Fantasy Football 2014:

NBA Power Rankings: Heat get back into top 3 as All-Star break nears

Marc J. Spears
Yahoo Sports

Oklahoma City
1. Oklahoma City Thunder (41-12; last week's ranking: 1): West All-Star coach Scott Brooks must choose a player to replace the injured Kobe Bryant in the starting lineup. Likely choice: James Harden.

Indiana
2. Indiana Pacers (39-11; last week's ranking: 2): New center Andrew Bynum is expected to debut after the All-Star break, a source said.


Miami
3. Miami Heat (35-14; last week's ranking: 5): Poor Heat vendors. A team-record 19 days will pass between Miami's last home game against Detroit and the next one against Chicago on Feb. 23.

Los Angeles
4. Los Angeles Clippers (36-18; last week's ranking: 4): As of late, Blake Griffin is playing the best ball of his career. An improved Griffin with a returned Chris Paul makes the Clippers scary post-All-Star break.

San Antonio
5. San Antonio Spurs (37-14; last week's ranking: 6): All-Star break comes just in time for the injury-plagued Spurs to heal. Starters Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobili are still out.


Portland
6. Portland Trail Blazers (36-15; last week's ranking: 3): Prior to taking part in five All-Star events, first-time All-Star Damian Lillard has to face the Thunder on Tuesday and the Clippers on Wednesday.


Houston
7. Houston Rockets (34-17; last week's ranking: 7): The Rockets can set a season-high six-game win streak by beating Minnesota on Monday. Houston is averaging 108.6 points the past five games.


Phoenix
8. Phoenix Suns (30-20; last week's ranking: 8): Are the Suns elite? Goran Dragic and the Suns have a chance for a statement win when the Heat come to Phoenix on Tuesday.


Golden State
9. Golden State Warriors (30-21; last week's ranking: 9): Keep an eye on nervous Golden State as the trade deadline arrives. They're 10-8 since the start of 2014.


Dallas
10. Dallas Mavericks (31-21; last week's ranking: 11): Dirk Nowitzi's 38-point, 17-rebound game against Houston on Jan. 29 was his first 30-point, 10-rebound game of the season and 108th of career.


Memphis
11. Memphis Grizzlies (27-23; last week's ranking: 10): Ex-Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins has interest in the Pistons' new opening, but Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reports Detroit's full-time hire will come at season's end.


Toronto
12. Toronto Raptors (26-24; last week's ranking: 13): The Raptors play eight of their next 10 at home. Toronto, who hosts New Orleans on Monday, is 7-2 at home this year.


Atlanta
13. Atlanta Hawks (25-25; last week's ranking: 12): Although Toronto's DeMar DeRozan is rarely shown on TV in the States, the least-heralded All-Star on Sunday is likely Atlanta's Paul Millsap.


Chicago
14. Chicago Bulls (25-25; last week's ranking: 15): Don't be surprised if Derrick Rose next plays again in USA Basketball's training camp for the World Cup this summer.


Washington
15. Washington Wizards (25-25; last week's ranking: 16): Washington will try to acquire a backup point guard before the trade deadline, a source said, but isn't optimistic the Wizards can make such a move.


Denver
16. Denver Nuggets (24-25; last week's ranking: 17): The Nuggets will be one of the teams to watch as the trade deadline approaches with veteran point guard Andre Miller still waiting to be dealt.


Minnesota
17. Minnesota Timberwolves (24-27; last week's ranking: 14): While the Wolves' brass is doing their due diligence, they are more worried about improving the defense than making a trade deadline move.


Brooklyn
18. Brooklyn Nets (23-26; last week's ranking: 18): Coach Jason Kidd can rest easy during All-Star weekend after recovering from a bad start to earn East Coach of the Month honors for January.


New Orleans
19. New Orleans Pelicans (22-28; last week's ranking: 19): D-League leading scorer Pierre Jackson, rights owned by the Pelicans, will play in the D-League All-Star Game in New Orleans on Saturday.


Detroit
20. Detroit Pistons (21-29; last week's ranking: 22): Interim coach John Loyer has never been a head coach before, but has been an assistant with Detroit, New Jersey and Philadelphia.


Charlotte
21. Charlotte Bobcats (22-29; last week's ranking: 20): Charlotte is actively pursuing a deal for needed perimeter shooting, a source said.


New York
22. New York Knicks (20-31; last week's ranking: 21): There is "no chance" the Knicks will deal Carmelo Anthony, who owns a contract opt-out this summer, before the trade deadline, a source said.


Los Angeles
23. Los Angeles Lakers (18-33; last week's ranking: 23): Steve Nash says the nerve irritation he suffered in his left leg against Chicago on Sunday isn't serious.


Sacramento
24. Sacramento Kings (17-34; last week's ranking: 25): The Kings still like Isaiah Thomas, but they are also interested in acquiring a true point guard as the trade deadline approaches, a source said.


Utah
25. Utah Jazz (17-33; last week's ranking: 24): Michael Carter-Williams has competition. Utah's Trey Burke is the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for December and January.


Boston
26. Boston Celtics (18-34; last week's ranking: 28): Recently returned Rajon Rondo will get seven days between games to rest his surgically repaired knee during the All-Star break.


Cleveland
27. Cleveland Cavaliers (18-33; last week's ranking: 26): Interim general manager David Griffin said he has "full latitude" to do the job and he is not a secretary taking calls.


Philadelphia
28. Philadelphia 76ers (15-37, last week's ranking: 27): Michael Carter-Williams is one of the top rookies to watch in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night during All-Star weekend.


Orlando
29. Orlando Magic (16-37; last week's ranking: 29): Outside of talented rookie guard Victor Oladipo, sources say the Magic are open to talking trade but have nothing imminent.


Milwaukee
30. Milwaukee Bucks (9-41; last week's ranking: 30): Center Zaza Pachulia is shooting 93.7 percent from the free-throw line and is 14 free throws shy of qualifying to have an NBA-best mark.

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