it up with a 34-point embarrassment against the Kyle Lowry-less Raptors in Toronto. Then, to top it all off, LeBron and Co. blew a 22-point lead in a back-breaking loss to the Pacers. </p><p>Cleveland’s offense has been a mess for awhile, but I’m not overly concerned because I still think the Cavs are going to hit their shots and score on most nights, and Isaiah Thomas is eventually going to mesh. I’m more interested in Cleveland’s defense. That&#39;s what this team&#39;s fate is ultimately going to come down to in the postseason. It remains their biggest question mark.</p><p><strong>9. L.A. Clippers (21–21)<br>Last Week: 16</strong><br>The injuries continue to pile up (this week it was DeAndre Jordan) yet the Clippers continue to win! These random dudes have gotten so good that I actually yelled out loud in the Sports Illustrated office when C.J. Williams sprained his ankle against the Warriors. I kid you not! I guess the bright side of the injuries is that even more random players you’ve never heard of will start making plays. On Thursday it was someone named Tyrone Wallace. Also, I’ve got to mention—and tip my hat—to Lou Freaking Williams. Fifty. Boy, am I looking bad right now! I love Lou, but I never thought he would do THIS!</p><p><strong>8. Washington Wizards (25–18)<br>Last Week: 9</strong><br>Love this stat that the Wizards tweeted out. He’s the reason Washington stayed afloat with John Wall out, and he’s been one of the most consistent performers in the league this season.</p><p><strong>7. Toronto Raptors (29–12)<br>Last Week: 5</strong><br>Drake telling C.J. Miles—a professional shooter—how to shoot just killed me.</p><p>Also, Drake getting really mad at this ref made me laugh.</p><p>Also also, remember what I said about questioning whether or not Fred VanVleet could score consistently off the bench? Turns out I was wrong! </p><p><strong>6. Minnesota Timberwolves (29–16)<br>Last Week: 8</strong><br>The Timberwolves’ offense is on fire right now, scoring 120 points per 100 possessions over the past week (tops in the league) and posting a tasty 2.41 assist-to-turnover ratio. Now comes the hard part, though; Minnesota just wrapped up a five-game homestand and will play seven of their next nine on the road, where they’re 11–10 this season.</p><p><strong>5. Miami Heat (25–17)<br>Last Week: 7</strong><br>Welcome to the top-five, Miami. It’s an exclusive club and you’re probably one loss away from dropping this spot to the Wolves or Raptors, but enjoy it! You’ve earned it, though, in spite of a devastating injury to Dion Waiters. Perhaps the silver lining will be increased minutes for guys that have been super-efficient like Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson.</p><p><strong>4. San Antonio Spurs (29–15)<br>Last Week: 6</strong><br>So LaMarcus Aldridge reportedly wanted out, but now he and Pop are cool? How often does a coach get this to happen when other teams actually want the player who requested a trade?</p><p>BONUS MANU HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK:</p><p><strong>3. Houston Rockets (30–11)<br>Last Week: 3</strong><br>Last season, a James Harden injury would have spelled doom for the Rockets. This season, it just gives Chris Paul a chance to shine. CP3 is doing a fine job holding down the fort (4–2) while Harden gets right.</p><p><strong>2. Boston Celtics (34–10)<br>Last Week: 2</strong><br>Absolutely mental, bruv! Innit!?</p><p><strong>1. Golden State Warriors (35–9)<br>Last Week: 1</strong><br>Why are the Warriors letting Steph Curry play on an ankle that’s not 100%? There is no reason to. Period. The Warriors are 11–4 when Curry sits this season—why not be overly cautious? </p><p>June is all that matters to this team.</p>
NBA Power Rankings: Warriors Cruising, Cavs Crumbling at Halfway Point

Well, well, well. Welcome back to The Crossover’s weekly Power Rankings, where we have officially reached the NBA's midseason point. The Warriors are still the best team in basketball and the Grizzlies are still the worst, but there have been some surprising runs going on in between. The Heat have somehow cracked the top-five (!), the Cavs are barely hanging in the top-10 and the Lakers are the new kings of the world. Also Drake is back again.

With 41 games in the books for just about everyone, and the Warriors-Cavs set to meet Monday night in an MLK Day showdown, let's get down to business. Here are this week's Power Rankings!

(All stats and records through Jan. 14).

30. Memphis Grizzlies (13–28)
Last Week: 30

I’ll wager a guess that two guys with little-to-no trade value will have even worse value considering how desperate Memphis is to make a trade!

29. Orlando Magic (12–31)
Last Week: 28

On the bright side, Orlando has been making good on the New Year’s resolution I gave them and playing Mario Hezonja more than 27 minutes per game! He’s averaged 11.7 and 5.7 and is shooting 47.5% from the field! That’s exciting, I guess.

28. Atlanta Hawks (11–31)
Last Week: 29

It’s only a matter of time before the Hawks trade Dennis Schroder to the Nets, right? They’re in burn-it-down mode, he’s not exactly a player you build around, and Brooklyn has German national coach Chris Fleming on its bench. I’m starting the stopwatch now, let’s see how long this actually takes.

27. Utah Jazz (17–25)
Last Week: 27

This was absolutely worth the $35,000 fine.

Wanna hear something insane about the phone slap, though?

Surely couldn’t have been an iPhone. Those screens will crack if you just look at them the wrong way.

26. Phoenix Suns (16–28)
Last Week: 23

The five-day gap between games this week made me think they should have just ended their season after beating the the Thunder last Sunday. Don’t even show up. Just take all the losses, get the lottery pick, and let people hold on to that good feeling they had after the Thunder win.

25. Sacramento Kings (13–29)
Last Week: 20

The thought dawned upon me this week—what is Vivek going to do in order to draft Trae Young, who’s been touted as the next Steph Curry? We all know he’s obsessed with finding the next Steph, so what happens if the Kings get the sixth pick? Does he just trade up to No. 1 to get him? What does he give up? The deed to his house?

24. Dallas Mavericks (15–29)
Last Week: 26

This was supposed to be Harrison Barnes’s team once upon a time, but I think that window’s sealed shut. We need a new guy now. After two big games I was ready to give the team to Yogi Ferrell. Now I’m thinking it’s Dennis Smith Jr.’s. Next week it’ll probably be Dwight Powell’s.

23. Brooklyn Nets (16–27)
Last Week: 22

Can Spencer Dinwiddie actually make the All-Star team? Well, no, as Joel Embiid showed us last year even the most successful viral voting campaign in history won’t be enough. But man, these Nets fans are going HARD to get Dinwiddie there this season. It’s pretty admirable, and he’s got some pretty solid numbers.

22. Charlotte Hornets (16–25)
Last Week: 21

I thought for a moment on Saturday that the Hornets might actually knock off the Thunder, then Jeremy Lamb was cut off on a drive and tried a post fade early in the shot clock which he missed badly. They couldn’t close, which has been the problem all year.

21. Chicago Bulls (16–27)
Last Week: 24

The Bulls are now 3–0 against the Knicks this year. If they narrowly miss out on a top-five pick, and New York misses the postseason by a few games, this might go down as the funniest season series ever. Mutually assured destruction!

20. Philadelphia 76ers (19–20)
Last Week: 19
What in the hell is this? How did this happen?

19. Los Angeles Lakers (15–27)
Last Week: 25

Four-game winning streak! Fire up DUCKTALES

18. New York Knicks (19–24)
Last Week: 14

Give Kristaps Porzingis a lot of credit: There was a lot of chatter this week that he wasn’t built to be a franchise player. He came out next game—against Boogie Cousins and Anthony Davis—and scored 25 (on 10-of-24 shooting) with six boards, five steals and two blocks. There haven’t been a ton of bright spots for this team lately, maybe that’s one.

17. Denver Nuggets (22–21)
Last Week: 15

This team can’t defend, can’t hang with good teams, barely beats bad teams, and touts Nikola Jokic and Gary Harris as their only legit good players at the moment. I am very excited to see what this core does in three years, but I’m not too interested right now. I think we can cool the talk on this team making the playoffs this year. Maybe if Paul Millsap comes out of his injury firing and 2016-17 Wilson Chandler returns then we can re-open the discussion.

16. New Orleans Pelicans (22–20)
Last Week: 18

I’m not sure why more people aren’t talking about this. To me, this was like one of the craziest things I’ve seen on a basketball court in weeks.

15. Detroit Pistons (22–19)
Last Week: 13

With the Pistons continuing to boast a top defense, we can’t be too worried about them. That being said, there is certainly chemistry to be built. Reggie Bullock had Tobias Harris open for a potential game-tying bucket at the end of that Bulls loss and decided to take it himself. He was blocked. It just feels like this is representative of the Pistons’ larger problem at the moment, that sometimes guys seem to be out for themselves or out of sync with the rest of the team.

14. Oklahoma City Thunder (23–20)
Last Week: 12

When Carmelo Anthony takes 15 or more shots, the Thunder are 10-15. When Carmelo Anthony takes fewer than 15 shots, the Thunder are 13–5.

13. Indiana Pacers (23–20)
Last Week: 17

Besides male pattern baldness and maybe bear attacks, is there a single greater threat to LeBron James than Lance Stephenson?

12. Portland Trail Blazers (22–21)
Last Week: 11

Wanna know how I know Dame is a stone-cold assassin on the court? Watch this:

11. Milwaukee Bucks (22–20)
Last Week: 10

So I’ll admit it: I haven’t been a big Bucks guy this year. I find their inconsistency maddening, every five days there’s a cavalry of fans calling for Jason Kidd to be fired and they refuse to make simple adjustments. But I think I might be becoming a fan now. There might be hope for Milwaukee. Look at what Tony Snell told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

“I go into the locker room and everybody’s got their head down on their phone the whole time,” said Snell. “I’m the only one who’s got my head up. It’s the saddest thing ever. Technology is the worst. Everybody walks like this (Snell staggers with his head down), not even paying attention. It’s the worst thing ever.”

Yes. 100% yes. Everybody’s got to put down the phones. What’s happened to camaraderie? Team bonding? Enjoying human interaction? Apologies if you're reading this on your phone.

10. Cleveland Cavaliers (26–16)
Last Week: 4

The Cavs had the worst week of anyone, losing by 28 points to the Timberwolves only to follow it up with a 34-point embarrassment against the Kyle Lowry-less Raptors in Toronto. Then, to top it all off, LeBron and Co. blew a 22-point lead in a back-breaking loss to the Pacers.

Cleveland’s offense has been a mess for awhile, but I’m not overly concerned because I still think the Cavs are going to hit their shots and score on most nights, and Isaiah Thomas is eventually going to mesh. I’m more interested in Cleveland’s defense. That's what this team's fate is ultimately going to come down to in the postseason. It remains their biggest question mark.

9. L.A. Clippers (21–21)
Last Week: 16

The injuries continue to pile up (this week it was DeAndre Jordan) yet the Clippers continue to win! These random dudes have gotten so good that I actually yelled out loud in the Sports Illustrated office when C.J. Williams sprained his ankle against the Warriors. I kid you not! I guess the bright side of the injuries is that even more random players you’ve never heard of will start making plays. On Thursday it was someone named Tyrone Wallace. Also, I’ve got to mention—and tip my hat—to Lou Freaking Williams. Fifty. Boy, am I looking bad right now! I love Lou, but I never thought he would do THIS!

8. Washington Wizards (25–18)
Last Week: 9

Love this stat that the Wizards tweeted out. He’s the reason Washington stayed afloat with John Wall out, and he’s been one of the most consistent performers in the league this season.

7. Toronto Raptors (29–12)
Last Week: 5

Drake telling C.J. Miles—a professional shooter—how to shoot just killed me.

Also, Drake getting really mad at this ref made me laugh.

Also also, remember what I said about questioning whether or not Fred VanVleet could score consistently off the bench? Turns out I was wrong!

6. Minnesota Timberwolves (29–16)
Last Week: 8

The Timberwolves’ offense is on fire right now, scoring 120 points per 100 possessions over the past week (tops in the league) and posting a tasty 2.41 assist-to-turnover ratio. Now comes the hard part, though; Minnesota just wrapped up a five-game homestand and will play seven of their next nine on the road, where they’re 11–10 this season.

5. Miami Heat (25–17)
Last Week: 7

Welcome to the top-five, Miami. It’s an exclusive club and you’re probably one loss away from dropping this spot to the Wolves or Raptors, but enjoy it! You’ve earned it, though, in spite of a devastating injury to Dion Waiters. Perhaps the silver lining will be increased minutes for guys that have been super-efficient like Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson.

4. San Antonio Spurs (29–15)
Last Week: 6

So LaMarcus Aldridge reportedly wanted out, but now he and Pop are cool? How often does a coach get this to happen when other teams actually want the player who requested a trade?

BONUS MANU HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK:

3. Houston Rockets (30–11)
Last Week: 3

Last season, a James Harden injury would have spelled doom for the Rockets. This season, it just gives Chris Paul a chance to shine. CP3 is doing a fine job holding down the fort (4–2) while Harden gets right.

2. Boston Celtics (34–10)
Last Week: 2

Absolutely mental, bruv! Innit!?

1. Golden State Warriors (35–9)
Last Week: 1

Why are the Warriors letting Steph Curry play on an ankle that’s not 100%? There is no reason to. Period. The Warriors are 11–4 when Curry sits this season—why not be overly cautious?

June is all that matters to this team.

<p>Well, that strange time of the year is upon us once again. The new year. Our lives remain relatively unchanged, but due to the flipping of the calendar, we feel as if we must be better. Every NBA team feels this way, too, though instead of swearing off sweets they’re probably committed to something more important. What, exactly, should they change about their lives?</p><p>I decided to take a stab at answering that very question. Here are my New Year&#39;s resolutions for all 30 teams and our first NBA Power Rankings of 2018.</p><p><em>(All stats and records through Dec. 31).</em></p><p><strong>30. Memphis Grizzlies (12–25)<br>Last Week: 29<br><em>Clean house.</em></strong> This team is lucky to have Tyreke Evans. That said, they can probably get a decent return for him, something they likely didn’t anticipate last summer.</p><p><strong>29. Atlanta Hawks (10–26)<br>Last Week: 30<br><em>Give Quavo more comp tickets. </em></strong>This one is simple.</p><p><strong>28. Orlando Magic (12–25)<br>Last Week: 28</strong><br><em><strong>Give Mario Hezonja 27+ minutes per game. </strong></em>Orlando needs to see if it has something with him. I mean, I’m convinced, but only because of select YouTube videos.</p><p><strong>27. Brooklyn Nets (13–23)<br>Last Week: 24<br><em>Remain committed to Jahlil Okafor’s fitness.</em></strong> Brooklyn says Okafor’s not going to play until he gets into shape, and it should not bend.</p><p><strong>26. Phoenix Suns (14–24)<br>Last Week: 27</strong><br><em><strong>Help Devin Booker drop at least 60 again.</strong> </em>Just because he can, and Suns fans need something to be proud of this season.</p><p><strong>25. Utah Jazz (16–21)<br>Last Week: 22<br><em>Enter full tank mode.</em></strong> This team had a nice winning streak earlier in the year, but it’s clear by now they’re not making the playoffs. If they put the pedal to the metal, they might still be able to land a top-five pick.</p><p><strong>24. Los Angeles Lakers (11–24)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 23</strong><br><strong><em>Wear those powder blue Memphis Lakers jerseys more. </em></strong>They’re dope.</p><p><strong>23. Dallas Mavericks (13–25)<br>Last Week: 26<br><em>Throw Dirk a kick-ass going away party (if he retires).</em></strong> His final game better be memorable!</p><p><strong>22. Sacramento Kings (12–24)<br>Last Week: 21</strong><br><strong><em>Get Vince Carter in the dunk contest.</em> </strong>Wasn’t Flight White like 32 when he entered a few years ago? So Vince is 40, same thing. Even if he doesn’t win, it’d be sweet to see him compete one more time. Maybe he can be a judge when he retires, too.</p><p><strong>21. Charlotte Hornets (13–23)<br>Last Week: 20</strong><br><strong><em>Revive Cardiac Kemba. </em></strong>Charlotte is is currently 6–13 in games where the score’s within five points in the final five minutes (otherwise known as crunch time), which is the third-worst winning percentage in the league. Imagine if the Hornets had a guy who was a great closer!</p><p><strong>20. Chicago Bulls (13–23)<br>Last Week: 25<br><em>Secure the best draft lottery odds.</em></strong> Chicago was the favorite to land this honor entering the season, but a hot run in the last month has really made the race to the bottom an interesting one.</p><p><strong>19. New Orleans Pelicans (18–18)<br>Last Week: 17<br><em>Keep Rajon Rondo happy. </em></strong>They need him to reach their potential. Plus, we&#39;ve seen what an unhappy Rondo can do to a team.</p><p><strong>18. Philadelphia 76ers (17–19)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 18</strong><br><strong><em>Establish a new rallying cry. </em></strong>Not sure how hot this take is, but ‘Trust The Process’ is kinda getting stale, right?</p><p><strong>17. L.A. Clippers (16–19)<br>Last Week: 19<br><em>Make sure Milos Teodosic plays at least 20 minutes per game. </em></strong>This seems counterintuitive if you’re trying to build for the future, but look at the way Austin Rivers and Lou Williams are playing! Mix in Blake Griffin and Pat Beverley and you never know…</p><p><strong>16. Denver Nuggets (19–17)<br>Last Week: 13<br><em>Win three of their eight road games against Golden State, Toronto, San Antonio, Cleveland, Houston, Minnesota and OKC. </em></strong>They’ve been unspectacular on the road (7–13), but have battled against good teams and even picked up a win against the Warriors. Three road wins over these tough teams would help separate themselves from the pack and make life just a little bit easier. </p><p><strong>15. Indiana Pacers (19–18)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 11</strong><br><strong><em>Never let Lance Stephenson go ever again.</em></strong> It’s obvious that Lance belongs in Indy.</p><p><strong>14. Portland Trail Blazers (18–17)<br>Last Week: 14</strong><br><em><strong>Win the Nick Young rap beef. </strong></em>If Damian Lillard does not dust Swaggy P in his response track, this season has been a failure.</p><p><strong>13. New York Knicks (18–18)<br>Last Week: 10<br><em>Don’t trade Enes Kanter.</em></strong> That’s assuming a team would be willing to take on his massive contract, anyway. He’s still just 25, he’s been one of their most important players and he can still be part of the team’s future.</p><p><strong>12. Miami Heat (19–17)<br>Last Week: 16<br><em>Get Dion Waiters on an Instagram-and-Philly-Cheesesteak-only diet.</em></strong> Something is wrong with this man and this is the only idea I have to get him back on track.</p><p><strong>11. Milwaukee Bucks (19–15)<br>Last Week: 15<br><em>Get a center. </em></strong>The Bucks have been rumored to be interested in a slew of centers, including Zaza Pachuia and JaVale McGee. Milwaukee should make a move to give Giannis a little muscle.</p><p><strong>10. Washington Wizards (21–16)<br>Last Week: 12<br><em>Kelly Oubre should vow to out-dress Russell Westbrook. </em></strong>Even if it’s just for one game. We need a changing of the guard and Oubre’s a prime candidate.</p><p><strong>9. Oklahoma City Thunder (20–17)<br>Last Week: 7</strong><br><em><strong>Get Ray Felton the ball more.</strong></em> He’s a god amongst men.</p><p><strong>8. Detroit Pistons (20–15)<br>Last Week: 9<br><em>Finally find consistency. </em></strong>Especially with Andre Drummond. Under Stan Van Gundy so far, it’s been anyone’s guess as to how this team will perform on any given night.</p><p><strong>7. Minnesota Timberwolves (23–14)<br>Last Week: 8<br><em>Don’t burn out Jimmy Butler.</em></strong> Your potential MVP contender is third in the league with over 37 minutes per game. He’s 28. Please, Thibs, preserve him. Don’t ruin him.</p><p><strong>6. San Antonio Spurs (25–12)<br>Last Week: 5</strong><br><strong><em>Make sure Manu Ginobili shares his secret to remaining spry at 40 with the rest of the team. </em></strong>Whatever he’s doing, it’s working!</p><p><strong>5. Boston Celtics (30–10)<br>Last Week: 6</strong><br><em><strong>Set up a fake blog for Kyrie Irving like Ryan did for Creed in The Office. </strong></em>The world’s becoming oversaturated with Kyrie takes.</p><p><strong>4. Toronto Raptors (24–10)<br>Last Week: 4<br><em>Find a scorer on the bench. </em></strong>Whether it happens to be Fred VanVleet, CJ Miles, Norm Powell...hell, it could be Jakob Poeltl. Someone needs to score consistently on that bench!?</p><p><strong>3. Cleveland Cavaliers (24–12)<br>Last Week: 3<br><em>No LeBron subtweets. </em></strong>Things have been going so well for this team without Isaiah Thomas, I’d hate to see LeBron let his followers know he needs to try to “FIT-IN” instead of “FIT-OUT.”?</p><p><strong>2. Houston Rockets (26–9)<br>Last Week: 2<br><em>Grab the top seed in the West. </em></strong>With Golden State pacing itself and Chris Paul and Daryl Morey&#39;s <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2017/12/22/warriors-steve-kerr-rockets-obsession-daryl-morey/978513001/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:&quot;obsession&quot;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">&quot;obsession&quot;</a> with beating the Warriors, the Rockets should go all-out to claim home court in the playoffs.</p><p><strong>1. Golden State Warriors (29–8)<br>Last Week: 1<br><em>Keep on keeping on. </em></strong>The Warriors were smart not to rush Steph Curry back to the floor—and they should do the same with anyone else who suffers any bumps or bruises. Golden State isn&#39;t chasing history this year. Instead, everyone else is chasing them. Given this team&#39;s injury history, the Warriors should err on the side of caution down the stretch run.</p>
NBA Power Rankings: New Year's Resolutions for All 30 Teams

