2014-15 NBA Handicapping
The 2015 NBA season is nearly at the halfway point. There’s still a massive difference between the competition out West and the competition out East, but at this point in the process, we have a new team taking the No. 1 spot — a team from the league’s lesser conference.
Here are the power rankings for the 12th week of the NBA schedule.
1. Atlanta Hawks (33-8)
Are the Atlanta Hawks better than the Golden State Warriors? Probably not. Would we pick them to win a championship over the Portland Trail Blazers or Memphis Grizzlies? Again, not likely.
None of that matters at this moment, however, because the Hawks have won 12 straight contests, including victories over two of the teams just mentioned.
2. Golden State Warriors (32-6)
With the league’s best record, the Golden State Warriors could easily be slotted in the No. 1 spot.
A recent loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder broke an eight-game winning streak, bu they bounced back nicely with a 131-106 victory over the Houston Rockets.
3. Memphis Grizzlies (29-11)
The Memphis Grizzlies are coming off a big-time win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Although they did manage to let a 20-point lead slip away in the fourth quarter, they got it done in the final minutes, which is all that counts with playoff positioning already becoming a focus.
4. Portland Trail Blazers (30-11)
For the first time this season, the Portland Trail Blazers are in the middle of a three-game skid. This isn’t the end of the world for fans in Rip City, as they still have the league’s third-best record, but it’s important to note that it’s been the first time we’ve seen this team face off against contenders in three-straight games.
5. Washington Wizards (28-13)
The Washington Wizards looked slipped a bit in the last couple of weeks, but they’ve re-earned their claim as a top-five team. Defeating the Chicago Bulls twice helped, but it’s tough to ignore the fact that this group was just handed a 31-point trouncing at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks.
6. Houston Rockets (28-13)
The addition of Josh Smith to the lineup is a boom-or-bust move if we’ve ever seen one from a mid-season free-agent acquisition. If the team gets anything at all, it will be huge in Houston’s attempt to boost the power forward position and make a run out West. However, if his shooting percentage stays low and his defense doesn’t improve, he could personally drag the Rockets down a spot or two in the playoff rankings.
7. Dallas Mavericks (28-13)
Health could end up determining where the Dallas Mavericks land in the end-of-season rankings. The team has recently been forced to rest Dirk Nowitzki, Rajon Rondo and Tyson Chandler, and Chandler Parsons is banged up as well. They had a tough week in the wins column, which will continue to be the case if they can’t get healthy. However, if they can, look for them to become a top-five team following the All-Star break.
8. Toronto Raptors (26-13)
The Eastern Conference is anyone’s to win at this point in the process, and the Toronto Raptors epitomize that notion. They’re the third-best team in the conference in terms of wins and losses, and with DeMar DeRozan set to make his return, the No. 1 spot could be theirs once he’s integrated back into the offense.
9. Chicago Bulls (27-15)
The Chicago Bulls are the final Eastern Conference team to make the top 10. They’re currently fourth out East, and they’re six-and-a-half games back from the top seed. The balance between offense and defense is what makes this team dangerous. We’ve known this team as a defensive juggernaut for a long time, but with Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol and Jimmy Butler doing it on the other end, they have one of the most dynamic lineups in the entire Association.
10. San Antonio Spurs (25-16)
The San Antonio Spurs are 10th on this list. They’re not earning much credit leaguewide as a contender. And yet, you know nobody in the organization cares at this point in the process. Gregg Popovich is known for sacrificing wins in the regular season for health in the playoffs. Look for that theme to hold true the rest of the way in 2014-15.
- 11. Los Angeles Clippers (27-14)
- 12. Phoenix Suns (24-18)
- 13. Oklahoma City Thunder (19-20)
- 14. New Orleans Pelicans (19-20)
- 15. Milwaukee Bucks (21-19)
- 16. Denver Nuggets (18-22)
- 17. Sacramento Kings (16-24)
- 18. Detroit Pistons (16-25)
- 19. Cleveland Cavaliers (21-20)
- 20. Miami Heat (18-22)
- 21. Charlotte Hornets (16-25)
- 22. Indiana Pacers (15-27)
- 23. Brooklyn Nets (17-24)
- 24. Utah Jazz (14-26)
- 25. Orlando Magic (15-28)
- 26. Los Angeles Lakers (12-29)
- 27. Boston Celtics (13-25)
- 28. Philadelphia 76ers (8-32)
- 29. Minnesota Timberwolves (7-32)
- 30. New York Knicks (5-36)
Check out our Updated NBA Betting Odds.