NBA power rankings 2014: Thunder stay on top, Grizzlies crack top 5

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The Grizzlies have won six games in a row and look very much like the team that won 56 games last season and reached the Western Conference Finals.

1. Oklahoma City Thunder (38-11, Last week: 1)

The Thunder were blown out in Washington on Saturday, but I think we can forgive them for one bad game. Before that dud, Oklahoma City had won 10 games in a row and thoroughly dominated the Heat in Miami after trailing by 18 points in the early going. This also happened:

More on the Thunder: Welcome to Loud City

2. Indiana Pacers (36-10, Last week: 2)

The Pacers' week on the court was rather non-descript, but they made big news by signing Andrew Bynum for the rest of the season. Bynum wasn't all that effective in Cleveland, but perhaps he can flourish in a smaller role behind Roy Hibbert.

More on the Pacers: Indy Cornrows

3. Miami Heat (33-13, Last week: 3)

The Heat showed what kind of powerhouse they can be in the first few minutes of the Thunder loss, but they simply couldn't sustain it against the Kevin Durant juggernaut. Miami responded to the loss in impressive fashion, nabbing a 15-point victory at The Garden over a hot Knicks squad.

More on the Heat: Hot Hot Hoops

4. Memphis Grizzlies (26-20, Last week: 9)

In the grand scheme of things, I'm not totally sure how good the Grizzlies actually are. But right now, they're playing like a top five team, and these rankings are about right now. Memphis has won six games in a row and 11 of 12, including two victories over Houston and wins against Phoenix, Oklahoma City and Portland.

More on the Grizzlies: Grizzly Bear Blues

5. Los Angeles Clippers (34-16, Last week: 6)

While the Clippers did get pounded at Golden State on Thursday, that has been their only loss in the last six games. The upcoming schedule in February is challenging, but Chris Paul should be back soon to provide a boost to a team that has played extremely well without him.

More on the Clippers: Clips Nation

6. Portland Trail Blazers (34-13, Last week: 4)

The Blazers had plenty of time to stew after a home beatdown at the hands of the surging Grizzlies. With three days off, Portland came back and picked up a solid win over Toronto, withstanding 36 points from All-Star DeMar DeRozan.

More on the Blazers: Blazer's Edge

7. Houston Rockets (32-17, Last week: 8)

The Rockets bounced back from two straight losses to the Grizzlies, winning all three games last week. That included two wins against fellow Texas squads and a destruction of the imploding Cavaliers. That game featured Jeremy Lin's first career triple-double:

More on the Rockets: The Dream Shake

8. Golden State Warriors (29-19, Last week: 7)

While KD's January was otherworldly, Stephen Curry has put on an extremely impressive display in his own right over the last five games. In those last five, Curry shot 53.4 percent overall and 59.5 percent from three, posting averages of 32.0 points and 7.6 assists:

More on the Warriors: Golden State Of Mind

9. Phoenix Suns (29-18, Last week: 9)

The Suns are in a groove and looking to make a big move. Winners of five games in a row, Phoenix is eyeing Pau Gasol as an upgrade in the frontcourt. The Suns have an expiring contract in Emeka Okafor and a bevy of first-round picks to offer the Lakers in exchange for Gasol.

More on the Suns: Bright Side Of The Sun

10. San Antonio Spurs (34-13, Last week: 4)

When healthy, the Spurs are clearly a top five team in the NBA. But that's just not the case right now, hence the huge drop. San Antonio was on the verge of losing four games in a row before a late surge barely got them past Sacramento on Saturday. The good news is Tiago Splitter has returned from his injury.

More on the Spurs: Pounding The Rock

11. Toronto Raptors (25-22, Last week: 12)

DeMar DeRozan is a deserving All-Star, but Kyle Lowry almost certainly should have been selected as well. Lowry has been brilliant all season, and he was instrumental in beating the Nets last week in a game that ended on a crazy note:

And here's a bonus Raptors video of Terrence Ross dunking all over Kenneth Faried:

More on the Raptors: Raptors HQ

12. Dallas Mavericks (27-21, Last week: 11)

Speaking of deserving All-Stars, Dirk Nowitzki is one, and he has proved it with some dynamite player over the last three games. Nowitzki has put up 28, 38 and 34 points in the last three while shooting over 60 percent in the process. The big man also reached a career milestone:

More on the Mavs: Mavs Moneyball

13. Atlanta Hawks (25-21, Last week: 14)

The Hawks had quite the week. They nearly beat the Thunder before falling victim to Durant's ridiculousness. Then, a rare snow storm that featured THREE whole inches of snow basically shut down the city of Atlanta, forcing the Hawks' game against the Pistons to be postponed. The week wrapped up with a win over the Timberwolves despite 43 and 19 from Kevin Love.

More on the Hawks: Peachtree Hoops

14. Minnesota Timberwolves (23-24, Last week: 15)

Love continues to put up monster numbers ... and the Wolves continue to putter along in mediocrity. Minnesota finally got over the .500 mark last week, but then promptly fell back under after losing two straight. One has to wonder what's going through Love's mind.