Well, that strange time of the year is upon us once again. The new year. Our lives remain relatively unchanged, but due to the flipping of the calendar, we feel as if we must be better. Every NBA team feels this way, too, though instead of swearing off sweets they’re probably committed to something more important. What, exactly, should they change about their lives?

I decided to take a stab at answering that very question. Here are my New Year's resolutions for all 30 teams and our first NBA Power Rankings of 2018.

(All stats and records through Dec. 31).

30. Memphis Grizzlies (12–25)
Last Week: 29
Clean house.
This team is lucky to have Tyreke Evans. That said, they can probably get a decent return for him, something they likely didn’t anticipate last summer.

29. Atlanta Hawks (10–26)
Last Week: 30
Give Quavo more comp tickets.
This one is simple.

28. Orlando Magic (12–25)
Last Week: 28

Give Mario Hezonja 27+ minutes per game. Orlando needs to see if it has something with him. I mean, I’m convinced, but only because of select YouTube videos.

27. Brooklyn Nets (13–23)
Last Week: 24
Remain committed to Jahlil Okafor’s fitness.
Brooklyn says Okafor’s not going to play until he gets into shape, and it should not bend.

26. Phoenix Suns (14–24)
Last Week: 27

Help Devin Booker drop at least 60 again. Just because he can, and Suns fans need something to be proud of this season.

25. Utah Jazz (16–21)
Last Week: 22
Enter full tank mode.
This team had a nice winning streak earlier in the year, but it’s clear by now they’re not making the playoffs. If they put the pedal to the metal, they might still be able to land a top-five pick.

24. Los Angeles Lakers (11–24)
Last Week: 23
Wear those powder blue Memphis Lakers jerseys more. They’re dope.

23. Dallas Mavericks (13–25)
Last Week: 26
Throw Dirk a kick-ass going away party (if he retires).
His final game better be memorable!

22. Sacramento Kings (12–24)
Last Week: 21

Get Vince Carter in the dunk contest. Wasn’t Flight White like 32 when he entered a few years ago? So Vince is 40, same thing. Even if he doesn’t win, it’d be sweet to see him compete one more time. Maybe he can be a judge when he retires, too.

21. Charlotte Hornets (13–23)
Last Week: 20

Revive Cardiac Kemba. Charlotte is is currently 6–13 in games where the score’s within five points in the final five minutes (otherwise known as crunch time), which is the third-worst winning percentage in the league. Imagine if the Hornets had a guy who was a great closer!

20. Chicago Bulls (13–23)
Last Week: 25
Secure the best draft lottery odds.
Chicago was the favorite to land this honor entering the season, but a hot run in the last month has really made the race to the bottom an interesting one.

19. New Orleans Pelicans (18–18)
Last Week: 17
Keep Rajon Rondo happy.
They need him to reach their potential. Plus, we've seen what an unhappy Rondo can do to a team.

18. Philadelphia 76ers (17–19)
Last Week: 18
Establish a new rallying cry. Not sure how hot this take is, but ‘Trust The Process’ is kinda getting stale, right?

17. L.A. Clippers (16–19)
Last Week: 19
Make sure Milos Teodosic plays at least 20 minutes per game.
This seems counterintuitive if you’re trying to build for the future, but look at the way Austin Rivers and Lou Williams are playing! Mix in Blake Griffin and Pat Beverley and you never know…

16. Denver Nuggets (19–17)
Last Week: 13
Win three of their eight road games against Golden State, Toronto, San Antonio, Cleveland, Houston, Minnesota and OKC.
They’ve been unspectacular on the road (7–13), but have battled against good teams and even picked up a win against the Warriors. Three road wins over these tough teams would help separate themselves from the pack and make life just a little bit easier.

15. Indiana Pacers (19–18)
Last Week: 11
Never let Lance Stephenson go ever again. It’s obvious that Lance belongs in Indy.

14. Portland Trail Blazers (18–17)
Last Week: 14

Win the Nick Young rap beef. If Damian Lillard does not dust Swaggy P in his response track, this season has been a failure.

13. New York Knicks (18–18)
Last Week: 10
Don’t trade Enes Kanter.
That’s assuming a team would be willing to take on his massive contract, anyway. He’s still just 25, he’s been one of their most important players and he can still be part of the team’s future.

12. Miami Heat (19–17)
Last Week: 16
Get Dion Waiters on an Instagram-and-Philly-Cheesesteak-only diet.
Something is wrong with this man and this is the only idea I have to get him back on track.

11. Milwaukee Bucks (19–15)
Last Week: 15
Get a center.
The Bucks have been rumored to be interested in a slew of centers, including Zaza Pachuia and JaVale McGee. Milwaukee should make a move to give Giannis a little muscle.

10. Washington Wizards (21–16)
Last Week: 12
Kelly Oubre should vow to out-dress Russell Westbrook.
Even if it’s just for one game. We need a changing of the guard and Oubre’s a prime candidate.

9. Oklahoma City Thunder (20–17)
Last Week: 7

Get Ray Felton the ball more. He’s a god amongst men.

8. Detroit Pistons (20–15)
Last Week: 9
Finally find consistency.
Especially with Andre Drummond. Under Stan Van Gundy so far, it’s been anyone’s guess as to how this team will perform on any given night.

7. Minnesota Timberwolves (23–14)
Last Week: 8
Don’t burn out Jimmy Butler.
Your potential MVP contender is third in the league with over 37 minutes per game. He’s 28. Please, Thibs, preserve him. Don’t ruin him.

6. San Antonio Spurs (25–12)
Last Week: 5

Make sure Manu Ginobili shares his secret to remaining spry at 40 with the rest of the team. Whatever he’s doing, it’s working!

5. Boston Celtics (30–10)
Last Week: 6

Set up a fake blog for Kyrie Irving like Ryan did for Creed in The Office. The world’s becoming oversaturated with Kyrie takes.

4. Toronto Raptors (24–10)
Last Week: 4
Find a scorer on the bench.
Whether it happens to be Fred VanVleet, CJ Miles, Norm Powell...hell, it could be Jakob Poeltl. Someone needs to score consistently on that bench!?

3. Cleveland Cavaliers (24–12)
Last Week: 3
No LeBron subtweets.
Things have been going so well for this team without Isaiah Thomas, I’d hate to see LeBron let his followers know he needs to try to “FIT-IN” instead of “FIT-OUT.”?

2. Houston Rockets (26–9)
Last Week: 2
Grab the top seed in the West.
With Golden State pacing itself and Chris Paul and Daryl Morey's "obsession" with beating the Warriors, the Rockets should go all-out to claim home court in the playoffs.

1. Golden State Warriors (29–8)
Last Week: 1
Keep on keeping on.
The Warriors were smart not to rush Steph Curry back to the floor—and they should do the same with anyone else who suffers any bumps or bruises. Golden State isn't chasing history this year. Instead, everyone else is chasing them. Given this team's injury history, the Warriors should err on the side of caution down the stretch run.

<p>Well, that strange time of the year is upon us once again. The new year. Our lives remain relatively unchanged, but due to the flipping of the calendar, we feel as if we must be better. Every NBA team feels this way, too, though instead of swearing off sweets they’re probably committed to something more important. What, exactly, should they change about their lives?</p><p>I decided to take a stab at answering that very question. Here are my New Year&#39;s resolutions for all 30 teams and our first NBA Power Rankings of 2018.</p><p><em>(All stats and records through Dec. 31).</em></p><p><strong>30. Memphis Grizzlies (12–25)<br>Last Week: 29<br><em>Clean house.</em></strong> This team is lucky to have Tyreke Evans. That said, they can probably get a decent return for him, something they likely didn’t anticipate last summer.</p><p><strong>29. Atlanta Hawks (10–26)<br>Last Week: 30<br><em>Give Quavo more comp tickets. </em></strong>This one is simple.</p><p><strong>28. Orlando Magic (12–25)<br>Last Week: 28</strong><br><em><strong>Give Mario Hezonja 27+ minutes per game. </strong></em>Orlando needs to see if it has something with him. I mean, I’m convinced, but only because of select YouTube videos.</p><p><strong>27. Brooklyn Nets (13–23)<br>Last Week: 24<br><em>Remain committed to Jahlil Okafor’s fitness.</em></strong> Brooklyn says Okafor’s not going to play until he gets into shape, and it should not bend.</p><p><strong>26. Phoenix Suns (14–24)<br>Last Week: 27</strong><br><em><strong>Help Devin Booker drop at least 60 again.</strong> </em>Just because he can, and Suns fans need something to be proud of this season.</p><p><strong>25. Utah Jazz (16–21)<br>Last Week: 22<br><em>Enter full tank mode.</em></strong> This team had a nice winning streak earlier in the year, but it’s clear by now they’re not making the playoffs. If they put the pedal to the metal, they might still be able to land a top-five pick.</p><p><strong>24. Los Angeles Lakers (11–24)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 23</strong><br><strong><em>Wear those powder blue Memphis Lakers jerseys more. </em></strong>They’re dope.</p><p><strong>23. Dallas Mavericks (13–25)<br>Last Week: 26<br><em>Throw Dirk a kick-ass going away party (if he retires).</em></strong> His final game better be memorable!</p><p><strong>22. Sacramento Kings (12–24)<br>Last Week: 21</strong><br><strong><em>Get Vince Carter in the dunk contest.</em> </strong>Wasn’t Flight White like 32 when he entered a few years ago? So Vince is 40, same thing. Even if he doesn’t win, it’d be sweet to see him compete one more time. Maybe he can be a judge when he retires, too.</p><p><strong>21. Charlotte Hornets (13–23)<br>Last Week: 20</strong><br><strong><em>Revive Cardiac Kemba. </em></strong>Charlotte is is currently 6–13 in games where the score’s within five points in the final five minutes (otherwise known as crunch time), which is the third-worst winning percentage in the league. Imagine if the Hornets had a guy who was a great closer!</p><p><strong>20. Chicago Bulls (13–23)<br>Last Week: 25<br><em>Secure the best draft lottery odds.</em></strong> Chicago was the favorite to land this honor entering the season, but a hot run in the last month has really made the race to the bottom an interesting one.</p><p><strong>19. New Orleans Pelicans (18–18)<br>Last Week: 17<br><em>Keep Rajon Rondo happy. </em></strong>They need him to reach their potential. Plus, we&#39;ve seen what an unhappy Rondo can do to a team.</p><p><strong>18. Philadelphia 76ers (17–19)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 18</strong><br><strong><em>Establish a new rallying cry. </em></strong>Not sure how hot this take is, but ‘Trust The Process’ is kinda getting stale, right?</p><p><strong>17. L.A. Clippers (16–19)<br>Last Week: 19<br><em>Make sure Milos Teodosic plays at least 20 minutes per game. </em></strong>This seems counterintuitive if you’re trying to build for the future, but look at the way Austin Rivers and Lou Williams are playing! Mix in Blake Griffin and Pat Beverley and you never know…</p><p><strong>16. Denver Nuggets (19–17)<br>Last Week: 13<br><em>Win three of their eight road games against Golden State, Toronto, San Antonio, Cleveland, Houston, Minnesota and OKC. </em></strong>They’ve been unspectacular on the road (7–13), but have battled against good teams and even picked up a win against the Warriors. Three road wins over these tough teams would help separate themselves from the pack and make life just a little bit easier. </p><p><strong>15. Indiana Pacers (19–18)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 11</strong><br><strong><em>Never let Lance Stephenson go ever again.</em></strong> It’s obvious that Lance belongs in Indy.</p><p><strong>14. Portland Trail Blazers (18–17)<br>Last Week: 14</strong><br><em><strong>Win the Nick Young rap beef. </strong></em>If Damian Lillard does not dust Swaggy P in his response track, this season has been a failure.</p><p><strong>13. New York Knicks (18–18)<br>Last Week: 10<br><em>Don’t trade Enes Kanter.</em></strong> That’s assuming a team would be willing to take on his massive contract, anyway. He’s still just 25, he’s been one of their most important players and he can still be part of the team’s future.</p><p><strong>12. Miami Heat (19–17)<br>Last Week: 16<br><em>Get Dion Waiters on an Instagram-and-Philly-Cheesesteak-only diet.</em></strong> Something is wrong with this man and this is the only idea I have to get him back on track.</p><p><strong>11. Milwaukee Bucks (19–15)<br>Last Week: 15<br><em>Get a center. </em></strong>The Bucks have been rumored to be interested in a slew of centers, including Zaza Pachuia and JaVale McGee. Milwaukee should make a move to give Giannis a little muscle.</p><p><strong>10. Washington Wizards (21–16)<br>Last Week: 12<br><em>Kelly Oubre should vow to out-dress Russell Westbrook. </em></strong>Even if it’s just for one game. We need a changing of the guard and Oubre’s a prime candidate.</p><p><strong>9. Oklahoma City Thunder (20–17)<br>Last Week: 7</strong><br><em><strong>Get Ray Felton the ball more.</strong></em> He’s a god amongst men.</p><p><strong>8. Detroit Pistons (20–15)<br>Last Week: 9<br><em>Finally find consistency. </em></strong>Especially with Andre Drummond. Under Stan Van Gundy so far, it’s been anyone’s guess as to how this team will perform on any given night.</p><p><strong>7. Minnesota Timberwolves (23–14)<br>Last Week: 8<br><em>Don’t burn out Jimmy Butler.</em></strong> Your potential MVP contender is third in the league with over 37 minutes per game. He’s 28. Please, Thibs, preserve him. Don’t ruin him.</p><p><strong>6. San Antonio Spurs (25–12)<br>Last Week: 5</strong><br><strong><em>Make sure Manu Ginobili shares his secret to remaining spry at 40 with the rest of the team. </em></strong>Whatever he’s doing, it’s working!</p><p><strong>5. Boston Celtics (30–10)<br>Last Week: 6</strong><br><em><strong>Set up a fake blog for Kyrie Irving like Ryan did for Creed in The Office. </strong></em>The world’s becoming oversaturated with Kyrie takes.</p><p><strong>4. Toronto Raptors (24–10)<br>Last Week: 4<br><em>Find a scorer on the bench. </em></strong>Whether it happens to be Fred VanVleet, CJ Miles, Norm Powell...hell, it could be Jakob Poeltl. Someone needs to score consistently on that bench!?</p><p><strong>3. Cleveland Cavaliers (24–12)<br>Last Week: 3<br><em>No LeBron subtweets. </em></strong>Things have been going so well for this team without Isaiah Thomas, I’d hate to see LeBron let his followers know he needs to try to “FIT-IN” instead of “FIT-OUT.”?</p><p><strong>2. Houston Rockets (26–9)<br>Last Week: 2<br><em>Grab the top seed in the West. </em></strong>With Golden State pacing itself and Chris Paul and Daryl Morey&#39;s <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2017/12/22/warriors-steve-kerr-rockets-obsession-daryl-morey/978513001/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:&quot;obsession&quot;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">&quot;obsession&quot;</a> with beating the Warriors, the Rockets should go all-out to claim home court in the playoffs.</p><p><strong>1. Golden State Warriors (29–8)<br>Last Week: 1<br><em>Keep on keeping on. </em></strong>The Warriors were smart not to rush Steph Curry back to the floor—and they should do the same with anyone else who suffers any bumps or bruises. Golden State isn&#39;t chasing history this year. Instead, everyone else is chasing them. Given this team&#39;s injury history, the Warriors should err on the side of caution down the stretch run.</p>
NBA Power Rankings: New Year's Resolutions for All 30 Teams

Well, that strange time of the year is upon us once again. The new year. Our lives remain relatively unchanged, but due to the flipping of the calendar, we feel as if we must be better. Every NBA team feels this way, too, though instead of swearing off sweets they’re probably committed to something more important. What, exactly, should they change about their lives?

I decided to take a stab at answering that very question. Here are my New Year's resolutions for all 30 teams and our first NBA Power Rankings of 2018.

(All stats and records through Dec. 31).

30. Memphis Grizzlies (12–25)
Last Week: 29
Clean house.
This team is lucky to have Tyreke Evans. That said, they can probably get a decent return for him, something they likely didn’t anticipate last summer.

