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NBA Power Rankings: Spurs Still Riding Hard, 13 Years Later

The San Antonio Spurs are tied for No. 1 in West, but sit all alone atop's NBA Power Rankings. Can Tim Duncan and the crew win another title 13 years after Big Fun and Gregg Popovich claimed their first?


The San Antonio Spurs continue to tantalize us some 13 years after Tim Duncan's first NBA championship. This weekend, the Spurs became the second team this season with an 11-game win streak. The first team was ... the San Antonio Spurs. They are No. 1 in shooting, No. 2 in turnover rate and No. 1 in defensive rebounding. If Gregg Popovich can round that defense into shape, they could rip through everyone in the playoffs.

Or they could get picked apart by Zach Randolph and Tony Allen. Who knows?

All records include Sunday's action.

Rank Team Record Last Week SB Nation Blog
1. San Antonio Spurs 40-14 W: CLE, BOS, NO, UTA Pounding The Rock
This is the second double-digit win streak of the season for the Spurs. Expect some more analysis downplaying San Antonio's playoff chances based on last year's first-round exit; please remember that Manu Ginobili busted up his arm entering that series. He looks healthy now. This team has always been different when he's healthy.
2. Chicago Bulls 43-14 W: BOS; L: HOU, NY Blog-a-Bull
I secretly hope some fool tries out the "Bulls are better without Derrick Rose" argument just because I've always wanted to see a live human self-ridicule himself into oblivion.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder 41-15 W: TOR; L: MEM, MIA, IND Welcome To Loud City
We told you that the Thunder's Hell Week wasn't over after they beat the Heat and Bulls! The Thunder got busted up three straight times. Why do we have them ahead of Miami given last week's result? The Thunder looked more convincing in their win in the home-and-home than Miami did in its victory. #science
4. Miami Heat 40-15 W: PHI, OKC, DET; L: MEM Peninsula Is Mightier
I still have not forgiven Udonis Haslem for losing the braids.
5. Indiana Pacers 34-22 W: NY, WAS, OKC; L: BOS Indy Cornrows
Indiana always seems good for a blistering loss that ruins the good feelings, but I'm going to let the fuzzies from a win over the Knicks and a surprising victory over Oklahoma City last a little bit longer. Danny Granger is shooting almost 50 percent on threes in his last 10 games.
6. L.A. Lakers 35-22 W: NJ, LAC; L: HOU, PHX Silver Screen And Roll
It seems unlikely that we'll get a Lakers-Clippers playoff series, which is just too bad, because in addition to the trace amounts of bad blood and the whole L.A. thing, every game between the clubs has been entertaining as heck.
7. L.A. Clippers 34-22 W: DAL, SAC x 2; L: LAL Clips Nation
It appears that the display over (and on) Pau Gasol has reinvigorated Blake Griffin's dunk mode. He was nasty against the Kings on Saturday.
8. Houston Rockets 31-25 W: CHI, LAL, SAC The Dream Shake
This is kind of unfair: Goran Dragic and Courtney Lee go hard for a few weeks, the Rockets rise up the standings and now the team's best player, Kyle Lowry, comes back. I'm not saying anyone wants to face the Grizzlies in the first round -- no one wants to face the Grizzlies -- but the Rockets ought to put some fear into potential match-ups like the Lakers or Clippers.
9. Atlanta Hawks 34-23 W: DET, CHA x 2 Peachtree Hoops
How to preserve win streaks in one easy step: get into the same division as the Bobcats.
10. Memphis Grizzlies 32-23 W: OKC, GS, MIA, DAL; L: DAL Straight Outta Vancouver
Yep, the Grizzlies beat the Thunder and the Heat in the same week. This team remains terrifying. Their schedule really lightens up after this week, too, with six of their final seven coming against non-playoff teams.
11. Boston Celtics 32-24 W: IND, PHI; L: SA, CHI CelticsBlog
Perhaps Boston won't have tremendous offseason upheaval, as they appear to have their shooting guard of the future in Avery Bradley. Ray Allen can leave as a free agent; if Boston retains Kevin Garnett on a short deal, most of the ol' gang can come back. Who doesn't want to see that?
12. Milwaukee Bucks 28-28 W: WAS, CLE, CHA, POR Brew Hoop
I'd give Milwaukee's four-game winning streak more respect if the first three wins weren't against No. 29, No. 28 and No. 30 in these very Power Rankings. Wednesday's game against the Knicks is obviously huge, but it's Philly that the Bucks ought to have sights on.