More on the Wolves: Canis Hoopus

15. Washington Wizards (23-23, Last week: 17)

The Wizards are in the middle of a Western Conference gauntlet, and they've actually acquitted themselves quite well thus far. Washington not only beat Golden State on the road, but they also defeated Oklahoma City and made Durant look mortal. Quite the accomplishment these days.

More on the Wizards: Bullets Forever

16. Denver Nuggets (22-23, Last week: 13)

The Nuggets appear to have an issue with ACL's. First, Danilo Gallinari needed to go under the knife to repair the ACL that never healed properly. Now, super-sub Nate Robinson is done for the year with a torn ACL.

More on the Nuggets: Denver Stiffs

17. New Orleans Pelicans (20-26, Last week: 19)

With myriad injures befalling them, the Pelicans were falling fast just a couple weeks ago. But since dropping to 16-25, New Orleans has won four of five, and Anthony Davis didn't play in the one loss. It's crazy to think Joe Johnson is an All-Star this season and Davis isn't, although the big man could be selected as an injury replacement.

More on the Pelicans: The Bird Writes

18. Chicago Bulls (23-23, Last week: 17)

The Bulls can be quite the tough watch at times, but Joakim Noah alone sometimes makes it worth it. Noah was selected to his second straight All-Star Game, and it has been his play that has helped keep the Bulls alive in the wake of the Derrick Rose injury and Luol Deng trade.

More on the Bulls: Blog a Bull

19. Brooklyn Nets (20-25, Last week: 16)

The Nets were seconds away from getting to one game under .500. Now they've lost three straight and are five games under .500. And yes, I still don't get the Johnson All-Star selection.

More on the Nets: NetsDaily

20. New York Knicks (19-28, Last week: 20)

The Knicks fell back down to earth against the Heat, but the recent four-game winning streak brought back fond memories of last season. Carmelo Anthony at power forward, dual point-guard lineups and a ton of threes. Fun times!

More on the Knicks: Posting and Toasting

21. Charlotte Bobcats (21-28, Last week: 21)

Prior to a clunker against the Suns, Al Jefferson was on a tear. Jefferson averaged 23.9 points and 11.3 rebounds in January and finished the month with games of 32, 35 and 40 points. Not too shabby:

More on the Bobcats: Rufus On Fire

22. Detroit Pistons (19-27, Last week: 25)

Nothing like a couple games against bottom feeders to get things "right." The Pistons had dropped to a season-worst 10 games under .500 entering last week, but wins over the Magic and Sixers at least have them feeling not too horrible about themselves at the moment.

More on the Pistons: Detroit Bad Boys

23. Utah Jazz (16-31, Last week: 24)

Gordon Hayward is having a really rough go of it of late, failing to shoot 40 percent in each of the last four games. Hayward is shooting just 41.1 percent overall on the year and knocking down only 32.1 percent of his threes. It will be interesting to see if his struggles have an effect on how things play out for him as a restricted free agent in the offseason.

More on the Jazz: SLC Dunk

24. Boston Celtics (16-33, Last week: 27)

Good news for the Celtics: Rajon Rondo actually looked like Rajon Rondo on Sunday. 19 points, 10 assists and six rebounds while shooting 9-of-11 from the field. One game obviously isn't enough to declare him "back," but it's a good start:

More on the Celtics: CelticsBlog

25. Sacramento Kings (15-32, Last week: 22)

So much for the Kings' possible resurgence. The injuries to Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins halted any possible momentum, and although Gay has returned and is playing well, it hasn't been enough to halt a seven-game slide.

More on the Kings: Sactown Royalty

26. Los Angeles Lakers (16-31, Last week: 26)

The Lakers opened January with a win over the Jazz. Los Angeles proceeded to win just two games the rest of the month thanks to a lousy defense that surrendered at least 100 points in every single January game other than the win over Utah.

More on the Lakers: Silver Screen and Roll

27. Philadelphia 76ers (15-33, Last week: 27)

The Sixers got it handed to them pretty good in three losses last week, but they did nab one exciting win that left Celtics announcer Tommy Heinsohn absolutely livid:

More on the Sixers: Liberty Ballers

28. Orlando Magic (13-36, Last week: 29)

Arron Afflalo has put up All-Star caliber numbers this season, but the Magic's awfulness likely put a kabosh on his selection.

More on the Magic: Orlando Pinstriped Post

29. Cleveland Cavaliers (16-31, Last week: 23)

If the Bucks weren't an utter abomination, I'd put the Cavs in the No. 30 slot simply because of the utter chaos that is that organization at the moment. The team is putting up embarrassing efforts. The star player is reportedly causing problems. The well-respected veteran addition is shocked at the dysfunction. Can it really get much worse?

More on the Cavs: Fear The Sword

30. Milwaukee Bucks (8-39, Last week: 30)

The Bucks have two wins since Christmas. That pretty much says it all.

More on the Bucks: Brew Hoop

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