29. Atlanta Hawks (10–26)
Last Week: 30
Give Quavo more comp tickets.
This one is simple.

28. Orlando Magic (12–25)
Last Week: 28

Give Mario Hezonja 27+ minutes per game. Orlando needs to see if it has something with him. I mean, I’m convinced, but only because of select YouTube videos.

27. Brooklyn Nets (13–23)
Last Week: 24
Remain committed to Jahlil Okafor’s fitness.
Brooklyn says Okafor’s not going to play until he gets into shape, and it should not bend.

26. Phoenix Suns (14–24)
Last Week: 27

Help Devin Booker drop at least 60 again. Just because he can, and Suns fans need something to be proud of this season.

25. Utah Jazz (16–21)
Last Week: 22
Enter full tank mode.
This team had a nice winning streak earlier in the year, but it’s clear by now they’re not making the playoffs. If they put the pedal to the metal, they might still be able to land a top-five pick.

24. Los Angeles Lakers (11–24)
Last Week: 23
Wear those powder blue Memphis Lakers jerseys more. They’re dope.

23. Dallas Mavericks (13–25)
Last Week: 26
Throw Dirk a kick-ass going away party (if he retires).
His final game better be memorable!

22. Sacramento Kings (12–24)
Last Week: 21

Get Vince Carter in the dunk contest. Wasn’t Flight White like 32 when he entered a few years ago? So Vince is 40, same thing. Even if he doesn’t win, it’d be sweet to see him compete one more time. Maybe he can be a judge when he retires, too.

21. Charlotte Hornets (13–23)
Last Week: 20

Revive Cardiac Kemba. Charlotte is is currently 6–13 in games where the score’s within five points in the final five minutes (otherwise known as crunch time), which is the third-worst winning percentage in the league. Imagine if the Hornets had a guy who was a great closer!

20. Chicago Bulls (13–23)
Last Week: 25
Secure the best draft lottery odds.
Chicago was the favorite to land this honor entering the season, but a hot run in the last month has really made the race to the bottom an interesting one.

19. New Orleans Pelicans (18–18)
Last Week: 17
Keep Rajon Rondo happy.
They need him to reach their potential. Plus, we've seen what an unhappy Rondo can do to a team.

18. Philadelphia 76ers (17–19)
Last Week: 18
Establish a new rallying cry. Not sure how hot this take is, but ‘Trust The Process’ is kinda getting stale, right?

17. L.A. Clippers (16–19)
Last Week: 19
Make sure Milos Teodosic plays at least 20 minutes per game.
This seems counterintuitive if you’re trying to build for the future, but look at the way Austin Rivers and Lou Williams are playing! Mix in Blake Griffin and Pat Beverley and you never know…

16. Denver Nuggets (19–17)
Last Week: 13
Win three of their eight road games against Golden State, Toronto, San Antonio, Cleveland, Houston, Minnesota and OKC.
They’ve been unspectacular on the road (7–13), but have battled against good teams and even picked up a win against the Warriors. Three road wins over these tough teams would help separate themselves from the pack and make life just a little bit easier.

15. Indiana Pacers (19–18)
Last Week: 11
Never let Lance Stephenson go ever again. It’s obvious that Lance belongs in Indy.

14. Portland Trail Blazers (18–17)
Last Week: 14

Win the Nick Young rap beef. If Damian Lillard does not dust Swaggy P in his response track, this season has been a failure.

13. New York Knicks (18–18)
Last Week: 10
Don’t trade Enes Kanter.
That’s assuming a team would be willing to take on his massive contract, anyway. He’s still just 25, he’s been one of their most important players and he can still be part of the team’s future.

12. Miami Heat (19–17)
Last Week: 16
Get Dion Waiters on an Instagram-and-Philly-Cheesesteak-only diet.
Something is wrong with this man and this is the only idea I have to get him back on track.

11. Milwaukee Bucks (19–15)
Last Week: 15
Get a center.
The Bucks have been rumored to be interested in a slew of centers, including Zaza Pachuia and JaVale McGee. Milwaukee should make a move to give Giannis a little muscle.

10. Washington Wizards (21–16)
Last Week: 12
Kelly Oubre should vow to out-dress Russell Westbrook.
Even if it’s just for one game. We need a changing of the guard and Oubre’s a prime candidate.

9. Oklahoma City Thunder (20–17)
Last Week: 7

Get Ray Felton the ball more. He’s a god amongst men.

8. Detroit Pistons (20–15)
Last Week: 9
Finally find consistency.
Especially with Andre Drummond. Under Stan Van Gundy so far, it’s been anyone’s guess as to how this team will perform on any given night.

7. Minnesota Timberwolves (23–14)
Last Week: 8
Don’t burn out Jimmy Butler.
Your potential MVP contender is third in the league with over 37 minutes per game. He’s 28. Please, Thibs, preserve him. Don’t ruin him.

6. San Antonio Spurs (25–12)
Last Week: 5

Make sure Manu Ginobili shares his secret to remaining spry at 40 with the rest of the team. Whatever he’s doing, it’s working!

5. Boston Celtics (30–10)
Last Week: 6

Set up a fake blog for Kyrie Irving like Ryan did for Creed in The Office. The world’s becoming oversaturated with Kyrie takes.

4. Toronto Raptors (24–10)
Last Week: 4
Find a scorer on the bench.
Whether it happens to be Fred VanVleet, CJ Miles, Norm Powell...hell, it could be Jakob Poeltl. Someone needs to score consistently on that bench!?

3. Cleveland Cavaliers (24–12)
Last Week: 3
No LeBron subtweets.
Things have been going so well for this team without Isaiah Thomas, I’d hate to see LeBron let his followers know he needs to try to “FIT-IN” instead of “FIT-OUT.”?

2. Houston Rockets (26–9)
Last Week: 2
Grab the top seed in the West.
With Golden State pacing itself and Chris Paul and Daryl Morey's "obsession" with beating the Warriors, the Rockets should go all-out to claim home court in the playoffs.

1. Golden State Warriors (29–8)
Last Week: 1
Keep on keeping on.
The Warriors were smart not to rush Steph Curry back to the floor—and they should do the same with anyone else who suffers any bumps or bruises. Golden State isn't chasing history this year. Instead, everyone else is chasing them. Given this team's injury history, the Warriors should err on the side of caution down the stretch run.

<p>Well, another week of NBA basketball has passed us by, and it was a good one! This year’s Christmas slate was one of the best in recent memory; each game was filled with excitement and came (pretty much) right down to the wire.</p><p>Though it’s never fair to judge any team based on one game, we did see some movement as a result of play on Jesus’s birthday. I don’t think we can call the Rockets No. 1 any longer, we <em>need </em>to pay very close attention to the Thunder, and the Knicks’ win over the Celtics might be more indicative of Boston’s fall than New York’s rise. How’s everything shaking out after the unofficial start of the season? Let’s have a look, why don’t we?</p><p><strong>30. Atlanta Hawks (8–25)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 30</strong><br>Quavo should coach the Hawks. Obviously he’s a great motivator.</p><p><strong>29. Memphis Grizzlies (10–23)<br>Last Week: 27</strong><br>Why haven’t the <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2017/11/17/grizzlies-mike-conley-achilles-injury-no-timetable-return" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Grizzlies ruled Mike Conley out" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Grizzlies ruled Mike Conley out</a> for the season yet?</p><p><strong>28. Orlando Magic (11–23)<br>Last Week: 25</strong><br>There’s no reason Mario Hezonja should be playing fewer than 30 minutes in a given game. We (and the Magic) need to fix this.</p><p><strong>27. Phoenix Suns (12–23)<br>Last Week: 29</strong><br>That might be a while, Book. No offense.</p><p><strong>26. Dallas Mavericks (9–25)<br>Last Week: </strong><strong>28</strong><br>For four games, at least, Harrison Barnes has looked like a guy who can have his own team. Yeah, this was supposed to be his team, if you’d forgotten.</p><p><strong>25. Chicago Bulls (10–22)<br>Last Week: 26</strong><br>Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic are kind of amazing together. Whatever Portis was mad about when he <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2017/10/17/report-nikola-mirotic-hopsitalized-after-fight-bobby-portis-bulls-practice" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:broke his face" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">broke his face</a>, it seemed to actually help the pairing.</p><p><strong>24. Brooklyn Nets (12–20)<br>Last Week: 22</strong><br>The Nets deserve Spencer Dinwiddie. They’ve taken chances on the right players over the past couple years (<a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2017/12/07/jahlil-okafor-trade-76ers-nets-trevor-booker-nik-stauskas" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Jahlil Okafor" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Jahlil Okafor</a><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2017/12/07/jahlil-okafor-trade-76ers-nets-trevor-booker-nik-stauskas" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:could be next" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> could be next</a> in line).</p><p><strong>22. Utah Jazz (15–19)<br>Last Week: 20</strong><br>Fractured locker room!!!!!</p><p><strong>23. Los Angeles Lakers (11–21)<br>Last Week: 23</strong><br>Only need two tweets for this one:</p><p><strong>21. Sacramento Kings (11–21)<br>Last Week: 24</strong><br>You’re not going to find a more fun, interesting bad team than this one. If De’Aaron Fox didn’t get hurt they might have had a big win this week. They’ll come.</p><p><strong>20. Charlotte Hornets (12–21)<br>Last Week: 21</strong><br>Feels a little early to send Monk down, no? Or is this going to become normal with the new G-League?</p><p><strong>19. L.A. Clippers (13–19)<br>Last Week: 19</strong><br>Austin Rivers is the first Clipper to score at least 35 in back-to-back games since Blake Griffin in 2014. He&#39;s the first Clipper guard to do it since Ron Harper in 1989. And he’s 25. And he’s Austin Rivers.</p><p><strong>18. Philadelphia 76ers (15–18)<br>Last Week: 16</strong><br>I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: This team <em>really</em> shows its youth late in close games. They went <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2017/12/25/joel-embiid-76ers-knicks-enes-kanter-nba-christmas-opener" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:four straight possessions with a turnover" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">four straight possessions with a turnover</a> in the final minutes on Christmas. That might hold them back as the season wears on.</p><p><strong>17. New Orleans Pelicans (17–16)<br>Last Week: 17</strong><br>For the longest time now, the Pelicans have been stuck right here in the middle. They’re not bad, but they’re also not very good. Maybe they just need to get everyone playing well at the same time to rise out of mediocrity? Just as Rondo disappeared, E’Twaun Moore and Ian Clark began to turn it up. I think they’re capable of being good.</p><p><strong>16. Miami Heat (17–16)<br>Last Week: 14</strong><br>I feel like a lot of people took this play for granted. Not sure how this finish is possible.</p><p><strong>15. Milwaukee Bucks (17–14)<br>Last Week: 15</strong><br>As we saw in that loss to Charlotte, there isn’t much on this team aside from Giannis. Even in their wins, there are several unspectacular performances from the regulars.</p><p><strong>14. Portland Trail Blazers (17–16)<br>Last Week: 9</strong><br>I think the Blazers&#39; only win against a good team came when they beat the Heat a couple weeks ago. Aside from that... do Denver and OKC at the beginning of the year count? Maybe the Knicks and Wizards? They had a chance to pick up a couple big ones this week, and I’m still waiting on the team-defining one. At least Shabazz Napier looks like a player now.</p><p><strong>13. Denver Nuggets (18–15)<br>Last Week: 18</strong><br>Did it take the Warriors having... like... their worst offensive game in years for Denver to pick up its biggest win of the year? Maybe. Do I care? Nope! Wilson Chandler is beginning to look like Sixth Man of the Year Candidate Wilson Chandler, who made an appearance in our lives last season.</p><p><strong>12. Washington Wizards (19–15)<br>Last Week: 12</strong><br>Last May, in Game 7 of the East semifinals, Scott Brooks didn’t play Kelly Oubre a single minute because he didn’t trust him enough. On Christmas, he was a leading factor in Washington’s wins. He’s made giant strides and I am really starting to love him. </p><p><strong>11. Indiana Pacers (19–14)<br>Last Week: 10</strong><br>Indiana had the league’s third-best offensive rating this past week. The Victor Oladipo breakout season is SO real! Seriously, though, as long as his supporting cast continues to shoot this well, Oladipo will carry the Pacers far. I’ve long believed Bojan Bogdanovic could be an impact player. Perhaps he wins an Oscar for best supporting actor this season. Actually, Myles Turner will probably win.</p><p><strong>10. New York Knicks (17–15)<br>Last Week: 8</strong><br>It was so evident on Christmas that Enes Kanter is the second-most important player on this team. As long as Kristaps Porzingis struggles a bit to rebound, they need him out there.</p><p><strong>9. Detroit Pistons (18–14)<br>Last Week: 7</strong><br>The Knicks were right to <a href="https://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/232037/Knicks-Clippers-Discuss-Shumpert-Felton-For-Collison-Trade" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:want Reggie Bullock" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">want Reggie Bullock</a> back in 2014 when they tried to trade Iman Shumpert and Ray Felton for Darren Collison. Who knew!</p><p><strong>8. Minnesota Timberwolves (21–13)<br>Last Week: 10</strong><br>Taj Gibson hit a gut-punch three on Christmas. Taj Gibson!! This team is clicking on all cylinders right now.</p><p><strong>7. Oklahoma City Thunder (19–15)<br>Last Week: 13</strong><br>Oklahoma City is actually playing defense now—AND sharing the ball—which is just a beautiful thing. I never thought a team with post-Nuggets Carmelo Anthony was capable of this.</p><p><strong>6. Boston Celtics (27–10)<br>Last Week: 4</strong><br>Seems the two things that helped Boston skyrocket to the top of the power rankings—defense, rebounding and discipline—have fallen by the wayside. These guys aren’t too scary right now.</p><p><strong>5. San Antonio Spurs (23–11)<br>Last Week: 6</strong><br>The Spurs’ defense remained elite last week (98.6 points allowed per 100 possessions, good for third in the league), which was more than enough to overcome some rough offensive showings. Once Kawhi returns to full health, there’s no doubt this team will enter the conversation for No. 1.</p><p><strong>4. Toronto Raptors (23–8)<br>Last Week: 5</strong><br>Toronto had the league’s No. 2 defensive rating over the past week, and Serge Ibaka is averaging 18.4 points in December. Defense + players other than Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan = many wins.</p><p><strong>3. Cleveland Cavaliers (24–10)<br>Last Week: 2</strong></p><p>In what seems like the blink of an eye, Tristan Thompson’s gone from max player to... Roy Hibbert? Nice to see him get some big minutes on Christmas, I guess.</p><p><strong>2. Houston Rockets (25–7)<br>Last Week: 1</strong><br>Wanted to put them No. 1 for this pass alone... but I can’t. Without Chris Paul, it&#39;s clear this team isn&#39;t the same on defense. I mean, they gave up 128 points to the Clippers. Perhaps more Briante Weber is the answer.</p><p><strong>1. Golden State Warriors (27–7)<br>Last Week: 3</strong></p><p>Has Kevin Durant become a defensive juggernaut, or is he just now getting all the calls LeBron’s been getting for over a decade? To me this foul was egregious. Egregious! Even my father—who complained the whole game that players complained about no-calls too much—thought it was bad.</p><p>Even without Steph Curry, who I&#39;ve been told is still a top-five player in the league (we can have this conversation another time), this team continues to play well. After proving to be better than Cleveland, they&#39;re next in line for the top spot.</p>
NBA Power Rankings: It's Time to Pay Attention to the Thunder

Well, another week of NBA basketball has passed us by, and it was a good one! This year’s Christmas slate was one of the best in recent memory; each game was filled with excitement and came (pretty much) right down to the wire.

Though it’s never fair to judge any team based on one game, we did see some movement as a result of play on Jesus’s birthday. I don’t think we can call the Rockets No. 1 any longer, we need to pay very close attention to the Thunder, and the Knicks’ win over the Celtics might be more indicative of Boston’s fall than New York’s rise. How’s everything shaking out after the unofficial start of the season? Let’s have a look, why don’t we?

30. Atlanta Hawks (8–25)
Last Week: 30
Quavo should coach the Hawks. Obviously he’s a great motivator.

29. Memphis Grizzlies (10–23)
Last Week: 27

Why haven’t the Grizzlies ruled Mike Conley out for the season yet?

28. Orlando Magic (11–23)
Last Week: 25

There’s no reason Mario Hezonja should be playing fewer than 30 minutes in a given game. We (and the Magic) need to fix this.

27. Phoenix Suns (12–23)
Last Week: 29

That might be a while, Book. No offense.

26. Dallas Mavericks (9–25)
Last Week:
28
For four games, at least, Harrison Barnes has looked like a guy who can have his own team. Yeah, this was supposed to be his team, if you’d forgotten.

25. Chicago Bulls (10–22)
Last Week: 26

Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic are kind of amazing together. Whatever Portis was mad about when he broke his face, it seemed to actually help the pairing.

24. Brooklyn Nets (12–20)
Last Week: 22

The Nets deserve Spencer Dinwiddie. They’ve taken chances on the right players over the past couple years (Jahlil Okafor could be next in line).

22. Utah Jazz (15–19)
Last Week: 20

Fractured locker room!!!!!

23. Los Angeles Lakers (11–21)
Last Week: 23

Only need two tweets for this one:

21. Sacramento Kings (11–21)
Last Week: 24

You’re not going to find a more fun, interesting bad team than this one. If De’Aaron Fox didn’t get hurt they might have had a big win this week. They’ll come.

20. Charlotte Hornets (12–21)
Last Week: 21

Feels a little early to send Monk down, no? Or is this going to become normal with the new G-League?

19. L.A. Clippers (13–19)
Last Week: 19

Austin Rivers is the first Clipper to score at least 35 in back-to-back games since Blake Griffin in 2014. He's the first Clipper guard to do it since Ron Harper in 1989. And he’s 25. And he’s Austin Rivers.

18. Philadelphia 76ers (15–18)
Last Week: 16

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: This team really shows its youth late in close games. They went four straight possessions with a turnover in the final minutes on Christmas. That might hold them back as the season wears on.

17. New Orleans Pelicans (17–16)
Last Week: 17

For the longest time now, the Pelicans have been stuck right here in the middle. They’re not bad, but they’re also not very good. Maybe they just need to get everyone playing well at the same time to rise out of mediocrity? Just as Rondo disappeared, E’Twaun Moore and Ian Clark began to turn it up. I think they’re capable of being good.

16. Miami Heat (17–16)
Last Week: 14

I feel like a lot of people took this play for granted. Not sure how this finish is possible.

15. Milwaukee Bucks (17–14)
Last Week: 15

As we saw in that loss to Charlotte, there isn’t much on this team aside from Giannis. Even in their wins, there are several unspectacular performances from the regulars.

14. Portland Trail Blazers (17–16)
Last Week: 9

I think the Blazers' only win against a good team came when they beat the Heat a couple weeks ago. Aside from that... do Denver and OKC at the beginning of the year count? Maybe the Knicks and Wizards? They had a chance to pick up a couple big ones this week, and I’m still waiting on the team-defining one. At least Shabazz Napier looks like a player now.

