NBA Power Rankings: Cavaliers in free fall while waiting on LeBron to return

Golden State
Golden State

1. Golden State Warriors (Record: 29-5; last week's rank: 1): Here's how deep the Warriors are: Before Andrew Bogut recently returned as a reserve, one NBA assistant thought it was unfair Golden State had two max players (Andre Iguodala and David Lee) coming off the bench.


Atlanta
Atlanta

2. Atlanta Hawks (Record: 29-8; last week's rank: 3): Atlanta converted non-believers by winning at Portland and at the Clippers, beating Memphis and routing Washington in recent days.


Portland
Portland

3. Portland Trail Blazers (Record: 30-8; last week's rank: 2): Damian Lillard has forced himself into the argument of the NBA's best point guard with his elite play since December.


Chicago
Chicago

4. Chicago Bulls (Record: 26-12; last week's rank: 4): The Lakers should be kicking themselves for not being able to re-sign Pau Gasol, who should make the East All-Star team for the Bulls.


Houston
Houston

5. Houston Rockets (Record: 26-11; last week's rank: 7): James Harden's scoring gets all the attention, but his defense has improved considerably. The NBA's leading scorer is seventh in steals per game.


Dallas
Dallas

6. Dallas Mavericks (Record: 26-12; last week's rank: 5): Franchise saddened by the death of Roy Tarpley, who had the skills to be a Hall of Fame big man before drugs and alcohol destroyed his career.


Memphis
Memphis

7. Memphis Grizzlies (Record: 26-11; last week's rank: 8): Memphis was already talented and became even tougher to beat with the addition of versatile forward Jeff Green.


Toronto
Toronto

8. Toronto Raptors (Record: 25-11; last week's rank: 6): DeMar DeRozan planned to return from his groin injury last week, but opted for more practice time. He isn't expected play Monday against Detroit.


Los Angeles
Los Angeles

9. Los Angeles Clippers (Record: 25-13; last week's rank: 9) The Clippers have had talks about acquiring Doc Rivers' son Austin. If they do trade for him, it will be interesting to see if he's able to get minutes.


San Antonio
San Antonio

10. San Antonio Spurs (Record: 23-15; last week's rank: 12) Health is the reigning champ's biggest opponent. Because of injuries, San Antonio has used 21 starting lineups this season.


Washington
Washington

11. Washington Wizards (Record: 25-12; last week's rank: 10) The Wizards are loaded with talent, but with a 9-8 record on the road, it's hard to consider them true championship contenders.


Phoenix
Phoenix

12. Phoenix Suns (Record: 22-18; last week's rank: 11): Trading for Brandan Wright, who had seven points in 15 minutes in his debut Sunday at Memphis, improves the Suns' frontcourt depth.


New Orleans
New Orleans

13. New Orleans Pelicans (Record: 18-18; last week's rank: 14) New Orleans has been hovering around .500 all season, but could make a run with Boston, Philadelphia and New York up next.


Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City

14. Oklahoma City Thunder (Record: 18-19; last week's rank: 15): Could the Thunder trade guard Reggie Jackson, who is in the last year of his contract? Jackson recently described himself as a "nomad" in regards to trade rumors.


Denver
Denver

15. Denver Nuggets (Record: 17-20; last week's rank: 18) With Timofey Mozgov traded to Cleveland and JaVale McGee often hurt, rookie Jusuf Nurkic is Denver's center of the future.


Milwaukee
Milwaukee

16. Milwaukee Bucks (Record: 20-19; last week's rank: 16) With only one game this week, new forward Kenyon Martin will get plenty of practice time during his 10-day contract to try to impress Milwaukee.


Sacramento
Sacramento

17. Sacramento Kings (Record: 16-21; last week's rank: 17): The Kings' blowout win over Cleveland on Sunday was a much-needed confidence boost after they had struggled since opening 9-5.


Cleveland
Cleveland

18. Cleveland Cavaliers (Record: 19-19; last week's rank: 13): Even with a vote of confidence from Cavs general manager David Griffin, first-year coach David Blatt appears to be on shaky ground after losing eight of the past nine games.


Detroit
Detroit

19. Detroit Pistons (Record: 13-24; last week's rank: 27): The Pistons who have surged since waiving Josh Smith are now only three games out of the final playoff spot.


Miami
Miami

20. Miami Heat (Record: 16-21; last week's rank: 20): Journeyman center Hassan Whiteside may have finally found a home in Miami after sparking a win at the Clippers on Sunday with 23 points and 16 rebounds.


Charlotte
Charlotte

21. Charlotte Hornets (Record: 15-24; last week's rank: 26): The Hornets are 9-5 without guard Lance Stephenson (pelvic strain) and 5-2 without center Al Jefferson (groin).


Brooklyn
Brooklyn

22. Brooklyn Nets (Record: 16-21; last week's rank: 19) Former T'wolves star Kevin Garnett could become a minority owner and consultant with Minnesota once he retires, a source told Yahoo. The Nets forward previously told Yahoo he wants to own the T'wolves one day.


Utah
Utah

23. Utah Jazz (Record: 13-25; last week's rank: 22): After winning five of their last seven games to close out 2014, the Jazz has lost four of six to start this year.


Indiana
Indiana

24. Indiana Pacers (Record: 15-24; last week's rank: 24): Coach Frank Vogel says guard Paul George still isn't expected back this season, but he is taking part in light non-contract basketball drills.


Los Angeles
Los Angeles

25. Los Angeles Lakers (Record: 12-26; last week's rank: 23): The Lakers should consider promoting D-League guard Jabari Brown, who scored 50 in his last game and has scored at least 25 in seven of his past 10.


Boston
Boston

26. Boston Celtics (Record: 12-23; last week's rank: 25): With Jeff Green trade to Memphis on Monday, the rebuilding Celtics now have 11 first-round picks over the next four drafts.


Philadelphia
Philadelphia

27. Philadelphia 76ers (Record: 7-29; last week's rank: 30) Break up the Sixers: They've won three of their past four games. Maybe all those players who want to be traded will reconsider.


Orlando
Orlando

28. Orlando Magic (Record: 13-27; last week's rank: 21): After losing 11 of their past 14 games, Magic coach Jacque Vaughn told the Orlando Sentinel he is not worried about losing his job.


Minnesota
Minnesota

29. Minnesota Timberwolves (Record: 5-31; last week's rank: 28): The T'wolves and Knicks have both lost 15 straight games. Minnesota gets benefit of doubt in rankings because they play in the West.


New York
New York

30. New York Knicks (Record: 5-35; last week's rank: 29): If it weren't for a game in London and the All-Star Game being in New York, would Carmelo Anthony have already decided to rest his ailing knee for the remainder of the season?

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