With the NBA going dark on Monday night in order to give the NCAA national championship all of the basketball-loving eyes that this country has to offer, there are only nine days remaining in the NBA’s regular season. That means this is the final full week of the regular season and these are the penultimate Power Rankings from Basketball Insiders.
Over the course of the season, we have seen the Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers and Miami HEAT all possess the top rank for multiple weeks, but as we said in our Sunday dialogue with Bill Ingram and Joel Brigham, it’s not who you are at the beginning of the season that matters, it is who you are at the end.
And those Brooklyn Nets? They just so happen to be the best team out East (at least since January 1).
While the Pacers have imploded, the HEAT have recaptured the top seed. Meanwhile, the New York Knicks appear to have run out of gas and the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors continue the most improbable of fights for the third seed in the conference.
Meanwhile, out West, the Clippers have completely flown under the radar thanks to the Spurs’ 19-game win streak that came to a predictable end last week.
And that fight for the eighth seed? It is one we have not seen in quite some time.
At the moment, we are torn between Jeff Hornacek and Tom Thibodeau for Coach of the Year. But one thing we are not torn over? The fact that playoff basketball is on the horizon.
Have a question or comment on Moke’s Weekly Power Rankings? Feel free to ask him a question in his Weekly NBA Chat, held each Friday afternoon.