13. Denver Nuggets (18–15)
Last Week: 18

Did it take the Warriors having... like... their worst offensive game in years for Denver to pick up its biggest win of the year? Maybe. Do I care? Nope! Wilson Chandler is beginning to look like Sixth Man of the Year Candidate Wilson Chandler, who made an appearance in our lives last season.

12. Washington Wizards (19–15)
Last Week: 12

Last May, in Game 7 of the East semifinals, Scott Brooks didn’t play Kelly Oubre a single minute because he didn’t trust him enough. On Christmas, he was a leading factor in Washington’s wins. He’s made giant strides and I am really starting to love him.

11. Indiana Pacers (19–14)
Last Week: 10

Indiana had the league’s third-best offensive rating this past week. The Victor Oladipo breakout season is SO real! Seriously, though, as long as his supporting cast continues to shoot this well, Oladipo will carry the Pacers far. I’ve long believed Bojan Bogdanovic could be an impact player. Perhaps he wins an Oscar for best supporting actor this season. Actually, Myles Turner will probably win.

10. New York Knicks (17–15)
Last Week: 8

It was so evident on Christmas that Enes Kanter is the second-most important player on this team. As long as Kristaps Porzingis struggles a bit to rebound, they need him out there.

9. Detroit Pistons (18–14)
Last Week: 7

The Knicks were right to want Reggie Bullock back in 2014 when they tried to trade Iman Shumpert and Ray Felton for Darren Collison. Who knew!

8. Minnesota Timberwolves (21–13)
Last Week: 10

Taj Gibson hit a gut-punch three on Christmas. Taj Gibson!! This team is clicking on all cylinders right now.

7. Oklahoma City Thunder (19–15)
Last Week: 13

Oklahoma City is actually playing defense now—AND sharing the ball—which is just a beautiful thing. I never thought a team with post-Nuggets Carmelo Anthony was capable of this.

6. Boston Celtics (27–10)
Last Week: 4

Seems the two things that helped Boston skyrocket to the top of the power rankings—defense, rebounding and discipline—have fallen by the wayside. These guys aren’t too scary right now.

5. San Antonio Spurs (23–11)
Last Week: 6

The Spurs’ defense remained elite last week (98.6 points allowed per 100 possessions, good for third in the league), which was more than enough to overcome some rough offensive showings. Once Kawhi returns to full health, there’s no doubt this team will enter the conversation for No. 1.

4. Toronto Raptors (23–8)
Last Week: 5

Toronto had the league’s No. 2 defensive rating over the past week, and Serge Ibaka is averaging 18.4 points in December. Defense + players other than Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan = many wins.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers (24–10)
Last Week: 2

In what seems like the blink of an eye, Tristan Thompson’s gone from max player to... Roy Hibbert? Nice to see him get some big minutes on Christmas, I guess.

2. Houston Rockets (25–7)
Last Week: 1

Wanted to put them No. 1 for this pass alone... but I can’t. Without Chris Paul, it's clear this team isn't the same on defense. I mean, they gave up 128 points to the Clippers. Perhaps more Briante Weber is the answer.

1. Golden State Warriors (27–7)
Last Week: 3

Has Kevin Durant become a defensive juggernaut, or is he just now getting all the calls LeBron’s been getting for over a decade? To me this foul was egregious. Egregious! Even my father—who complained the whole game that players complained about no-calls too much—thought it was bad.

Even without Steph Curry, who I've been told is still a top-five player in the league (we can have this conversation another time), this team continues to play well. After proving to be better than Cleveland, they're next in line for the top spot.

<p>Well, there were no blockbuster trades, or catostrophic injuries to quarterbacks in the NBA this week, but there were a few big movers and shakers! The Sixers proved that The Process is probably not over quite yet, Chris Bosh shot WAY up the videobomb rankings with a surprise return, and John Wall invented a new word. The bottom of the top 10 continues to be fluid, but the top-five, as we discussed last week, is still pretty cemented. So, who was a Big Baller this week? Let’s find out!</p><p><em>(All stats and records used through Dec. 10).</em></p><p><strong>30. Chicago Bulls (5–20)<br>Last Week: 30</strong><br>If you’re going to complain about the Bulls remaining at the bottom of the power rankings despite winning two games this week, then I don’t know what to tell you. You should know by now what this season is: a race to the bottom.</p><p><strong>29. Phoenix Suns (9–19)<br>Last Week: 29</strong><br>Devin Booker really needs to cool it with these good games. It’s hurting the Suns!</p><p><strong>28. Dallas Mavericks (7–20)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 28</strong><br>Just four more games until Dirk Nowitzki passes Kevin Willis for sixth on the all-time games played list with 1,425. If he hits 1,462 to move into the top-five, we should have a party at Josh McRoberts’s house, because somehow he’s the fourth-highest paid player on this team.</p><p><strong>27. Atlanta Hawks (6–20)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 27</strong><br>Ersan Ilyasova is 16–?for–?20 from the field over his last two games. Go see him now!</p><p><strong>26. Memphis Grizzlies (8–18)<br>Last Week: 25</strong><br>At least Tyreke Evans has returned to form. Here I was a month ago thinking he was a great bargain on a contending team! Perhaps Memphis flips him for something good at the deadline if he keeps this up.</p><p><strong>25. Sacramento Kings (8–18)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 22</strong><br>BULLY THESE BULLIES!</p><p><strong>24. Charlotte Hornets (9–16)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 20</strong><br>Cody Zeller, Frank Kaminsky, Nic Batum and Jeremy Lamb are all dealing with injuries. That’s like two-thirds of the team.</p><p><strong>23. Orlando Magic (11–17)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 21</strong><br>Imagine how differently this team would feel if it still had Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis? Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic are playing their faces off. That’s, like, three good players, and one promising prospect!</p><p><strong>22. L.A. Clippers (9–15)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 24</strong><br>We’ve all forgotten about Milos Teodosic, haven’t we? He’s (allegedly) coming back this week!! I’m so excited.</p><p><strong>21. Los Angeles Lakers (10–15)<br>Last Week: 26</strong><br>How would BigBallerBrand have spun this if Brandon Ingram missed the shot? I kind of wish we could have found out.</p><p><strong>20. Denver Nuggets (14–12)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 17</strong><br>No wonder the Nuggets struggled this week... I never knew Novak Djokovic started at center for them. By the way, what the hell is going on with that sweatshirt? Do I count <em>four</em> zippers??</p><p><strong>19. Brooklyn Nets (10–15)<br>Last Week: 23</strong><br>It’s remarkable how well the Nets have rebuilt considering they started with no picks and, like, two players with trade value. And that will still ring true even if <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2017/12/07/jahlil-okafor-trade-76ers-nets-trevor-booker-nik-stauskas" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Jahlil Okafor" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Jahlil Okafor</a><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2017/12/07/jahlil-okafor-trade-76ers-nets-trevor-booker-nik-stauskas" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:flops in Brooklyn" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> flops in Brooklyn</a>. Credit goes to Sean Marks.</p><p><strong>18. Utah Jazz (13–14)<br>Last Week: 15</strong><br>Could this <em>finally</em> be the season Alec Burks wins Sixth Man of the Year? I’ve been waiting for, like, three years.</p><p><strong>17. New Orleans Pelicans (14–13)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 19</strong><br>There are only two players averaging at least 11 points, 11 assists and five rebounds per game in December. Russell Westbrook and... Rajon Rondo.</p><p><strong>16. New York Knicks (13–13)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 18</strong><br>Kristaps Porzingis is back in the rotation, but more importantly, RON BAKER is back in the rotation.</p><p><strong>15. Philadelphia 76ers (13–13)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 9</strong><br>The most disappointing thing about the <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2017/12/07/jahlil-okafor-trade-76ers-nets-trevor-booker-nik-stauskas" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Jahlil Okafor" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Jahlil Okafor</a><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2017/12/07/jahlil-okafor-trade-76ers-nets-trevor-booker-nik-stauskas" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:trade" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> trade</a> wasn’t what Philly eventually got back, it was <em>when</em> they traded him. There was once a time they’d probably get a first-rounder in return, and there was <em>certainly</em> a time where they wouldn’t have to attach a second-rounder.</p><p>Oh yeah, they also went 0–4 this week. This team left a crater as it crashed down to Earth.</p><p><strong>14. Miami Heat (12–13)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 13</strong><br>That... that’s Chris Bosh’s music!! My GOD!</p><p><strong>13. Portland Trail Blazers (13–12)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 10</strong><br>There was a lot to like about Portland’s epic battle with Houston, whether it was Damian Lillard’s offensive output, Al-Farouq Aminu’s great shooting night or C.J. McCollum’s effort in the fourth. The most encouraging thing, though? It took a blistering hot fourth from James Harden and Chris Paul to beat the Blazers on a night they so desperately missed Jusuf Nurkic out there.</p><p><strong>12. Oklahoma City Thunder (12–13)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 16</strong><br>Only two teams—the Warriors and Nets—have a better defensive rating this month than the Thunder.</p><p><strong>11. Washington Wizards (14–12)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 11</strong><br>Bradley Beal, he gets <em>bucket</em> buckets. Like, his buckets even get buckets.?</p><p><strong>10. Detroit Pistons (14–12)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 7</strong><br>The Pistons had to play the Spurs, Bucks, Warriors and Celtics in the span of a week. I think I can confidently say they will <em>never </em>run into a seven-day stretch like that one again. The <em>only</em> thing that I’d maybe be concerned about is the return of ~inconsistent~ Andre Drummond.</p><p><strong>9. Milwaukee Bucks (15–10)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 12</strong><br>Don’t look now, but the Bucks have the league’s third-best offensive rating in December! It feels like Eric Bledsoe is finally starting to click with this unit.</p><p><strong>8. Indiana Pacers (16–11)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 14</strong><br>This is a legitimately fun basketball team right now.</p><p><strong>7. Minnesota Timberwolves (16–11)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 8</strong><br>This was the moment the Timberwolves turned the corner:</p><p><strong>6. Toronto Raptors (17–7)<br>Last Week: 6</strong><br>Just as I was preparing my “meh” remarks about the Raptors, they surged past the Grizzlies and totaled the most fast-break points (41) in the NBA since 2003. They’ve had a lot of time between games lately and it looks like it’s refreshed their legs.</p><p><strong>5. Cleveland Cavaliers (19–8)<br>Last Week: </strong><strong>4</strong><br>This, <a href="https://twitter.com/i/web/status/939721447571972096" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:from ESPN’s Dave" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">from ESPN’s Dave </a><a href="https://twitter.com/i/web/status/939721447571972096" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:McMenamin" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">McMenamin</a>, is yet another reason in a long line of reasons why LeBron is truly remarkable:</p><p><em>The Cleveland Cavaliers finished their win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday on a 22</em>–?<em>12 run and LeBron James scored or assisted on all 22 of those points. According to Elias, that&#39;s the most points scored or assisted on for any player this season to close out a game.</em></p><p><strong>4. San Antonio Spurs (19–8)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 5</strong><br>Gregg Popovich just stealthily rested Danny Green, Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and <em>possibly</em> Kawhi Leonard (there was talk of him returning for this game) on the same evening. He’s just gonna keep doing this again until someone notices and makes it a big deal again.</p><p><strong>3. Golden State Warriors (21–6)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 2</strong><br>Golden State may not have Steph Curry right now, but it does have its suffocating defense. That will keep them in games against tough opponents—like Saturday’s against Detroit—where no one but Durant and Klay Thompson show up to score. So they’ll be in it, but how will they manage in crunch time? This team, in the Durant era, hasn’t really had to sweat out a lot of games. Perhaps this will make them even stronger.</p><p><strong>2. Houston Rockets (20–4)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 3</strong><br>The Rockets’ 12–1 start on the road is their best since 1996–97. They own the best offense and defense statistically over the past two weeks and are quickly creeping up on the Celtics?</p><p><strong>1. Boston Celtics (23–5)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 1</strong><br>Remember this?</p><p>Jayson Tatum is currently the NBA’s leader in three-point percentage at over 52%. The ribbon committee may want to reconsider giving this “Blue Ribbon Yearbook” a blue ribbon. Perhaps a yellow ribbon, or even a purple one would be more appropriate.</p>
NBA Power Rankings: The Process Is Still a Work in Progress

Well, there were no blockbuster trades, or catostrophic injuries to quarterbacks in the NBA this week, but there were a few big movers and shakers! The Sixers proved that The Process is probably not over quite yet, Chris Bosh shot WAY up the videobomb rankings with a surprise return, and John Wall invented a new word. The bottom of the top 10 continues to be fluid, but the top-five, as we discussed last week, is still pretty cemented. So, who was a Big Baller this week? Let’s find out!

(All stats and records used through Dec. 10).

30. Chicago Bulls (5–20)
Last Week: 30

If you’re going to complain about the Bulls remaining at the bottom of the power rankings despite winning two games this week, then I don’t know what to tell you. You should know by now what this season is: a race to the bottom.

29. Phoenix Suns (9–19)
Last Week: 29

Devin Booker really needs to cool it with these good games. It’s hurting the Suns!

28. Dallas Mavericks (7–20)
Last Week: 28
Just four more games until Dirk Nowitzki passes Kevin Willis for sixth on the all-time games played list with 1,425. If he hits 1,462 to move into the top-five, we should have a party at Josh McRoberts’s house, because somehow he’s the fourth-highest paid player on this team.

27. Atlanta Hawks (6–20)
Last Week: 27
Ersan Ilyasova is 16–?for–?20 from the field over his last two games. Go see him now!

26. Memphis Grizzlies (8–18)
Last Week: 25

At least Tyreke Evans has returned to form. Here I was a month ago thinking he was a great bargain on a contending team! Perhaps Memphis flips him for something good at the deadline if he keeps this up.

25. Sacramento Kings (8–18)
Last Week: 22
BULLY THESE BULLIES!

24. Charlotte Hornets (9–16)
Last Week: 20
Cody Zeller, Frank Kaminsky, Nic Batum and Jeremy Lamb are all dealing with injuries. That’s like two-thirds of the team.

23. Orlando Magic (11–17)
Last Week: 21
Imagine how differently this team would feel if it still had Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis? Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic are playing their faces off. That’s, like, three good players, and one promising prospect!

22. L.A. Clippers (9–15)
Last Week: 24
We’ve all forgotten about Milos Teodosic, haven’t we? He’s (allegedly) coming back this week!! I’m so excited.

21. Los Angeles Lakers (10–15)
Last Week: 26

How would BigBallerBrand have spun this if Brandon Ingram missed the shot? I kind of wish we could have found out.

20. Denver Nuggets (14–12)
Last Week: 17
No wonder the Nuggets struggled this week... I never knew Novak Djokovic started at center for them. By the way, what the hell is going on with that sweatshirt? Do I count four zippers??

19. Brooklyn Nets (10–15)
Last Week: 23

It’s remarkable how well the Nets have rebuilt considering they started with no picks and, like, two players with trade value. And that will still ring true even if Jahlil Okafor flops in Brooklyn. Credit goes to Sean Marks.

18. Utah Jazz (13–14)
Last Week: 15

Could this finally be the season Alec Burks wins Sixth Man of the Year? I’ve been waiting for, like, three years.

17. New Orleans Pelicans (14–13)
Last Week: 19
There are only two players averaging at least 11 points, 11 assists and five rebounds per game in December. Russell Westbrook and... Rajon Rondo.

16. New York Knicks (13–13)
Last Week: 18
Kristaps Porzingis is back in the rotation, but more importantly, RON BAKER is back in the rotation.

15. Philadelphia 76ers (13–13)
Last Week: 9
The most disappointing thing about the Jahlil Okafor trade wasn’t what Philly eventually got back, it was when they traded him. There was once a time they’d probably get a first-rounder in return, and there was certainly a time where they wouldn’t have to attach a second-rounder.

Oh yeah, they also went 0–4 this week. This team left a crater as it crashed down to Earth.

14. Miami Heat (12–13)
Last Week: 13
That... that’s Chris Bosh’s music!! My GOD!

13. Portland Trail Blazers (13–12)
Last Week: 10
There was a lot to like about Portland’s epic battle with Houston, whether it was Damian Lillard’s offensive output, Al-Farouq Aminu’s great shooting night or C.J. McCollum’s effort in the fourth. The most encouraging thing, though? It took a blistering hot fourth from James Harden and Chris Paul to beat the Blazers on a night they so desperately missed Jusuf Nurkic out there.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder (12–13)
Last Week: 16
Only two teams—the Warriors and Nets—have a better defensive rating this month than the Thunder.

11. Washington Wizards (14–12)
Last Week: 11
Bradley Beal, he gets bucket buckets. Like, his buckets even get buckets.?

10. Detroit Pistons (14–12)
Last Week: 7
The Pistons had to play the Spurs, Bucks, Warriors and Celtics in the span of a week. I think I can confidently say they will never run into a seven-day stretch like that one again. The only thing that I’d maybe be concerned about is the return of ~inconsistent~ Andre Drummond.

9. Milwaukee Bucks (15–10)
Last Week: 12
Don’t look now, but the Bucks have the league’s third-best offensive rating in December! It feels like Eric Bledsoe is finally starting to click with this unit.

8. Indiana Pacers (16–11)
Last Week: 14
This is a legitimately fun basketball team right now.

7. Minnesota Timberwolves (16–11)
Last Week: 8
This was the moment the Timberwolves turned the corner:

6. Toronto Raptors (17–7)
Last Week: 6

Just as I was preparing my “meh” remarks about the Raptors, they surged past the Grizzlies and totaled the most fast-break points (41) in the NBA since 2003. They’ve had a lot of time between games lately and it looks like it’s refreshed their legs.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers (19–8)
Last Week:
4
This, from ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, is yet another reason in a long line of reasons why LeBron is truly remarkable:

The Cleveland Cavaliers finished their win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday on a 22–?12 run and LeBron James scored or assisted on all 22 of those points. According to Elias, that's the most points scored or assisted on for any player this season to close out a game.

4. San Antonio Spurs (19–8)
Last Week: 5
Gregg Popovich just stealthily rested Danny Green, Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and possibly Kawhi Leonard (there was talk of him returning for this game) on the same evening. He’s just gonna keep doing this again until someone notices and makes it a big deal again.

3. Golden State Warriors (21–6)
Last Week: 2
Golden State may not have Steph Curry right now, but it does have its suffocating defense. That will keep them in games against tough opponents—like Saturday’s against Detroit—where no one but Durant and Klay Thompson show up to score. So they’ll be in it, but how will they manage in crunch time? This team, in the Durant era, hasn’t really had to sweat out a lot of games. Perhaps this will make them even stronger.

2. Houston Rockets (20–4)
Last Week: 3
The Rockets’ 12–1 start on the road is their best since 1996–97. They own the best offense and defense statistically over the past two weeks and are quickly creeping up on the Celtics?

1. Boston Celtics (23–5)
Last Week: 1
Remember this?

Jayson Tatum is currently the NBA’s leader in three-point percentage at over 52%. The ribbon committee may want to reconsider giving this “Blue Ribbon Yearbook” a blue ribbon. Perhaps a yellow ribbon, or even a purple one would be more appropriate.

