NBA Power Rankings: Injuries taking toll on some playoff contenders
1. Golden State Warriors (Record: 43-10; last week: 1): Stephen Curry missed his first game of the season Sunday because of ankle soreness in a loss at Indiana, but it’s not deemed serious.
2. Memphis Grizzlies (Record: 40-14; last week: 2) So when do the Grizzlies finally play the Warriors again? There are two meetings left: March 27 in Memphis and April 13 in Oakland.
3. Atlanta Hawks (Record: 44-12; last week: 3): The Hawks have dropped three of their last five and four of eight, including a 25-point home loss to Toronto on Friday.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers (Record: 35-22; last week: 5): David Griffin may have further helped his candidacy for NBA Executive of the Year by signing free-agent veteran center Kendrick Perkins.
5. Toronto Raptors (Record: 37-18; last week: 4): Despite rumors about forward Terrence Ross being dangled and interest in Indiana’s David West, Toronto stayed pat at the trade deadline.
6. Los Angeles Clippers (Record: 37-19; last week: 11): Keep an eye on Austin Rivers, son of coach Doc Rivers, who scored a career-high 28 points in a win over Sacramento on Saturday.
7. Houston Rockets (Record: 37-18; last week: 6): The Rockets added an athletic and offensively gifted small forward in rookie K.J. McDaniels from Philadelphia in a three-team deal.
8. Dallas Mavericks (Record: 38-20; last week: 10): The arrival of big man Amar’e Stoudemire is now even more vital with forward Chandler Parsons sidelined because of a left ankle injury.
9. Portland Trail Blazers (Record: 36-19; last week: 8): The Blazers added a much-needed veteran scoring presence in acquiring guard Arron Afflalo from Denver.
10. Chicago Bulls (Record: 35-21; last week: 9): Things are interesting in the Central Division, where the Bulls have a 1/2-game lead over the Cavaliers, winners of eight of 10.
11. Oklahoma City Thunder (Record: 31-25; last week: 14): Kevin Durant (foot) is out, but Russell Westbrook has averaged 33 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds in five games this season without Durant.
12. San Antonio Spurs (Record: 34-21; last week: 7): The Spurs could have used Texas native Kendrick Perkins because they are weak at center when Tim Duncan is at power forward.
13. Milwaukee Bucks (Record: 31-24; last week: 13): The Bucks trading point guard Brandon Knight was curious, but they love the athleticism and length of Michael Carter-Williams.
14. Washington Wizards (Record: 33-23; last week: 12): What’s wrong with the Wizards? Washington has lost three straight, eight of 10 and is dropping in the East standings.
15. Phoenix Suns (Record: 29-27; last week: 15): Phoenix made the best of a bad situation by trading Isaiah Thomas and unhappy Goran Dragic and acquiring Brandon Knight and three first-round draft picks.
16. New Orleans Pelicans (Record: 28-27; last week: 16): It will be hard for the Pelicans to stay on pace in the playoff race without Anthony Davis, who is out 1-2 weeks with a shoulder sprain.
17. Indiana Pacers (Record: 23-33; last week: 20): Here come the Pacers, who are now a half-game out of an East playoff spot with injured star Paul George a month away from a possible return.
18. Detroit Pistons (Record: 23-33; last week: 22): The Pistons, who are eyeing the playoffs, will be looking for a serious boost from newly acquired Reggie Jackson.
19. Miami Heat (Record: 23-31; last week: 17): Miami had some real excitement in acquiring Goran Dragic, but then received a horrible blow, losing Chris Bosh for the season.
20. Brooklyn Nets (Record: 22-31; last week: 23): Thaddeus Young was a solid addition, but the Nets failed to move their biggest contracts.
21. Charlotte Hornets (Record: 22-32; last week: 18): Trading Lance Stephenson was a big storyline this season, but it quietly went away as the Hornets guard was not dealt before the deadline.
22. Utah Jazz (Record: 20-34; last week: 19): Utah could end up regretting trading young center Enes Kanter, who is averaging 15 points and 12.5 rebounds in two games with Oklahoma City.
23. Boston Celtics (Record: 20-33; last week: 21): The Celtics had agreed to buy out Tayshaun Prince if a trade couldn't be completed, a source said. But an unexpected deal with Detroit came along, and Prince wasn't exactly thrilled to be going to the Pistons.
24. Sacramento Kings (Record: 19-35; last week: 25): New Kings coach George Karl, the 2013 NBA Coach of the Year with the Nuggets, is scheduled to return to Denver on April 12.
25. Denver Nuggets (Record: 20-35; last week: 24): The Nuggets weren’t interested in trading forward Wilson Chandler, resisting several trade overtures for him.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves (Record: 12-42; last week: 27) Kevin Garnett’s first game back with the T-Wolves is scheduled to be Wednesday against visiting Washington.
27. Orlando Magic (Record: 19-39; last week: 28): Interim head coach James Borrego is 4-2 with three straight wins. The Magic have yet to allow 100 points under Borrego.
28. Philadelphia 76ers (Record: 12-43; last week: 26) In a classy move, coach Brett Brown called Michael Carter-Williams after he was traded to the Bucks to offer best wishes, a source said.
29. Los Angeles Lakers (Record: 14-41; last week: 30): The Sixers are rooting for the Lakers, who snapped a seven-game losing streak Sunday. The 76ers get the Lakers’ 2015 draft pick if it’s not in the Top 5.
30. New York Knicks (Record: 10-45; last week: 29): There is a lot of talk about Duke’s Jahlil Okafor by Knicks fans, but don’t forget about Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns from New Jersey.
Best 4 Teams in NBA | PointAfter
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