13. Phoenix Suns 29-27 W: SAC, UTA, LAL; L: DEN Bright Side of the Sun
I feel like the Suns trainers should have infomercials at this point. "From the people who brought you Steve Nash's back, Amar'e Stoudemire's microfracture comeback and the rejuvenation of Grant Hill ... it's undead Michael Redd!"
14. New York Knicks 29-27 W: ORL, CHI; L: IND Posting And Toasting
We haven't seen Carmelo Anthony look as good as he did on Sunday since ... the Knicks were getting swept out of the playoffs. HMM.
15. Orlando Magic 33-23 W: PHI; L: DET, NY Orlando Pinstriped Post
We are a month from Patrick Ewing becoming an NBA head coach. I repeat, we are a month from Patrick Ewing becoming an NBA head coach.
16. Denver Nuggets 30-26 W: PHX; L: NO, GS Denver Stiffs
The Nuggets have a home-and-home with the Rockets next week. It's a great chance to either avoid the Thunder or Spurs in the first round or to fall out of the bracket. I love this game.
17. Utah Jazz 29-28 W: POR, GS; L: PHX, SA SLC Dunk
As soon as I write off the Jazz, they'll peel off a four-game win streak. A home game against San Antonio and road games at Houston and Memphis might prevent that, though, and kill this season dead.
18. Dallas Mavericks 31-26 W: MEM; L: LAC, POR, MEM Mavs Moneyball
The Mavericks are not even close to 2007 Miami bad and no one will ever touch the 1999 Bulls, but this is probably a bottom five NBA champion afterglow season. Let's just hope they make the playoffs.
19. Philadelphia 76ers 29-27 L: MIA, ORL, TOR, BOS Liberty Ballers
Bold position: If the Sixers don't fare well against this week's killer slate (the Nets twice, the Raptors) they will not make the playoffs.
20. Portland Trail Blazers 27-30 W: NJ, DAL; L: UTA, MIL Blazer's Edge
Portland got its most dramatic home win of the season on Friday against the Mavericks. Our man Ben Golliver tells us that the entire Blazers front office was busy watching the Hoop Summit Team USA scrimmage at the team's practice facility. It's been that kind of season.
21. Minnesota Timberwolves 25-32 L: SAC, GS, NO Canis Hoopus
Oh my goodness, you take away Ricky Rubio and this is the saddest team in the league! Someone find a Pekovic to hug.
22. Detroit Pistons 21-35 W: ORL, WAS; L: ATL, MIA Detroit Bad Boys
Let's just ignore that Brandon Knight hasn't been great and that Greg Monroe has fallen off substantially as the season has wore on, OK?
23. Toronto Raptors 20-37 W: CHA, PHI; L: CLE, OKC Raptors HQ
DeMar DeRozan has looked a lot better since Andrea Bargnani returned to action. That's a nice little offensive one-two punch; a lot of what Toronto needs going forward will be wing shooting and interior defense. Hopefully Jonas Valanciunas can provide the latter, and the team's 2012 pick can add the former.
24. Golden State Warriors 22-33 W: MIN, DEN; L: MEM, UTA Golden State of Mind
If the Warriors lose enough to keep their lottery pick, can we say that they have learned how to win?
25. New Orleans Hornets 15-41 W: DEN, MIN; L: SA At The Hive
You know, if Eric Gordon had been healthy all season, this team would probably be better than the Kings and as good or better than the pre-tank Warriors. I underrated Monty Williams' ability to squeeze every ounce of juice out of a bunch of lemons.
26. Sacramento Kings 19-38 W: MIN; L: PHX, LAC x 2, HOU Sactown Royalty
No one is paying attention to what's happening on the court, in part because it remains often depressing and in part because we're keeping an eye out for a moving van driven by a rotund, curly-haired man named George.
27. New Jersey Nets 21-37 W: WAS, CLE; L: LAL, POR NetsDaily
Good to see Avery Johnson was able to check "get taken to overtime by a team starring Donald Sloan and Lester Hudson" off of his bucket list. Looked like a tough one, to be honest.
28. Cleveland Cavaliers 18-36 W: TOR; L: SA, MIL, NJ Fear the Sword
Cavaliers vs. Bobcats on Tuesday. Given that Kyrie Irving is banged up, this could be really special. I feel like Antawn Jamison deserves hazard pay for participating.
29. Washington Wizards 12-44 L: MIL, IND, NJ, DET Bullets Forever
Jordan Crawford uses possessions more frequently than anyone else on the Wizards. He has one of the lowest True Shooting percentages among high-volume shooters in the league. These are the Wizards.
30. Charlotte Bobcats 7-47 L: TOR, MIL, ATL x 2 Rufus On Fire
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