<p>Well, there were no blockbuster trades, or catostrophic injuries to quarterbacks in the NBA this week, but there were a few big movers and shakers! The Sixers proved that The Process is probably not over quite yet, Chris Bosh shot WAY up the videobomb rankings with a surprise return, and John Wall invented a new word. The bottom of the top 10 continues to be fluid, but the top-five, as we discussed last week, is still pretty cemented. So, who was a Big Baller this week? Let’s find out!</p><p><em>(All stats and records used through Dec. 10).</em></p><p><strong>30. Chicago Bulls (5–20)<br>Last Week: 30</strong><br>If you’re going to complain about the Bulls remaining at the bottom of the power rankings despite winning two games this week, then I don’t know what to tell you. You should know by now what this season is: a race to the bottom.</p><p><strong>29. Phoenix Suns (9–19)<br>Last Week: 29</strong><br>Devin Booker really needs to cool it with these good games. It’s hurting the Suns!</p><p><strong>28. Dallas Mavericks (7–20)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 28</strong><br>Just four more games until Dirk Nowitzki passes Kevin Willis for sixth on the all-time games played list with 1,425. If he hits 1,462 to move into the top-five, we should have a party at Josh McRoberts’s house, because somehow he’s the fourth-highest paid player on this team.</p><p><strong>27. Atlanta Hawks (6–20)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 27</strong><br>Ersan Ilyasova is 16–?for–?20 from the field over his last two games. Go see him now!</p><p><strong>26. Memphis Grizzlies (8–18)<br>Last Week: 25</strong><br>At least Tyreke Evans has returned to form. Here I was a month ago thinking he was a great bargain on a contending team! Perhaps Memphis flips him for something good at the deadline if he keeps this up.</p><p><strong>25. Sacramento Kings (8–18)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 22</strong><br>BULLY THESE BULLIES!</p><p><strong>24. Charlotte Hornets (9–16)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 20</strong><br>Cody Zeller, Frank Kaminsky, Nic Batum and Jeremy Lamb are all dealing with injuries. That’s like two-thirds of the team.</p><p><strong>23. Orlando Magic (11–17)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 21</strong><br>Imagine how differently this team would feel if it still had Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis? Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic are playing their faces off. That’s, like, three good players, and one promising prospect!</p><p><strong>22. L.A. Clippers (9–15)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 24</strong><br>We’ve all forgotten about Milos Teodosic, haven’t we? He’s (allegedly) coming back this week!! I’m so excited.</p><p><strong>21. Los Angeles Lakers (10–15)<br>Last Week: 26</strong><br>How would BigBallerBrand have spun this if Brandon Ingram missed the shot? I kind of wish we could have found out.</p><p><strong>20. Denver Nuggets (14–12)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 17</strong><br>No wonder the Nuggets struggled this week... I never knew Novak Djokovic started at center for them. By the way, what the hell is going on with that sweatshirt? Do I count <em>four</em> zippers??</p><p><strong>19. Brooklyn Nets (10–15)<br>Last Week: 23</strong><br>It’s remarkable how well the Nets have rebuilt considering they started with no picks and, like, two players with trade value. And that will still ring true even if <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2017/12/07/jahlil-okafor-trade-76ers-nets-trevor-booker-nik-stauskas" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Jahlil Okafor" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Jahlil Okafor</a><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2017/12/07/jahlil-okafor-trade-76ers-nets-trevor-booker-nik-stauskas" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:flops in Brooklyn" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> flops in Brooklyn</a>. Credit goes to Sean Marks.</p><p><strong>18. Utah Jazz (13–14)<br>Last Week: 15</strong><br>Could this <em>finally</em> be the season Alec Burks wins Sixth Man of the Year? I’ve been waiting for, like, three years.</p><p><strong>17. New Orleans Pelicans (14–13)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 19</strong><br>There are only two players averaging at least 11 points, 11 assists and five rebounds per game in December. Russell Westbrook and... Rajon Rondo.</p><p><strong>16. New York Knicks (13–13)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 18</strong><br>Kristaps Porzingis is back in the rotation, but more importantly, RON BAKER is back in the rotation.</p><p><strong>15. Philadelphia 76ers (13–13)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 9</strong><br>The most disappointing thing about the <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2017/12/07/jahlil-okafor-trade-76ers-nets-trevor-booker-nik-stauskas" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Jahlil Okafor" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Jahlil Okafor</a><a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2017/12/07/jahlil-okafor-trade-76ers-nets-trevor-booker-nik-stauskas" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:trade" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> trade</a> wasn’t what Philly eventually got back, it was <em>when</em> they traded him. There was once a time they’d probably get a first-rounder in return, and there was <em>certainly</em> a time where they wouldn’t have to attach a second-rounder.</p><p>Oh yeah, they also went 0–4 this week. This team left a crater as it crashed down to Earth.</p><p><strong>14. Miami Heat (12–13)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 13</strong><br>That... that’s Chris Bosh’s music!! My GOD!</p><p><strong>13. Portland Trail Blazers (13–12)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 10</strong><br>There was a lot to like about Portland’s epic battle with Houston, whether it was Damian Lillard’s offensive output, Al-Farouq Aminu’s great shooting night or C.J. McCollum’s effort in the fourth. The most encouraging thing, though? It took a blistering hot fourth from James Harden and Chris Paul to beat the Blazers on a night they so desperately missed Jusuf Nurkic out there.</p><p><strong>12. Oklahoma City Thunder (12–13)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 16</strong><br>Only two teams—the Warriors and Nets—have a better defensive rating this month than the Thunder.</p><p><strong>11. Washington Wizards (14–12)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 11</strong><br>Bradley Beal, he gets <em>bucket</em> buckets. Like, his buckets even get buckets.?</p><p><strong>10. Detroit Pistons (14–12)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 7</strong><br>The Pistons had to play the Spurs, Bucks, Warriors and Celtics in the span of a week. I think I can confidently say they will <em>never </em>run into a seven-day stretch like that one again. The <em>only</em> thing that I’d maybe be concerned about is the return of ~inconsistent~ Andre Drummond.</p><p><strong>9. Milwaukee Bucks (15–10)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 12</strong><br>Don’t look now, but the Bucks have the league’s third-best offensive rating in December! It feels like Eric Bledsoe is finally starting to click with this unit.</p><p><strong>8. Indiana Pacers (16–11)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 14</strong><br>This is a legitimately fun basketball team right now.</p><p><strong>7. Minnesota Timberwolves (16–11)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 8</strong><br>This was the moment the Timberwolves turned the corner:</p><p><strong>6. Toronto Raptors (17–7)<br>Last Week: 6</strong><br>Just as I was preparing my “meh” remarks about the Raptors, they surged past the Grizzlies and totaled the most fast-break points (41) in the NBA since 2003. They’ve had a lot of time between games lately and it looks like it’s refreshed their legs.</p><p><strong>5. Cleveland Cavaliers (19–8)<br>Last Week: </strong><strong>4</strong><br>This, <a href="https://twitter.com/i/web/status/939721447571972096" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:from ESPN’s Dave" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">from ESPN’s Dave </a><a href="https://twitter.com/i/web/status/939721447571972096" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:McMenamin" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">McMenamin</a>, is yet another reason in a long line of reasons why LeBron is truly remarkable:</p><p><em>The Cleveland Cavaliers finished their win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday on a 22</em>–?<em>12 run and LeBron James scored or assisted on all 22 of those points. According to Elias, that&#39;s the most points scored or assisted on for any player this season to close out a game.</em></p><p><strong>4. San Antonio Spurs (19–8)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 5</strong><br>Gregg Popovich just stealthily rested Danny Green, Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and <em>possibly</em> Kawhi Leonard (there was talk of him returning for this game) on the same evening. He’s just gonna keep doing this again until someone notices and makes it a big deal again.</p><p><strong>3. Golden State Warriors (21–6)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 2</strong><br>Golden State may not have Steph Curry right now, but it does have its suffocating defense. That will keep them in games against tough opponents—like Saturday’s against Detroit—where no one but Durant and Klay Thompson show up to score. So they’ll be in it, but how will they manage in crunch time? This team, in the Durant era, hasn’t really had to sweat out a lot of games. Perhaps this will make them even stronger.</p><p><strong>2. Houston Rockets (20–4)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 3</strong><br>The Rockets’ 12–1 start on the road is their best since 1996–97. They own the best offense and defense statistically over the past two weeks and are quickly creeping up on the Celtics?</p><p><strong>1. Boston Celtics (23–5)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 1</strong><br>Remember this?</p><p>Jayson Tatum is currently the NBA’s leader in three-point percentage at over 52%. The ribbon committee may want to reconsider giving this “Blue Ribbon Yearbook” a blue ribbon. Perhaps a yellow ribbon, or even a purple one would be more appropriate.</p>
NBA Power Rankings: The Process Is Still a Work in Progress

Well, there were no blockbuster trades, or catostrophic injuries to quarterbacks in the NBA this week, but there were a few big movers and shakers! The Sixers proved that The Process is probably not over quite yet, Chris Bosh shot WAY up the videobomb rankings with a surprise return, and John Wall invented a new word. The bottom of the top 10 continues to be fluid, but the top-five, as we discussed last week, is still pretty cemented. So, who was a Big Baller this week? Let’s find out!

(All stats and records used through Dec. 10).

30. Chicago Bulls (5–20)
Last Week: 30

If you’re going to complain about the Bulls remaining at the bottom of the power rankings despite winning two games this week, then I don’t know what to tell you. You should know by now what this season is: a race to the bottom.

29. Phoenix Suns (9–19)
Last Week: 29

Devin Booker really needs to cool it with these good games. It’s hurting the Suns!

28. Dallas Mavericks (7–20)
Last Week: 28
Just four more games until Dirk Nowitzki passes Kevin Willis for sixth on the all-time games played list with 1,425. If he hits 1,462 to move into the top-five, we should have a party at Josh McRoberts’s house, because somehow he’s the fourth-highest paid player on this team.

27. Atlanta Hawks (6–20)
Last Week: 27
Ersan Ilyasova is 16–?for–?20 from the field over his last two games. Go see him now!

26. Memphis Grizzlies (8–18)
Last Week: 25

At least Tyreke Evans has returned to form. Here I was a month ago thinking he was a great bargain on a contending team! Perhaps Memphis flips him for something good at the deadline if he keeps this up.

25. Sacramento Kings (8–18)
Last Week: 22
BULLY THESE BULLIES!

24. Charlotte Hornets (9–16)
Last Week: 20
Cody Zeller, Frank Kaminsky, Nic Batum and Jeremy Lamb are all dealing with injuries. That’s like two-thirds of the team.

23. Orlando Magic (11–17)
Last Week: 21
Imagine how differently this team would feel if it still had Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis? Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic are playing their faces off. That’s, like, three good players, and one promising prospect!

22. L.A. Clippers (9–15)
Last Week: 24
We’ve all forgotten about Milos Teodosic, haven’t we? He’s (allegedly) coming back this week!! I’m so excited.

21. Los Angeles Lakers (10–15)
Last Week: 26

How would BigBallerBrand have spun this if Brandon Ingram missed the shot? I kind of wish we could have found out.

20. Denver Nuggets (14–12)
Last Week: 17
No wonder the Nuggets struggled this week... I never knew Novak Djokovic started at center for them. By the way, what the hell is going on with that sweatshirt? Do I count four zippers??

19. Brooklyn Nets (10–15)
Last Week: 23

It’s remarkable how well the Nets have rebuilt considering they started with no picks and, like, two players with trade value. And that will still ring true even if Jahlil Okafor flops in Brooklyn. Credit goes to Sean Marks.

18. Utah Jazz (13–14)
Last Week: 15

Could this finally be the season Alec Burks wins Sixth Man of the Year? I’ve been waiting for, like, three years.

17. New Orleans Pelicans (14–13)
Last Week: 19
There are only two players averaging at least 11 points, 11 assists and five rebounds per game in December. Russell Westbrook and... Rajon Rondo.

16. New York Knicks (13–13)
Last Week: 18
Kristaps Porzingis is back in the rotation, but more importantly, RON BAKER is back in the rotation.

15. Philadelphia 76ers (13–13)
Last Week: 9
The most disappointing thing about the Jahlil Okafor trade wasn’t what Philly eventually got back, it was when they traded him. There was once a time they’d probably get a first-rounder in return, and there was certainly a time where they wouldn’t have to attach a second-rounder.

Oh yeah, they also went 0–4 this week. This team left a crater as it crashed down to Earth.

14. Miami Heat (12–13)
Last Week: 13
That... that’s Chris Bosh’s music!! My GOD!

13. Portland Trail Blazers (13–12)
Last Week: 10
There was a lot to like about Portland’s epic battle with Houston, whether it was Damian Lillard’s offensive output, Al-Farouq Aminu’s great shooting night or C.J. McCollum’s effort in the fourth. The most encouraging thing, though? It took a blistering hot fourth from James Harden and Chris Paul to beat the Blazers on a night they so desperately missed Jusuf Nurkic out there.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder (12–13)
Last Week: 16
Only two teams—the Warriors and Nets—have a better defensive rating this month than the Thunder.

11. Washington Wizards (14–12)
Last Week: 11
Bradley Beal, he gets bucket buckets. Like, his buckets even get buckets.?

10. Detroit Pistons (14–12)
Last Week: 7
The Pistons had to play the Spurs, Bucks, Warriors and Celtics in the span of a week. I think I can confidently say they will never run into a seven-day stretch like that one again. The only thing that I’d maybe be concerned about is the return of ~inconsistent~ Andre Drummond.

9. Milwaukee Bucks (15–10)
Last Week: 12
Don’t look now, but the Bucks have the league’s third-best offensive rating in December! It feels like Eric Bledsoe is finally starting to click with this unit.

8. Indiana Pacers (16–11)
Last Week: 14
This is a legitimately fun basketball team right now.

7. Minnesota Timberwolves (16–11)
Last Week: 8
This was the moment the Timberwolves turned the corner:

6. Toronto Raptors (17–7)
Last Week: 6

Just as I was preparing my “meh” remarks about the Raptors, they surged past the Grizzlies and totaled the most fast-break points (41) in the NBA since 2003. They’ve had a lot of time between games lately and it looks like it’s refreshed their legs.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers (19–8)
Last Week:
4
This, from ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, is yet another reason in a long line of reasons why LeBron is truly remarkable:

The Cleveland Cavaliers finished their win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday on a 22–?12 run and LeBron James scored or assisted on all 22 of those points. According to Elias, that's the most points scored or assisted on for any player this season to close out a game.

4. San Antonio Spurs (19–8)
Last Week: 5
Gregg Popovich just stealthily rested Danny Green, Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and possibly Kawhi Leonard (there was talk of him returning for this game) on the same evening. He’s just gonna keep doing this again until someone notices and makes it a big deal again.

3. Golden State Warriors (21–6)
Last Week: 2
Golden State may not have Steph Curry right now, but it does have its suffocating defense. That will keep them in games against tough opponents—like Saturday’s against Detroit—where no one but Durant and Klay Thompson show up to score. So they’ll be in it, but how will they manage in crunch time? This team, in the Durant era, hasn’t really had to sweat out a lot of games. Perhaps this will make them even stronger.

2. Houston Rockets (20–4)
Last Week: 3
The Rockets’ 12–1 start on the road is their best since 1996–97. They own the best offense and defense statistically over the past two weeks and are quickly creeping up on the Celtics?

1. Boston Celtics (23–5)
Last Week: 1
Remember this?

Jayson Tatum is currently the NBA’s leader in three-point percentage at over 52%. The ribbon committee may want to reconsider giving this “Blue Ribbon Yearbook” a blue ribbon. Perhaps a yellow ribbon, or even a purple one would be more appropriate.

Dec 6, 2017; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) and Miami Heat center Kelly Olynyk (9) battle for a rebound during the second half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
NBA: Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs
Dec 6, 2017; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) and Miami Heat center Kelly Olynyk (9) battle for a rebound during the second half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
SAN ANTONIO, TX - DECEMBER 6: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 and Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs high five during the game against the Miami Heat on December 6, 2017 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas
Aldridge helps balanced Spurs top Heat 117-105
SAN ANTONIO, TX - DECEMBER 6: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 and Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs high five during the game against the Miami Heat on December 6, 2017 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas
SAN17 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- El entrenador Erik Spoelstra de Miami Heat da instrucciones contra los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN17 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- El entrenador Erik Spoelstra de Miami Heat da instrucciones contra los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN17 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- El entrenador Erik Spoelstra de Miami Heat da instrucciones contra los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN16 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Kelly Olynyk (C) de Miami Heat en acción ante Patty Mills (abajo) de los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN16 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Kelly Olynyk (C) de Miami Heat en acción ante Patty Mills (abajo) de los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN16 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Kelly Olynyk (C) de Miami Heat en acción ante Patty Mills (abajo) de los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN15 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- James Johnson (i) de Miami Heat en acción ante Pau Gasol (d) de los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE ABATE
SAN15 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- James Johnson (i) de Miami Heat en acción ante Pau Gasol (d) de los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE ABATE
SAN15 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- James Johnson (i) de Miami Heat en acción ante Pau Gasol (d) de los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE ABATE
SAN14 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Bam Adebayo (d) de Miami Heat en acción ante Pau Gasol (i) de los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN14 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Bam Adebayo (d) de Miami Heat en acción ante Pau Gasol (i) de los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN14 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Bam Adebayo (d) de Miami Heat en acción ante Pau Gasol (i) de los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN13 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Kelly Olynyk (d) de Miami Heat en acción ante Pau Gasol (i) de los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN13 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Kelly Olynyk (d) de Miami Heat en acción ante Pau Gasol (i) de los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN13 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Kelly Olynyk (d) de Miami Heat en acción ante Pau Gasol (i) de los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN10 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Kelly Olynyk (d) de Miami Heat en acción ante Pau Gasol (c) de los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN10 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Kelly Olynyk (d) de Miami Heat en acción ante Pau Gasol (c) de los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN10 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Kelly Olynyk (d) de Miami Heat en acción ante Pau Gasol (c) de los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN08 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Kelly Olynyk (d) de Miami Heat en acción ante Pau Gasol (i) de los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN08 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Kelly Olynyk (d) de Miami Heat en acción ante Pau Gasol (i) de los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN08 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Kelly Olynyk (d) de Miami Heat en acción ante Pau Gasol (i) de los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN08 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Kelly Olynyk de Miami Heat realiza un pase contra los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN08 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Kelly Olynyk de Miami Heat realiza un pase contra los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN08 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Kelly Olynyk de Miami Heat realiza un pase contra los Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
-FOTODELDIA- SAN06 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Tyler Johnson (i) de los Miami Heat lanza contra los San Antokio Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
-FOTODELDIA- SAN06 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Tyler Johnson (i) de los Miami Heat lanza contra los San Antokio Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
-FOTODELDIA- SAN06 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Tyler Johnson (i) de los Miami Heat lanza contra los San Antokio Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN07 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Pau Gasol (i) de San Antonio Spurs disputa el balón con Bam Adebayo de los Miami Heat hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN07 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Pau Gasol (i) de San Antonio Spurs disputa el balón con Bam Adebayo de los Miami Heat hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN07 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Pau Gasol (i) de San Antonio Spurs disputa el balón con Bam Adebayo de los Miami Heat hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN06 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.-Dion Waiters (c) de los Miami Heat en acción ante LaMarcus Aldridge de San Antonio Spurs (i) hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN06 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.-Dion Waiters (c) de los Miami Heat en acción ante LaMarcus Aldridge de San Antonio Spurs (i) hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN06 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.-Dion Waiters (c) de los Miami Heat en acción ante LaMarcus Aldridge de San Antonio Spurs (i) hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN06 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Tyler Johnson (i) de los Miami Heat lanza contra los San Antokio Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN06 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Tyler Johnson (i) de los Miami Heat lanza contra los San Antokio Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN06 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Tyler Johnson (i) de los Miami Heat lanza contra los San Antokio Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN04 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Tyler Johnson (d) y Kelly Olynyk (i) de los Miami Heat reaccionan en el juego ante los San Antonio Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN04 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Tyler Johnson (d) y Kelly Olynyk (i) de los Miami Heat reaccionan en el juego ante los San Antonio Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN04 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Tyler Johnson (d) y Kelly Olynyk (i) de los Miami Heat reaccionan en el juego ante los San Antonio Spurs hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN03 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Pau Gasol (d) de San Antonio Spurs disputa el balón con Kelly Olynyk (i) de los Miami Heat hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN03 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Pau Gasol (d) de San Antonio Spurs disputa el balón con Kelly Olynyk (i) de los Miami Heat hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN03 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Pau Gasol (d) de San Antonio Spurs disputa el balón con Kelly Olynyk (i) de los Miami Heat hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN02 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- LaMarcus Aldridge (i) de San Antonio Spurs disputa el balón con Kelly Olynyk de los Miami Heat hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN02 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- LaMarcus Aldridge (i) de San Antonio Spurs disputa el balón con Kelly Olynyk de los Miami Heat hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN02 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- LaMarcus Aldridge (i) de San Antonio Spurs disputa el balón con Kelly Olynyk de los Miami Heat hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN01 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Pau Gasol de San Antonio Spurs lanza contra los Miami Heat hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN01 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Pau Gasol de San Antonio Spurs lanza contra los Miami Heat hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
SAN01 - SAN ANTONIO (TX, EE.UU.), 6/12/2017.- Pau Gasol de San Antonio Spurs lanza contra los Miami Heat hoy, 6 de diciembre de 2017, durante su partido de la NBA en San Antonio (Tx, EE.UU.). EFE/D. WILLIAM ABATE
Esta noche, desde las 22.30 hora de la Argentina, se enfrentan en el AT&T Center; el encuentro se podrá ver por el sistema de pago NBA League Pass
San Antonio Spurs-Miami Heat, NBA: horario y cómo ver online
Esta noche, desde las 22.30 hora de la Argentina, se enfrentan en el AT&T Center; el encuentro se podrá ver por el sistema de pago NBA League Pass
Esta noche, desde las 22.30 hora de la Argentina, se enfrentan en el AT&T Center; el encuentro será televisado por intermedio del sistema de pago NBA League Pass
San Antonio Spurs-Miami Heat, NBA: horario, TV y cómo ver online
Esta noche, desde las 22.30 hora de la Argentina, se enfrentan en el AT&T Center; el encuentro será televisado por intermedio del sistema de pago NBA League Pass
<p>Welcome back to The Crossover’s weekly NBA Power Rankings! We know you missed us. There were no surprise streaks this week, just a couple dominant teams (Cleveland and Houston) continuing to dominate. There was a new addition to the pit of the abyss, though (Memphis, come on down!). We’ll try to sort out all the big stories from the week, from Joel Embiid’s triumph over Andre Drummond to the birth of Bogdan Bogdanovic’s MVP campaign.</p><p>Without further ado, let&#39;s get to this week&#39;s rankings.</p><p><em>(All stats and records through Dec. 3).</em></p><p><strong>30. Chicago Bulls (3–18)<br>Last Week: 30</strong><br>Much of this season should be about the development of Kris Dunn, and also tanking for a good draft pick, so considering all that it was a pretty good week for the Bulls.</p><p><strong>29. Phoenix Suns (8–16)<br>Last Week: 29</strong><br>Devin Booker didn’t go for 70 again in his rematch with the Celtics, but he did drop 38 against the top defense in the league. That’s mighty impressive.</p><p><strong>28. Dallas Mavericks (6–17)<br>Last Week: 25</strong><br>I don’t know why this happened but I’m glad it did.</p><p><strong>27. Atlanta Hawks (5–17)<br>Last Week: 28</strong><br>The Dewayne Dedmon breakout season is apparently a real thing. Twenty points and 14 rebounds on 9 of 10 shooting on Sunday (against the Kings, but still!). Good lord.</p><p><strong>26. Los Angeles Lakers (8–15)<br>Last Week: 22</strong><br>I’m beginning to lose patience with Lonzo Ball. Will he have a great career? I still think so. Will he have a great rookie season? It’s looking less and less likely as the weeks go on. He still has a ways to go before he grows into his role. Also, he might be hurt?</p><p><strong>25. Memphis Grizzlies (7–15)<br>Last Week: 20</strong><br>The Grizzlies have been like a teenager wandering into the deep end of the pool, touching the bottom and wondering with each step if they’ve reached the lowest point. But they’re still a few feet away, continuing to slide further and further down a slope until they’re completely underwater.... Sorry, that was dramatic.</p><p><strong>24. L.A. Clippers (8–14)<br>Last Week: 24</strong><br>Austin Rivers has gone from top high school recruit, to somewhat-exciting NBA prospect, to out of the league, to back in the league, to laughing stock, to an absolute machine of late. And he’s only 25.</p><p><strong>23. Brooklyn Nets (8–14)<br>Last Week: 23</strong><br>The Nets are the only team under .500 that plays consistently watchable basketball, so we have to give them credit for that. Our lives would be marginally more boring without them.</p><p><strong>22. Sacramento Kings (7–16)<br>Last Week: 27</strong><br>Behold, the future of the Sacramento Kings:</p><p>Also, I would like to say, did you realize the Kings’ starters did not score at ALL in the first quarter on Saturday? AT ALL?</p><p><strong>21. Charlotte Hornets (8–13)<br>Last Week: 17</strong><br>Charlotte just doesn’t want to play any defense these days. Something’s got to change, this team should be a lot better.</p><p><strong>20. Orlando Magic (10–14)<br>Last Week: 26</strong><br>Aaron Gordon tried to convince us all when he was drafted that he could shoot, and no one bought it. Well, he was (eventually) right. Six threes and 40 points against Oklahoma City?! If you live in Orlando, get your hands on some tickets to Gordon&#39;s season before they become too expensive on the secondary market.</p><p><strong>19. New Orleans Pelicans (12–11)<br>Last Week: 15</strong><br>Any ray of light brought by that inspired victory against the Blazers was quickly covered up by <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2017/12/04/anthony-davis-injury-news-updates-pelicans" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:the dark cloud hanging over Anthony Davis" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">the dark cloud hanging over Anthony Davis</a>. If Davis is forced to miss extended time, the Pelicans could take a significant step back.</p><p><strong>18. New York Knicks (11–11)<br>Last Week: 14</strong><br>Things have quickly taken a turn in the other direction for the Knicks after an improbable start, but it’s got nothing to do with their play. Just as they got Enes Kanter back from injury, now <a href="http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/21657756/kristaps-porzingis-tim-hardaway-jr-new-york-knicks-monday-vs-indiana-pacers" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Tim" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Tim </a><a href="http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/21657756/kristaps-porzingis-tim-hardaway-jr-new-york-knicks-monday-vs-indiana-pacers" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Hardaway Jr. and Kristaps Porzingis" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Hardaway Jr. and Kristaps Porzingis</a> are both out for the immediate future. They don’t have the firepower to tread water without them.</p><p><strong>17. Denver Nuggets (13–9)<br>Last Week: 19</strong><br>This seemed kind of uncalled for:</p><p>They’ve got a lot of room to grow, in more ways than one apparently.</p><p><strong>16. Oklahoma City Thunder (10–12)<br>Last Week: 18</strong><br>Before the weekend:</p><p>After the weekend:</p><p><strong>15. Utah Jazz (12–11)<br>Last Week: 21</strong><br>I can’t tell if Utah is as bad as I thought it was two weeks ago and is simply downing bad opponents, or if this is actually a good team. The Jazz are second in offensive rating, first in assist-to-turnover ratio and fifth in True Shooting % over the past two weeks. They’ve been legitimately great on offense, too. I&#39;m taking the wait–and–see approach for now.</p><p><strong>14. Indiana Pacers (12–10)<br>Last Week: 13</strong><br>Here, we have Victor Oladipo singing loudly in the locker room and Lance Stephenson promising to “get a track going” with his new teammate. I’d say that’s the most important update I can give you on this team.</p><p><strong>13. Miami Heat (11–12)<br>Last Week: 8</strong><br>The team has cooled off considerably, but Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson have played well of late, a good sign for the future prospects of this season. I touched on Miami resting Goran Dragic and giving the aforementioned youngsters an extended look a week ago and they continue to prove that was a savvy decision.</p><p><strong>12. Milwaukee Bucks (12–9)<br>Last Week: 16</strong><br>With the way this season has gone, you’ve got to brace for a four-game slide after this three-game winning streak. Right?</p><p><strong>11. Washington Wizards (12–10)<br>Last Week: 15</strong><br>Aside from this strange Ian Mahinmi experiment, things are actually trending upward for Washington. Otto Porter hit a game-winner, yet another highlight in a season that has been full of them to this point, and Markieff Morris rose from the dead in a big game against Detroit. Wins won&#39;t come easy as long as John Wall is sidelined, btu the Wizards have been respectable in his absence.</p><p><strong>10. Portland Trail Blazers (13–10)<br>Last Week: 11</strong><br>Let’s take you back to Oct. 23’s NBA Power Rankings:</p><p><em>Portland currently ranks in the top three in net rating, but they’ve beaten up on the Pacers and Suns to get there. They certainly impressed against the Bucks, but I’m not quite sure they’re on that level yet. Side note: Is Meyers Leonard not a thing anymore? Two straight games with a DNP-CD. We need to get him back in the lineup for his annual battle with DeMarcus Cousins.</em></p><p>Well, guess what. Good ol’ Meyers got back in there after a brief hiatus and not a moment too soon. He went to WORK against his rival.</p><p>When these guys get together, magic happens.</p><p><strong>9. Philadelphia 76ers (13–9)<br>Last Week: 10</strong><br>From one great feud to another, Joel Embiid continued to back up his talk on the floor, and showcase his ability to get in opponents&#39; heads.</p><p>He called himself the “James Harden” of big men with his ability to draw fouls, which I can get behind. He becomes craftier and craftier as time goes on.</p><p><strong>8. Minnesota Timberwolves (14–10)<br>Last Week: 9</strong><br>Minnesota&#39;s opponents are averaging more than 29 points per game in the fourth quarter this season. That’s a problem.</p><p><strong>7. Detroit Pistons (14–8)<br>Last Week: 6</strong><br>Andre Drummond has shown up this season, just as everyone seemed to turn their backs on him. He&#39;s 14.3 points and 15 rebounds per game this season, and for all the talk about him fouling out of that big matchup against Joel Embiid, he rose to the occasion with a double-double, six assists and five steals.</p><p><strong>6. Toronto Raptors (14–7)<br>Last Week: 7</strong><br>This was the only thing that went wrong with the Raptors this week:</p><p><strong>5. San Antonio Spurs (15–8)<br>Last Week: 5</strong><br>This season may be the greatest testament to how great of a coach Gregg Popovich is. I’m not sure how they keep winning! Kyle Anderson is the most recent Spur to succumb to the injury bug, but now Davis Bertans looks poised to fill his shoes. I’m confident I’d average seven points per game on this team.</p><p><strong>4. Cleveland Cavaliers (16–7)<br>Last Week: 4</strong><br>Hello, hottest team in basketball. I feel bad, because this is going to be their ceiling in the rankings for the foreseeable future, but that’s not because I don&#39;t think they can keep this up. Dwyane Wade seems to be hitting his stride, scoring in double-digits in six straight games, Kevin Love is fitting IN with an average of 27 over his last three and LeBron James is pulling some late-game heroics out of his pocket, scoring the last 12 Cleveland points in a win over Memphis on Saturday. I could go on and on about the encouraging stats, you get the point.</p><p>?</p><p><strong>3. Houston Rockets (18–4)<br>Last Week: 3</strong><br>The Rockets had a 15.4 Net Rating with Chris Paul on the floor this week and a 22.6 Net Rating with him off. Maybe they don’t even need him!!!! (I&#39;m kidding.)</p><p><strong>2. Golden State Warriors (18–6)<br>Last Week: 2</strong><br>This is the first time I’ve cared about Shaun Livingston since every year in the Finals. Apparently he makes noise during the regular season, too!</p><p><strong>1. Boston Celtics (20–4)<br>Last Week: 1</strong></p><p>They’re so good, the rest of the league has just stopped trying to guard them.</p>
NBA Power Rankings: The Upper Class Emerges

Welcome back to The Crossover’s weekly NBA Power Rankings! We know you missed us. There were no surprise streaks this week, just a couple dominant teams (Cleveland and Houston) continuing to dominate. There was a new addition to the pit of the abyss, though (Memphis, come on down!). We’ll try to sort out all the big stories from the week, from Joel Embiid’s triumph over Andre Drummond to the birth of Bogdan Bogdanovic’s MVP campaign.

Without further ado, let's get to this week's rankings.

(All stats and records through Dec. 3).

30. Chicago Bulls (3–18)
Last Week: 30

Much of this season should be about the development of Kris Dunn, and also tanking for a good draft pick, so considering all that it was a pretty good week for the Bulls.

29. Phoenix Suns (8–16)
Last Week: 29

Devin Booker didn’t go for 70 again in his rematch with the Celtics, but he did drop 38 against the top defense in the league. That’s mighty impressive.

28. Dallas Mavericks (6–17)
Last Week: 25

I don’t know why this happened but I’m glad it did.

27. Atlanta Hawks (5–17)
Last Week: 28

The Dewayne Dedmon breakout season is apparently a real thing. Twenty points and 14 rebounds on 9 of 10 shooting on Sunday (against the Kings, but still!). Good lord.

26. Los Angeles Lakers (8–15)
Last Week: 22

I’m beginning to lose patience with Lonzo Ball. Will he have a great career? I still think so. Will he have a great rookie season? It’s looking less and less likely as the weeks go on. He still has a ways to go before he grows into his role. Also, he might be hurt?

25. Memphis Grizzlies (7–15)
Last Week: 20

The Grizzlies have been like a teenager wandering into the deep end of the pool, touching the bottom and wondering with each step if they’ve reached the lowest point. But they’re still a few feet away, continuing to slide further and further down a slope until they’re completely underwater.... Sorry, that was dramatic.

24. L.A. Clippers (8–14)
Last Week: 24

Austin Rivers has gone from top high school recruit, to somewhat-exciting NBA prospect, to out of the league, to back in the league, to laughing stock, to an absolute machine of late. And he’s only 25.

23. Brooklyn Nets (8–14)
Last Week: 23

The Nets are the only team under .500 that plays consistently watchable basketball, so we have to give them credit for that. Our lives would be marginally more boring without them.

22. Sacramento Kings (7–16)
Last Week: 27

Behold, the future of the Sacramento Kings:

Also, I would like to say, did you realize the Kings’ starters did not score at ALL in the first quarter on Saturday? AT ALL?

21. Charlotte Hornets (8–13)
Last Week: 17

Charlotte just doesn’t want to play any defense these days. Something’s got to change, this team should be a lot better.

20. Orlando Magic (10–14)
Last Week: 26

Aaron Gordon tried to convince us all when he was drafted that he could shoot, and no one bought it. Well, he was (eventually) right. Six threes and 40 points against Oklahoma City?! If you live in Orlando, get your hands on some tickets to Gordon's season before they become too expensive on the secondary market.

19. New Orleans Pelicans (12–11)
Last Week: 15

Any ray of light brought by that inspired victory against the Blazers was quickly covered up by the dark cloud hanging over Anthony Davis. If Davis is forced to miss extended time, the Pelicans could take a significant step back.

18. New York Knicks (11–11)
Last Week: 14

Things have quickly taken a turn in the other direction for the Knicks after an improbable start, but it’s got nothing to do with their play. Just as they got Enes Kanter back from injury, now Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kristaps Porzingis are both out for the immediate future. They don’t have the firepower to tread water without them.

17. Denver Nuggets (13–9)
Last Week: 19

This seemed kind of uncalled for:

They’ve got a lot of room to grow, in more ways than one apparently.

16. Oklahoma City Thunder (10–12)
Last Week: 18

Before the weekend:

After the weekend:

15. Utah Jazz (12–11)
Last Week: 21

I can’t tell if Utah is as bad as I thought it was two weeks ago and is simply downing bad opponents, or if this is actually a good team. The Jazz are second in offensive rating, first in assist-to-turnover ratio and fifth in True Shooting % over the past two weeks. They’ve been legitimately great on offense, too. I'm taking the wait–and–see approach for now.

14. Indiana Pacers (12–10)
Last Week: 13

Here, we have Victor Oladipo singing loudly in the locker room and Lance Stephenson promising to “get a track going” with his new teammate. I’d say that’s the most important update I can give you on this team.

13. Miami Heat (11–12)
Last Week: 8

The team has cooled off considerably, but Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson have played well of late, a good sign for the future prospects of this season. I touched on Miami resting Goran Dragic and giving the aforementioned youngsters an extended look a week ago and they continue to prove that was a savvy decision.

12. Milwaukee Bucks (12–9)
Last Week: 16

With the way this season has gone, you’ve got to brace for a four-game slide after this three-game winning streak. Right?

11. Washington Wizards (12–10)
Last Week: 15

Aside from this strange Ian Mahinmi experiment, things are actually trending upward for Washington. Otto Porter hit a game-winner, yet another highlight in a season that has been full of them to this point, and Markieff Morris rose from the dead in a big game against Detroit. Wins won't come easy as long as John Wall is sidelined, btu the Wizards have been respectable in his absence.

10. Portland Trail Blazers (13–10)
Last Week: 11

Let’s take you back to Oct. 23’s NBA Power Rankings:

Portland currently ranks in the top three in net rating, but they’ve beaten up on the Pacers and Suns to get there. They certainly impressed against the Bucks, but I’m not quite sure they’re on that level yet. Side note: Is Meyers Leonard not a thing anymore? Two straight games with a DNP-CD. We need to get him back in the lineup for his annual battle with DeMarcus Cousins.

Well, guess what. Good ol’ Meyers got back in there after a brief hiatus and not a moment too soon. He went to WORK against his rival.

When these guys get together, magic happens.

9. Philadelphia 76ers (13–9)
Last Week: 10

From one great feud to another, Joel Embiid continued to back up his talk on the floor, and showcase his ability to get in opponents' heads.

He called himself the “James Harden” of big men with his ability to draw fouls, which I can get behind. He becomes craftier and craftier as time goes on.

8. Minnesota Timberwolves (14–10)
Last Week: 9

Minnesota's opponents are averaging more than 29 points per game in the fourth quarter this season. That’s a problem.

7. Detroit Pistons (14–8)
Last Week: 6

Andre Drummond has shown up this season, just as everyone seemed to turn their backs on him. He's 14.3 points and 15 rebounds per game this season, and for all the talk about him fouling out of that big matchup against Joel Embiid, he rose to the occasion with a double-double, six assists and five steals.

6. Toronto Raptors (14–7)
Last Week: 7

This was the only thing that went wrong with the Raptors this week:

5. San Antonio Spurs (15–8)
Last Week: 5

This season may be the greatest testament to how great of a coach Gregg Popovich is. I’m not sure how they keep winning! Kyle Anderson is the most recent Spur to succumb to the injury bug, but now Davis Bertans looks poised to fill his shoes. I’m confident I’d average seven points per game on this team.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers (16–7)
Last Week: 4

Hello, hottest team in basketball. I feel bad, because this is going to be their ceiling in the rankings for the foreseeable future, but that’s not because I don't think they can keep this up. Dwyane Wade seems to be hitting his stride, scoring in double-digits in six straight games, Kevin Love is fitting IN with an average of 27 over his last three and LeBron James is pulling some late-game heroics out of his pocket, scoring the last 12 Cleveland points in a win over Memphis on Saturday. I could go on and on about the encouraging stats, you get the point.

?

3. Houston Rockets (18–4)
Last Week: 3

The Rockets had a 15.4 Net Rating with Chris Paul on the floor this week and a 22.6 Net Rating with him off. Maybe they don’t even need him!!!! (I'm kidding.)

2. Golden State Warriors (18–6)
Last Week: 2

This is the first time I’ve cared about Shaun Livingston since every year in the Finals. Apparently he makes noise during the regular season, too!

1. Boston Celtics (20–4)
Last Week: 1

They’re so good, the rest of the league has just stopped trying to guard them.

<p>Welcome back to The Crossover’s weekly NBA Power Rankings! We know you missed us. There were no surprise streaks this week, just a couple dominant teams (Cleveland and Houston) continuing to dominate. There was a new addition to the pit of the abyss, though (Memphis, come on down!). We’ll try to sort out all the big stories from the week, from Joel Embiid’s triumph over Andre Drummond to the birth of Bogdan Bogdanovic’s MVP campaign.</p><p>Without further ado, let&#39;s get to this week&#39;s rankings.</p><p><em>(All stats and records through Dec. 3).</em></p><p><strong>30. Chicago Bulls (3–18)<br>Last Week: 30</strong><br>Much of this season should be about the development of Kris Dunn, and also tanking for a good draft pick, so considering all that it was a pretty good week for the Bulls.</p><p><strong>29. Phoenix Suns (8–16)<br>Last Week: 29</strong><br>Devin Booker didn’t go for 70 again in his rematch with the Celtics, but he did drop 38 against the top defense in the league. That’s mighty impressive.</p><p><strong>28. Dallas Mavericks (6–17)<br>Last Week: 25</strong><br>I don’t know why this happened but I’m glad it did.</p><p><strong>27. Atlanta Hawks (5–17)<br>Last Week: 28</strong><br>The Dewayne Dedmon breakout season is apparently a real thing. Twenty points and 14 rebounds on 9 of 10 shooting on Sunday (against the Kings, but still!). Good lord.</p><p><strong>26. Los Angeles Lakers (8–15)<br>Last Week: 22</strong><br>I’m beginning to lose patience with Lonzo Ball. Will he have a great career? I still think so. Will he have a great rookie season? It’s looking less and less likely as the weeks go on. He still has a ways to go before he grows into his role. Also, he might be hurt?</p><p><strong>25. Memphis Grizzlies (7–15)<br>Last Week: 20</strong><br>The Grizzlies have been like a teenager wandering into the deep end of the pool, touching the bottom and wondering with each step if they’ve reached the lowest point. But they’re still a few feet away, continuing to slide further and further down a slope until they’re completely underwater.... Sorry, that was dramatic.</p><p><strong>24. L.A. Clippers (8–14)<br>Last Week: 24</strong><br>Austin Rivers has gone from top high school recruit, to somewhat-exciting NBA prospect, to out of the league, to back in the league, to laughing stock, to an absolute machine of late. And he’s only 25.</p><p><strong>23. Brooklyn Nets (8–14)<br>Last Week: 23</strong><br>The Nets are the only team under .500 that plays consistently watchable basketball, so we have to give them credit for that. Our lives would be marginally more boring without them.</p><p><strong>22. Sacramento Kings (7–16)<br>Last Week: 27</strong><br>Behold, the future of the Sacramento Kings:</p><p>Also, I would like to say, did you realize the Kings’ starters did not score at ALL in the first quarter on Saturday? AT ALL?</p><p><strong>21. Charlotte Hornets (8–13)<br>Last Week: 17</strong><br>Charlotte just doesn’t want to play any defense these days. Something’s got to change, this team should be a lot better.</p><p><strong>20. Orlando Magic (10–14)<br>Last Week: 26</strong><br>Aaron Gordon tried to convince us all when he was drafted that he could shoot, and no one bought it. Well, he was (eventually) right. Six threes and 40 points against Oklahoma City?! If you live in Orlando, get your hands on some tickets to Gordon&#39;s season before they become too expensive on the secondary market.</p><p><strong>19. New Orleans Pelicans (12–11)<br>Last Week: 15</strong><br>Any ray of light brought by that inspired victory against the Blazers was quickly covered up by <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2017/12/04/anthony-davis-injury-news-updates-pelicans" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:the dark cloud hanging over Anthony Davis" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">the dark cloud hanging over Anthony Davis</a>. If Davis is forced to miss extended time, the Pelicans could take a significant step back.</p><p><strong>18. New York Knicks (11–11)<br>Last Week: 14</strong><br>Things have quickly taken a turn in the other direction for the Knicks after an improbable start, but it’s got nothing to do with their play. Just as they got Enes Kanter back from injury, now <a href="http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/21657756/kristaps-porzingis-tim-hardaway-jr-new-york-knicks-monday-vs-indiana-pacers" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Tim" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Tim </a><a href="http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/21657756/kristaps-porzingis-tim-hardaway-jr-new-york-knicks-monday-vs-indiana-pacers" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Hardaway Jr. and Kristaps Porzingis" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Hardaway Jr. and Kristaps Porzingis</a> are both out for the immediate future. They don’t have the firepower to tread water without them.</p><p><strong>17. Denver Nuggets (13–9)<br>Last Week: 19</strong><br>This seemed kind of uncalled for:</p><p>They’ve got a lot of room to grow, in more ways than one apparently.</p><p><strong>16. Oklahoma City Thunder (10–12)<br>Last Week: 18</strong><br>Before the weekend:</p><p>After the weekend:</p><p><strong>15. Utah Jazz (12–11)<br>Last Week: 21</strong><br>I can’t tell if Utah is as bad as I thought it was two weeks ago and is simply downing bad opponents, or if this is actually a good team. The Jazz are second in offensive rating, first in assist-to-turnover ratio and fifth in True Shooting % over the past two weeks. They’ve been legitimately great on offense, too. I&#39;m taking the wait–and–see approach for now.</p><p><strong>14. Indiana Pacers (12–10)<br>Last Week: 13</strong><br>Here, we have Victor Oladipo singing loudly in the locker room and Lance Stephenson promising to “get a track going” with his new teammate. I’d say that’s the most important update I can give you on this team.</p><p><strong>13. Miami Heat (11–12)<br>Last Week: 8</strong><br>The team has cooled off considerably, but Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson have played well of late, a good sign for the future prospects of this season. I touched on Miami resting Goran Dragic and giving the aforementioned youngsters an extended look a week ago and they continue to prove that was a savvy decision.</p><p><strong>12. Milwaukee Bucks (12–9)<br>Last Week: 16</strong><br>With the way this season has gone, you’ve got to brace for a four-game slide after this three-game winning streak. Right?</p><p><strong>11. Washington Wizards (12–10)<br>Last Week: 15</strong><br>Aside from this strange Ian Mahinmi experiment, things are actually trending upward for Washington. Otto Porter hit a game-winner, yet another highlight in a season that has been full of them to this point, and Markieff Morris rose from the dead in a big game against Detroit. Wins won&#39;t come easy as long as John Wall is sidelined, btu the Wizards have been respectable in his absence.</p><p><strong>10. Portland Trail Blazers (13–10)<br>Last Week: 11</strong><br>Let’s take you back to Oct. 23’s NBA Power Rankings:</p><p><em>Portland currently ranks in the top three in net rating, but they’ve beaten up on the Pacers and Suns to get there. They certainly impressed against the Bucks, but I’m not quite sure they’re on that level yet. Side note: Is Meyers Leonard not a thing anymore? Two straight games with a DNP-CD. We need to get him back in the lineup for his annual battle with DeMarcus Cousins.</em></p><p>Well, guess what. Good ol’ Meyers got back in there after a brief hiatus and not a moment too soon. He went to WORK against his rival.</p><p>When these guys get together, magic happens.</p><p><strong>9. Philadelphia 76ers (13–9)<br>Last Week: 10</strong><br>From one great feud to another, Joel Embiid continued to back up his talk on the floor, and showcase his ability to get in opponents&#39; heads.</p><p>He called himself the “James Harden” of big men with his ability to draw fouls, which I can get behind. He becomes craftier and craftier as time goes on.</p><p><strong>8. Minnesota Timberwolves (14–10)<br>Last Week: 9</strong><br>Minnesota&#39;s opponents are averaging more than 29 points per game in the fourth quarter this season. That’s a problem.</p><p><strong>7. Detroit Pistons (14–8)<br>Last Week: 6</strong><br>Andre Drummond has shown up this season, just as everyone seemed to turn their backs on him. He&#39;s 14.3 points and 15 rebounds per game this season, and for all the talk about him fouling out of that big matchup against Joel Embiid, he rose to the occasion with a double-double, six assists and five steals.</p><p><strong>6. Toronto Raptors (14–7)<br>Last Week: 7</strong><br>This was the only thing that went wrong with the Raptors this week:</p><p><strong>5. San Antonio Spurs (15–8)<br>Last Week: 5</strong><br>This season may be the greatest testament to how great of a coach Gregg Popovich is. I’m not sure how they keep winning! Kyle Anderson is the most recent Spur to succumb to the injury bug, but now Davis Bertans looks poised to fill his shoes. I’m confident I’d average seven points per game on this team.</p><p><strong>4. Cleveland Cavaliers (16–7)<br>Last Week: 4</strong><br>Hello, hottest team in basketball. I feel bad, because this is going to be their ceiling in the rankings for the foreseeable future, but that’s not because I don&#39;t think they can keep this up. Dwyane Wade seems to be hitting his stride, scoring in double-digits in six straight games, Kevin Love is fitting IN with an average of 27 over his last three and LeBron James is pulling some late-game heroics out of his pocket, scoring the last 12 Cleveland points in a win over Memphis on Saturday. I could go on and on about the encouraging stats, you get the point.</p><p>?</p><p><strong>3. Houston Rockets (18–4)<br>Last Week: 3</strong><br>The Rockets had a 15.4 Net Rating with Chris Paul on the floor this week and a 22.6 Net Rating with him off. Maybe they don’t even need him!!!! (I&#39;m kidding.)</p><p><strong>2. Golden State Warriors (18–6)<br>Last Week: 2</strong><br>This is the first time I’ve cared about Shaun Livingston since every year in the Finals. Apparently he makes noise during the regular season, too!</p><p><strong>1. Boston Celtics (20–4)<br>Last Week: 1</strong></p><p>They’re so good, the rest of the league has just stopped trying to guard them.</p>
NBA Power Rankings: The Upper Class Emerges

Welcome back to The Crossover’s weekly NBA Power Rankings! We know you missed us. There were no surprise streaks this week, just a couple dominant teams (Cleveland and Houston) continuing to dominate. There was a new addition to the pit of the abyss, though (Memphis, come on down!). We’ll try to sort out all the big stories from the week, from Joel Embiid’s triumph over Andre Drummond to the birth of Bogdan Bogdanovic’s MVP campaign.

Without further ado, let's get to this week's rankings.

(All stats and records through Dec. 3).

30. Chicago Bulls (3–18)
Last Week: 30

Much of this season should be about the development of Kris Dunn, and also tanking for a good draft pick, so considering all that it was a pretty good week for the Bulls.

29. Phoenix Suns (8–16)
Last Week: 29

Devin Booker didn’t go for 70 again in his rematch with the Celtics, but he did drop 38 against the top defense in the league. That’s mighty impressive.

28. Dallas Mavericks (6–17)
Last Week: 25

I don’t know why this happened but I’m glad it did.

27. Atlanta Hawks (5–17)
Last Week: 28

The Dewayne Dedmon breakout season is apparently a real thing. Twenty points and 14 rebounds on 9 of 10 shooting on Sunday (against the Kings, but still!). Good lord.

26. Los Angeles Lakers (8–15)
Last Week: 22

I’m beginning to lose patience with Lonzo Ball. Will he have a great career? I still think so. Will he have a great rookie season? It’s looking less and less likely as the weeks go on. He still has a ways to go before he grows into his role. Also, he might be hurt?

25. Memphis Grizzlies (7–15)
Last Week: 20

The Grizzlies have been like a teenager wandering into the deep end of the pool, touching the bottom and wondering with each step if they’ve reached the lowest point. But they’re still a few feet away, continuing to slide further and further down a slope until they’re completely underwater.... Sorry, that was dramatic.

24. L.A. Clippers (8–14)
Last Week: 24

Austin Rivers has gone from top high school recruit, to somewhat-exciting NBA prospect, to out of the league, to back in the league, to laughing stock, to an absolute machine of late. And he’s only 25.

23. Brooklyn Nets (8–14)
Last Week: 23

The Nets are the only team under .500 that plays consistently watchable basketball, so we have to give them credit for that. Our lives would be marginally more boring without them.

22. Sacramento Kings (7–16)
Last Week: 27

Behold, the future of the Sacramento Kings:

Also, I would like to say, did you realize the Kings’ starters did not score at ALL in the first quarter on Saturday? AT ALL?

21. Charlotte Hornets (8–13)
Last Week: 17

Charlotte just doesn’t want to play any defense these days. Something’s got to change, this team should be a lot better.

20. Orlando Magic (10–14)
Last Week: 26

Aaron Gordon tried to convince us all when he was drafted that he could shoot, and no one bought it. Well, he was (eventually) right. Six threes and 40 points against Oklahoma City?! If you live in Orlando, get your hands on some tickets to Gordon's season before they become too expensive on the secondary market.

19. New Orleans Pelicans (12–11)
Last Week: 15

Any ray of light brought by that inspired victory against the Blazers was quickly covered up by the dark cloud hanging over Anthony Davis. If Davis is forced to miss extended time, the Pelicans could take a significant step back.

18. New York Knicks (11–11)
Last Week: 14

Things have quickly taken a turn in the other direction for the Knicks after an improbable start, but it’s got nothing to do with their play. Just as they got Enes Kanter back from injury, now Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kristaps Porzingis are both out for the immediate future. They don’t have the firepower to tread water without them.

17. Denver Nuggets (13–9)
Last Week: 19

This seemed kind of uncalled for:

They’ve got a lot of room to grow, in more ways than one apparently.

16. Oklahoma City Thunder (10–12)
Last Week: 18

Before the weekend:

After the weekend:

15. Utah Jazz (12–11)
Last Week: 21

I can’t tell if Utah is as bad as I thought it was two weeks ago and is simply downing bad opponents, or if this is actually a good team. The Jazz are second in offensive rating, first in assist-to-turnover ratio and fifth in True Shooting % over the past two weeks. They’ve been legitimately great on offense, too. I'm taking the wait–and–see approach for now.

14. Indiana Pacers (12–10)
Last Week: 13

Here, we have Victor Oladipo singing loudly in the locker room and Lance Stephenson promising to “get a track going” with his new teammate. I’d say that’s the most important update I can give you on this team.

13. Miami Heat (11–12)
Last Week: 8

The team has cooled off considerably, but Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson have played well of late, a good sign for the future prospects of this season. I touched on Miami resting Goran Dragic and giving the aforementioned youngsters an extended look a week ago and they continue to prove that was a savvy decision.

12. Milwaukee Bucks (12–9)
Last Week: 16

With the way this season has gone, you’ve got to brace for a four-game slide after this three-game winning streak. Right?

11. Washington Wizards (12–10)
Last Week: 15

Aside from this strange Ian Mahinmi experiment, things are actually trending upward for Washington. Otto Porter hit a game-winner, yet another highlight in a season that has been full of them to this point, and Markieff Morris rose from the dead in a big game against Detroit. Wins won't come easy as long as John Wall is sidelined, btu the Wizards have been respectable in his absence.

10. Portland Trail Blazers (13–10)
Last Week: 11

Let’s take you back to Oct. 23’s NBA Power Rankings:

Portland currently ranks in the top three in net rating, but they’ve beaten up on the Pacers and Suns to get there. They certainly impressed against the Bucks, but I’m not quite sure they’re on that level yet. Side note: Is Meyers Leonard not a thing anymore? Two straight games with a DNP-CD. We need to get him back in the lineup for his annual battle with DeMarcus Cousins.

Well, guess what. Good ol’ Meyers got back in there after a brief hiatus and not a moment too soon. He went to WORK against his rival.

When these guys get together, magic happens.

9. Philadelphia 76ers (13–9)
Last Week: 10

From one great feud to another, Joel Embiid continued to back up his talk on the floor, and showcase his ability to get in opponents' heads.

He called himself the “James Harden” of big men with his ability to draw fouls, which I can get behind. He becomes craftier and craftier as time goes on.

8. Minnesota Timberwolves (14–10)
Last Week: 9

Minnesota's opponents are averaging more than 29 points per game in the fourth quarter this season. That’s a problem.

7. Detroit Pistons (14–8)
Last Week: 6

Andre Drummond has shown up this season, just as everyone seemed to turn their backs on him. He's 14.3 points and 15 rebounds per game this season, and for all the talk about him fouling out of that big matchup against Joel Embiid, he rose to the occasion with a double-double, six assists and five steals.

6. Toronto Raptors (14–7)
Last Week: 7

This was the only thing that went wrong with the Raptors this week:

5. San Antonio Spurs (15–8)
Last Week: 5

This season may be the greatest testament to how great of a coach Gregg Popovich is. I’m not sure how they keep winning! Kyle Anderson is the most recent Spur to succumb to the injury bug, but now Davis Bertans looks poised to fill his shoes. I’m confident I’d average seven points per game on this team.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers (16–7)
Last Week: 4

Hello, hottest team in basketball. I feel bad, because this is going to be their ceiling in the rankings for the foreseeable future, but that’s not because I don't think they can keep this up. Dwyane Wade seems to be hitting his stride, scoring in double-digits in six straight games, Kevin Love is fitting IN with an average of 27 over his last three and LeBron James is pulling some late-game heroics out of his pocket, scoring the last 12 Cleveland points in a win over Memphis on Saturday. I could go on and on about the encouraging stats, you get the point.

?

3. Houston Rockets (18–4)
Last Week: 3

The Rockets had a 15.4 Net Rating with Chris Paul on the floor this week and a 22.6 Net Rating with him off. Maybe they don’t even need him!!!! (I'm kidding.)

2. Golden State Warriors (18–6)
Last Week: 2

This is the first time I’ve cared about Shaun Livingston since every year in the Finals. Apparently he makes noise during the regular season, too!

1. Boston Celtics (20–4)
Last Week: 1

They’re so good, the rest of the league has just stopped trying to guard them.

<p>Welcome back to The Crossover’s weekly NBA Power Rankings. Hope you’re out of your Thanksgiving food coma, because big things are happening in the NBA! The Cavs have suddenly become the league’s hottest team, the Warriors are playing angry again, and Lance Stephenson is BACK! At the moment, it seems the number of teams with reasons for optimism grows larger each week, which makes for more entertaining games on a nightly basis. It’s a good time to be an NBA fan, so get to your television sets. Now, let’s see how the league’s looking...</p><p><em>(All stats and records used through Nov. 26).</em></p><p><strong>30. Chicago Bulls (3–15)<br>Last Week: 30</strong><br>The Bulls scored just 13 points in a quarter on Sunday...and still led by SIX! Chicago has really put on its best tanking shoes of late, but even the best struggle sometimes. (They’d eventually lose, thank goodness.)</p><p><strong>29. Phoenix Suns (7–14)<br>Last Week: 26</strong><br>It seemed like Greg Monroe was well on his way to driving up his trade stock after a 20-point, 11-rebound game against the Rockets in his debut, but he’s scored just 46 points in five games since then.</p><p><strong>28. Atlanta Hawks (4–16)<br>Last Week: 27</strong><br>Who the hell is Josh Magette and how did he become a rotation player?</p><p><strong>27. Sacramento Kings (5–14)<br>Last Week: 28</strong><br>I realize no one will ever forgive Vivek for thinking Buddy Hield was <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/game/1947727" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:the next Stephen Curry" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">the next Stephen Curry</a> (and they probably shouldn’t!) but Hield can be a legit scorer in this league. Thanks to <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/game/1947727" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:that crazy outburst on Saturday" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">that crazy outburst on Saturday</a>—where he legitimately looked like Kobe Bryant for a quarter—he’s up to 44% shooting from deep on the season. That’s elite.</p><p><strong>26. Orlando Magic (8–12)<br>Last Week: 17</strong><br>You see this? This is me officially losing all hope in Orlando. The beginning of the season was fun, but it’s clear now that even in the East the Magic are not serious playoff contenders. Aaron Gordon is <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2017/10/31/aaron-gordon-orlando-magic-three-point-shooting-frank-vogel" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:probably on his way to a breakout season," class="link rapid-noclick-resp">probably on his way to a breakout season,</a> but this team is still very much in rebuilding mode.</p><p><strong>25. Dallas Mavericks (5–15)<br>Last Week: 29 </strong><br>Dirk Nowitzki’s awakening has brought the tank to an abrupt halt. That’s probably bad news for Dallas’s future, but it’s fun to watch him score like this! Brings back old memories. </p><p><strong>24. L.A. Clippers (7–11)<br>Last Week: 25</strong><br>Blake Griffin has hit a three in each game he’s played in this season. His game continues to get better year after year, and even though the Clippers stink right now, he’s been awesome.</p><p><strong>23. Brooklyn Nets (7–12)<br>Last Week: 24</strong><br>Sean Marks should get a medal for turning Justin Hamilton into two picks and DeMarre Carroll.</p><p>Also worth noting:</p><p>Good job all around!</p><p><strong>22. Los Angeles Lakers (8–11)<br>Last Week: 20</strong><br>This week was kind of boring for the Lakers, splitting a pair of games, but next week should be exciting with Larry Nance Jr. finally back in the lineup.</p><p><strong>21. Utah Jazz (9–11)<br>Last Week: 26</strong><br>Okay, so Joe Ingles probably isn’t going to make an All-NBA team like I jokingly proclaimed before the season began. But holy moly, he’s shooting 49% from three!</p><p><strong>20. Memphis Grizzlies (7–12)<br>Last Week: 12</strong></p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p>If Dave Fizdale has lost Marc Gasol...perhaps things are more dire than I thought for this team.</p><p><strong>19. Denver Nuggets (11–8)</strong><br><strong>Last Week: 21</strong><br>I’m not sure how this team has eleven wins. Eleven! I feel like I only remember five or six of them. It seems like the Nuggets have caught teams at the perfect times this year, whether in the midst of a slump or on a back-to-back. This week, they took down the Grizz at the height of their dysfunction.</p><p><strong>18. Oklahoma City Thunder (8–11)<br>Last Week: 14</strong><br>I know the Thunder continue to slide in these rankings week after week—and they beat the Warriors last week, which is a huge deal—but they’re not nearly as dangerous as they should be right now. Melo just hasn’t clicked with this unit yet, though he and Russ <a href="http://www.normantranscript.com/oklahoma/thundernotes-russell-westbrook-carmelo-anthony-developing-chemistry/article_c38b6322-d314-11e7-89e2-fb622173bbdc.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:have improved their play together." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">have improved their play together.</a></p><p><strong>17. Charlotte Hornets (8–11)<br>Last Week: 23</strong><br>Dwight Howard became the first Hornet to log a 20-point, 20-rebound game in four years, then promptly got fined for...gesturing...toward a fan on Friday. Don’t let that distract you from the fact that he has been very good this season.</p><p><strong>16. Milwaukee Bucks (9–9)<br>Last Week: 9</strong></p><p><em>You’re hot then you’re cold,<br>You’re yes then you’re no,<br>You win when Giannis is out<br>He plays the Jazz you fall down<br>You’re wrong when it’s right<br>It’s black and it’s white<br>Please Thon Maker<br>Rescue this team from its plight</em></p><p><strong>15. New Orleans Pelicans (11–9)<br>Last Week: 19</strong><br>Behold, OMER ASIK:</p><p>Yes, he lives, and apparently so do the Pelicans. Don’t look now, but they’re inching towards the top 10 in Net Rating.</p><p><strong>14. Washington Wizards (10–9)<br>Last Week: 8</strong><br>The Wizards made just five of their last 18 shots on Saturday against Portland. Without John Wall, someone’s going to need to score down the stretch, or else Washington’s going to dig itself into a sizeable hole.</p><p><strong>13. New York Knicks (10–9)<br>Last Week: 13</strong><br>The Knicks went on a 28–0 run this week...against Toronto! Nothing else matters.</p><p><strong>12. Indiana Pacers (11–9)<br>Last Week: 16</strong><br>As you recovered from your Thanksgiving feast this weekend, Lance Stephenson was busy dropping 34 points on consecutive nights. Is he back? <em>Is Lance back???</em></p><p><strong>11. Portland Trail Blazers (12–8)<br>Last Week: 11</strong><br>I touched on Portland’s struggles late in games a couple of weeks ago, and this week I’m going to touch on its great play late in games. CJ McCollum led the way in two nailbiters last week, with a little help from Jusuf Nurkic and Shabazz Napier (!). Once an afterthought, the UConn product has been quite productive off the bench this season.</p><p><strong>10. Philadelphia 76ers (11–7)<br>Last Week: 15</strong><br>It seems like it happened years ago, but the greatest play in basketball history took place last week:</p><p><br></p><p><strong>9. Minnesota Timberwolves (12–8)<br>Last Week: 6</strong><br>The week was kind of tumultuous, but it ended on a high note:</p><p><strong>8. Miami Heat (10–9)<br>Last Week: 18</strong><br>Miami has <a href="http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/nba/miami-heat/article186642073.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:begun to rest" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">begun to rest </a><a href="http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/nba/miami-heat/article186642073.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Goran Dragic" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Goran Dragic</a>a bit more, and it’s paying dividends. Not only is he fresh for the end of games, but Tyler Johnson is getting a longer look and playing just fine in those minutes. In fact, he was probably the MVP of Miami’s streak-ending win over Boston with 16 off the bench. If he can keep that up, Erik Spoelstra won’t blink twice when pulling Dragic off the floor to recharge his batteries in the fourth.</p><p><strong>7. Toronto Raptors (12–7)<br>Last Week: 4</strong><br>DeMar DeRozan has lost his scoring touch lately, and as he goes, so does the team. During Toronto’s second-half collapse against the Knicks, he attempted just three shots and missed each one. That just won’t cut it.</p><p><strong>6. Detroit Pistons (12–6)<br>Last Week: 7</strong><br>Detroit has finally risen above Minnesota in the power rankings. Are you happy, Pistons fans? It wasn’t a week to write home about but it was good enough to keep pace in the East with a hefty bunch of teams in hot pursuit. </p><p><strong>5. San Antonio Spurs (12–7)<br>Last Week: 5</strong><br>This team just continues to find a way. Without Kawhi Leonard—a perennial DPOY candidate—and Tony Parker, they’re still the league’s fourth-ranked defense. They’ll get the latter back this week, but the former...<a href="https://clutchpoints.com/spurs-news-kawhi-leonards-injury-has-san-antonio-brass-perplexed/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:I’m beginning to get worried about him." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">I’m beginning to get worried about him.</a></p><p><strong>4. Cleveland Cavaliers (12–7)<br>Last Week: 10</strong><br>They got off to a sluggish start and had to watch Kyrie Irving lead the Celtics on a torrid winning streak, but the Cavs have quickly reversed their fortunes and become the hottest team in the league, winning seven straight. Jae Crowder is finally finding his groove, LeBron is stealing a little rest, and Isaiah Thomas <a href="https://twitter.com/isaiahthomas/status/934999899141230592" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:tweeted he’s nearing a return." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">tweeted he’s nearing a return.</a> Hard to top that week.</p><p><strong>3. Houston Rockets (15–4)<br>Last Week: 3</strong><br>As if last year wasn’t nuts enough, the Rockets are averaging four more three-point attempts per game this season. And look what it can do:</p><p><strong>2. Golden State Warriors (15–5)<br>Last Week: 2</strong><br>Perhaps, in a way, losing to the Thunder was a good thing. Golden State has come out of that loss looking agitated, and there are no longer questions about whether they care or not.</p><p><strong>1. Boston Celtics (18–3)<br>Last Week: 1</strong><br>I’ve touched on this before, but it still amazes me: Did anyone predict that just a few months after losing Avery Bradley that this defense would become the best in the NBA? It limited Indiana to just 16 points in the third on Saturday and helped take control of that game. Coupled with one of the most gifted offensive players in the game today, the Celtics are a true force.</p>
NBA Power Rankings: Hey, Remember the Cavs?

Welcome back to The Crossover’s weekly NBA Power Rankings. Hope you’re out of your Thanksgiving food coma, because big things are happening in the NBA! The Cavs have suddenly become the league’s hottest team, the Warriors are playing angry again, and Lance Stephenson is BACK! At the moment, it seems the number of teams with reasons for optimism grows larger each week, which makes for more entertaining games on a nightly basis. It’s a good time to be an NBA fan, so get to your television sets. Now, let’s see how the league’s looking...

(All stats and records used through Nov. 26).

30. Chicago Bulls (3–15)
Last Week: 30

The Bulls scored just 13 points in a quarter on Sunday...and still led by SIX! Chicago has really put on its best tanking shoes of late, but even the best struggle sometimes. (They’d eventually lose, thank goodness.)

29. Phoenix Suns (7–14)
Last Week: 26

It seemed like Greg Monroe was well on his way to driving up his trade stock after a 20-point, 11-rebound game against the Rockets in his debut, but he’s scored just 46 points in five games since then.

28. Atlanta Hawks (4–16)
Last Week: 27

Who the hell is Josh Magette and how did he become a rotation player?

27. Sacramento Kings (5–14)
Last Week: 28

I realize no one will ever forgive Vivek for thinking Buddy Hield was the next Stephen Curry (and they probably shouldn’t!) but Hield can be a legit scorer in this league. Thanks to that crazy outburst on Saturday—where he legitimately looked like Kobe Bryant for a quarter—he’s up to 44% shooting from deep on the season. That’s elite.

26. Orlando Magic (8–12)
Last Week: 17

You see this? This is me officially losing all hope in Orlando. The beginning of the season was fun, but it’s clear now that even in the East the Magic are not serious playoff contenders. Aaron Gordon is probably on his way to a breakout season, but this team is still very much in rebuilding mode.

25. Dallas Mavericks (5–15)
Last Week: 29

Dirk Nowitzki’s awakening has brought the tank to an abrupt halt. That’s probably bad news for Dallas’s future, but it’s fun to watch him score like this! Brings back old memories.

24. L.A. Clippers (7–11)
Last Week: 25

Blake Griffin has hit a three in each game he’s played in this season. His game continues to get better year after year, and even though the Clippers stink right now, he’s been awesome.

23. Brooklyn Nets (7–12)
Last Week: 24

Sean Marks should get a medal for turning Justin Hamilton into two picks and DeMarre Carroll.

Also worth noting:

Good job all around!

22. Los Angeles Lakers (8–11)
Last Week: 20

This week was kind of boring for the Lakers, splitting a pair of games, but next week should be exciting with Larry Nance Jr. finally back in the lineup.

21. Utah Jazz (9–11)
Last Week: 26

Okay, so Joe Ingles probably isn’t going to make an All-NBA team like I jokingly proclaimed before the season began. But holy moly, he’s shooting 49% from three!

20. Memphis Grizzlies (7–12)
Last Week: 12




If Dave Fizdale has lost Marc Gasol...perhaps things are more dire than I thought for this team.

19. Denver Nuggets (11–8)
Last Week: 21
I’m not sure how this team has eleven wins. Eleven! I feel like I only remember five or six of them. It seems like the Nuggets have caught teams at the perfect times this year, whether in the midst of a slump or on a back-to-back. This week, they took down the Grizz at the height of their dysfunction.

18. Oklahoma City Thunder (8–11)
Last Week: 14

I know the Thunder continue to slide in these rankings week after week—and they beat the Warriors last week, which is a huge deal—but they’re not nearly as dangerous as they should be right now. Melo just hasn’t clicked with this unit yet, though he and Russ have improved their play together.

17. Charlotte Hornets (8–11)
Last Week: 23

Dwight Howard became the first Hornet to log a 20-point, 20-rebound game in four years, then promptly got fined for...gesturing...toward a fan on Friday. Don’t let that distract you from the fact that he has been very good this season.

16. Milwaukee Bucks (9–9)
Last Week: 9

You’re hot then you’re cold,
You’re yes then you’re no,
You win when Giannis is out
He plays the Jazz you fall down
You’re wrong when it’s right
It’s black and it’s white
Please Thon Maker
Rescue this team from its plight

15. New Orleans Pelicans (11–9)
Last Week: 19

Behold, OMER ASIK:

Yes, he lives, and apparently so do the Pelicans. Don’t look now, but they’re inching towards the top 10 in Net Rating.

14. Washington Wizards (10–9)
Last Week: 8

The Wizards made just five of their last 18 shots on Saturday against Portland. Without John Wall, someone’s going to need to score down the stretch, or else Washington’s going to dig itself into a sizeable hole.

13. New York Knicks (10–9)
Last Week: 13

The Knicks went on a 28–0 run this week...against Toronto! Nothing else matters.

12. Indiana Pacers (11–9)
Last Week: 16

As you recovered from your Thanksgiving feast this weekend, Lance Stephenson was busy dropping 34 points on consecutive nights. Is he back? Is Lance back???

11. Portland Trail Blazers (12–8)
Last Week: 11

I touched on Portland’s struggles late in games a couple of weeks ago, and this week I’m going to touch on its great play late in games. CJ McCollum led the way in two nailbiters last week, with a little help from Jusuf Nurkic and Shabazz Napier (!). Once an afterthought, the UConn product has been quite productive off the bench this season.

10. Philadelphia 76ers (11–7)
Last Week: 15

It seems like it happened years ago, but the greatest play in basketball history took place last week:


9. Minnesota Timberwolves (12–8)
Last Week: 6

The week was kind of tumultuous, but it ended on a high note:

8. Miami Heat (10–9)
Last Week: 18

Miami has begun to rest Goran Dragica bit more, and it’s paying dividends. Not only is he fresh for the end of games, but Tyler Johnson is getting a longer look and playing just fine in those minutes. In fact, he was probably the MVP of Miami’s streak-ending win over Boston with 16 off the bench. If he can keep that up, Erik Spoelstra won’t blink twice when pulling Dragic off the floor to recharge his batteries in the fourth.

7. Toronto Raptors (12–7)
Last Week: 4

DeMar DeRozan has lost his scoring touch lately, and as he goes, so does the team. During Toronto’s second-half collapse against the Knicks, he attempted just three shots and missed each one. That just won’t cut it.

6. Detroit Pistons (12–6)
Last Week: 7

Detroit has finally risen above Minnesota in the power rankings. Are you happy, Pistons fans? It wasn’t a week to write home about but it was good enough to keep pace in the East with a hefty bunch of teams in hot pursuit.

5. San Antonio Spurs (12–7)
Last Week: 5

This team just continues to find a way. Without Kawhi Leonard—a perennial DPOY candidate—and Tony Parker, they’re still the league’s fourth-ranked defense. They’ll get the latter back this week, but the former...I’m beginning to get worried about him.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers (12–7)
Last Week: 10

They got off to a sluggish start and had to watch Kyrie Irving lead the Celtics on a torrid winning streak, but the Cavs have quickly reversed their fortunes and become the hottest team in the league, winning seven straight. Jae Crowder is finally finding his groove, LeBron is stealing a little rest, and Isaiah Thomas tweeted he’s nearing a return. Hard to top that week.

3. Houston Rockets (15–4)
Last Week: 3

As if last year wasn’t nuts enough, the Rockets are averaging four more three-point attempts per game this season. And look what it can do:

2. Golden State Warriors (15–5)
Last Week: 2

Perhaps, in a way, losing to the Thunder was a good thing. Golden State has come out of that loss looking agitated, and there are no longer questions about whether they care or not.

1. Boston Celtics (18–3)
Last Week: 1

I’ve touched on this before, but it still amazes me: Did anyone predict that just a few months after losing Avery Bradley that this defense would become the best in the NBA? It limited Indiana to just 16 points in the third on Saturday and helped take control of that game. Coupled with one of the most gifted offensive players in the game today, the Celtics are a true force.

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